Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Robin Hood tax is back, and the Koch brothers hate it

Teamsters think it's a terrific idea to levy a tiny tax on financial transactions to raise money for public needs and discourage reckless speculation.

Friends-of-labor Sen Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) today filed a bill today that would impose a tax of 0.03 percent on trades of stocks, bonds, futures, options, swaps, credit default swaps and other complex financial instruments.

Here are eight reasons why this is a good idea:
  1. It will raise $40 billion in public money.
  2. The U.S. financial industry is seriously undertaxed and oversubsidized.  Citigroup, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs pay virtually no corporate tax, while the 10 biggest banks get $89 billion in subsidies. 
  3. A small tax would make financial markets more efficient. Explains the peerless Dean Baker: "The modest tax would discourage an enormous amount of short-term trading while having almost no impact on the ability of markets to finance productive investment. The cost of the tax would be born almost entirely by the financial industry, since for most investors the money saved as a result of lower trading volume will offset the higher cost of trades."
  4. It would discourage high-frequency trading, which is dangerous and rips off individual investors
  5. It's already working in two dozen countries, according to the Center for American Progress: " transaction taxes already operate in at least 23 countries around the world—including in international financial centers such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Japan—and that number is about to grow. On January 22, 2013, 11 of the European Union’s 27 member countries, including France, Germany, and Italy, indicated their intention to initiate a financial transaction tax. As the policy nears implementation, other EU countries are certain to get on board. Of the world’s major financial centers, only the United States has no tax on financial trading.
  6. The  Benedict Arnold Koch brothers' phony think tanks hate it. 
  7. So does the swinish Jamie Dimon.
  8. It will weaken the power of great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money   Goldman Sachs and the other too-big-to-fail banks.