Robin Hood Tax Bill introduced in US Congress

“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.” Liz Ryan Murray,  National People's Action.

Washington (19 Sept. 2012) - The U.S. Robin Hood Tax Campaign is applauding the introduction in Congress of a bill that would tax Wall Street speculation.  The legislation is similar to that being advocated for in Canada by the National Union of Public and General Employees.  

Introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison, HR 6411, the Inclusive Prosperity Act, would raise up to $350 billion in annual revenues that would  breathe new life into Main Street communities across America, as well as international health, sustainable prosperity and environmental programs.

The Robin Hood Tax (RHT) is 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 tax revenue to strengthen the social safety net and expand investments to protect health, rebuilding infrastructure and creating good-paying jobs. The tax is also to assist international needs, including AIDS treatment, research and prevention and for other critical assistance.

“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 Action.

The RHT 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.  

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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