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Tell Congress: Support the Robin Hood tax on Wall Street gambling

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Petition to Congress:

"Support the Inclusive Prosperity Act (H.R. 1464), which levies a fraction of a percentage tax on Wall Street transactions in order to fund investments on Main Street."

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    Tell Congress: Support the Robin Hood tax on Wall Street gambling

    Are you sick of Wall Street banks getting richer by the second and never paying their fair share – even after we bailed them out?

    Here’s one thing that could help: A fraction of a percentage tax on each of the trillions of transactions made by Wall Street traders every year. Not only would it make our system fairer and more safe by reducing speculation, it would raise potentially billions of dollars each year. Call it the “Robin Hood tax” – taking from the worst of the 1% to fund investments that help everyone.1

    Recently, progressive champion Rep. Keith Ellison introduced the Robin Hood tax in the House of Representatives.2 Now, we’re teaming up with our friends at National Nurses United to make sure Congress pays attention.

    Tell Congress: Support the Robin Hood tax on Wall Street gambling.

    This is an idea that has the potential to change the debate in our nation’s capital. Instead of debating how much to cut and who gets hurt, we can start taxing the industry that nearly brought down our economy in the first place. When tens of thousands of us call for a tax on Wall Street, we strengthen the hands of progressive champions like Keith Ellison who are showing that there is a better alternative to devastating cuts and tax cuts for the rich.

    The Robin Hood tax – or financial transaction tax (FTT) – is essentially a very small sales tax, just like you and I pay at the store. But instead of taxing the things people need to live their everyday lives, we’re taxing Wall Street’s gambling habit.

    Rep. Ellison’s bill adds a tax of just a fraction of a percent to every financial trade. But all those pennies add up to big bucks each year.3 By some estimates, a Robin Hood tax could raise nearly $300 billion each year – money that could be used to fund education, infrastructure, job training, childcare, health care, and hundreds of other investments in all of us.4

    Tell Congress: Support the Robin Hood tax on Wall Street gambling.

    It gets better: Taxing speculation like this also reduces risk and makes the financial system work better. The point of the banking industry is to channel savings to productive investments that add value to society. But instead of adding value, too much of Wall Street activity today is focused on complicated financial products and risky gambles, with the sole purpose of trying to make a buck. In fact, a huge portion of trades are conducted in milliseconds by computer algorithms that track where the market is going, buy a stock, and sell it again after less than a second – earning a tiny profit over and over a gain, at lightning speed.

    If we make all that purposeless gambling a tiny bit more expensive, we discourage high-speed, high-volume trading and slow the growth the complicated financial products that nearly brought down our economy – the same way we tax cigarettes to discourage smoking. No wonder nearly 40 countries have some form of financial sales tax, and the idea has been endorsed by everyone from Nobel Prize winners to former President George H.W. Bush.5

    Tell Congress: Support the Robin Hood tax on Wall Street gambling.

    Thank you for your activism.

    1. Everything You Need to Know”, retrieved March 22, 2015.
    2. Bernie Becker, “House Dem rolls out Robin Hood tax” The Hill, March 19, 2015.
    3. The Inclusive Prosperity Act” Keith Ellison Official Website, retrieved March 23, 2015.
    4. Everything You Need to Know”, Retrieved March 22, 2015.
    5. Ibid.