Last night, New York lawmakers voted to approve a new tax code that no one would have expected a few months ago. It was only back in October, on the one month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, that Governor Cuomo reiterated his commitment to letting the millionaires’ tax expire and refusing to hike the rate on the 1%.
It was also the same day a Quinnipiac poll was released and showed 67% of NYC voters agreed with the protesters.
In the past 80 days or so, it can be argued that Occupy Wall Street was able to do what Democrats—all the way up to the president—have failed to for the past few years: Change the dialogue about taxing the rich.
For too long, the airwaves were saturated with the Republican mantra of the wealthy as “job creators,” and how asking them to pay their fair share was tantamount to a jobs-killing form of socialism.
But a few dozen marches and hundreds of mic checks later, that has all has changed. Now the only real argument is centering around whether the newly proposed measures represent a tax break or a tax hike for the state’s wealthiest residents. Regardless, they’re paying more than they would have had the millionaires’ tax been allowed to expire and the 99% got a break. For a group that prides itself on operating outside of the political system, this is quite the political victory for OWS.