Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Small Tax on Wall Street Could be A Big Help to the U.S. Economy

A Small Tax on Wall Street Could be A Big Help to the U.S. Economy, The Christian Science Monitor, Opinion, Oct. 19, 2011

A modestly higher financial transaction tax, or FTT, could discourage speculation, lead to less price volatility, and encourage long-term investment. One estimate projects such a ‘sales tax’ on Wall Street may raise $175 billion a year, even if it cut the total number of transactions in half.

Liberal economist Dean Baker thinks it is a good idea to raise federal revenues to impose a special tax on stock trades and some other Wall Street trading activities.

This tax is referred to as a “financial transaction tax” or FTT a “Tobin tax” as it was first urged by Nobel prize winning James Tobin in 1972.

An FTT bill called “Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act” has already been before the Congress of the United States.

Revenues from a FTT could be used to provide useful jobs for the unemployed.

The Occupy Wall Street protests around the country voice a common objection to widespread greed and excess in the financial industry.

The 27 member countries of the European Union are considering their own FTT that would apply to stocks, bonds, and other derivatives. The President of the European Commission says such a tax could raise $74 billion annually.

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