Fix the budget with a Wall Street tax

GRAPHIC: Robin Hood Tax T-Shirt

As President Obama gave his speech on balancing the budget this week, G20 finance ministers were gathering right down the street to discuss a global transaction tax on the financial elite. It should be a top priority for President Obama and Congress.

A Robin Hood tax on Wall Street is a logical solution to generate much-needed revenue for jobs, healthcare, infrastructure and schools.

This week, dozens of American economists, led by Dean Baker, signed a letter to the G20 finance ministers that read in part:

"This tax is an idea that has come of age. The financial crisis has shown us the dangers of unregulated finance, and the link between the financial sector and society has been broken. It is time to fix this link and for the financial sector to give something back to society. Even at very low rates of 0.05% or less, this tax could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually and calm excessive speculation."

We agree with their assessment: “Given the automation of payments, this tax is technically feasible. It is morally right.”

Please join our call for a financial speculation tax to raise much-needed revenue and pay for our economic recovery.

Dear President Obama, Congress and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner,

We call on you to institute a Wall Street transaction tax to generate much-needed revenue and rein in the speculators who have damaged our economy. This tax is an idea that has come of age. Join the global movement to institute a modest financial transaction tax to pay for jobs, healthcare, infrastructure and schools.

Sincerely,
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RootsAction is a growing network of independent-minded progressives including Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk and Coleen Rowley.