Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Let's Tax Our 401k Transactions

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and six other House Democrats have introduced legislation that would impose a transaction tax on all stock, bond and derivatives trades made by Wall Street firms, which Ellison said would raise "billions" to pay for infrastructure and jobs programs.

"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," Ellison said Monday. "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."

He also said it would make high-frequency trading "unprofitable," but said this would have the positive effect of reducing speculation on commodities.

Ellison noted that 30 countries around the world have some form of equity transaction tax in place, and while he was not specific, he said it would raise "billions" of dollars to help fund government programs.

Do we want to go down the road of these 30 countries throughout the world who are having their own severe financial problems? Remember, this is a nondiscriminatory tax in that it is not just the rich who make trades, your retirement funds in IRAs, 401ks, annuities and other such investments all depend on the market to provide them with the growth necessary to provide your retirement income. These happen through stock trades by the financial institutions that are holding your assets.

Ellison's bill is co-sponsored by Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).

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