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Nurses to Take Tax Push to Congressional Districts

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 1, 2011

More than 10,000 nurses from coast to coast are planning to attend demonstrations Thursday at the district offices of members of Congress in 21 states, urging them to support a tax on financial transactions.

The nurses, members of National Nurses United, want Congress to impose a 0.5% levy on financial transactions involving stocks, bonds, currency trading and derivatives. The nurses say the tax is already in place in more than 40 countries, and could raise up to $350 billion a year in the U.S. to rebuild the infrastructure.

"Congress is willing to bail out Wall Street because they get political contributions but they aren't willing to take care of Main Street. We are taking care of Main Street every single day so we felt it was our job to step up," NNU Co-president Deborah Burger, RN, told HealthLeaders Media.

"Nurses are doing this because they are sick and tired of seeing patients coming into the hospitals and community clinics who can't afford healthcare, who have lost their home and jobs, and who can't afford the drugs to take care of themselves and their families," Burger says.

"If they're asking everybody for shared sacrifice it is time for Wall Street to step up to the plate. We aren't asking for a lot. We are asking for a tiny transaction tax to rebuild Main Street."

In addition to the district rallies, the nurses are holding other events such as soup kitchens for the hungry, community forums, and street theater skits in Boston – where a town crier in will read a litany of complaints against Wall Street malfeasance – and in Chicago, San Francisco, and Orlando, and smaller cities, such as Corpus Christi, TX, Marquette, MI, and Dayton, OH.

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1 comments on "Nurses to Take Tax Push to Congressional Districts"


Carol (9/2/2011 at 9:44 AM)
Financial transaction taxes destroy jobs and retirement accounts. All forms of investments that did not remotely play a role in creating the crisis will be taxed. Debtors, defaulters and lenders are bailed out and investors, savers and the traders and exchanges that support them are scapegoated. The tax will cause competition to decrease and the bid-ask spread and broker fees to increase. Even if individuals are exempt from paying the actual tax, the reduced liquidity that the tax [INVALID]s will increase the cost of purchasing stock 8 times greater than the proposed tax rate. The increased spread, increased fees, etc., will cost 2 to 3 percent yield loss every year. Using a financial calculator, over a working lifetime, a person's retirement account will be reduced by a minimum of one half in a best case scenario. The Canadian government and The Independent Budget Office of New York City have conducted extensive research and find financial transaction taxes to cause net negative revenue, and substantial economic and job losses. A real world example would be Sweden's experiment with a short-lived, broad-based and comprehensive transaction tax. Government bonds for example had a rate of only 0.03 percent. Trading of bonds fell 85 percent the first week, bond futures trading [INVALID]ped 98 percent, bond options stopped trading entirely. The government could not sell bonds to raise revenue. Businesses could not raise capital to expand and [INVALID] jobs. Total net revenue from the transaction tax was negative after subtracting loss of revenue in other areas of the economy and job losses that the transaction tax [INVALID]d. "Burger says the NNU does not want the tax applied to transactions such as home mortgages, loans..." Those in part are what caused the financial crisis. Instead, all forms of investments that did not remotely play a role in creating the crisis will be taxed. Debtors, defaulters and lenders are bailed out and investors, savers and the traders and exchanges that support them are scapegoated. The tax will cause competition to decrease and the bid-ask spread and broker fees to increase. Even if individuals are exempt from paying the actual tax, the reduced liquidity that the tax [INVALID]s will increase the cost of purchasing stock 8 times greater than the proposed tax rate. The increased spread, increased fees, etc., will cost more than 2 percent yield loss every year. Using a financial calculator, over a working lifetime, a person's retirement account will be reduced by one half in a best case scenario. Sounds like a savings and retirement account raid. The International Monetary Fund, the Canadian government, The Independent Budget Office of New York City, the Swedish government, etc., have conducted extensive research and conclude that financial transaction taxes hit savers, investors and retirees severely. Competitive trading would stop and increase the bid-ask spread that we the people pay on stock purchases or indirectly through mutual funds. That alone would reduce the yield by around 2 percent per year, costing several times more than even the tax itself. Then add increased broker fees as many will go out of business. Over a working lifetime, our potential retirement yields will be reduced by one half, at least. And stop with the outright lies. This tax, according to the studies mentioned above will not raise billions of dollars. The studies conclude and Sweden proved that transaction taxes are net revenue negative as much financial and investing activity stops and the economic and job losses increase. FTT and its true purpose: let's let Hitler's 1922 Munich speech speak for the proponents: "Capitalism as a whole will now be destroyed, the whole people will now be free. We are not fighting Jewish or Christian capitalism, we are fighting every capitalism: we are making the people completely free." IMF states in the Final Report For The G-20, June 2010 about the financial transaction tax, "Its real burden may fall largely on final consumers rather than, as often seems to be supposed, earnings in the financial sector...A tax levied on transactions at one stage 'cascades' into prices at all further stages of production." [INVALID][INVALID][INVALID][INVALID][INVALID][INVALID][INVALID]