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Letter to Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio Supporting their Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act

November 02, 2011

Dear Senator Harkin and Representative DeFazio:

On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we would like to express our support for the Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act.  We thank you for your leadership on this legislation and your efforts to ensure that all pay their fair share toward economic recovery. 

Three years after the financial meltdown and a taxpayer bailout, Wall Street is booming with record profits and bonuses.  At the same time Main Street is still suffering as families continue to struggle to find work and feed their children.  It is fair and practical to ask Wall Street to do more to aid economic recovery.

The single largest contributing factor to the current deficit is the tax cuts enacted under the last administration and renewed in 2010.  It cost our nation $700 billion to extend the tax cuts for single filers earning over $200,000 a year and joint filers earning over $250,000.  CBO numbers show that by the end of this decade well over half of the deficit will have resulted from these tax cuts, and this share will continue to grow after that.  Yet, some policy makers want to balance the budget on the backs of working families, children, and seniors.  We simply cannot demand more from those barely scraping by while continuing to give Wall Street a free pass. 

Congress must find innovative revenue raisers that reduce our deficits, keep the federal government running, and ensure a progressive federal tax base.  We believe the Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act offers such a proposal.  By assessing a tiny 0.03 percent tax on trading of stocks, bonds, futures, options, swaps, and credit default swaps, your bill would raise significant revenue, while simultaneously discouraging reckless short-term speculative trading that can threaten financial stability.

We believe the Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act offers a common-sense, financially sound proposal to raising revenues while discouraging risky trading that has created unstable, volatile markets.  We thank you for your leadership on this important issue and look forward to working with you to ensure a fair, balanced approach to deficit reduction. 


Kim Anderson        
Director, Center for Advocacy

Mary Kusler
Manager of Federal Advocacy