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Robin Hood Meets Wall Street

Posted Feb. 22, 2011 / Posted by: Michelle Chan

Just imagine. Nearly $1.5 trillion changes hands on international currency exchange markets each day, almost all of it through untaxed transactions made by wealthy speculators.

What if we put even a tiny fraction of that money to good use?

That’s the idea behind  H.R. 755, the Investing in Our Future Act of 2011, a bill  introduced in Congress by Representative Pete Stark (D-CA). The bill would impose a tiny “Robin Hood Tax” on large currency transactions that could raise billions each year to fund a number of social goods, from solutions to help the world’s poorest cope with climate change impacts to HIV/AIDs treatments in the developing world.

A quarter of the revenue generated by the Investing in Our Future Act would go toward helping developing countries adapt to the unavoidable impacts of cliamte change and embark on clean energy pathways.

As the biggest historical climate polluter and the world's largest economy, the U.S. has a moral responsibility and the means to pay for climate change responses in poor countries. The Investing in Our Future Act would put us on a path to contributing our fair share.

With no tax on the massive currency transaction industry, the United States and other countries allow trillions of dollars to crisscross the globe every week without benefiting anyone but bankers and profiteers.

The Investing in Our Future Act would impose a micro-tax of 0.005% on Wall Street fat cats, but the benefits for the world’s poor would be substantial.

People around the world agree. Representative Stark introduced the bill on February 17, 2011 to coincide with a Financial Transaction Tax Global Day of Action. From Europe to Asia, people in dozens of countries called on their governments to support their own version of a Robin Hood Tax, and force the wealthiest Wall Street gamblers to advance the common good.

Learn more about the currency transaction levy and the Investing in Our Future Act of 2011, H.R. 755:

 

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