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Nurses Step Up the Call for a Global Financial Tax

The call for a financial transaction tax (FTT), sometimes called a “Robin Hood tax,” has inspired a global movement.

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Marchers paused to see a parade of three "bankers" carrying mock golden parachutes and a contingent of nurses spelled out a special message to the Treasury Secretary with individual letters: "HEAL AMERICA, TAX TIMMY'S FRIENDS." Notably, Wall Street firms, including banks and their trading arms, which are making massive fortunes, have actually reported "more profit in the first two-and-a-half years of the Obama administration than they did during the entire Bush administration ... with very little regard for Main Street," reported the Washington Post on November 6.

All the pressure has apparently had an effect on the Obama administration which, for the first time, several media outlets reported, was easing its opposition to an FTT, at least for Europe. Demands for a U.S. FTT continue to grow as well, propelled by a social movement that converges with the Occupy Wall Street actions swarming across the U.S. With the constellation of the occupy protests and the broad international movement, the moment for achieving a meaningful FTT, and the critical revenue it can provide to help revive struggling economies, has never been greater.

"Protests matter. Pressure matters," wrote John Nichols in The Nation, writing about the shifting sands in the White House, and the erupting support for an FTT, that includes not just NNU, but now extends to even billionaire Bill Gates and the Pope.

"The nurses aren't just making noise," Nichols wrote. "It looks like they're changing the debate, altering the policies of the most powerful players in Washington and perhaps the world.

Learn more about our campaign at here.

Rose Ann DeMoro is executive director of National Nurses United. Learn more about the NNU proposal for an alternative vision, a Main Street Contract for the American People .

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