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Special Briefing for Congress Offers Way to Heal Budget Crisis-
Tax on Wall Street Speculation Could Raise $300 Billion Every Year
Washington, D.C. – In a special briefing for U.S. Congress members Wednesday morning, the Vice President of the European Parliament Anni Podimata will describe an innovative solution for raising hundreds of billions of dollars every year – a revenue generator now being implemented across Europe, a tax on financial speculation.
Schedule for media:
Wednesday, October 30. March for the Robin Hood Tax, 7:45 a.m., begins, Washington Court Hotel, proceeds up Constitutional Avenue to Longworth House Office Building.
Briefing, 9 a.m. with European Parliament Vice President Anni Podimata, renown economist Jeffrey Sachs, and U.S. Reps. Keith Ellison, Earl Blumenauer, Judy Chu, John Conyers, Donna Edwards, Longworth Building Room 1539.
Podimata will join with noted economist Jeffrey Sachs, Reps. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Judy Chu, John Conyers, and Donna Edwards, Wallace Turbeville, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, and leaders of a campaign to enact a similar tax in the U.S., as proposed in a bill now in Congress HR 1579, the Inclusive Prosperity Act which could generate critical funding for jobs, housing, healthcare, and fighting climate change and AIDS.
The Robin Hood Tax campaign is endorsed by more than 160 local and national organizations.
In a presentation to a conference of the campaign Tuesday in Washington, Robert Pollin, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst explained that “the basic idea is a tax on every financial transaction, the equivalent of a sales tax. Who pays the tax? The people who make trades every day on Wall Street. With the financial transaction tax we can raise the revenue we need and discourage excessive speculation on Wall Street. It’s being done in the world’s second largest financial market, London and the fastest growing security markets in the world, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Russia. If they can do it, so can we.”
“It's far past time that we break this cycle and fund America. There is a simple solution: more revenue,” wrote George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action in a recent commentary. “If the government had more money we could break the crisis fever that is killing our economic recovery and devastating most those who can afford it least.”
“The good news is that both in the U.S. and overseas a movement is building for accountability and recovery for families by taxing Wall Street transactions,” Goehl wrote.
“With the latest Congressional super committee on budget deliberations about to meet in the aftermath of the brinkmanship over federal funding, a change in tone is needed in Washington,” said Karen Higgins, RN, co-president of National Nurses United. “We are calling on Congress and the White House to refocus on a human needs budget, not just an endless cycle of more austerity and more cuts. We need the Robin Hood tax.”
“The United States has recognized that we can end the AIDS pandemic. Yet if the constant focus is on budget cuts, we risk the AIDS crisis spiraling out of control. One way to avoid this catastrophe is to join all of the other major financial markets and implement a Robin Hood Tax. There is no reason not to do this," said Jennifer Flynn of Health GAP.
For additional background, see “A great idea for making Wall Street pay its fair share,” by Michael Hilzik, Los Angeles Times, October 25, 2013