Is it cynical to think that politicians want to provide payments from the treasury to those that paid the politicians? More cynical to think the politicians that created huge Wall Street Welfare payments won’t actually do anything except talk about how they think it is bad that those they paid billions to are buying new mansions and yachts? More cynical to think they will continue to provide huge amounts of nearly free cash for those that paid them to speculate with? More cynical to think if any of those speculators lose money they will give them more welfare? More cynical to think those bought and paid for politicians won’t actually take any steps to tax or curtail speculation? I think maybe I am cynical about Washington doing anything other than talk about how they don’t want to provide huge amounts of cash to Wall Street all the while giving their Wall Street friends huge amounts of cash that will be paid back by our grandchildren.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the politicians actually took actions to fund a partial payback of the hundreds of billions (or maybe trillions) of bailout dollars by taxing financial speculation? I doubt it will happen. But maybe I am too cynical. Maybe politicians will not just do what they have been paid to do. But it seems the best predictor of what congress will do is based on what they are paid to do, based on their past and current behavior. Now what congress will say is very different. those paying Congressmen might not love it if the congressmen call them names but through a few billion more and they are happy to be called names while given the cash to buy new jets and sports teams and parties for their daughters.
Making Wall Street pay by Dean Baker
The logic of a financial transactions tax is simple. It would impose a modest fee on trades of stocks, futures, credit default swaps and other financial instruments. For example, the UK puts a 0.25% tax on the sale or purchase of shares of stock. This has very little impact on people who buy stock with the intent of holding it for a long period of time.
We can raise more than $140bn a year taxing financial transactions, an amount equal to 1% of GDP.
Since the financial sector is the source of the country’s current economic and budget problems it also makes sense to have this sector bear the brunt of any new taxes that may be needed. The economic collapse caused by Wall Street’s irrational exuberance has led to a huge increase in the country debt burden. It seems only fair that Wall Street bear the brunt of the clean-up costs. A financial transactions tax is the way to make sure that this happens.
Good idea. I doubt those paid off by wall street (most all of the politicians in Washington) will do anything to have those that caused the credit crisis in any way pay off some of the burden they have put on the economy and the future. They will choose to pass on the taxes to our grandchildren yet again – Lobbyists Keep Tax Off Billion Dollar Private Equities Deals and On For Our Grandchildren (2007).
We could stop the looting of our country by a few spoiled brats on Wall Street if we cared to. But the politicians have learned we don’t care. We keep electing politicians that give away benefits to those that pay them off. I don’t understand why we want to do this but we do.
Related: Failure to Regulate Financial Markets Leads to Predictable Consequences – Estate Tax Repeal – Failed Banking Executives – Community Banks Asks Why They Must Pay for Wall Street Greed – Washington Paying Out Money it Doesn’t Have – Rich Americans Sue to Keep Evidence of Their Tax Evasion From the Justice Department