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Taxing speculators — an idea whose time has come

How can the federal government generate a lot of money for such things as health care and jobs, while not harming the middle class or the poor?

Through a speculation tax, that’s how. It’s a tax on trades of stocks, derivatives and other financial instruments – the things the wealthiest Americans trade the most. Just a quarter-percent tax on these things could raise $100 billion a year. That’s not chump change.

Public Citizen’s president, Robert Weissman, explains the benefits in a piece that ran today in The Hill.

It is, he says, one of the big ideas of the coming year.