We thank Rep. Danny Davis for agreeing to cosponsor HR 6411, the “Inclusive Prosperity Act.” The act calls for a very small tax on the trading of financial assets, called a Robin Hood Tax.” Introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) as part of a campaign by National Nurses United, the bill would tax Wall Street transactions and use the funds for Main Street programs threatened by budget cuts.

HR 6411 levies a sales tax on all purchases of stocks, currencies, and debt instruments (such as bonds) as well as derivatives (futures and options) based on these products. The proposed low rate is 0.5%, or $1 on every $200 of stocks traded; 0.10% on trading of debt; and 0.005% on derivatives and currency trading. This tiny sales tax on designated Wall Street financial transactions would raise a substantial amount of revenue, about $350 billion annually. That revenue would provide the resources to rebuild our economy so that it serves all the people, not just the few.

People who hold such assets would only be charged when they bought them. The tax is not levied on money in bank accounts or on dollars changed to another currency. It’s a sales tax. Individuals with income under $50,000 per year are exempt, as are married couples filing jointly under $75,000 per year.

The U.S. had such a tax from 1914 to 1966, and 40 countries (including the UK) have it now. It has not destroyed markets or liquidity.

Cuts in programs that benefit the middle class and the most vulnerable can only be stopped by finding new sources of revenue. This new source is fair: Wall Street shenanigans caused the economic crisis, and few on Wall Street have suffered its consequences as severely as the 99% have.

Since Wall Street caused the problem, let’s have it contribute to the solution.

Tom Ard, Ron Baiman, Bill Barclay, Tom Broderick, Joyce Champelli, Jan Sansone, Gary Schwab, Sandra Shimon, Peg Strobel, Celine Woznica

Oak Park

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