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Taking a Meaningless Progressive Stand in Congress

By Dave Lindorff | This Can’t Be happening! | January 12, 2015

The Democrats are showing their true colors now that they have lost control of both houses of Congress.

Suddenly, with the assurance that they don’t have to worry about being taken seriously, the “party of the people” has come forward with a proposal to levy a 0.1% tax on short-term stock trades, particularly on high speed trading.

Don’t get me wrong. A stock-trade tax is a great, and long-overdue idea. In fact, such a tax, which could raise some $800 billion in revenue over a decade, should probably be bigger than just 0.1%, and targeted more directly at high speed trading. (Most experts agree high-speed trading has been undermining any semblance of a fair market for stocks and bonds by handing an outsized advantage to companies that have access to huge computers that can make enormous trades, front-running other investors by getting into and out of the market in microseconds, so why not levy a graduated trading tax that is progressively higher the shorter the time period an investment is held?)

The point is that this trading tax is something that progressives have been calling for now for years, if not longer, but while they were in a position to actually make it happen, Democrats in Congress were silent about it.

Now though, with Republicans, who are dead-set against a tax on stock trading, in control of Congress so that there is no chance of passage, the Democrats as a party are calling for it, with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) planning to introduce the measure this week as part of an ironically named “action plan” to combat income inequality which would also include a measure to cut $2000 in income taxes for families earning less than $200,000 a year, and to more nearly triple the child care credit.

If the Democrats had passed such measures back when they had the White House and both Houses of Congress, back in 2009 or 2010, they wouldn’t be looking at a Republican Congress today. If they’d proposed such measures last year, when they still at least controlled the Senate, they wouldn’t have lost the Senate last November.

But of course, if they had made these proposals when there was a chance of them becoming law, the Democrats in Congress would have lost all the fat campaign donations and other legal bribes that they receive from Wall Street banks, brokerages and hedgefunds.

January 13, 2015 - Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics |

1 Comment »

  1. Is this what the active participants of democracy have been reduced to in the cycle of exchange between the rulers — “watchers”. Clearly, this two party system of democracy has been rigged by the elites to represent the interests of the few and not the majority as was intended by the system. If the system is not functioning to deliver what it was established for, surely the time has come for an overhaul? We can no longer focus on elections which would simply maintain the status quo. The conversation must be to overhaul the system since voting is perfunctory and does not change the condition of the citizens. Our language needs to be more focused and clearer. What does it mean to get money out of politics? How is the electorate to interpret that phraseology? It must be an overhaul of the system even if that means a boycott of elections. To the black population, who have died for the right to vote, that is a sacrilegious — don’t vote? However, in these times, we cannot continue using the same methodology or strategy when it is not yielding the expected results. The no vote can be a revolutionary strategy in these times.

    Like

    Comment by ribeekah | January 14, 2015 | Reply


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