Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Pete DeFazio

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 stopit, but it would discourage it, and in the process raise a huge amountof money that could go to productive purposes.

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

Also, it isimportant for the public to know that there is a relatively low-costway to make up the shortfall in the highway trust fund. When Congressraises some other tax and/or cuts a useful programme, people shouldknow that there was a better alternative. It just didn't happenbecause, as we know, the banks own the place.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Wednesday’s Headlines Wonder What If?

If New York City doesn't go through with congestion pricing, history is unlikely to look kindly on the decision, according to a NY Times urban policy writer.

June 19, 2024

Three-Quarters of Black Motorists Are Struggling With the Cost of Car Ownership

Forcing everyone to rely on cars hurts millions of U.S. families financially — but for Black families, the burden is far worse.

June 19, 2024

National Green Groups Condemn Hochul’s Congestion Pricing ‘Pause’

Had New York engaged congestion pricing, the state would have "played a nation-leading role." Alas.

June 18, 2024

All Aboard for Tuesday’s Headlines

Amtrak is on pace to break 2019's record of 32 million riders. And The Guardian goes in-depth on plans for high-speed rail in the U.S.

June 18, 2024

The Real Reason Why Traffic Engineers Design So Many Deadly Roads

Hint: they aren't deliberately trying to get us killed.

June 18, 2024
See all posts