Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Robin Hood Tax: Legally Taking From the 1% and Giving Back to the 99% (Without Wearing Tights or Firing an Arrow)

“A lot of people in Washington like to talk about reducing the debt and deficits. Well if you really care about reducing the deficit, how about asking Wall Street speculators to pay their fair share? This bill will add a tax of a fraction of a percent on transactions made by the same Wall Street firms and stock traders who crashed out economy in 2008. This tax alone will generate up to $300 billion a year in revenue, stabilizing the deficit and allowing us to invest in the things that matter—education, road and bridges, and health care for our seniors and veterans.” –Rep. Keith Ellison

On Wednesday April 17th 2013, Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) introduced the Inclusive Prosperity Act, inspired by the Robin Hood Tax, to the House. The bill enforces a financial transaction tax that will provide hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue every year for jobs, health care, education, housing and the social safety net. The proposed act asks that the financial sector (i.e. banks, Wall Street, etc.) is taxed and the money collected from taxation is put back into society for the people. This is not a tax on the people, it is a tax for the people—a.k.a. “The Robin Hood Tax.”

Financial taxation bills that resemble the Inclusive Prosperity Act are found across the world in other countries’ governments and economic systems. The beliefs of Robin Hood—take from the rich and give to the poor (usually while dressed handsomely in forest green tights and keenly firing arrows), has been applied to economic legislation in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Why shouldn’t the United States also pass Robin Hood legislation?

 From 1914 to 1966 the US did! The Revenue Act of 1914 put a 0.2% tax on sales of stock which doubled in 1932 to help overcome the economic challenges during the Great Depression. The Inclusive Prosperity Act proposes the same concept to “strength our financial security, expand opportunity and stop shrinking the middle class” (source: Inclusive Prosperity Act, online full text document). If taxing the financial sector worked in our past, why not allow Robin Hood to strengthen our economic system again today?

NOW, along with many others (see the link to the list of Robin supporters below), support Rep. Ellison’s Inclusive Prosperity Act. Check it out for yourself with the links and info about Robin below. If you believe that the Robin Hood Tax is a good idea that will help strengthen our financial sector and support our society be sure to sign the petition on the Robin Hood Tax homepage.

All About Robin:

Congressman Keith Ellison:

Who supports the Robin Hood Tax?
The Inclusive Prosperity Act full text:

Katie Curran,
Communications Chair Oakland/Macomb County NOW

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