New York's Rebatable Bailout

You can't make up the following realities in New York State! Note the
following series of events driven by the preposterous plutocrats and see
if you get steamed.

Greed, power, reckless speculation and theft of other peoples' money by
Wall Streeters collapsed the U.S. economy into a deep recession that
started in 2007-08.

These super-rich Wall Street banksters looted and drained trillions of
worker pensions and mutual fund savings while nationwide eight million
jobs were lost.

Panicked that their overweening avarice was pushing their companies over
the cliff, the banksters rushed to Washington, terrified members of
Congress with the help of ex-Goldman Sachs CEO turned Treasury Secretary
Henry Paulson and propelled the Bush White House into a series of
massive taxpayer bailouts and guarantees amounting to trillions of
dollars during the last quarter of 2006.

By the end of 2009, the Wall Street welfarists were recording once again
record profits and sky-high bonuses. Month after month it became clear
that the banks were not lending to small and larger businesses to get
the economy moving again-a major reason give for the bailouts.

A good slice of the money went to bonuses, mergers and other empire
building by the remaining five giant conglomerate banks. Today these
banks are sitting on mountains of cash and many credit-worthy businesses
and startups still cannot get loans.

As the Fiscal Policy Institute wrote in April: "Essential services like
fire departments and schools, recession-buffering social safety net
programs like homeless prevention and senior services, and critical
infrastructure systems like hospitals, roads and mass transit all face
severe cutbacks.

"But Wall Street is not suffering from the budget catastrophe or from
the crash. ...The financial industry rang up $61.4 billion in profits for
2009 alone-that is nearly triple Wall Street's previous record. These
are truly windfall profits-they are courtesy of the taxpayer-funded
bailout [and federal policies uniquely privileging the big banks with
virtually free money] and not because the big banks made money from
financing the recovery of American businesses. Never before has Wall
Street made so much money from doing so little for economic and job

Making money from speculation instead of from investment is exactly what
the legendary British economist, John Maynard Keynes, warned about
almost eighty years ago in arguing for a securities transaction tax.

The conditions where many regular New Yorkers live are grim. Poverty,
unemployment, home foreclosures, and small business bankruptcies keep

On the other side of the tracks, the top twenty-five hedge fund managers
recorded an average of $1 billion each, or over $80 million each a
month in 2009. Quite a quick rebound on the backs of American taxpayers
and privileged tax policies.

Low-moderate and middle-income New Yorkers already pay a higher
percentage of family income in state and local taxes than do the richest
one percent of New Yorkers!

Surprisingly, there is a simple way to eliminate the state deficit and
prevent tens of thousands of layoffs and large service cutbacks.

What most New Yorkers do not know is that for about a century there has
been a state stock transfer tax on purchases of securities. This year,
this tax, similar to ones imposed in 30 other countries, will amount to
about $16 billion. Amazingly, since 1979, this tax has been instantly
rebated by New York State back to the brokers or clearinghouses who paid
it. A 100% rebate every year for the bailed out industry that caused
the recession and its immense human damage.

Obviously the stock exchanges and their brokers wield big political
power. Flush with arrogance, bailouts and profits, they have no shame.
So after blocking a tax on those unconscionable bonuses that outraged so
many Americans, the securities industry has made sure that neither the
Democratic nor Republican candidates for Governor utter a peep about
retaining this $16 billion in tax revenues to get the state out of its
dire straits.

One man, Howie Hawkins from Syracuse, NY, is challenging both the big
boys on Wall Street and the duopolists' candidates. He is the Green
Party candidate for Governor, nicknamed the Green Hornet. Pollinating
truth and justice across the State, this ex-Marine, author, long-time
citizen advocate, working blue collar teamster and public interest
thinker, challenged Mr. Cuomo's self-imposed taboo:

"Why is Mr. Cuomo, the anointed front runner, hiding the Stock
Transfer Tax from the public when it is an obvious way to bridge the
state budget deficit? Why does he rule out higher taxes on the rich when
they have more money than ever, why won't he make them pay their fair
share, when they'll still be rich after paying their fair share?"

All the politicians in Albany act like we're out of money and debate
over what services to cut, all the while refusing to tell New Yorkers
about the $16 billion they hand back to Wall Street speculators," he

Mr. Cuomo is a recipient of campaign contributions from hedge fund managers.

Take any poll. Betcha New Yorkers overwhelmingly support Mr. Hawkins' position (see: Unfortunately, the two major parties predictably exclude him from any debates this fall.

If you are a New Yorker, and after reading this you are less indignant
than you would be were you overcharged by a cab driver or were hurled a
racist or ethnic slur from some passerby, it is unlikely you'll hustle
up a neighborhood or workplace petition to demand that your lawmakers in
Albany legislate keeping that $16 billion and all the jobs that can be
saved with that revenue.

My guess is that if a million New Yorkers sign such petitions in the
next three weeks and talk it up where they live in city, town and
countryside, they'll win. You'll also signal that you're ready to
jettison your political servitude and assert the sovereignty of the
people as expressed in our Constitution's preamble-"we the people."

If you can't wait, call your Albany legislators at 518-455-2800 (State
Senate) or 518-455-4100 (State Assembly) to see when they will be near
your town during this summer. Go and give them two earfuls and demand
that they commit.

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