For Immediate Release
Ken Zinn 240-235-2008, or Bill Gallagher 818-355-8691
Robin Hood Tax Advocates Call on House Budget Committee to Get Needed Revenue from Wall Street for Ending Poverty and Creating Jobs
WASHINGTON - As the House Budget Committee called for greater attention today on persistent poverty in the U.S. and the need for action, a broad coalition of healthcare, community, faith based, and labor activists stepped up the call for a tax on Wall Street speculation for additional revenues to address the ongoing crisis in so many communities.
With more than 100 million Americans living at or near poverty, amidst urban poverty rates in excess of 30 percent, calls for action are resonating in a nation awash in profits and cash -- especially on Wall Street, say leaders of the Robin Hood tax campaign.
That was the message conveyed by Robin Hood tax advocates today, who are calling for a levy on speculative trades that is in line with a majority of countries and in place on most stock exchanges. Eleven European nations put the tax on their agenda this spring for implementation January 1, 2016.
The Robin Hood tax, embodied in HR 1579, The Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2013, would levy a sales tax on brokers and would raise essential funds to carry out the nation's most important tasks-- job creation, achieving a clean environment, rebuilding infrastructure and education.
The proposed sales tax can bring hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenue to help rebuild communities promised in a recovery but never delivered.
It would also help alleviate the scandal of student debt, now in excess of $1 trillion, as well as to provide needed funds to address climate change and to research and treat AIDS/HIV are also identified in this critical legislation.
“It's far past time that we break the cycle of poverty and fund America. There is a simple solution: more revenue,” said George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action. “If the government had more money we could make dramatic strides toward ending poverty, start a real economic recovery and help millions of Americans."
“We are calling on Congress and the White House to focus on human needs and restarting our economy, not the endless cycle of more austerity and more cuts,” said Karen Higgins, RN, co-president of National Nurses United. “We need the Robin Hood tax to get this country moving in the right direction.”
“The United States has recognized that we can solve so many of the problems facing our nation and end the AIDS pandemic. Yet if the constant focus is on budget cuts, we risk the AIDS crisis spiraling out of control. One way to avoid this catastrophe is to join all of the other major financial markets and implement a Robin Hood Tax. There is no reason not to do this," said Jennifer Flynn of Health GAP. More information about the Robin Hood Tax is available at www.robinhoodtax.org
The tax would help slow high speed trading as well, financial activity which sidelines billions of dollars in a casino economy at odds with a productive economy.
More than 160 organizations, whose members are counted in the millions, have endorsed HR 1579. Robin Hood tax campaigners are calling on candidates in the 2014 elections to endorse the tax and put Main Street back on track.
National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in US history.