AFR Calls Upon The President’s Deficit Commission to Consider Speculation Tax

DATE: November 30, 2010

CONTACT: John Carey at 202-466-1854 or


WASHINGTON, DC – Last Wednesday, Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), a coalition of over 250 national, state and local groups who have come together to advocate for reform of the financial services industry, sent a letter to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform urging them to consider taxing the financial sector as a way to reduce volatility and raise revenue.

“AFR members were struck by the fact that in the hundreds of proposed cuts and revenue raisers in the ‘Chairman’s Mark’ proposed by Deficit Commission co-chairs Bowles and Simpson, there was no mention of taxing the financial sector,” said Lisa Donner, Executive Director of AFR.

“AFR urges the Deficit Commission to examine the idea of placing a very small tax on high-volume, high-speed Wall Street trading. Such a tax would dampen reckless Wall Street gambling which serves no productive purpose and continues to threaten the stability of our financial system. It would help the deficit in the long term by making our economy safer, and it would raise $1 trillion over ten years that could be used to put Americans back to work and reducing the deficit,” she added.

“We believe putting America back to work, solving the mortgage and foreclosure crisis, and creating financial stability should be the top priorities of Congress right now – not cutting the deficit. But when deficit reduction measures are considered, it makes no sense for a speculation tax to be missing from the list,” said Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO.

“We can’t continue to force working people to pay the price for the risky decisions and failed policies that crashed our economy and plunged our nation further into debt,” said Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry. “If we are serious about reducing the deficit and rebuilding our economy, then we need to get serious about forcing Wall Street and the wealthy to pay their fair share. And we need to get serious about creating good jobs that support a family. A Wall Street speculation tax dedicated to job creation would inject new life into our economy and put Americans back to work.”