A Tax Day Protest We Can All Get Behind

If you, like me, are scrambling to complete your taxes, and feeling a bit disgruntled about being taxed more than the big boys on Wall Street, Jobs with Justice has a great plan on how to work out your angst.

Jobs with Justice, the feisty union representing workers in 25 states, is calling for a Tax Wall Street Day of Action on April 15th.

”Big banks helped plunge the nation into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. They lobbied for deregulation and corporate tax breaks, then went on a reckless gambling spree, creating complicated, risky mechanisms to make profits off of destabilizing the economy. They have tightened lending for consumers and small business, and they have refused to modify home mortgages. Millions of Americans have lost their homes, their jobs and their retirement savings,” says a Jobs with Justice flyer.

Indeed, Americans have lost $14 trillion in wages, savings and housing wealth since the start of the financial crisis. According to our Wall Street Bailout Table, we are still $2 trillion in the hole for the bailout, and read with astonishment that the bailout enabled Wall Street to pay out $140 billion in bonuses in 2009 to top executives. With tax lawyers and accountants up the wazoo, big bankers know how to dodge taxes on their earnings and bonuses leaving middle class Americans holding the bag.

The solution? It’s time to take it back.

Jobs with Justice, SEIU, AFL-CIO and the broad coalition Americans for Financial Reform are all calling for a teeny tiny Bankster tax, 0.20 percent, on the sale or purchase of a share of stock, bonds or derivatives would allow us to recoup our losses and put the money to work rebuilding America. The idea is supported by Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz as a way of dampening high-speed, high-stakes gambling on Wall Street and raising a steady stream of revenue. It was even touted at one time by President Obama’s chief economic adviser Larry Summers. A bill has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that uses the revenue to create jobs and reduce the deficit.

“Champagne, caviar, tell us where our good jobs are!”

You too can join the fun. Take action on April 15th at a local branch of a big (bailed out) national bank like Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo or Goldman Sachs. Get an easy-to-use action kit and learn more by visiting the Jobs with Justice site.

"Hey Wall Street, it's not fair, it's time for you to pay your share!"

Mary Bottari

Mary Bottari is a reporter for the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). She helped launch CMD's award-winning ALEC Exposed investigation and is a two-time recipient of the Sidney Prize for public interest journalism from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.


That actually makes sense when you think about it. Lou www.surfing-anonymity.br.tc

I'd like to propose a minor revised version of your last chant that we can sing to Wall Street. "Hey, Wall Street, its not fair, its time to pay for your fair share!" Chant it to the rhythm of "Oh, Ricky, your so fine, your so fine you blow my mind." This version flows off the tongue better.

What about those people like myself who struggle to get by - living paycheck to paycheck - who's company has a stock purchase program? I use these stocks just to try and catch up every 6 months and now they want to tax people like me to dip more into the little money I have? What happened to "if you make less than $200k, your taxes won't go up"? Did everyone forget about that already? How about adding a penalty tax to the businesses who gave out bonuses to executives if they received any money from the government? I didn't ask for these companies to be saved - they did and they are the ones who should be penalized.

Thanks for the comment. The legislation proposed by De Fazio and Harkin carefully exempts middle class investment vehicles, and is geared towards high speed, high volume transactions, not small investors who generally hold their stocks and bond for the long term. Yours Mary Bottari

This tax is yet more foolishness that will not have the desired impact. Blame the politicians for bailing out the bankers, and for liquoring them up with easy money and moral hazard. The bankers just took advantage of the system that Congress created. The best way to proceed from here on out is to not bail out any more companies, and remove all government guarantees backing their risky behavior. Let them risk their own asses, and leave us off the hook please.

Why don't they protest Congress for creating & bankrupting Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the real problems in the real estate crash?

Do you work on tax returns, other than your own? Can you substantiate that you pay more than "the big boys on Wall Street?"