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."

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 need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Share of Fossil Fuels in Global Energy Mix 'Has Not Moved by an Inch' in a Decade

"We are waking up to the bitter reality that the climate policy promises over the past 10 years have mostly been empty words," said the executive director of REN21, which released the new report.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


Latest Nina Turner Ad in Ohio Highlights Working-Class Need for Medicare for All

"Wealth should never dictate whether you are able to see a doctor or live a healthy life."

Jenna McGuire, staff writer ·


Biden Admin Urged to 'Prevent a Historic Wave of Evictions' by Extending CDC Moratorium, Speeding Up Aid

"Far too many renters are struggling to access emergency rental assistance programs and are at risk of losing their homes when the moratorium expires," said the president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


Democrats Unveil Decriminalization Plan to End 'Mass Devastation' of Failed US Drug War

"50 years. That's how long our government has waged a war—not on drugs, but on people."

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


Norwegian 'People vs. Arctic Oil' Case Heads to European Human Rights Court

"We have to take action now to limit irreversible damage to our climate and ecosystems to ensure livelihoods for the coming generations," said one activist.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·