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Tell Congress: Tax Wall Street's gambling habit

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Petition to Congress:

"Tax Wall Street gambling and speculation and raise billions of dollars by imposing a financial transaction tax."

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    Tell Congress: Tax Wall Street's gambling habit

    Americans have not forgotten that Wall Street greed crashed the economy and cost countless people their homes, livelihoods and lives. But apparently, some Democrats have.

    A handful of corporate Democrats are lining up against proposals to tax Wall Street. Progressive Democrats put forward legislation that would impose a small tax on each financial trade, like a sales tax for Wall Street banks. These progressive proposals would reduce rampant speculation and raise billions of dollars, but sparked grumbling from the corporate wing of the Democratic Party.1

    A Wall Street speculation tax is smart politics and smart policy. Every Democrat should unite behind it, and every Republican should feel under fire for opposing it. But it's up to us to turn up the heat on Congress to tax Wall Street.

    Tell Congress: Tax Wall Street's gambling habit.

    Progressive champions like Sen. Jeff Merkley and Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Raul Grijalva and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez all support a tax on Wall Street speculation. All of them co-sponsored the Tax Wall Street Act introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Peter DeFazio. More recently, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Barbara Lee reintroduced their own version of a financial transaction tax called the Inclusive Prosperity Act. The bills have minor differences, but all face opposition from corporate Democrats who complain that these proposals are too mean to Wall Street bankers and traders.2,3

    Trump hates the idea of a Wall Street sales tax because he is a scam artist, just like the Wall Street speculators who gamble with other people's money. A rational banking system should channel money to people who create jobs. But instead, Wall Street became a gambling den for the super-rich.

    The wealthiest 10% own more than 85% of stock market wealth. High-speed traders turn a profit by gaming small fluctuations in price. They design computer programs that buy and hold stocks for less than a second before selling them for small profits that add up.4 A small sales tax – the same way we tax cigarettes to discourage smoking – would discourage this speculation and slow the growth of the complicated financial products that nearly brought down our economy.

    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. The United States even had its own Wall Street sales tax until 1966.5 It is long past time to tax Wall Street's gambling habit and force Republicans and corporate Democrats to explain why they're siding with Donald Trump and Wall Street over working Americans.

    Tell Congress: Tax Wall Street's gambling habit.

    Thank you for speaking out.


    1. Zachary Warmbrodt, "House Democrats reject transaction tax that hits close to home," POLITICO, March 9, 2019.
    2. Dean Baker, "Senator Sanders and Representative Lee Propose to Make Wall Street Pay," Center for Economic and Policy Research Blog, May 21, 2019.
    3. Sen. Brian Schatz, "Sen. Schatz, Rep. DeFazio Introduce New Legislation to Tax Wall Street, Address Economic Inequality," March 5, 2019.
    4. Ibid.
    5. National Nurses United, "Rep. Ellison Reintroduces Robin Hood Tax Bill - HR 1464," March 19, 2015.