"Serious as a Heart Attack": RoseAnn DeMoro Explains How to Raise $350 Billion from Financial Transaction Tax
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And say, "There is an option. We can all get together. We can fight for a financial transaction tax, this tax."
BILL MOYERS: We used to have a financial transaction tax in this country. From 1914 to 1966. Then, in 1987, at the time of another Wall Street crash, the first President Bush and Senator Bob Dole, a Republican, and several other Republicans called for restoring it. Didn't happen.
ROSEANN DEMORO: No, and there's even a financial transaction tax in the S.E.C. right now-- a small one. There's one in New York City, as well. I mean, so financial transaction tax, you know, has been here.
BILL MOYERS: There are many critics of the financial transaction tax. And they say, among other things, that the banks will simply pass the cost onto the consumer. They say that the banks -- if they have fewer trades, will let people go. There'll be unemployment on Wall Street. They say that the banks will flee, they'll go abroad, they'll go somewhere else with their business, as happened once when Sweden had a financial transaction tax, and lost a lot of trading activity. They say you're killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
ROSEANN DEMORO: Well, I'm waiting to see the golden egg. The truth of the matter is you can fix the fleeing with regulation and with policy. That's an easy fix.
In terms of jobs, there's very few jobs actually that the financial sector hits-- it's a computerized industry. Nanosecond trading, and it's very concentrated. And that's part of their beauty, part of their scheme, right? It's basically they've created an economy onto themselves without people.
And the problem is their lobbyists and the incredible amount of money they have buy and sell our legislature. They've got enormous amounts of money. But we can win this, because we have the people with us.
BILL MOYERS: So is the campaign for financial transaction tax largely leverage you're seeking, just a means of getting the attention of the powers that be? Or are you serious about getting this $350 billion dollars from a 50 cent tax on every $100 dollars of transacting?
ROSEANN DEMORO: We're as serious as a heart attack. Can I tell you that?
BILL MOYERS: You can tell me that.
ROSEANN DEMORO: If you're going to fund social services-- we assume we need about, what $500 billion to kind of jumpstart a jobs program. There aren't real jobs left in America. We need real jobs. And we need health care. I mean, all of the things that we should have a society.
BILL MOYERS: But here's what you're up against. First of all, they're not going to take you seriously, because you are nurses. What do nurses know about Wall Street? Secondly, they're going to say that, you know, the banks will find a way to circumvent this tax, pass it on to the consumers.
ROSEANN DEMORO: Isn't that amazing? Isn't it amazing how bad our thinking is in this country? That people who have billions of dollars, who could make a million dollars an hour, which is, you know, Wall Street. That they shouldn't have to pay 50 cents on $100 dollars of trade? I mean, that's just-- it shows how far we-- afield we've come from where we need to be as a society.
Because otherwise, what we're going to be is, you know, have this kind of industrial peasantry in this country. And I mean, that's where this could go if something doesn't change pretty dramatically. What I can't understand is why our legislators-- they know there's a problem.