Wall St. Should Help Fix the Economy it Wrecked
On Tuesday, September 17, we’re marching in NYC to call for a Robin Hood Tax, a tax of less than half of 1% on Wall Street trades that can raise hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue every year. Establishing this tax is simply a matter of fairness and common sense. It asks Wall Street to pay a pittance of its fair share to ensure that basic services are met in communities that need them most.
The big Wall Street banks crashed our economy, got bailed out with our tax dollars, and are now – just five years later – amassing record profits. To give you an idea of how much money they’re raking in, consider this: while the U.S. GDP is $15 Trillion, the 10 biggest banks hold more than $11 Trillion in assets. If anyone could afford to pay more in taxes, it’s the big banks.
Meanwhile, low-income communities and communities of color that have been hardest hit by the financial crisis are still reeling from high levels of unemployment and cuts to social services and safety net programs. These same communities have been hit by wave after wave of wealth-stripping predatory financial practices, such as abusive subprime lending and fraudulent foreclosures, which were perpetrated and fueled by powerful Wall Street players. It’s more than fair to take a little bit off the top of Wall Street’s mountains of profits to give back to these communities.
But this tax isn’t just about fairness, it’s also smart economic policy, which is why more than 1,000 economists support it. The existence of the tax, while modest, could help curb reckless trading that puts our financial system and economy at risk.
More than 30 other countries, including key European economies, either already have or are moving towards instituting a tax like this one. Still, it's going to be a challenge to get the U.S. to take up a Robin Hood Tax. We’re up against the lobbying war chest of the financial industry, which means it's going to take a massive popular movement to get Congress and the President to take action. The movement has started, and next Tuesday's march in NYC is an opportunity to help it grow to where it needs to be. We hope you'll join us.
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