Ralph Nader: Congress Should Enact a Speculation Tax to Narrow the Federal Deficit

Ralph Nader explains in this op-ed that Congress should impose a small tax on trades of stocks and other financial products, such as derivatives. The tax would never exceed 1/2 of 1 percent of the value of the traded product, with the hardest hit on short-term investments. Here's an excerpt:

In the debate over the “fiscal cliff,”
President Obama and congressional Republicans have returned to the
proposals that they were sparring over before the election. They remain
at odds over key elements of revenue and spending. Yet both sides are
unwilling to consider a minuscule tax on financial transactions that
could be a major source of income. A financial transaction tax would apply to purchases and sales
of derivatives, options and stocks. The tax would be small, half a penny
or less on each dollar of the transaction value, depending on the
product. This idea is often called a “speculation tax,” because it would
hit hardest at frothy high-volume trading as opposed to sober long-term

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