So, I participated in this march to rally for a Robin Hood Tax while I was in D.C. last Saturday, April 20th. (The blue-striped sleeve holding the right-side of the yellow "Make the Banks Pay" sign is mine! :)
The National Nurses Movement has previously posted two related DKos diaries:
And here's the press release following the march from the National Nurses United website:
In addition to National Nurses United, the march was supported by the Amalgamated Transit Union, Public Services International (global union federation), Jobs for Justice, National People's Action, Health GAP, Friends of the Earth and VOCAL-NY (HIV/AIDS justice).
Congressman Ellison's bill, which has gained support from a number of congressman--including Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Judy Chu (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.)--proposes a tax of 1/2 of 1% on some financial transactions, especially robo-trades.
It is estimated that this tax would generate as much as $350 billion in revenue. These are some of the broad goals the tax aims to address:
Medicare for All
Living Wage Jobs
Quality Public Education
Reverse Climate Change
End Global HIV/AIDS
Underneath Congressman Ellison's bill and the movement being spear-headed by National Nurses United, there is a Robin Hood Tax organization with numerous endorsing organizations and other supporters globally.
The financial crisis and recession have left a massive hole in the USA's public finances, hitting front line services, jobs and homes. The largest recession of a generation has had a disastrous impact in the US, driving millions into poverty and put many more at risk. Around the world it has pushed more than 2 million people below the $2 a day poverty line.Also, the tax is designed to virtually eliminate any impact on small investors and businesses and focus on the casino-style "investment" activity of the 1%:
We are calling for a Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street to generate hundreds of billions of dollars every year in needed revenue for Main Street. The money raised will generate jobs and strengthen public services like health care, education and infrastructure at home while tackling AIDS, global health, poverty and climate challenges around the world.
It's time to stop talking about what to cut and start talking about how to invest in our future. In the US here's what an amount like that could achieve:
- Fund an additional 9 million jobs, reducing unemployment by a whopping 60%
- Save more than 1.75 million homes from foreclosure
- Help the 9.4 million who pay more than half their income towards housing
- Ensure that 41 million families have the healthcare they need and aren't pushed into bankruptcy; Guarantee healthcare for all
- Fund food plans of 25 million families of four for a year to ensure no child goes to bed hungry
- Expand our research and development budgets to innovate our way into American prosperity
The consequences of the financial crisis have been serious in the US but they have been even worse in more vulnerable countries that did nothing to cause it. Just a small portion of the hundreds of billions from a Robin Hood tax could change many people's lives forever:
- $6.5 billion puts every child on earth in primary school
- $6 billion gets all those in need on AIDS treatment and puts us on track to literally end the AIDS crisis globally
A tragic parallel between climate change and the financial crisis is that those least responsible suffer the most. While rich countries and powerful corporations, many with ties to the financial sector, have produced most of the greenhouse gases that are causing climate change, poorer countries are expected to bear 75-80% of the costs in adapting to these changes.
- $ 2 billion could pay for 1333 wind turbines to provide clean energy
- $11 billion could pay for the whole of Haiti to adapt to flooding
The tax would have little or no effect on individual investors, and would not apply to normal consumer activity. In fact most proposals would exempt small investors entirely since we aren't the ones making billion dollar trades every few minutes.See the FAQ, which addresses the following questions:
What is the Robin Hood Tax?
How Does the Robin Hood Tax Work?
Why Do We Need Robin?
What Could the Money Pay For?
Can A Robin Hood Tax Reduce Speculation and Risky Financial Activity?
Why Tax the Financial Sector?
Won't This Affect Ordinary Investors?
Won't Banks Just Pass the Costs on to Us?
Doesn't the Financial Sector Make an Important Contribution to Our Economy?
Can the Financial Sector Afford to Pay Billions Extra?
Can This Work Without Global Agreement?
Won't Companies Just Avoid the Tax or Move Their Businesses Offshore?