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23. Transaction Tax Helps Civilize Wall Street and Lower the National Debt

In February 2013, United States senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) introduced a bill to implement a new tax of three basis points (that is, three pennies for every hundred dollars) on most nonconsumer stock trades. If made law, the tax could generate $350 billion in federal revenues over the next ten years.

Describing the proposed tax as a “simple matter of fairness and fiscal sanity,” Senator Harkin elaborated, “We need the new revenue generated by this tax in order to reduce deficits (after sequestration) and maintain critical investments in education, infrastructure, and job creation. . . . Wall Street (investors) can easily bear this modest tax.”

Because the tax is percentage-based, large transactions would be harder hit; most middle-class investors would see minimally increased charges. The tax would also help curb overzealous market speculation by discouraging the large-sum, short-term, risky trading that tends to put the economy in a fragile state.

This bill has been proposed in previous congressional sessions, yet it has been underreported in the corporate media, making it hard to gain public support.

France recently became the first country in Europe to pass such a tax. French finance minister Pierre Moscovici said the law marks “the first step toward fiscal reform and a move toward justice.” Ten other European countries are discussing similar laws. For the US, the Harkin–DeFazio transaction tax would be a major step in civilizing speculative investment, stabilizing the economy, and reducing the national debt.

Censored #23

Transaction Tax Helps Civilize Wall Street and Lower the National Debt

George Zornick, “Financial Transactions Tax Introduced Again—Can It Pass This Time?,” Nation, February 28, 2013, http://www.thenation.com/blog/173134/financial-transactions-tax-introduced-again-can-it-pass-time.

“Lawmakers Introduce Targeted Wall Street Trading Tax,” Albany Tribune, February 28, 2013, http://www.albanytribune.com/28022013-lawmakers-introduce-targeted-wall-street-trading-tax.

Gregory Heires, “As the Misguided $1.4 Trillion Cuts Begin, a Wall Street Tax Looks Like a No-Brainer,” Reader Supported News, March 7, 2013, http://readersupportednews.org/pm-section/78-78/16370-as-the-misguided-14-trillion-cuts-begin-a-wall-street-tax-looks-like-a-no-brainer.

Helene Fouquet and Adria Cimino, “French Lawmakers Pass Trading Transaction Tax,” Bloomberg Businessweek, August 1, 2012, http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-31/french-lawmakers-pass-budget-bill-including-transaction-tax.

Student Researcher: Marisa Soski (San Francisco State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows (San Francisco State University)

  • philip farruggio October 3, 2013

    the bill above is a great idea. yet, why won’t Harkin and DeFazio stand up and rail against this obscene military spending, which is to the tune of over 50% or every federal tax sent to Uncle Sam… under a Democratic administration?
    oh boy, i just ANSWERED my own rhetorical question.
    will the majority of we working stiffs out there finally realize that it is this EMPIRE that controls and allows ( only ) this 2 party system? a bigger SCAM then any i ever studied… and longer too.

  • Phyl October 4, 2013

    Sooo all these other thugs n crooks are operating under A GRAND INTELLIGENCE AGENCY that the VATICAN puts out – thank you Karen Hudes – World Bank Whistleblower – great stuff – Every single citizen is getting RIPPED OFF – B I G T I M E ! – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owanSt6XnmM
    WE HAVE TO PIERCE THE CORPORATE VEIL- WE HAVE TO… ALL OF US DO OUR HOMEWORK – – FOLLOW THE MONEY -…

    We played our part in this too. We were BAMBOOZLED. We ALLOWED the banksters to buy up all our wares and media, tell us lies…

    If we DECIDE TO ALL WORK TOGETHER and ALL follow the money and All LISTEN and ALL do our HOMEWORK and then what’s gonna happen that all this gold that’s buried in this vault is gonna COME OUT and PAY OFF ALL these DEBTS and We are gonna each of us have more money than we know what to do with – EACH PERSON ON THIS PLANET. That’s what the actual FACTS ARE !

    What we’re fighting about IS NOT MONEY !

    We are FIGHTING about – CONTROL, but THE better way to describe it is, we are FIGHTING ABOUT LOVE… We’re fighting about whether we love our fellow man, whether We have self respect – that’s the REAL ISSUE that’s what we’re dealing with here. And if you then THINK about the people that We are entrusting to be OUR SPIRITUAL LEADERS, WHO ARE ACTUALLY DOING THE OPPOSITE. They’re heading all of the spy agencies all over the world, and bamboozling all of us, We have got to sit down and sort things out !

    We are dealing with whether we CAN continue with humanity and have an earth OR whether We BLOW OURSELVES UP ! THAT’S WHAT WE’RE DEALING WITH – THAT’S THE ISSUE ! WHETHER WE LOVE OURSELVES AND EACH OTHER ENOUGH TO SAVE THE WORLD OR WHETHER WE’RE ALL GONNA GO, TO HELL IN A HAND BASKET – THAT’S WHAT THIS IS ABOUT !

    WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER AND WE ARE GOING TO DO JUST FINE, THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT WE DO LOVE EACH OTHER AND HUMANITY WILL CONTINUE. – Karen Hudes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owanSt6XnmM

  • Jeff powers December 28, 2013

    I’m not holding my breath. Even the smallest efforts to make wealthy people pay closer to their fair share rarely get anywhere

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