Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

The group aims to utilize public anger at the banking industry and the momentum of the Occupy Wall Street movement to push for financial reform. (Photo: Michael Fleshman/flickr/cc)

Armed with Policy Solutions and Populist Rage, Campaign Vows to 'Take on Wall Street'

"We are going to make this an issue in congressional races. No one will be able to run from this."

Nadia Prupis

On Tuesday, a coalition of more than 20 progressive activist and labor groups is launching a new campaign to reform the financial industry.

The group, Take on Wall Street, aims to utilize public anger at the banking industry and the momentum of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as the efforts of groups like the AFL-CIO and Communications Workers of America (CWA), to introduce an agenda that would change the way the financial sector operates.

Take On Wall Street will formally announce its campaign launch at an event Tuesday night, which will feature a headlining speech by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), an outspoken proponent of financial reform.

The campaign is calling on U.S. Congress to adopt pending legislation that would introduce five key changes:

  • Close the carried interest loophole that lets billionaire Wall Street money managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or construction workers;
  • Create a Wall Street speculation tax that would discourage short-term bets and generate billions in new revenue to make college affordable, invest in our infrastructure, and create jobs in our cities;
  • End "Too Big to Fail" by breaking up the big banks—making them smaller, simpler, and safer;
  • Stop subsidizing million dollar CEO bonuses by ending the CEO pay tax loophole; and
  • End predatory lending and also expand access to fair consumer banking services through "a public option" like postal banking.

"The big banks are bigger than they were before the 2008 crisis, and CEOs and Wall Street money managers continue to benefit from obscene tax loopholes that cost us billions," a statement from the group reads.

Campaign for America's Future communications director Isaiah J. Poole explained in a post published Tuesday that the reforms are "the broadest effort yet to combine these proposals into a singular reform push."

"[B]road support for the Take On Wall Street agenda will limit [Hillary] Clinton’s ability to pivot, especially if this agenda helps elect new Senate and House members committed to not allowing Wall Street to keep rigging the economy against the rest of us," Poole writes.

With Bernie Sanders making economic justice a central platform of his campaign, the 2016 election is the perfect time to capitalize on populist anger toward Wall Street, supporters say.

As Lisa Donner, executive director of the advocacy group Americans for Financial Reform, told the Washington Post on Tuesday, "I think the tone of the election has reminded many people just how deeply felt the frustration and anger is about the way that Wall Street has shaped the economy in its own interest."

AFL-CIO executive director Richard Trumka added, "We are going to make this an issue in congressional races. No one will be able to run from this."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Rights Groups Demand Hearings on the 'Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act'

"The longer Congress waits," warned one advocate, "the stronger and more dangerous this industry will become."

Kenny Stancil ·


Democrats Urge Biden to Abandon Dangerous Trump Policies on Nuclear Weapons

With the Nuclear Posture Review, say congressional lawmakers, the president can ensure "future generations can finally be free from the nuclear sword of Damocles that hangs over all our heads."

Andrea Germanos ·


'There Is No Military Solution': Jayapal, Lee Demand Diplomacy on Ukraine

"We call upon our colleagues to allow the administration to find a diplomatic way out of this crisis," said the progressive Democrats.

Jake Johnson ·


Gun-Maker Slammed for 'Children's Assault Rifles' Based on AR-15

"At first glance, this comes across as a grotesque joke," said one gun control advocate. "On second look, it's just grotesque."

Jessica Corbett ·


Biden Urged to Nominate Black Woman to Supreme Court as Breyer Says He'll Retire

"President Biden has an opportunity to secure a seat on the bench for a justice committed to protecting our democracy and the constitutional rights of all Americans, including the freedom to vote."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo