Nurses urge Pelosi and others to back the Robin Hood tax

Nurses and other activists today targetted Nancy Pelosi and other key members of Congress.
Natinnal Nurses United

Activists nationwide are pressuring Congress to pass a bill they say would generate hundreds of billions of dollars and stimulate economic growth on Main Street, targeting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other key congressional votes with a series of protests today.

The Inclusive Prosperity Act, or H.R. 6411, would establish a 0.5 percent tax on the trading of stocks, 50 cents on every $100 of trades and lesser rates on bonds, derivatives and currencies.  It's being touted as the "Robin Hood tax" because it would generate an estimated $350 billion dollars annually that would go towards growing local economies, taking for the rich to help the poor.  

Supporters for the national campaign are knocking on the doors of their congressional representatives asking them to back the bill. Campaigners and members of National Nurses United today gathered at Pelosi's office to ask her for support, but she was nowhere to be found.  Roughly two dozen nurses and activists attempted to enter the building when security promptly stopped them, allowing only four members to enter to speak to a Pelosi representative in the lobby. 

Inside, the four activists - including Deborah Burger, a registered nurse from Santa Rosa - were told that although the bill fits with her values, Pelosi is currently focused on the November election. 

"We were told that after the election she might use her influence to back the legislation," says Burger.  "We do plan to go to Washington to push this bill and we're going to do it with or without Nancy Pelosi."  

Eighteen days after the stock market crashed in 2008 – four years ago today – Congress approved the Troubled Relief Asset Program, or T.A.R.P., that saved the "too-big-to-fail" banks from financial collapse.  Now, the national unemployment rate lingers above 8 percent.  HR 6411, introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, is being promoted as a way to enforce accountability on the part of major Wall Street banking institutions.

"The destruction they've done to this country is enormous," says Charles Idelson, communications director for the California Nurses Association. "They pay no tax when trading and all we're asking for is Wall Street to pay us back and help local economies."

When asked why nurses are interested in the bill, Scott Hornback, a nurse at UCSF, said people in his profession spend their days caring for those hit hardest by the recession: "We care about the health of the American worker and the people who make up this economy."  

Supporters say the revenue generated from HR 6411 would also help strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, put more resources into the infrastructure and education, and help tackle climate change.   

The obvious question is whether or not such a tax would encourage financial institutions to move their transactions offshore.  Idelson rejected this possibility, saying, "When you have something totally computerized, like financial transactions, it's easy to monitor and track."

According to National Nurses United, more than 40 countries currently have some form of financial transaction tax in place.  Last week Germany and France urged the European Commission to draft FTT proposals for nine nations in the EU. 


FTT taxes the public's investment infrastructure, indirectly and directly taxes middle class wealth, drastically reduces investment participation, increases dependence on government subsistence, gives power, wealth and advances corruption for those that create these ridiculous taxes.

They plan on removing $350 billion a year out of our stocks, bonds and retirement? Apparently so because $350 billion annually is several times more than the annual profits of the entire financial sector.

FTT is mainly a tax on Main Street. IMF's FTT Final Report For The G-20, June 2010, "Its real burden may fall largely on final consumers rather than, as often seems to be supposed, earnings in the financial sector."

European Parliament has proposed an FTT and even the European Commission says FTT will result in net negative revenue, GDP loss, job loss:

UK Parliament European Scrutiny Committee citing the EU Commission's FTT Impact Assessment, "a 3.43% fall in EU GDP equates to a fall in economic output worth €421 (£362) billion and a 0.34% fall in employment equates to a loss of 812,000 jobs."

UK Parliament Economic Sub-Committee of the House of Lords, "The FTT is likely to induce a loss in GDP between five and 20 times larger than the revenues raised from the tax."

Posted by ftf on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 4:30 am

trading" but that's hogwash. Traders pay tax when their trades make a profit but, 50% of the time, they don't.

Any such law could only tax US trading. It would be trivially easy for hedge funds and trading desks to decamp to Bermuda or Geneva, and avoid this.

We should be encouraging wealth-creators, not driving them away.

Oh yeah, the nurses support this. Of course they do. No self-interest there.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 4:43 am

While, lest you forget, Robin Hood was a thief and a criminal.

