US Group Proposes "Robin Hood Tax" on Wall Street Trades


English folklorists know that while the character of Robin Hood dates back to the 15th century, the aspect of his story most commonly associated with him didn’t appear until the 19th century. Still, children almost instinctually associate the character with his practice of robbing from the rich to give to the poor. Thus Robin Hood has become a character who stole money at arrow-point from an aristocratic class that hoarded wealth, crippling the lower classes. This was all allowed because of the corrupt sheriff and Prince John who ruled the land in place of the true leader, King Richard who was off fighting in The Crusades (although, one wonders what that cost the taxpayers?).

Despite his status as a beloved hero from childhood stories, one might think Robin Hood was not the perfect name to associate with a proposed tax on financial transactions, especially since many believe that taxation in general is robbery. However, that is precisely what proponents of this idea have done, beginning in Europe in 2010. Still unsuccessful in the European Union, the idea has gained popularity in America. US Representative Keith Ellison proposed legislation in April called The Inclusive Prosperity Act that would turn this idea into law.

In an article for Forbes titled “The Stupidity of the Robin Hood Tax Reaches America,” by Tim Worstall claims, “the Robin Hood Tax isn’t the answer to any question other than ‘How do we make everyone poorer?’” Apparently, it is an idea so bad that even socialists are against it. The governor of France’s central bank has called the European Union’s version of the tax “a non-starter and needs to be entirely revised.”

Yet, with a Congress that is most likely going to allow the continuation of the sequester and facing what is sure to be a fierce midterm election year, the chances of Ellison’s bill becoming law are nonexistent.



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