Investing in Our Future, One Transaction at a Time—How a Financial Transaction (FTT) tax would work–from the experts

Sarah Anderson, Director of Global Economy Project, Inst. for Policy Studies:

Many countries already have some form of a financial transaction tax, including those with strong and fast-growing financial markets, such as the UK, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, and India. Recently, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia agreed on the range of financial assets that will be taxed and how the revenue will be captured for what will be the first regional financial transaction tax.

Dean Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research:

Even small taxes on trading can raise large amounts of money. The Joint Economic Committee calculated that a tax of just 0.03 percent imposed on all financial transactions could raise more than $40 billion a year. A scaled tax with a rate of 0.2 percent on stock trades, and 0.01 percent on derivatives, could raise more than $110 billion a year. Several bills are working their way through Congress. Worldwide, FTTs have the potential to raise up to $300 billion in annual revenue.

Susan Harley, Deputy Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division:

The tax will help avoid market meltdowns by cutting the profit margins of high-frequency trading. Computerized trading by milliseconds is not long-term, job creating capital investment—it’s gambling with the integrity of the market–more than once computer algorithms have caused the market to freefall.

Shane Larson, Legislative Director for Communications Workers of America:

CWA recently commissioned public opinion polling on the issues that are part of the Take on Wall Street campaign. We found a huge amount of support from average Americans for policies that close loopholes and make our tax code fairer. Wall Street traders make massive profits, and we should focus on making those folks pay their fair share of taxes, instead of squeezing the middle-class and American workers.

Len Morris, director of The Same Heart:

In the US, almost 15 million children live in poverty and 2.5 million children experience homelessness each year. A world where one child in three lacks adequate shelter, one in five lacks clean drinking water, one in seven lacks access to health care, is a world where children live in crisis daily. We need new revenue sources to meet these needs.

Sally Greenberg, Director of the National Consumers League and Co-Chair of the Child Labor Coalition:

More than 120 million children around the world who want to go to school cannot. Revenues raised from an FTT could allow every child to go to school, to be healthy, to be free from many preventable diseases, to be fed, and to be free from the worst forms of child labor.

Several FTT bills have been introduced in Congress, including bills by Rep. DeFazio (H.R. 5745), Rep. Ellison (H.R. 1464), and Senator Sanders (S. 1371)

Please view this special clip of “The Same Heart” documentary exploring the concept of an FTT and what it might accomplish.

"The Same Heart" is a documentary film exploring the need for revenues to protect children and how a financial transaction tax might work.

“The Same Heart” is a documentary film exploring the need for revenues to protect children and how a financial transaction tax might work.