New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife went into full pander mode in front of a crowd of about 200 African-American clergy members in Brooklyn yesterday, comparing the expansion of a universal pre-K program to the civil rights movement. De Blasio has been seeking to increase taxes on top wage-earners as a means to fund the program.

DeBlasio ripped Republican Dean Skelos for opposing the tax hike, saying he was “denying us our rights” by treating New York City like a “colony.”

Al Sharpton hosted the breakfast meeting at a church in Brooklyn.

Via the Daily News:

New York City’s First Couple hit an African-American church in Brooklyn — and hit back against Republican opposition — as they moved to ratchet support for prekindergarten for all of the city’s children. ‘Didn’t the great man once tell us, “Power yields nothing without demand?”’ the mayor said, referencing 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

With his tax hike for universal prekindergarten in serious jeopardy, Mayor de Blasio and his wife ramped up the rhetoric Tuesday, comparing the fight for expanding preschool to the struggle for civil rights.

“Make no mistake, this is the defining civil rights issue of our day,” de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, told 200 applauding African-American clergy members at a Baptist church in Brooklyn.

“Universal prekindergarten and after-school programs are essential to our children’s future, are essential to our future,” she said.

Providing free pre-K programs certainly do not constitute a civil right, but what’s worse is that the de Blasio plan is nothing more than a means to redistribute wealth in New York.

Despite the fact that Governor Cuomo has offered to have the state pay for pre-K funding in the city, de Blasio has insisted that the best method to finance the effort is by raising taxes on the wealthy.  Cuomo offered $1.5 billion for a statewide pre-K plan in his budget proposal which would presumably cover de Blasio’s estimated costs.

Hence, de Blasio does not need to raise taxes to fund the program.  Worse, he’s not trying to redistribute wealth to the poor, he fully admits to trying to pay off labor disputes in the city.

At a hearing last month in Albany, the mayor confessed to having a budget surplus which would easily cover the costs of a pre-K program.

When one state senator asked why the mayor sought to raise taxes when the city is sitting on a budget surplus, de Blasio responded, “Because of the profoundly great unknown of the open labor contracts.”

A source close to the de Blasio administration admitted that the statement “makes it sound like it’s not really for the kids.”

It sounds that way because it isn’t.  De Blasio is simply executing his method for mass wealth redistribution.