There have been major happenings of late for the financial transaction tax. After many years (okay, let's face it -- decades) on the fringe, the idea of a small tax on Wall Street trading has moved solidly into the center of mainstream debate.
The threat made by the Grumpy Obstructionist Party (GOP) is simple: "Gimme what I want or I'll kill the government." Democrats refused to pay the ransom by defunding the Affordable Care Act, so the GOP defunded the federal government.
If UNITAID proved how the power of numbers could be used to raise more money to combat extreme poverty, then we need to take the next step. Why can't we take microscopic contributions from the activities that most profit from globalization?
To equitably reduce the deficit in a way that maintains good faith with the American people requires tax increases. Yes, new taxes are necessary. Especially those focused on the speculators who caused the crash.
Last year, UNITAID released a study that demonstrates exactly what a country would need to do to implement an FTT. The study found that the introduction of such a tax on a national basis should have no significant negative impact on national financial markets.
Slashing services, selling off public assets, and raising taxes won't cure these ills. To maintain a sustainable and productive economy requires a visionary leap into the new. A new economy needs new methods of public financing.
The Dark Age of Banking reaches its twelfth anniversary today, November 4. History will no doubt judge the Financial Modernization Act, repealing Glass-Steagall, as the beginning of the dark, modern banking era.
With the constellation of the occupy protests and the broad international movement for the FTT, the moment for achieving the tax, and the critical revenue it can provide to help revive struggling economies, has never been greater.