A variety of activist, labor and other groups, banded together under the Robin Hood Tax Campaign umbrella, sent “Robin Hood” to Washington Thursday to promote passage of a new sales tax on financial transactions which is in place in more than 40 other countries.
Robin Hood attempted to deliver his resume this morning to the Treasury Department to apply for the position of “Secretary of Treasury, United States of America.” The position is currently held by Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is leaving the post as President Obama’s second term begins. Blocked from submitting his resume, “Robin” spoke outside Treasury, where the Grinch was also present.
Robin then went to the White House where he was also stopped from submitting his resume and later he went to the Office of Personnel Management to pursue the process of applying for the top job at Treasury.
The stunt was to spotlight a proposed small sales tax on Wall Street speculative trading, 50 cents per $100 in stocks, lesser rates for bonds, derivatives and currencies, expected to raise up to $350 billion a year. The sales tax is embodied in The Inclusive Prosperity Act, HR-6411, sponsored by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and 16 co-sponsors. Ellison’s bill exempts individual incomes up to $50,000 per year, $75,000 per household; supporters say it will reduce high-speed trading, make markets more stable and help cut costs of food and fuel, tied to speculation.
HR-6411 revenue is to rebuild the communities for whom the harm of the 2008 financial collapse remains. The tax is to meet basic needs for infrastructure such as sanitation, provide jobs at living wages and retirement with dignity, clean the environment, fund quality schools and healthcare. The tax will also be used to fund international contributions to treat HIV/AIDS and for climate control efforts, supporters say.
In a letter to Obama, Robin Hood Tax Campaign supporters asked for his support. The letter says: “[W]e urge you to nominate a candidate for Secretary of Treasury who will (1) champion a financial transaction tax and (2) dedicate the revenue raised to fund public services that keep people and the planet healthy and whole, at home and around the world.”
More than 60 endorsers of the Robin Hood Tax Campaign signed the letter to the president. They include National Nurses United, Utilities Workers Union of America, Health GAP, Progressive Democrats of America, National Organization of Women, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Water Aid America, Public Citizen, National People’s Action Catholics United, Center for Community, Democracy and Ecology (CCDE). Communications Workers of America, Alliance for a Just Society, Main Street Alliance and Consumer Watchdog.