Time to ‘Make Wall Street Pay’
The big banks bankrupted the country, not the teachers and pensioner argued the group. They believe its Wall Street’s responsibility to pay for the damage and make amends. Jordan Estevao, the campaign director with the National People's Action said tax payers are being expected to cover the enormous costs, while major corporations and banks are receiving tax breaks and government bailouts while causing increased economic troubles as they profit and others suffer. “We’re not in the middle of a budget crisis, we’re not in a middle of a spending crisis – we’re in the middle of a revenue crisis. We’re spending less and less on programs that help the working class and poor people in America. We’re spending less and less on teacher salaries, les s and less on police and essential services,” he explained. “Meanwhile the banks have both the ability and the responsibility to make up the budget gap.”He argued Wall Street has a responsibility to the people to help those they have hurt. “The trickledown effect has clearly not worked so far and we have no reason to expect it to start working in the future,” Estevao commented. “What we are calling for is a few things; 1. Banks need to stop fighting reforms that would keep people in their homes and in turn stabilize the economy. Second we are calling on the government to pass a financial speculation tax.” A tax on financial speculation, argued Estevao, would generate $150 billion in revenue annual and discourage rampant speculation which causes economic crisis. Max Fraad Wolff, an economist at The New School in New York said the US has dwindled and reduced its corporate collections. The US has a high corporate rate, he explained, but the effectiveness of the rate is very low. “We have a tendency to under tax large corporations,” he said. “We have redistributed so much money upward, so our rich people and our largest companies take home so much of the money at the end of the day that if we don’t tax them we really don’t have enough money to run our basic government systems and services anymore.” Wolff explained the financial system has been aggressively propped-up by the government and has backed out of its fair share of paying taxes. “They aren’t contributing massively in any shape or way to the government’s basic revenue which puts us in an enormous deficit,” he added.The lack of tax revenue from major corporations hinders the ability of the government to provide services.