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Tax Wall Street to Death?

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Dec 14, 2009 5:54 pm

An irreverent Wall Street Blog
by Bill Singer<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

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Let's Tax Wall Street Out of Business?

Written: December 14, 2009

I recently wrote what I thought was a fairly straightforward blog urging the creation of a Fraud Fund and warning about the dangers of the populist cry to tax, tax, and tax.  From some of the mail that I got, it seems that my message wasn’t clear enough.  Read two thoughtful comments from BrokeAndBroker readers.  Learn about growing industry opposition to the transaction tax.

BILL SINGER: For example, how about we impose a tax upon banks that charge outrageous fees and credit card rates? How about we impose a bonus-tax of sorts upon all contributions to elected officials?  How about we cap the salaries paid to self-regulators and place a bonus tax upon their excess compensation?

Ultimately, it's time to adopt remedial measures that will punish those who pushed us to the brink AND will result in meaningful reform and relief.  The calls for blanket transaction or bonus taxes may be commendable on some levels and may even have merit -- but the easy part of this phase of things is to point an accusatory finger at the monster of Wall Street and to whip the villagers into arming themselves with pitchforks and flaming torches.  Unfortunately, while the villagers are burning down the castle and killing the monster, the politicians will be stealing into town, breaking into the bank vault, and looting every last cent.  

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Dec 15, 2009 2:49 am

Bill, I understand where you are coming from.  If they are going increase taxes transactions, put it in a trust fund (hopefully not like social security), only to be used by investers who were defrauded. 

Here's my problem.  It's punitive.  It's the politically easy thing to do right now.  Give an inch, take a mile.  Look at the UK taxing bonus' at 50%.  It doesn't seem to end.  Why have we allowed the government to punish people who work hard and make more money than average?  It's simply un-American in my opinion.
Dec 19, 2009 7:06 pm

If we look at the history of this great country, we would find other periods in which the populists revolted agianst the banks and the “evil” corporations. Of course, the politicians were there riding the wave. I think it is a cycle that societies move through, and I hope the tide will begin to shift in the other direction sooner rather than later.