Leading Liberal Economist Endorses DeFazio’s Wall Street Transpo Tax

Few liberal-leaning economists have a higher profile in Washington than Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. His critiques of the Obama administration’s Wall Street bailout as a glorified taxpayer subsidy have made Baker a must-read — as is his latest column for the Guardian.

Its headline is "Banks own the US government," but Baker’s real thesis is transportation-related: Rep. Pete DeFazio’s (D-OR) proposed 0.02 percent tax on oil speculation is an affordable, sensible way to rein in Wall Street while paying our infrastructure bills.

I’ll let Baker’s words take us out for the holiday weekend. Enjoy the Fourth, everyone …

This tax can best be thought of as a tax on gambling.
Gambling is heavily taxed in every state that allows it. DeFazio’s [plan] is effectively a tax on gambling in the oil markets. It will not stop
it, but it would discourage it, and in the process raise a huge amount
of money that could go to productive purposes.

… [I]t is important that
people know about the DeFazio bill. First, DeFazio deserves a place on
the honour roll for standing up to Wall Street.

Also, it is
important for the public to know that there is a relatively low-cost
way to make up the shortfall in the highway trust fund. When Congress
raises some other tax and/or cuts a useful programme, people should
know that there was a better alternative. It just didn’t happen
because, as we know, the banks own the place.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Pelosi: Passing a Wall Street Transport Tax Would Require Overseas Buy-in

|
Any proposal to fund new U.S. infrastructure investment by taxing financial transactions — such as Rep. Pete DeFazio’s (D-OR) bill taxing Wall Street oil speculators — would require international participation to prevent the trades in question from migrating overseas, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said today. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Photo: MoniqueMonicat) As House Democrats […]

The Case for Taxing Oil Before It Reaches the Pump

|
In the weeks leading up to the impending insolvency of America’s transportation funding source, members of Congress have come up with some truly outlandish ideas just to avoid raising the gas tax. Not all of the gas tax substitutes are as crazy as reducing postal delivery, however. Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) has put forward an […]

House Democrat: We Don’t Have the Votes for Gas Tax Increase

|
Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), a member of the House transportation committee, took to some less-than-friendly airwaves yesterday to tout an innovative plan for funding the next federal transportation bill: imposing a small tax on Wall Street oil traders. In an interview with Fox Business Channel’s "Happy Hour" — conducted from what appears to be a […]

Senate Version of Wall Street Transportation Tax Coming Next Week

|
Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-OR) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) have officially unveiled their new bill taxing Wall Street transactions to pay for the next long-term transportation bill and other infrastructure needs, and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) is poised to introduce the legislation next week in the upper chamber of Congress. Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Bernie […]