Jobs and Careers

On this April 15th, Time to Tax Wall Street to Create Jobs

| by AFL-CIO

Allison Fletcher Acosta, Communications & Technology coordinator at Jobs with Justice, is joining activists who are calling on Congress today to tax Wall Street and make it pay for jobs for the rest of us.

Today, Jobs with Justice activists and allies are protesting at banks and post offices in 40 cities across the country to highlight the need for good jobs—and a way to pay for them. Activists will hold rallies calling on Congress to create millions of good new jobs, tax the Wall Street speculators who broke our economy, reign in the Big Banks and protect consumers. We are demonstrating support for legislation like the Local Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4812), which will create 1 million jobs, and for the Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act (H.R. 4191).

A  tax on the speculators of the Wall Street casino could put 3 million people to work fixing our infrastructure, teaching our children, making our factories more sustainable and improving our public services. 

In Washington, D.C., AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Jobs with Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta are joining Wall Street and economic experts and consumer, development and global health advocates for a press conference to push for a Financial Speculation Tax.

The group will call on President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to embrace this tax and on Congress to move swiftly to enact it. The tax is a very small levy on financial short-term transactions, which will curb excessive speculation by Big Banks, but with minimal impact on long-term investors. Momentum for enacting a financial speculation tax is already strong in Europe. It will be on the agenda at the Group of Twenty (G-20) finance ministers’ meeting in Washington on April 23 and the G-20 leaders’ meeting in Canada in June.

For 30 years, corporate CEOs and Wall Street speculators have put the squeeze on workers with globalization, privatization and union-busting. They used their rising profits to lobby Congress for tax breaks for the rich, banking deregulation and cuts to consumer protections. They invented unscrupulous mortgage and investing practices, turning our financial system into a casino. When their speculation didn’t pay off, they got Congress to bail them out to the tune of $15,000 for every household in America.

Just how unfair has our tax system gotten?

-- Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no U.S. income tax between 1998 and 2005. Corporations like ExxonMobil and Wal-Mart find ways to evade taxes and get taxpayer money to pick up their tab.
-- Wall Street speculators pay themselves record pay and bonuses and spend millions lobbying against financial regulations—subsidized by the rest of us.
-- Tax rates on millionaires keep dropping.

Meanwhile, the income gap between the richest 10 percent of Americans and the rest of us has been widening for 30 years. Unemployment rates are still hovering around 10 percent.

It’s time for Wall Street’s Big Banks to pay their fair share.

In Florida, south Florida Jobs with Justice will send a delegation to Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek’s office to thank him for co-sponsoring the Local Jobs for America Act, and Central Florida Jobs with Justice will encourage Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D) to sign on. The Local Jobs for America Act will create a million jobs in local communities this year, ensuring that com­munities can still operate essential services and helping to prevent state and local tax increase.

To see a full list of actions and to learn more, visit www.TaxWallStreet.org.