Back on Oct. 2, a merry band from ACT UP and the Student Global AIDS Campaign showed up at Rep. Michael Capuano’s office (D-MA), asking him to support the Robin Hood Tax. Just last week Capuano agreed to “be our Robin Hood” by co-signing the Inclusive Prosperity Act (H.R. 6411) – a win for grassroots organizing!
What’s so exciting about this bill? It would put in place a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), a tiny tax on stocks, bonds, derivatives, and other financial instruments to strengthen the social safety net and invest in infrastructure, jobs, education, and health. The financial crisis cost Americans $19 trillion – while traders continue to earn profits, public austerity and impending sequestration cuts threaten the most vulnerable. Among other things, the Inclusive Prosperity Act text explicitly recommends that tax revenue go toward: housing assistance, global AIDS, Medicare & Medicaid, public sector jobs, education, and fighting climate change. It wouldn’t affect personal savings, credit/debit cards, or mortgages, so the FTT would be an equalizing force where bankers pay their fair share for economic recovery.
Momentum has grown since the Robin Hood Tax Campaign launched nationally in the U.S. in June. The Inclusive Prosperity Act was introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) in September, giving us a bill to rally behind and hold representatives accountable to. It now has co-sponsors from MI, CA, MA, AZ, OH, WA, IL, MD, and DC. Just this month 11 member states of the European Union approved a FTT, joining the 30 countries around the world that already have some version of this tax. Now it’s time for US to draw inspiration from Europe’s common sense reform.
Next steps? Getting a similar bill proposed in the Senate.
Encourage your representatives to sign on too!!