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Federal Budget Crisis Illustrates Need for New Revenue

Robin Hood Tax Campaign Press Release, 10/18/13

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Robin Hood Tax Advocates to Step Up Push on Congress to Act

D.C. Conference, March, and Visits to Congress October 29-30

Washington, D.C. – With the latest showdown over the government shutdown and debt limit finally over and the next budget fight beginning, a coalition of health care, community, faith-based, and labor activists will call on Congress members Wednesday, October 30 to shift the tone from austerity budget cuts to expanding revenues with a small tax on Wall Street speculation that can bring hundreds of billions of dollars into the budget to help rebuild our economy.

The Robin Hood Tax campaign, endorsed by more than 160 local and national organizations, will precede the lobby effort with an 8 a.m. march to the Capitol, and a 9 a.m. briefing for members of Congress and the media. Anni Podimata, political leader from Greece, vice president of the European Parliament, where 11 nations are implementing a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) to spur European economies, will be the featured speaker at the briefing.

Podimata, a prominent Greek politician and former journalist who is a leader in the push for a European FTT, is expected to be joined by Rep. Keith Ellison, author of HR 1579, a bill that would establish a similar small tax in the U.S., other Congress members, Wallace Turbeville, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, and campaign leaders.

On Tuesday, October 29, the Robin Hood Tax Campaign will host an action conference to project the next round of steps in what has been a broad based push for the speculation tax that could fund a real recovery for the many communities left out in the aftermath of the financial collapse of 2008. Guest speakers at the conference will include former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower and University of Massachusetts-Amherst economist Robert Pollin, the foremost U.S. expert on the FTT.

Schedule for media:

Tuesday, October 29. Conference, 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington DC

Wednesday, October 30. March for the Robin Hood Tax, 8 a.m., begins, Washington Court Hotel, proceeds up Constitutional Avenue to Longworth House Office Building. Briefing, 9 a.m. with European Parliament Vice President Anni Podimata and U.S. Congress members, Longworth Building Room 1539.

“It's far past time that we break this cycle and fund America. There is a simple solution: more revenue,” wrote George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action in a recent commentary. “If the government had more money we could break the crisis fever that is killing our economic recovery and devastating most those who can afford it least.”

“The good news is that both in the U.S. and overseas a movement is building for accountability and recovery for families by taxing Wall Street transactions,” Goehl wrote.

“With the latest Congressional super committee on budget deliberations about to meet in the aftermath of the brinkmanship over federal funding, a change in tone is needed in Washington,” said Karen Higgins, RN, co-president of National Nurses United. “We are calling on Congress and the White House to refocus on a human needs budget, not just an endless cycle of more austerity and more cuts. We need the Robin Hood tax.”

“The United States has recognized that we can end the AIDS pandemic. Yet if the constant focus is on budget cuts, we risk the AIDS crisis spiraling out of control. One way to avoid this catastrophe is to join all of the other major financial markets and implement a Robin Hood Tax. There is no reason not to do this," said Jennifer Flynn of Health GAP.

More information about the Robin Hood Tax is available at www.robinhoodtax.org

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