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At ProPublica, Jesse Eisinger writes The .03% Solution:

The unwritten rule of Washington debates about taxing and spending is to never consider anything new. But wouldn't it be wonderful if the pressure of the next few months' debate changed that?

Last month, 11 European countries, including France and Germany, moved forward on introducing a minuscule tax on trades in stocks, bonds and derivatives. The tax goes by many names. It's often called a Tobin tax, after the economist James Tobin. In Europe it goes by the more pedestrian financial transaction tax. In Britain, it goes by the wonderful Robin Hood tax, and is supported in an often clever campaign.

On this side of the Atlantic, there is a ghostly silence on a transaction tax in respectable political quarters. But that might change. This month, Sen. Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, and Rep. Peter DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon, plan to reintroduce their bill calling for just such a tax.

A transaction tax could raise a huge amount of money and cause less pain than many alternatives. It could offset the need for cuts to the social safety net or tax increases that damage consumer demand. How huge a sum? Harkin and DeFazio got an estimate from the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, which scores tax plans. It's a hearty one: $352 billion over 10 years.

The money would come from a tiny levy. The bill calls for a three-basis-point charge on most trades. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. So it amounts to 3 cents on every $100 traded. [...]


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008Day 1743: Supporting the troops:

This story is getting way too old.
A North Dakota manufacturer has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a suit saying it had repeatedly shortchanged the armor in up to 2.2 million helmets for the military, including those for the first troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Twelve days before the settlement with the Justice Department was announced, the company, Sioux Manufacturing of Fort Totten, was given a new contract of up to $74 million to make more armor for helmets to replace the old ones, which were made from the late 1980s to last year.
Just to make sure this is very, very clear. The Defense Department knew the company provided defective armor and in fact sued the company over it. They knew that the kevlar the company was using in the helmets it created did not meet "critical" minimum standards. But while that very suit was pending, they ordered more armor.

Tweet of the Day:

"Always abide by aphorisms." - some idiot
@joshgreenman via Twitter for iPad





On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin gave us an informative follow-up with on the complex issues around Florida's NRA-backed docs gag rule on guns. Next, Sarah Jaffe's fascinating look at the "emotional labor" demanded of service workers (and increasingly, from everyone). A little chat about KeystoneXL with yuriwho. Plus Laura Clawson's coverage of the arrest of a construction firm owner in NY on wage theft charges.





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