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Ramping Up the Call to Slow Down Trades

Public Citizen members and supporters like YOU are making a real difference in helping grow the momentum around the call for a tax on Wall Street transactions.

Last month, we joined in the Million Strong petition push as part of a worldwide action to make sure the eleven European nations that are negotiating a collaborative financial transaction tax stay strong and come out with a good proposal.

Here in the states, the campaign to achieve a tax on Wall Street trades captured an important win when the media last week began asking candidates if they will stand with Main Street or Wall Street when it comes to tamping down high-speed trading and market speculation by instituting a tiny fee on stock, bond, and derivative trades.

And, just last week, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) got a ton of much-deserved press for his proposal to fund free public college tuition by instituting a Wall Street speculation fee. At the same time, Sen. Sanders also introduced a Senate companion bill to U.S. Rep. Ellison’s Inclusive Prosperity Act, the first time the bill has been offered in that chamber. It’s clear that Sen. Sanders’ proposal will do a lot to push the public debate leading up to the 2016 elections toward looking at solutions like a Wall Street tax.

In addition to creating hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, a tiny tax on trades on financial products could make a huge difference in taming Wall Street’s volatility. That’s why we’ll keep pushing lawmakers to talk about a Wall Street tax when they’re discussing solutions to huge swings in the market like the 2010 Flash Crash, the fifth anniversary of which we marked earlier this month.

But, don’t take my word for it.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has a new video explaining why a tax on Wall Street trades along with other policies like breaking up the big banks will help tame Wall Street. And noted economist Joseph Stiglitz recently released “Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity,” a report that included a recommendation to institute a Wall Street tax.

All of this attention on the issue is great, but we can’t slow down now. We’ll need your help in keeping up the pressure to make sure we are successful in achieving a small tax on Wall Street trades.

When it comes to slowing down Wall Street, it’s full steam ahead!

Susan Harley is the Deputy Director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division