“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” – Warren Buffett
As Ralph Nader and others have pointed out, NY State’s $9.3 billion budget deficit, the excuse given for austerity causing service cuts and pressure on unions to freeze wages and cut employees, can be more than made up by using the current NY State Stock Transfer Tax.
That tax, which generated $16 billion in 2010, more than enough to balance the budget, with $7 billion to spare, has been automatically rebated since 1979, instead of being used as revenue to fund necessary state services, including the jobs of NY State and City employees.
A similar national stock transfer tax, or Tobin Tax, or, as I believe it should be called, a Wall Street Tax, of a percentage of a penny on each dollar of stocks traded each day, could generate more than half a TRILLION dollars a year to reduce the federal budget deficit without austerity measures.
A fairer tax of one cent on each dollar of stocks traded (1%) would go a long way toward drastically decreasing the federal budget deficit while allowing long-needed, significant cuts in the bloated U.S. imperial military budget and, at the same time, removing the false, discredited, but still Conservative/Republican/Corporate Media-repeated justification for cutting Social Security, Medicare, and other needed social safety net programs. Only massive stock investors would be significantly affected by such a Wall Street Tax.
Then, maybe the U.S. government, feeling more fiscally secure, could start spending to create jobs in infrastructure, mass transit, green energy, schools and teaching, and housing for those dispossessed.
We may even eventually have a 21st century economy in which people matter more than profits. Who knows?
It is, of course, true that Wall Street finance provides much of the campaign contributions to both wings, Democratic and Republican, of the Corporate-Militarist Ruling Class Party, so there will be fierce opposition to these taxes.
But we should be demanding that Wall Street, not we, pay for its own economic crisis, with a Wall Street Tax instead of cruel austerity measures that punish the working, middle, and poor classes while the rich and corporations get wealthier and more powerful from our wealth being redistributed to them.
I will soon contact my new state governor, Andrew Cuomo (who wants to freeze government salaries for a year and just cut his own salary by a symbolic 5%), my state Senator and Assemblyman, the NY State Senate Majority Leader, the NY State Assembly Speaker, my Congressional Representative, my two Senators (I already know Senator Charles Schumer, a friend of the bankers, is opposed to a Wall Street Tax), the new (Republican) Speaker of the House, and the Senate majority Leader, urging that they support a significant Wall Street Tax. Let’s see if they put our interests, not Wall Street’s, first (for once), and just and fair tax money where their deficit-concerned mouths are.
Given how much Wall Street is justifiably hated for its bailouts and bonuses by most Americans as tens of millions are unemployed and more are using Food Stamps and food pantries than ever before, such a Wall Street Tax would be immensely popular. Any politician, of any party, who opposes this Wall Street Tax, should and must be tarred as a Wall Street Tool who cares more about his re-election funds than about the people he/she allegedly represents.
Class Warfare has always been a reality in this nation, and it’s time we not only openly discussed it, but fought back against the top 2% living off of our labor, our declining incomes, and our decreasing wealth, while they fatten their wallets and stock portfolios at our expense.
The Corporate-Militarist Ruling Class long ago declared Class Warfare on the rest of us, and, now that they have the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court (remember the January, 2010 Citizens United decision!), and most of the Corpstream Media in their pockets, we are on our own.
A General Strike, in which as many workers as possible stay home from work and as many retirees as possible stay home from shopping on a particular day, would get our point and power across in the only way the Corporate-Militarist Ruling Class understands.
We could also not watch any television and cable that day and night, driving down all Nielson ratings and the Corpstream Media’s revenues for a day, while we instead listened to music we already own, read, or talked with family and friends. If that one day isn’t enough, it could be increased to two, four, or more days.
It’s about time we organized our resistance and fought back in ways that truly make them listen.
see also this Facebook event:
Middle Class Spending and Work Stoppage – Sunday, April 3 at 12:00am – April 9 at 11:30pm