Congressman Pete DeFazio and 13 cosponsors are advancing a bill (HR328) that would impose a tax of 0.1 percent on sales of stocks, bonds, options, and other derivatives. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it would raise almost $80 billion a year.
This would not be a tax on working people or even on investors. This would be a tax on Wall Street traders who get filthy rich shuffling money around. It's a proposal that has worked well for years in dozens of nations.
But what could we do with $80 billion a year?
Well, let's see. How about $2,000 checks for 40 million people?
Or how about free tuition at all public colleges and universities for $79 billion and spend the extra billion on some other worthy purpose?
Or perhaps we should multiply Amtrak's $2 billion in annual federal subsidies 40 times over and create high-speed electric rail plus electric lines for renewable energy all over the country?
Can you think of a lot more ideas?
None of them matter unless we first pass the bill to get the $80 billion. Click here to tell Congress to do this now!
There are no downsides, and many upsides, to finally creating what is sometimes called a Robin Hood tax.
It would even tax the Robinhood brokerage firm that recently made the news for protecting major investors at the expense of smaller ones.
Dean Baker's article linked below gives some details of how the tax would work, and debunks a few misconceptions.
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>> HR 328 Cosponsors
>> Dean Baker, CEPR: "The DeFazio Bill: Reducing the Financial Industry’s Tax on Retirement Savings"
>> New York Times: "Tuition-Free College Could Cost Less Than You Think"