Act now to make prosperity more inclusive

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) re-introduced his "Inclusive Prosperity Act" (HR-1579) in April. This would impose a financial transaction tax on "certain trading transactions to strengthen our financial security, reduce market volatility, expand opportunity, and stop shrinking the middle class."

Also known as the Robin Hood Tax, this tax "for the people, not on the people" would be paid by the high-flying professional traders who crafted the Great Recession. Set at a very low rate on each trade, it would raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually — up to $350 billion per year according to some economists.

In a letter to his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Ellison states that these "funds could be used to expand opportunity and financial security for low- and moderate-income families, rebuild our crumbling physical infrastructure, and create good paying jobs."

U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, the voice of Oak Park and most of River Forest, co-signed this bill last session. He has failed to do so this time. Please contact Rep. Davis at 773-533-7520 and tell him to make those responsible for breaking our economy pay for the damage. Tell him to add his name as a co-sponsor to HR-1579, Rep. Keith Ellison's "Inclusive Prosperity Act."

I'm sure you're familiar with signs in shops that read, "You Break It, You Buy It!" When a deep-water oil rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico, workers were killed, the local economy was devastated and there was tremendous ecological damage. Recovery is not complete, but there is strong effort to make those responsible pay for the destruction they caused.

The "too-big-to-fail" financial industry broke our economy, and we bought it for them. Our financial institutions are doing nothing to help out Main Street. The bailout we provided for crashing our economy has paid handsome bonuses for the masterminds of the Great Recession. It's also being hoarded and is sitting pretty under the "Assets" column as these financial institutions grow ever more powerful. What ever happened to breaking up this plutocracy?

Much of the business community got no benefit from the financial bailout and continues to suffer. Without putting people to work — thereby getting money into the hands of working people — businesses, workers and their families will continue to pay for the greed of the financial industry.

We are being cajoled into accepting that this is the "new reality," that we must all tighten our belts. Nonsense. We need to create good-paying jobs that don't damage the ecology. We need to rebuild our infrastructure. We need Rep. Ellison's "Inclusive Prosperity Act."

Ron Baiman, Bill Barclay, Tom Broderick

Members of the Greater Oak Park Democratic Socialists of America

Reader Comments

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Simon Hopper from London  

Posted: May 22nd, 2013 2:34 AM

This is another ridiculous example of someone attempting to introduce legislation to "fix" something they clearly know nothing about, or blame someone else! All it would do is increase costs to the "customers" of the banks who benefit from the products (like the value of our pensions). Also, the overheated US property market and lack of political / regulatory macro oversight was the cause of financial disaster, not the bankers (the vast majority of whom earn regular wages).

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