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Mike Bloomberg once said taking too much money from the rich and giving it to the poor was a bigger problem than income inequality

Feb 14, 2020
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Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a campaign event Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/David Goldman)Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a campaign event Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a campaign event Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Providence, R.I. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Associated Press

  • Bloomberg once said in 2018 that taking too much money from the rich was a bigger problem than income inequality.
  • “I think income inequality is a very big problem. But the bigger problem is, you can take money from the rich and move it over to the poor,” he said at an International Monetary Fund summit.
  • The comments underscore the mounting scrutiny Bloomberg faces as he surges in national polls as a moderate alternative in the Democratic primary.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg said in 2018 that shifting too much money from the rich and giving it to the poor posed a bigger problem than income inequality.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="During a Q&amp;A session at a forum with International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, the former New York City mayor was asked about the future of job creation with the emergence of artificial intelligence.” data-reactid=”28″>During a Q&A session at a forum with International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde, the former New York City mayor was asked about the future of job creation with the emergence of artificial intelligence.

In a lengthy answer, Bloomberg said encouraging the movement of money away from the wealthiest people would slow economic growth.

“I think income inequality is a very big problem. But the bigger problem is, you can take money from the rich and move it over to the poor. If you do it too much then the rich stop producing and everybody loses,” the billionaire media executive said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Bloomberg also said that increased taxes on the rich and raising the minimum wage were barriers to job growth. The Daily Beast first reported the comments.” data-reactid=”31″>Bloomberg also said that increased taxes on the rich and raising the minimum wage were barriers to job growth. The Daily Beast first reported the comments.

Julie Wood, a spokesperson for the Bloomberg campaign, defended the former mayor’s record and pointed to his mayoral achievements in a statement to Business Insider.

“If you want to know what Mike Bloomberg thinks about income inequality and taxes, look at what he did as mayor: he raised taxes on the wealthy, he kept poverty rates flat while they went up in other cities and kept the economy working for everyone,” Wood said.

“Everyone in this race says they want to fight income inequality, but Mike Bloomberg is the candidate who has actually done it,” she said.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Bloomberg's answer resurfaced only a day after another set of remarks came to light where he linked the end of a discriminatory housing practice known as "redlining" to the 2008 financial crisis.” data-reactid=”35″>Bloomberg’s answer resurfaced only a day after another set of remarks came to light where he linked the end of a discriminatory housing practice known as “redlining” to the 2008 financial crisis.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="And he drew extensive criticism for previously defending in starkly racial terms the "stop and frisk" policing tactics that targeted minority neighborhoods while serving as mayor. Bloomberg has apologized for supporting the practice.” data-reactid=”36″>And he drew extensive criticism for previously defending in starkly racial terms the “stop and frisk” policing tactics that targeted minority neighborhoods while serving as mayor. Bloomberg has apologized for supporting the practice.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The string of problematic comments underscore the mounting scrutiny Bloomberg is drawing as he surges in national polls in the Democratic primary as a centrist with a record of advocacy on hot-button issues like gun control and climate change.” data-reactid=”37″>The string of problematic comments underscore the mounting scrutiny Bloomberg is drawing as he surges in national polls in the Democratic primary as a centrist with a record of advocacy on hot-button issues like gun control and climate change.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="In his presidential bid, Bloomberg has pledged to roll back widening inequality and raise taxes on the rich in an attempt to cast himself as a fighter for the middle class. He pointed to his successful effort to increase taxes on New York’s highest earners as mayor in a New York Times op-ed published last week and said he would prioritize reducing the gap between the rich and poor.” data-reactid=”38″>In his presidential bid, Bloomberg has pledged to roll back widening inequality and raise taxes on the rich in an attempt to cast himself as a fighter for the middle class. He pointed to his successful effort to increase taxes on New York’s highest earners as mayor in a New York Times op-ed published last week and said he would prioritize reducing the gap between the rich and poor.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have both attacked Bloomberg, who is self-funding his candidacy with vast sums of personal cash. Both of the primary's leading progressives accused him of buying the election, and Warren on Thursday said the billionaire former mayor shouldn’t be the party’s nominee.” data-reactid=”39″>But Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have both attacked Bloomberg, who is self-funding his candidacy with vast sums of personal cash. Both of the primary’s leading progressives accused him of buying the election, and Warren on Thursday said the billionaire former mayor shouldn’t be the party’s nominee.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read the original article on Business Insider” data-reactid=”40″>Read the original article on Business Insider

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