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Rallies were held in Washington, D.C., and across the globe in support of financial transaction taxes, also called Robin Hood taxes. These taxes work as follows:
The Robin Hood (financial speculation) tax is a tiny pinch that would be felt primarily by high-volume, high-speed traders who deal in stocks, bonds, foreign currency bets, derivatives and other Wall Street financial products.
With a tax of only a fraction of a penny, we could raise billions to create jobs, lay the groundwork for long-term economic prosperity and help reduce the national debt. The Robin Hood tax also would discourage risky Wall Street speculation and encourage longer-term investments that would strengthen rather than endanger the economy.
These taxes have received broad support:
Economists, political leaders, religious leaders, business people and civil society groups around the world all support a financial speculation tax. Prominent supporters include Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, Warren Buffett, George Soros and the Catholic Church.
Bill Gates also supported the tax at the G-20 summit in Paris. In the U.S., "Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced the Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act that would assess a financial speculation tax of .03 percent." Over at Daily Kos, Laura Clawson says the tax is good policy, but the 'Robin Hood tax' name is a bad idea.
Those who support the U.S. version, introduced last week in Congress, can take action to help pass the bill.