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.