Presumably, the reason government is about to shut down is because Republicans in Congress have had enough of Washington’s “crazy spending” on things like health care. Editor’s note: kinda funny how such arguments never rose when it came to Iraq and that alleged mustard gas on a turkey farm. Also, [cough] kinda funny what Congress is really arguing over —
Abortion. Environmental protection. Health care. Nothing to do with jobs or the economy; instead, all the hoary greatest hits of the Republican Party, only this time it has the power to wreak national havoc . . .
Debating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement of the Clean Air Act or whether to fund Planned Parenthood — which uses a lot of its federal dollars to provide poor women with contraceptives and cancer screenings — is the definition of insanity in light of the many commonsense measures Congress could be debating now. We are talking about commonsense measures with broad electoral appeal that, if passed into law, could actually help put our economy back on track while protecting the interests of the average American taxpayer.
For example, in addition to eliminating outlandish tax breaks for big oil, the White House and Congress should embrace a financial speculation tax, which would help curb excessive speculation and raise billions of dollars for critical needs. A financial speculation tax, also known as a financial transactions tax, is a very small levy on financial short-term transactions. As Public Citizen’s President Robert Weissman put it,
It makes sense to tax what we don’t like. A speculation tax promises to slow the dangerous churning on Wall Street, pare down an oversized financial sector and raise $100 billion annually in a very progressive fashion. That’s a winning formula . . .
Public Citizen joined a diverse coalition in pushing for such a tax this time last year, and the fact there has been no significant movement to swiftly enact it is proof that the most disconcerting shutdown in Washington these days is of a cognitive nature.