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Kucinich to Introduce 'Responsible Bankers Act'
WASHINGTON - January 12 - Washington
D.C. (January 12, 2010) - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today
introduced legislation to impose a 75% tax on the extraordinary bonuses
that bankers are planning to pay themselves using windfall profits
earned from massive taxpayer support of the financial services
industry. The "Responsible Bankers Act" will not penalize banks for
making a profit, but rather will tax the bonus pools that are set aside.
This is the follow up to announcement made by Kucinich on December 10, 2009.
Kucinich, who has been a leading critic of the government's unlimited support to Wall Street, remarked; "Bankers are preparing to pay themselves record bonuses rather than lending and investing in American economic prosperity. They could use their profits to do many things to improve the prospects of economic recovery, like strengthen their capital base, reduce fees charged to customers, or increase lending to small and medium sized-companies.
"Bankers' failures to self-regulate, let us remember, were the direct cause of the crisis we are in today; they need to be told that the money they are making is a public trust, not something they have earned for good behavior."
Other bills being discussed fall short of the Kucinich measure, which taxes all banker bonuses whether the bank has received or repaid TARP funds or not. "The aim of federal policy is to give banks the opportunity to clean up the mess they have created," Mr. Kucinich said today, "but bank executives still don't get it. They think the profits they are making are for themselves."
The Responsible Bankers Act has already received the early endorsement of Public Citizen, a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971.