Nurses Demand Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street Speculators
Thousands of nurses, sporting green Robin Hood caps and red t-shirts, marched in Chicago last Friday demanding a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street speculation. National Nurses United has spearheaded the drive, which has gained support in France, Germany, Brazil among other world powers and many labor and progressive organizations.
President Obama has privately supported the tax, once even saying in a White House meeting, “we are going to do this!” according to Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men, but was blocked by the internal machinations of top advisor Larry Summers, who was quoted as declaring that “we have to derail this.” (pp. 286, 389) The irony is that even Summers once opined in favor of taxing financial transactions. (p. 286)
Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Peter DeFazio have introduced legislation backing what the New York Times calls a “tiny tax,” of only three dollars on each $10,000 worth of transactions. National Nurses United favors a tax of $50 on each $10,000, likening it to a sales tax on the trading of stocks, bonds, currencies and derivatives. The Harkin-DeFazio approach could raise $350 billion over ten years, half going to deficit reduction. The NNU proposal would raise closer to $5 trillion.
An NNU representative, who concurs with the Times depiction of the Harkin-DeFazio version as “tiny,” is concerned that it will confuse advocates and may be designed to help Obama “look like he is doing something.” Washington insiders hint that the White House is blocking a stronger proposal. Since the chance of its passing Congress is close to nil, the alternative is a popular movement forcing the question into the Obama-Romney debates.
Look for a sea of Robin Hoods, Maid Marians, Friar Tucks, Little Johns and Merry Men surrounding the conventions and hiking the campaign trail.
Health Care, Not Warfare
Cost of FY2012 Afghanistan war spending $111.1 billion. The same amount could pay for:
56.9 million Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year
22.8 million People Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year
14.2 million Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care for One Year
Total direct cost of Afghan war: $570.9 billion. The same amount could pay for:
292.6 million Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year
117.4 million People Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year
73.2 million Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care for One Year
Source: National Priorities Project