Who: Demonstrators from the Occupy movement taking to the street to “Occupy” the Treasury Department; Dean Baker, an economist offering a talk on the “Robin Hood” Financial Speculation Tax. When: 2 p.m. ET, Saturday October 29th, 2pm Where: McPherson Square to the Treasury Department
A Robin Hood Tax
Wall Street’s reckless trading of risky financial products like mortgage-backed securities, credit default swaps, and derivatives helped redistribute wealth to the rich and wreck the global economy. Despite receiving enormous publicly-funded bailouts, bankers have yet to pay for the damage they caused. Now we’re being told there’s no money for what the 99% needs to: create jobs, get healthcare to millions of Americans, support green energy efforts, ensure AIDS drugs for Africa, protect Social Security, and more.
Creating a financial transaction tax, also known as a Robin Hood tax, would return funds from the financial sector to public coffers and discourage some of Wall Street’s most dangerous activities.
What is the Robin Hood Tax? A financial transaction tax is a very small tax (most proposals set the rate at less that 1 percent) paid on the purchase of financial products like stocks, bonds, or currency trades. The tax would not affect services most people use like loans, checks, ATM withdrawals, or money transfers.
How much money would this raise? Estimates vary, but the economist Dean Baker has calculated that an FTT could raise $175 billion a year.
Wouldn’t a Robin Hood discourage needed investment? No. A tax on transactions would discourage high-frequency trading and risky speculation, but it would encourage the kinds of long-term investments in the real economy that create jobs. The UK already has a similar tax and it hasn’t hurt investment.
Who supports a Robin Hood Tax? Economists like Nobel Prize winners Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, numerous European heads of state, unions like the National Nurses United, global networks of people living with HIV, countless NGOs, and faith leaders like Desmond Tutu and The Pope.