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An Open Letter to Obama: If You Want Money for the Climate, Tax Wall Street


An Open Letter to Obama: If You Want Money for the Climate, Tax Wall Street

Janet Redman

When John Hurley, the U.S. Treasury Department’s director of international debt and development, said in April that the U.S. wouldn’t support taxation as a way to raise money to help communities working to claw their way out of poverty and cope with climate change, he raised the hackles of anti-poverty and climate justice advocates.


Well, here’s the story of an FTT, or STT as it is called, in NYS …

Over a 100 years ago a small sales tax on stocks was initiated - it didn’t amount to a whole lot before the stock market took off, especially with the advent of high frequency trading (HFT). Sometime in the '70’s the money it raised was put in a fund to help NYC out of bankruptcy, when the City emerged from the threat, around '81 the money was put in a fund that, get this, and this is no lie, is used to almost immediately REBATE it to the brokers and traders who pay it - in the last 10 years this tax has produced over $10 billion (with a “b”) per year in revenue - all eligible for rebate. This at a time when our Gov/Leg are crying poverty and for budget cutting … and at a time when there is a proposal for a NYSP healthcare program to be funded, in part, out of increased payroll taxes … when the STT funds were proposed as a possible funding mechanism for the plan at a public hearing on it last fall - the body language and facial expression of the Assembly plan’s sponsor were unmistakeable …

The GP raised the issue of the STT tax in the '10 Gov. race - but of course D/Rs wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole … and since then it seems to have been relegated to the basement by just about everybody …

I think this is a terrific story - but one which nobody seems terribly interested in …


Great idea, but as everyone here has already pointed out the $$ Party won’t have anything to do with it. Instead, they’ll allow these same criminals to destroy the Planet for short term gain for as long as they can all get alway with it. The Political tax ( AKA campaign contributions) levied by both parties keeps the deal going and no way will the old boyz and gals club in DC mess with the pot of honey ( $$$) Wall st. sends over daily to keep the deal in effect. As for the rest of us and the Planet, the attitude in DC and NY is a simple


If you want to fix climate change…get the “f” rid of Wall Street… geeeeeeezzzzzz


OOohohh, I’m interested… very interested…I just copied it… I 'll try to copy it and spread out about as many as I can…to unsuspecting… strangers…


Dumb and dumber! How in the hell can Obama tax Wall Street when he is nothing but a sycophant for Wall Street?

You might rephrase the headline to: Obama, if you want money for the climate…tax the people that own you!


Obama has exactly what he wants for climate change. His own Madison Avenue designer hot air, and the dutiful compliance of registered democrats and party followers actually believing that hot air has any connection with any reality in the knowable world. As long as he keeps the D party’s channel surfers happy, Obama is happy. He has gotten even better at it than has Bill, the economy destroyer. Obama not only keeps the economy humming along on behalf of the .001% at the expense of the 99.999%, he does it with less effort, while further destroying the economy’s capacity to recover anything lost to that .001% over the last seven decades. There has not been a more anti-democratic president since Andrew Jackson, the rabidly racist, genocidal Indian-hater.


Here’s the fundamental problem with the idea of taxing Wall Street (or anyone else) to provide revenues for federal programs, one about which our elected officials are either ignorant or they’re just being deceitful: Taxes per se do not fund federal expenditures and haven’t since we left the gold standard. The purpose of taxes is to manage aggregate demand. With an "…inconvertible currency, a sovereign national government is finally free of money worries and need no longer levy taxes for the purpose of providing itself with revenue… "
– Beardsley Ruml, Taxes For Revenue Are Obsolete, 1946

Bernie Sanders’ chief economic advisor Stephanie Kelton:
“There are good reasons to advocate for higher taxes on those at the top, but not to fall prey to this false idea that the way to cure the economy is to balance the budget.”
(from youtube video “Mistakes Progressives Make In Framing The Economic Debate”)