Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Robin Hood vs. Bling King of The Hill

Last week, when JPMorganChase CEO Jamie Dimon schmoozed with the Senate Banking Committee, he wore his magical Presidential Seal cufflinks to protect him from all government harm. The Bling King was back in Washington today to give a reprise of his fake apology. If you have a strong stomach, you can catch the theatrics here.

If not, you can always celebrate the 797th anniversary of the Magna Carta by signing a letter to Dimon, demanding that he share the wealth. Not that he will immediately cower with fear when he is compared to King John, not that he will lose any beauty sleep over the possibility that he might be forced to accomodate the hoi polloi. He's got a horde of Sheriffs of Nottingham protecting him, in the guise of the president, the Treasury Secretary, his SEC and Fed minions along with several hundred medieval Congress critters meekly grazing at his trough of campaign largesse. But engaging in quixotic exercises like an email to Jamie is better than nothing. If he breaks out in just one nervous bead of sweat when thousands of peasants wield their symbolic pitchforks at him, it will be worth it.

The Robin Hood tax on financial transactions is so popular that even Austerian Queen Angela Merkel of Germany likes the idea. Deposed French President Nicholas Sarkozy, another hardcore conservative, liked it too.
Simply put, the big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to generate hundreds of billions of dollars.That money could provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet. It could help save the social safety net in the US and around the world. And it will come from fairer taxation of the financial sector.
This small tax of less than ½ of 1% on Wall Street transactions can generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the US alone. That's enough to protect American schools, housing and hospitals.
Enough to get local governments back on their feet. Enough to pay for lifesaving AIDS medicines.
Enough to support people and communities around the world – and to deal with the new climate challenges our world is facing.
It's a small tax with a huge benefit.
It won't affect ordinary Americans, their personal savings, or every day consumer activity, such as use of ATMs or debit cards. It's easy to enforce and tough to evade.
Sounds like a no-brainer. So why don't we hear Candidate Obama yammering for the financial transaction tax?  Simply put, he doesn't like it because his Wall Street paymasters don't like it. Of course, he won't say so in so many words. His excuse, direct from the Republican playbook of conservative talking points, is that taxing Wall Street will damage "confidence."  He prefers to levy his bank fees upfront, he says, so as not to punish investors and traders. He is afraid that the ultra-sensitive bankers will take out their wrath on the rest of us. He is afraid that banks will increase fees to consumers. He is just.... afraid!

American nurses have been among the most vocal proponents for the Robin Hood tax, most recently having marched for it in Chicago during the NATO summit.  RoseAnn DeMoro of National Nurses United explains her group's goals in an interview with Bill Moyers here.

Letters to Jamie Dimon are fine, and we should sign them every day. But what we really need are arsenals of populist arrows (and hypodermics) aimed at the political class, every member of which survives courtesy of bankster bribery.

We need to keep yammering and hammering and leave them stammering. Let's reverse the trajectory of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

(Photo Courtesy of RootsAction)


4Runner said...

In addition to the Robin Hood tax, we need an excess profits tax--both corporate and individual. Fat chance of either!

4Runner said...

BTW, the last time it was brought up--years ago-- the Repubs called it "an excess tax on profits".

Denis Neville said...

“There is absolutely nothing to be said for government by a plutocracy, for government by men very powerful in certain lines and gifted with the ‘money touch,’ but with ideals which in their essence are merely those of so many glorified pawnbrokers.” - Theodore Roosevelt.

The Bling King – gifted with the “money touch” - is after all one of the smartest bankers in the USA. President Obama told us it was so.

If there was any doubt that the bankers control our government, the appalling, vomit-inducing spectacle of those toady Senators on the Banking Committee fawning over the Bling King confirmed it. As Jon Stewart said, “See, as bad as the banks and the bankers may have been, the one thing that the senators wanted to remind everyone is that government is worse.” Instead of a cross-examination, it was the coronation of the Bling King!

How can we have a third party when we don't even have a second party?

William Black’s smackdown of “the canonization of Dimon and his All-Star team,”

“Dimon did not take an industry leadership role in cleaning up even the most endemically fraudulent practices that he says he recognized in 2006 posed grave risks to the global economy.”


Financial transaction tax? LOL. They won’t tax them, because they'll never let themselves be taxed and financial transaction taxes do not steal from the poor. Financiopathic financier felons at work. The financiapocalypse continues unabated by our “glorified pawnbrokers.”

James F Traynor said...

And that's one of the reasons guys like Dimon are slavering to 'privatize' Social Security; just imagine all those untaxed transaction costs with a 2.7 trillion pot to invest. The trouble is they wouldn't be satisfied with that, they'd go for the goose. Like the scorpion, it's their nature. Cut 'defense' spending, tax transaction costs, and invest in infrastructure, high speed rail and education. But the average American, like the scorpion, is too damned bloody minded, ignorant and racist for that.