However, if SFBG wants us to follow famous tax dodgers like Robin Hood and stop paying our taxes as a protest against government profligacy, then you have my support.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 4:40 am

HR 6411 was recently introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison and it is collecting co-sponsors. It is thus blatantly false that "not one member of Congress supports it." Granted, the bill does not yet have a large number of co-sponsors but it was only introduced two weeks ago.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 11:29 am

More than 1,000 economists, people like Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman, support the Robin Hood tax. Why? Because they know it is one of the most effective means of actually generating real revenue into an economy that badly needs it.

A tax on Main Street? Hardly. Unless you consider JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and the other financial giants who tanked the economy as "Main Street". The proposed sales tax amounts to 50 cents on every $100 of stock trades, less on other financial measures. Compare that to the sales tax most Americans pay on virtually all consumer activity. Shouldn't Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan pay a little sales tax back for the damage they did to everyone else?

And as to Europe, it is moving to adopt a similar tax across the Eurozone. France and Spain have adopted an FTT. Germany has endorsed it, and most of the rest of Europe will soon follow.

Learn more at

Posted by gschwartz on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 6:01 am

Do you really think that naming a tax after a foreign bandit and terrorists is making it sound more attractive?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 6:24 am

Presume you have also chastised the Tea Party for naming themselves after a cabal of terrorists who destroyed private property with no thought of recompense for the owners.

Time to stop defending the banks and financial giants, they have enough friends in the economic and political arena. Somebody has to come up with genuine solutions that will produce real revenue, paid for by the very oeople who created so much pain for the rest of America.

As to who does this impact? Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley alone account for one-fourth of the total volume shares of currency trades. That's who this modest sales tax targets.

There is a growing movement for a financial transaction tax. Even USA Today last week editorialized in favor of an FTT as a way to curb what they called "high frequency trading insanity." Guess they must be terrorists too.

Posted by gschwartz on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 7:50 am

economy. And a tax on trading will hit every IRA and 401K in the land. It will also drive trading overseas - you can trade securities from anywhere.

It's a hopeless idea which is why nobody in DC supports it.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 9:03 am

Taxes are a way for government to control inflation by taking excess demand out of the system by extinguishing money just as deficit spending is a way for government to control deflation by adding demand into the system by creating more money.

Posted by marcos on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 9:23 am

A Robin Hood Tax at one-half of one percent could raise $350 billion annually to go to much needed areas like education, healthcare, hunger, the environment and would help kickstart our economy. HR 6411 sponsored by Rep Keith Ellison and co-sponsored by fellow congressional members could make a huge difference in the lives of many who pay more in sales tax on a pair of shoes than Wall Street pays when they buy stocks. We pay a sales tax, why shouldn't they? Many national and international organizations support the Robin Hood Tax like National Nurses United, Health GAP, National People's Action, National Organization for Women, Oxfam, Greenpeace, MoveOn, and many many more. It's time the banks pay up.

Posted by Jax510 on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 7:37 am

make it impossible for Wall st. to compete with foreign markets who dont have this tax.

Unless it's global, it cannot work. Trades can be done anywhere.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 9:05 am

In fact, more than 30 countries already have such a tax. Just in the past two months, the French and South Korean governments have imposed new financial transaction taxes, and the Spanish government has said it will impose a new financial transaction tax beginning this January.

The British have had for years a stamp duty on stock transactions at exactly the same rate as called for in HR 6411-- 0.5%-- and there is no evidence that companies are fleeing the London Stock Exchange as a result. The United States had such a tax in law from 1914 to 1966 and it didn't exactly sink the economy or force companies to stop trading in the United States.

There is a new bill introduced in the House of Representatives-- HR 6411-- so your statement that this is not supported by "anyone in Congress" is obviously false on its face.

Try doing some homework before spouting off on things you know so little about.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 11:26 am

Those countries, the UK's stamp duty, impose the tax upon individual investors only. Financial firms are exempt comprising 71 percent of the transactions. If they were not exempt as with FTT, individuals would pay the cumulative tax as it cascades through the system. The new French tax is intentionally designed to be paid by individual investors only, because if anyone is invested, they certainly must be rich. LOL. Greece has such a tax and look how well they are doing.

When the 1914 to 1966 tax was in place, very few were invested. It was an exclusive club that only rich boys belonged because of the tax creating wide bid-ask spread costs greater than the tax. The Johnson Administration (D) removed the tax and now we have 100 million middle class people participating in wealth creation.

The whole point of the tax is to crush the middle class. Incentivize debt to create financial crises, punish saving and investing.

No pain for congress proposing such bills. A 22 year member of Congress would be eligible for a pension payment of $84,645 per year.

Posted by ftf on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

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