Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Can you join us at 4:30 PM on September 19 at Rep. Sarbanes’ office? We will talk about the Robin Hood tax. Can you sign on to the letter below?


Can you join us at 4:30 PM on September 19 at Rep. Sarbanes’ office? We will talk about the Robin Hood tax. Can you sign on to the letter below? Kagiso, Max

Published on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 by Common Dreams

The Robin Hood Campaign – A Movement, and Now Legislation Too

by Rose Ann DeMoro

For many months, nurses, healthcare, environmental, labor, consumer, faith-based and other community activists have rallied on Wall Street, at banks and legislative offices, and outside the White House and Treasury Department, saying it is time to tax Wall Street to help revive our economy and nation. Robin Tax campaigners rally in New York City on September 17, 2012. (Photo: NNU)

Now it’s no longer just a movement. It’s also legislation, H.R. 6411, the Robin Hood tax, introduced in Congress by Rep. Keith Ellison, one of the most progressive voices in Washington.

H.R. 6411, formally known as the Inclusive Prosperity Act, would require the unaccountable Wall Street financiers and gamblers to begin to pay some restitution for all the damage they’ve caused to Main Street communities across the U.S.

Not coincidentally, the bill was introduced on the eve of the one year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, that historic convergence that provided a critical reminder of the pervasive disparity in incomes and wealth in the U.S., and the salient point that the bankers got bailouts and bonuses while so many others were left behind.

H.R. 6411 begins to provide some redress.

With a small tax, just 50 cents on every $100 of stock trades, and a lesser amount on other trades of bonds, derivatives, and other financial instruments. Even at those rates, H.R. 6411 could generate as much as $350 billion every year.

As economist Robert Pollin, co-director, Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts-Amherst, explains, “In its essentials, the idea of a financial market transaction tax is simple. It would mean that financial market traders would pay a small fee to the government every time they purchased any financial market instrument, including all stock, bond, options, futures, and swap trades. This would be the equivalent of sales taxes that Americans have long paid every time they buy an automobile, shirt, baseball glove, airline ticket, or pack of chewing gum, eat at a restaurant, or have their hair cut.”

Imagine, the average sales tax rate in the U.S. that consumers pay on almost all goods and services is 9.6 percent – yet J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and the other financial giants on Wall Street pay no sales tax on the thousands, even tens of thousands of trades, they carry out every second.

No wonder this movement has so much resonance, with more than 115 national endorsers of the Robin Hood Tax Campaign to date, joining because they think Wall Street should pay its fair share, and because they know of the critical need for the revenue that would be raised.

The funds raised by H.R. 6411 would be available for such basics as rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure with good paying jobs, expanding and improving Medicare and Medicaid, investment in education and job training, and housing assistance for low income households. In other words, the basic needs so essential to the survival of a civil society and nation.

“The American public provided hundreds of billions to bailout Wall Street during the global fiscal crisis yet bore the brunt of the crisis with lost jobs and reduced household wealth,” said Rep. Ellison upon introduction of the bill. “This is a phenomenally wealthy nation, yet our tax and regulatory system allowed the financial titans to amass great riches while impoverishing the systems that enable inclusive prosperity. A financial transaction tax protects our financial markets from speculation and provides the revenue needed to invest in the education, health and communities of the American people.”

“Last summer, scientists proved that we can actually end the AIDS pandemic if we just scale up our investment in treatment and prevention programs,” said Jennifer Flynn, managing director of Health GAP (Global Access Project). “But when we go to Congress, all we hear about are budget cuts. We need to increase revenue and the Robin Hood Tax is the best of all proposals to do just that.”

Funds would also be available for global sustainable programs to tackle poverty, climate change, AIDS, and other international assistance.

Those goals are emulated across the planet by an international Robin Hood tax campaign that has already seen similar taxes adopted by more than 30 other nations, most recently France, with growing support across Europe.

There’s more. H.R. 6411 would add stability to the economy curbing turbulent short-term speculation – in some cases tens of millions of dollars in computerized trades occurring in minutes that has prompted huge upheavals in the market. Though the tax is tiny, it would make such rampant gambling less attractive to the investment banks, high frequency trading firms and hedge funds.

Introduction of H.R. 6411 does not mark an end to the great grassroots campaign for a Robin Hood tax that continues to grow, but an additional focus. In the coming days, weeks, and months, activists are planning more actions to build the campaign, and also asking supporters to urge other members of Congress to sign on to the bill.

Rose Ann DeMoro is executive director of the 160,000-member National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional association of nurses, and a national vice president of the AFL-CIO. Follow Rose Ann DeMoro on Twitter:

Source URL:

Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities, 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218

Rep. John Sarbanes

600 Baltimore Ave.

Suite 303

Baltimore, MD 21204

Re: Important Legislation

September 19, 2012

Dear Congressperson Sarbanes:

Progressive Democrats of America and its partners, including the Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, launched the Brown Bag Vigil campaign in January 2010. We've met at district offices of senators and representatives as part of this ongoing national effort. Today, we ask you to support the following legislation:

Financial speculation excesses crashed our economy. We urge you to cosponsor Rep. Keith Ellison's "Inclusive Prosperity Act" to enact small tax on speculation aka a Robin Hood Tax which would increase revenues, limit speculation, help preserve the social safety net, make our tax structure much fairer, empower the middle class and kick start our economy.

Our economy is not creating jobs in the quantity or quality needed. We desperately need leadership from the Federal Government to create jobs, and to train Americans. We urge you to support HR 870 / 4277 - Rep. Conyers “21st Century Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act” and H.R. 2914 - Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s “Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act.”

We urge you to join the Out of Afghanistan Caucus and to cosponsor and support HR 780, Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill to fund the safe and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan. And we can't afford a war with Iran. So please support HR 4173, Rep. Lee’s "Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act."

Finally, we are seeking an end to the use of killer drone strikes, which we believe to be illegal and unconstitutional. Would you be willing to speak out in Congress against the use of drones which are killing civilians in at least five countries—Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen?

We look forward to your response. And when you are ready, we would like to meet with you, preferably in Baltimore. But if necessary, we will travel to your D.C. office. Thank you for your time and attention.


Max Obuszewski, on behalf of Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore/Fund Our Communities

325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 410-366-1637

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

No comments: