NEW YORK--Faced with a $4 billion gap in the city budget that begins July 1, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that the city was considering taxing individuals whose behavior smacks of basic human decency.
As the Bloomberg administration waits to see how much of the federal economic stimulus package will make its way to New York, sources close to the administration claim that this option, which is being seriously considered, would levy a tax against any New York City resident found to be "conducting themselves in a manner indicating respect for the dignity of another human being."
The city has seen its fortunes dwindle with the collapse of the financial industry, upon which approximately 97% of the local economy depended. The budget shortfall has prompted city hall to look into slashing funds for everything from law enforcement to public schools to the day trader prostitute reimbursement program.
"We are quickly getting to the point where we might have no other choice," explained Bloomberg spokesperson Craig Ferlster. "And when members of this administration, day after day, peer through the tinted windows of our government-issue Lincoln Town Cars at a distinct lack of condescension and disdain for one's fellow citizens, we are compelled to take action."
"It all traces back to this economic collapse," explained Ferlster. "Our streets used to be packed with middle management assholes and trust fund scumbags who worked at these financial behemoths. When Wall Street went tits up, not only did we lose the tax revenue from these martini lunch cocksuckers, but the downturn either forced them out of the city or humbled them so thoroughly that their sense of entitlement has vanished. Without the financial industry to drag them down, niceness and decency are rising unimpeded and we have to seize the opportunity to tax the shit out of them."
Bolstering the mayor's case is a recent study commissioned by the People's Regulatory Initiative for the Constraint of Kindness (PRICK), a non-partisan think tank funded by the New York State Republican Party. The findings point to a sustained drop in class-based animus stretching back to October 2007, with the most drastic shortfall coming over the last six months.
City Deputy Treasurer Glen Hirschfeld allowed a hypothetical examination of the situation, noting that it was, "Important we preserve this great city's unrivaled reputation for rewarding wealth, punishing poverty, and encouraging all those in between to violently judge each other on largely irrelevant and fluctuating cultural trivia. And there's no reason we can't turn a buck doing it. After all, we need to keep cops on the corner, right? I'm asking that as a real question. We're legally mandated to provide police protection, right? We are? Fuck. Tax 'em!"
Surprisingly, New York's extensive non-profit sector had little comment on the proposed policy. Gus Freeman, lead organizer at the South Brooklyn Food Bank, commented, "Well, a general lack of decency pretty much explains why that motherfucker is mayor in the first place, so I can't say I'm exactly shocked. Only thing that surprises me is that he didn't try to levy some type of fine on charitable donations."
The general sentiment coming out of City Hall was echoed by several New York residents. Battery Park resident Marissa Florentine commented, "I am so, like, on board with this. Last week I was in line at Cain Luxe -- you know, that place where Lauren and Audrina from "The Hills" hang out? -- and when the doorman turned away this chick wearing Marc Jacobs at what was clearly a Ronen Chen spot, well, he was all, like, polite about it. I don't think she even saw me sneer."
Jacobs himself agreed. Speaking from the Kedem Sasson show in Bryant Park, the fashion icon explained, "I used to be able to walk down 6th Ave. and publicly defecate on anyone I caught with frayed blue jean bottoms or a 'Big Dog' t-shirt. In fact, it was part of my Fashion Week keynote address for several years."
Even former New York Mayor, Lenny Clotch, agrees with the impetus behind the Decency Tax. Speaking from his home upstate, Clotch said, "Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker's God-given right!"
Bloomberg hopes this tax will allow the city to continue funding essential services such as protecting the subway line from CHUD and homeless army incursions, completing the forced sterilization of Williamsburg, and acquiring a 3rd base-side luxury box at the new Yankee Stadium to go with the one behind home plate. City Hall aims to have the tax in place by the end of March.