|The only way that the Green Party can regain ballot status in NY is to get 50,000 votes for their Governor candidate in 2010. This opportunity comes only once every four years, and it only applies to the Governor’s race. Gaining ballot status will enable the Green Party to run more peace candidates, more single-payer candidates, more anti-fracking candidates, and more sustainable energy candidates. The last time that the Green Party of New York State had ballot status it set the record for running the most Green candidates of any state.|
Consumer advocate and former Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader will appear in Buffalo on Tuesday August 3, 2010 to support the efforts by Green Party of New York State governor candidate Howie Hawkins to stop New York State from rebating $16 billion annually to Wall Street speculators.
Hawkins and Nader will speak on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 7pm at Dnipro
Ukrainian Cultural Center, 562 Genesee St. Buffalo, NY. The talk is entitled “Ways to Mobilize the People for Long Overdue Changes, No More of Our
Money for War and Wall Street.”
Hawkins launched his campaign for Governor under the theme of “Tax Wall
Street to Bail out Main Street,” proposing that the $9 billion state budget
deficit be resolved by making the rich and powerful pay their fair share of
taxes rather than slashing funding for education, human services, anti-hunger and housing programs.
Hawkins major revenue proposal is to have the state stop rebating the $16 billion raised annually from the stock transfer tax back to Wall Street traders. He is also proposing a hefty tax on bankers bonuses and a hike in the personal income tax for millionaires. His main opponent, Andy Cuomo, has opposed any increased taxes on the wealthy and the big Wall Street financial institutions.
“The greed of Wall Street speculators is behind the recent economic crisis, including the housing crisis and the massive decline in retirement funds.
Yet those who have caused the current economic crisis were the ones that
benefited from the trillions in bailouts from Congress. The ongoing Wall
Street bailout is the greatest transfer of wealth in world history. NY
lawmakers should not repeat this outrage. Instead of cutting funding from
essential services, the Governor and state leaders need to hold Wall Street
financiers accountable for the damage they have inflicted upon New York residents and the State Budget,” stated Hawkins.
New York State presently collects a very small tax on each stock transfer.
The tax is negligible for individuals who are making a long term investment in the Stock Market and the economy. It primarily impacts those who buy
and sell stocks frequently, such as those who utilize computer trading
programs that have greatly contributed to the increasingly common wild swings in stock market prices. However, New York rebates the tax to Wall Street traders after it is collected. It did not repeal the tax outright because its proceeds were part of the state revenue stream that guaranteed repayments of the bonds used to bail out New York City went it was bankrupt.
Ralph Nader has been pushing for a similar tax nationwide.
According the University of Massachusetts economist, Robert Pollin,
various kinds of securities-trading taxes are on the books in about forty
countries, including Japan, the UK and Brazil. Pollin writes: “A small tax on all financial-market transactions, comparable to a sales tax, would raise the
costs on short-term speculative trading while having negligible effect on
people who trade infrequently. It would thus discourage speculation and
channel funds toward productive investment.”
After the 1987 stock market crash, securities-trading taxes “or similar
measures” were endorsed by then Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole and even the first President Bush. Professor Pollin estimates that a one-half of one
percent tax would raise about $350 billion a year. That seems conservative.
Economist Dean Baker says a “modest financial transactions tax would be
enough to finance a 10% across-the-board reduction in the income tax on labor.”
The stock transaction tax goes back a long way. A version helped fund the
Civil War and the imperial Spanish-American War.
Labor unions and human service groups working the Better Choice Budget
Campaign have agreed to support a partial halt to the rebate, urging the state
to keep 20% – or $3.2 billion – to help close the budget deficit.
The stock transfer tax has been blocked however by Assembly Speaker
Sheldon Silver, who protects Wall Street since the Stock Exchange is located in his district. In March of this year, Governor Paterson argued that New York state should not reimpose a stock transfer tax as this would make Wall
Street firms move to other cities such as New Jersey’s Newark, or other states
like Connecticut – a threat Wall Street has made for decades. Paterson
acknowledged however that Wall Street’s decision to pay more of its bonuses in stock instead of cash had cost the state half a billion dollars of tax revenue this year, and will deprive it of the same amount next year.
“The Democrats and Republicans joined forces to bail out Wall Street and
the biggest banks last year with trillions of dollars when their years of risky speculation and outright fraud caught up with them. But we are facing the deepest recession since the Great Depression. With more than 800,000 New
Yorkers out of work, how come our state lawmakers are so unwilling to make
Wall Street bail out Main Street and Martin Luther King Blvd., especially
with the financial oligarchy reporting record profits and $150 billion in
bonuses for a few thousand financiers?” asked Hawkins, a Teamster who unloads trucks at UPS in Syracuse.