Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Proposal of ‘The Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act’

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–November 3, 2011.  Yesterday, Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Peter DeFazio introduced the “Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act” legislation that would assess a Financial Speculation Tax of 3 basis points, or .03 percent.

The European Commission is proposing a Financial Speculation Tax that would assess a tax of 10 basis points, or .10 percent, on trading in stocks and bonds. In order to maximize revenue and minimize opportunities for tax arbitrage, Congress should pass a U.S. Financial Speculation Tax in line with what has been proposed in Europe.

Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio are showing real leadership in introducing this important legislation that would help the 99%. America’s most urgent economic challenge is the jobs crisis, and we must invest money today to create jobs and rebuild our broken economy.  In the medium to long term, that money will have to be repaid, and it is only fair to ask Wall Street to pay for rebuilding the economy it helped destroy.

Congress must pass a Financial Speculation Tax that has the greatest revenue raising capacity. A well designed tax would raise hundreds of billions of dollars over the ten year budget window.

Reckless Wall Street gambling has cost Americans trillions in lost wages, savings, and household wealth. It is time to put Wall Street to work rebuilding Main Street with a Financial Speculation Tax to create jobs, rein in speculation, and lay the groundwork for long-term economic prosperity.