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Taxing Wall Street Raises Revenue While Reducing Speculation

Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) was joined by Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to introduce the Wall Street Tax Act of 2021. Susan Harley, managing director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, released the following statement:

“It is galling to see Wall Street rake in huge gains while many Americans are struggling just to make ends meet. At the same time, the meme investment craze has put a spotlight on the casino-like nature of market speculation. Taxing Wall Street trades is a way to simultaneously tackle both these issues.

“A tiny tax on Wall Street trades would diminish high-frequency trading which harms investors and exacerbates volatility in our markets. And, during periods of crazed speculation—like we’ve seen in recent months—the American government can generate revenues much like a tax on traditional gambling.

“The revenues would be significant. A 0.1% (ten cents per $100 traded) tax on financial transactions would—one dime at a time—grow $752 billion over the next decade to reinvest in communities across the country. And, the tax would be paid by the wealthy, who can easily afford to chip in more of their fair share.

“Public Citizen looks forward to working with the Senate to ensure a Wall Street tax is discussed as part of any upcoming reconciliation packages.”