Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is officially running for president, so he is going through the ritual of having past comments and actions reevaluated and measured against current public opinion—and so far, that's not going well for him.
He's already dealt with some backlash for stop-and-frisk policing measures implemented while he was mayor of New York City. Over the holiday weekend, PJ Media reposted a 2018 video of Bloomberg advocating for taxes that disproportionately target poor people, defending them by saying they will discourage harmful behaviors.
"[Some] say, well, 'taxes are regressive.' But in this case, yes they are, that's the good thing about them because the problem is in people that don't have a lot of money. And so higher taxes should have a bigger impact on their behavior and how they deal with themselves."
"So I listen to people saying, 'Oh, we don't want to tax the poor.' Well, we want the poor to live longer so that they can get an education and enjoy life and that's why you do want to do exactly what a lot of people say you don't want to do. The question is: do you want to pander to those people or do you want to get them to live longer?"
Bloomberg: Taxing the Poor is Good Because They'll Have Less Money to Hurt Themselves youtu.be
The context of Bloomberg's remarks was a discussion about a soda tax during the 2018 International Monetary Fund spring meeting. Bloomberg said that a tax on soda, which would impact poor people in greater proportion, would be beneficial for them because it would decrease soda consumption, thereby reducing obesity and causing people to live longer.
He went on to compare it to coal, saying it would be foolish to argue against moving away from coal energy out of fear that coal miners would lose jobs. He also said it would be wrong to start a war just to give soldiers something to do.
Bloomberg will have to answer for these comments, as they are completely opposite of his party's current emphasis on taxing the wealthy to pay for programs benefitting those with much less.
The former mayor is running an unconventional campaign. He entered the race months after most other candidates, is ignoring some early primary states, and will not even attempt to qualify for debates. Instead, he will fully self-fund his campaign and pour record amounts of money into television advertising to spread his message. He's currently polling in the low single-digits.