Photo Credit: Patrick Cashin, MTA; Shealah Craighead, White House
Andrew Cuomo vs. Donald trump

Responding to a NY Post report on Wednesday that President Donald Trump wants the federal government to defund New York City and Washington, DC, Seattle and Portland, where officials cut police budgets, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called an emergency press briefing where he declared Trump persona non grata.

“He can’t have enough bodyguards to walk through New York City,” Cuomo said told reporters. “Forget bodyguards, he better have an army if he thinks he’s going to walk down the streets in New York. … He is persona non grata in New York City, and I think he knows that, and he’ll never come back to New York, because New Yorkers will never forget how gratuitously mean he has been.”

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In 2019, Trump changed his official residence from NY City to Florida.

According to the NY Post, Trump signed a five-page memo on Wednesday, ordering all federal agencies to send reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget with recommendations for funds that can be redirected from New York and the other three cities.

“My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones,” Trump allegedly said in the memo, which mentions New York Mayor Bill de Blasio by name twice.

Trump’s memo’s goal is “to ensure that Federal funds are neither unduly wasted nor spent in a manner that directly violates our Government’s promise to protect life, liberty, and property, it is imperative that the Federal Government review the use of Federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities.”

The memo calls on federal agencies to submit “all Federal funds provided to Seattle, Portland, New York City, Washington, DC,” and instructs Attorney General Bill Barr to develop within 14 days a list of “anarchist jurisdictions” that “permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures” to restore order.

In this context, it should be noted that NY States in 2019 generates 8.82% of the overall annual federal income tax revenues, so that a tax war between the state and the feds would result in a much costlier loss to the government.

Likewise, Oregon, where the city of Portland has reduced its police budget, generates 9.9% of the federal revenues from income taxes. And the District of Columbia ships in 8.95%. Again, should these states suspend their tax payments due to a dispute over their allotment of federal funds, the country as a whole would suffer a significant loss in income.

Many of the states where President Trump holds an electoral advantage over his Democratic rival Joe Biden take in from the feds more than they pay out on taxes.

Gov. Cuomo said he didn’t think Trump’s five-page memo holds water legally, and suggested “It is more of the same from him. It’s political, it is gratuitous. And it’s illegal. But it is another attempt to kill New York City.”

“President Ford said drop dead. President Trump has been actively trying to kill New York City since he’s been elected,” Cuomo said.

The “drop dead” bit referred to the October, 1975 immortal headline in the NY daily News: “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” President Ford never said that, but the harsh line could be deduced from his refusal of a federal bailout to the failing city.

As to tax revolts, in addition to the one that forged the American Revolution – the Boston Tea Party – from 1930 to 1933, the Association of Real Estate Taxpayers in Chicago led one of the largest tax strikes in American history, responding to the high federal taxes at a time when many Americans were unemployed and hungry.

In more recent years, Californians passed Proposition 13 which dramatically limited state property taxes, and there were similar tax revolts in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Massachusetts.

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