NEW YORK, June 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dozens of national organizations, celebrities including actor/director Mark Ruffalo, Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello and Coldplay's Chris Martin, renowned economists including Jeffrey Sachs, former Goldman Sachs executives and global leaders including Desmond Tutu joined today for an unprecedented coalition, calling for a "Robin Hood Tax" on Wall Street.
In New York, Founding Fathers and notable figures will start showing their support for the Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street at statues in major squares in Manhattan, donning them with Robin Hood hats and masks. Photos can be seen at www.facebook.com/RobinHoodTaxUsa.
In 15 cities across the country, including New York, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles, America's biggest nurses union, National Nurses United, along with students, climate and AIDS activists, and faith leaders, will visit branches of JP Morgan Chase Tuesday, coinciding with an appearance before Congress by JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, whose trading loss of more than $2 billion caused many to underscore the need for new regulation and taxation of the financial sector to prevent future incidents.
Today, actor Mark Ruffalo, star of the current movie "The Avengers," released a video calling on Americans to join the campaign. He was joined in the video by Coldplay's Chris Martin and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello. The video, which can be viewed on the new campaign website, www.robinhoodtax.org, features Ruffalo drawing a Robin Hood mask on a dollar bill and calling on others to do the same.
"The Robin Hood Tax campaign that launches in the US today offers us a solution to kick-start our economy, to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, to help those who have lost out as a result of the financial crisis they did nothing to cause - not just here in America, but around the world," said Ruffalo.
Economists estimate that we could generate hundreds of billions of dollars annually by placing a small tax on stocks, bonds, derivatives and currencies. Experts also suggest that such a policy would help limit the reckless short-term speculation that threatens financial stability. Over 1,000 leading economists have endorsed the policy, including Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs and Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute.
"Wall Street and the big banks are exploiting tax loopholes while generating record profits and being rewarded with billions in bailouts and bonuses. Most of the recovery thus far has benefited the top 1%, not the 99%," said Jean Ross, RN and co-president, National Nurses United. "The Robin Hood Tax is easy to enforce, tough to evade and won't touch the bank accounts, pensions or savings of the vast majority of the American people."
"The Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax with a big ambition – to get us back on our feet through nothing more complicated than asking Wall Street to pay their fair share," said Leigh Blake of Act V, an AIDS advocacy group.
"People with AIDS are rejecting austerity budgets. A Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street could literally end the AIDS pandemic," said Jennifer Flynn of Health GAP (Global Action Project). "We simply can't afford not to implement it."
"The Robin Hood Tax will not just begin to bring basic tax fairness to Wall Street, it will help curb the destructive gambling that drove the crisis and, as we see so clearly at JPMorgan Chase, continues to threaten our economic stability and security," said Liz Ryan Murray, Policy Director of National People's Action.
"There are huge, quick transactions that add to the churning and speculation in international markets that has helped to bring the world economy to the perilous state that it's in right now," said economist Jeffrey Sachs. "The time has really arrived to put a Robin Hood tax in place. Many countries around the world are doing so. It's time for the United States to do the same."
From 1914 until 1966, the United States enforced a Robin Hood tax that raised revenue from every sale or transfer of stock. Forty countries have employed this practice—and the policy is expected to be adopted in Europe this year.
SOURCE National Nurses United