Joint Event: Launch of Take on Wall Street Campaign
The 2016 presidential race both rekindled and re-revealed a sense of national outrage against the excesses of Wall Street and the rigging of the U.S. economy. In that context, AFR and a group of key allies decided to launch a campaign for a new wave of financial reform.
“We are in this fight because someone has to be willing to fight back,” Senator Elizabeth Warren told participants (by video) in the first of two large strategizing sessions that we convened. “And that someone — that’s us. So get ready to fight. We’re partners in this all the way.”
Proponents of reform have made real progress, but there is much more that needs to be done. Our partners – representatives of more than 40 labor unions, community organizing networks, advocacy groups, and others – are united behind the following policy changes as key next steps towards transforming the financial system so that it does a much better job of serving the real economy and the needs of the American people, while promoting shared prosperity and racial equity instead of ever-increasing inequality:
- Fair taxation of Wall Street billionaires, with the outrageous “carried interest” loophole as an early target of attack.
- Strong measures to deal with out-of-control executive compensation, including an end to the tax deductibility of the highest pay packages.
- A Wall Street speculation tax as a source of public investment and an alternative to cuts and austerity.
- Reducing the size, complexity and conflicts of the megabanks, with a major push for reinstitution of the Glass-Steagall boundary between commercial and investment banking as well as decisive steps to address the problem of financial institutions that are “too big to fail.”
- Progress on access to fair and sustainable banking services through postal banking and other public banking options, coupled with effective regulation to stop predatory practices.
The campaign will include state and local mobilization as well as federal policy work, and a communications focus on Wall Street wrongdoers and the harm they inflict on the rest of us.