Major new campaign for a ‘Robin Hood tax’ launches today

Dozens of national organizations including National Nurses United and Health GAP, celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, leading economists including Jeffrey Sachs, former JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs executives and global leaders such as Desmond Tutu joined today for an unprecedented coalition, calling for a “Robin Hood Tax” on Wall Street.

The Robin Hood Tax is a small sales tax, less than half of 1% — or 50 cents per $100 on trading in stocks, and even smaller assessments on bonds, derivatives and currencies, that could raise hundreds of billions in the U.S.

“Wall Street’s reckless speculation and risky deals caused our economy’s most devastating crash since the Great Depression, forcing millions of Americans to lose their jobs, their homes, and their pensions,” said Jean Ross, RN and co-president of NNU. “Three years later, Americans on Main Street still struggle to recover from a crisis we didn’t create. This is the way to start to turn it around.”

Stephen Frum, RN, a nurse at Washington Hospital Center, added, “As registered nurses in D.C., we see so much suffering related to the economic crisis. Our patients and our own families often struggle to make ends meet and our health suffers. The Robin Hood Tax is something we can all get behind, and nurses will lead the charge.”

Mark Ruffalo, star of the current movie “The Avengers,” releases a video on Tuesday calling on Americans to join the campaign. He was joined in the video by Chris Martin and Tom Morello.

The Robin Hood Tax is aimed at high-volume trading, which today makes up a majority of all trades. Experts say it will help place limits on the reckless short-term speculation that threatens financial stability—as with JPMorgan Chase’s losing bet of $3 billion recently. A Robin Hood Tax would also assist in curtailing speculation in essentials, such as food and fuel. []

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