An Overview of the Financial Transactions Tax

Throughout 2015 and 2016, we released our feature documentary The Same Heart which called for a tiny tax on financial transactions to raise funds for the basic needs of children at home and around the world. Last October, Media Voices along with the Child Labor Coalition and The Congressional Progressive Caucus, held a briefing for Congressional staffers on the Hill. The place was packed. There was fresh bipartisan interest in an FTT as a means of raising revenues for infrastructure and to fund social programs for children.  At the same time, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was running on a Democratic platform that endorsed the FTT, as did Bernie Sanders. Then, Trump won and prospects for the tax on the Hill dimmed considerably, though the need for revenue remains as great as ever. 

This panel examines an innovative approach to lifting a billion children and their communities out of poverty.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi comments on tackling inequality, one transaction at a time.

This small tax of %0.5 on Wall Street transactions would generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the US alone. A report by economist Dean Baker found the following to be true:

-A financial transaction tax could likely raise over $105 billion annually based on 2015 trading volume. This estimate is roughly in the middle of recent estimates that ranged from as high as $580 billion to as low as $30 billion.

-The full amount of this tax would be borne by the financial industry, and not individual holders of stock or pension funds and other institutional investors.

-The industry would be no less effective in serving its productive use after the tax is in place. This means that one of primary effects of the tax would be to reduce waste in the financial sector.

-The revenue raised through an FTT would easily be large enough to cover the cost of many social programs, specifically free college tuition at public institutions.

Endorsed by Take on Wall Street, French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the Labour party in Britain, the FTT offers potential relief to the 1 billion children currently living in extreme poverty. 

Join the campaign for the Robin Hood Tax

Read Dean Baker's report: Reining in Wall Street to Benefit All Americans

Read the current FTT bills below:

HR 4191: Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street

HR 1579: A New Bill to Tax Wall Street

HR-6411: Real Revenue for Critical National, International Needs