Sep 27th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Finances

Tax Wall Street is Part of the Solution

An op ed online caught our attention this week.  Dean Baker writes for and he asked a reasonable question, “Why don’t the deficit hawks want to tax Wall Street?”

He points out that ‘shared sacrifice’ is preached by people from all corners, but somehow sacrifice for Wall Street is left out of the picture.  Other countries are beginning to plan for taxing financial speculation; the EU is planning to implement a ‘modest’ tax beginning in 2014.  Estimates are that tax will bring in $60 billion in the first year.

Town hall meetings (sponsored by Wall Street banks) two years ago revealed, “…cuts to Social Security and Medicare were hugely unpopular, a financial speculation tax was one of the most widely favored paths for reducing the deficit. Yet, the deficit hawks never discuss financial speculation taxes, even though they won considerable support at their own venue.”

National and International Support for Financial Speculation Tax

So we have support in the United States as well as overseas for some kind of tax on financial speculation.  Yet Wall Street doesn’t talk about it.  Why?

Dean suggests it is because Wall Street has an ‘outsized’ role in pushing deficit reduction, which of course means no more taxes on anyone anywhere anytime.  And they have successfully re-oriented our thinking from the need for jobs and protecting senior citizens to deficit reduction almost exclusively.  As well, he suggests if the occlusion of deficit reduction on the part of Wall Street, “…is all about using an economic crisis to push a longstanding agenda to cut Social Security and Medicare, then everything suddenly makes sense.”

Seniors Beware! Let’s not get fooled into thinking the issue is simply deficit reduction.  Don’t get pulled into that trap.  The issue is and remains this: Protect Social Security and MedicareTax the wealthy who can afford it (Bill Gates and Warren Buffett agree!) and create a ‘modest’ financial speculation tax that will bring in billions.

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