Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Robin Hood Tax

Robin Hood Tax Bill Introduced In Congress

   HR-6411: To Tax Wall Street; Real Revenue for Critical
   National, International Needs

The Robin Hood Tax
September 17, 2012


The U.S. Robin Hood Tax Campaign today applauded the
introduction in Congress of a bill that would impose a tax on
Wall Street speculation. Introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison, HR
6411, the Inclusive Prosperity Act,  would raise up to $350
billion in annual revenues that would be used to breathe new
life into Main Street communities across America, as well as
international health, sustainable prosperity and
environmental programs.

The legislation embodies the Robin Hood Tax, a 0.5% tax on
the trading of stocks, 50 cents on every $100 of trades, and
lesser rates on trading in bonds, derivatives and currencies.
It marks the return of a sales tax on financial transactions
in place from 1914 to 1966 and targets the high-risk, high-
speed trading that dominates the markets.

"The American public provided hundreds of billions to
bailout Wall Street during the global fiscal crisis yet bore
the brunt of the crisis with lost jobs and reduced household
wealth," said Rep. Ellison in a press statement.  "This is a
phenomenally wealthy nation, yet our tax and regulatory
system allowed the financial titans to amass great riches
while impoverishing the systems that enable inclusive
prosperity. A financial transaction tax protects our
financial markets from speculation and provides the revenue
needed to invest in the education, health and communities of
the American people."

The legislation's goal is to raise meaningful tax revenue
dedicated to low- and moderate-income families by
strengthening the social safety net and by expanding
investments to protect health, rebuilding infrastructure and
creating good-paying jobs.  The tax is also to target
international needs, including AIDS treatment, research and
prevention and for other critical assistance.

"Congressman Ellison is showing great leadership for our
country," said Jean Ross, RN, co-president of National
Nurses United. "HR-6411 is a critical step to generate the
revenue for the healing and recovery our Main Street
communities across the nation so desperately need.  From
coast to coast, nurses, health care, AIDS, environmental,
labor, faith community and other community activists have
come together calling for a Robin Hood tax on financial
speculation so that Wall Street will help pay to reverse the
damage its reckless behavior caused to our economy. This is
a small, common sense tax, already in place and working
wonderfully well in dozens of countries across the world.
America is ready for the Robin Hood tax."

"Last summer, scientists proved that we can actually end the
AIDS pandemic if we just scale up our investment in
treatment and prevention programs," said Jennifer Flynn,
managing director of Health GAP (Global Access Project).
"But when we go to Congress, all we hear about are budget
cuts.  We need to increase revenue and the Robin Hood Tax is
the best of all proposals to do just that."

"This tiny tax on Wall Street will make our economy more
stable and more fair.  The U.S. once had a Robin Hood Tax and
we were better off for it, it's time to bring it back," said
Liz Ryan Murray, policy director for National People's

"In its essentials, the idea of a financial market
transaction tax is simple," said economist Robert Pollin, co-
director, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI),
University of Massachusetts- Amherst.  "It would mean that
financial market traders would pay a small fee to the
government every time they purchased any financial market
instrument, including all stock, bond, options, futures, and
swap trades.  This would be the equivalent of sales taxes
that Americans have long paid every time they buy an
automobile, shirt, baseball glove, airline ticket, or pack of
chewing gum, eat at a restaurant, or have their hair cut."

The Robin Hood Tax also helps to control the volume of
speculation engulfing the financial markets, where risky bets
are causing instability and sidelining billions in funds that
might otherwise be directed to a productive economy.  And the
sales tax assists in curtailing speculation in food and fuel
markets, where bets on these essentials are causing spikes in
prices and serious shortages.

The introduction of H.R. 6411 came on the eve of the One Year
Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Occupy's call to stop the
policies of inequality of the 1% continues to resonate across
this country and beyond.  Robin Hood Tax campaigners today
joined Occupy activists at a labor solidarity event at
Zuccotti Park in New York City, and then carried the message
to offices of financial institutions to demand imposition of
the Robin Hood Tax.

posted on Portside.

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