The fiscal problems of the United States are largely due to the fact that Wall Street pays no taxes. Like the nobility in France before the French Revolution of 1789, the zombie bankers and hedge fund hyenas do not contribute to the public treasury. The total turnover in terms of buying and selling of securities, including stocks, bonds, and derivatives on US exchanges is surely in excess of five quadrillion dollars (5,000 trillion dollars). A 1% tax on this turnover, equally divided between the federal government and the states, largely solves the budget deficit at all levels of government. It also discourages the most dangerous forms of speculation, especially derivatives speculation, and helps to level the playing field between financial services – which are now in effect subsidized because they are not taxed – and the tangible, physical production of manufactured goods on which our economic survival depends.
This tax must be a full 1%, with an allowance for normal household investment. HR- 6411, introduced by US Representative Keith Ellison (MN-5) provides an ideal template for legislation, but must be strengthened, with derivatives and other securities taxed at 1% to discourage predatory speculation.