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Nurses to Take Tax Push to Congressional Districts

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 1, 2011

Burger says the NNU does not want the tax applied to transactions such as home mortgages, loans, initial public offerings, publicly traded short-term debt, or mutual fund or 401(k) accounts. "Basically it is geared toward the in-and-out, speculative transactions," she says.

The estimated $350 billion in revenues that a financial transactions tax would raise was taken from a study done by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Robert Pollin, an economist at PERI and an author of the study, says the $350 billion estimate -- while possible -- probably is overly optimistic. "I myself would not argue that you are going to raise $350 billion at this rate because we have to assume some reduction in trading volume," Pollin says. "Nobody really knows how much trading volume would go down with such a tax. In my opinion probably a better estimate would be in the range of $200 billion."

NNU cites estimates that the $2.4 trillion in government bailouts to financial and other institutions already spent would have funded 63 million jobs at the national median level of about $39,000 a year.  

Union organizers say the 61 members of Congress were targeted for the demonstrations both because of their high-profile on Capitol Hill, and because they lived in districts with high numbers of NNU members.

Burger says NNU elected to stage multiple rallies at legislators' home offices because they would be harder to ignore than a mass rally in Washington, DC. "Groups rally at the Capitol all the time and the get brushed under the rug and Congress is off the hook. But back in their communities, that is where they take notice," she says. "That's where their voters are."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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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]