June 14, 2023

Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Senator Bernie Sanders Introduce Tax on Wall Street Speculation Act of 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) and Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) today introduced the Tax on Wall Street Speculation Act of 2023 to reform the United States’ inequitable taxation system and ensure the wealthy pay their fair share to the American people.

Since the 2008 recession, 45% of all new income has gone to the top one percent who disproportionately hold their wealth in stocks, bonds, and derivatives on Wall Street.The Tax on Wall Street Speculation Act would enact a financial transaction tax (FTT) of 0.5% on the trading of equities, 0.1% tax on the trading of bonds and 0.005% on the trading of derivatives and other financial instruments. Economic analysis on this proposal has estimated that it would raise $220 billion per year or well over $2 trillion over 10 years.

“Since 1985, Wall Street bonuses have surged by 1,165 percent, even as wages have stagnated for most Americans. It is past time for Wall Street to pay society back for the incredible damage it did in 2008—and continues to do—to the middle class of this country,” said CongresswomanLee.“This financial transaction tax is a critical step towards making the wealthy pay their fair share and building a financial system that works for everyone, not just the 1 percent. I urge my colleagues to think of the working people of this nation and support our legislation to bring greater equity and balance to our taxation system.”

“Let us never forget: Back in 2008, middle class taxpayers bailed out Wall Street speculators whose greed, recklessness and illegal behavior caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, life savings, and ability to send their kids to college,” said Senator Sanders. “Now that giant financial institutions are back to making record-breaking profits while millions of Americans struggle to pay rent and feed their families, it is Wall Street's turn to rebuild the middle class by paying a modest financial transactions tax. The Tax on Wall Street Speculation Act will help curb the excessive greed of Wall Street, crack down on their most egregious speculation, and provide more than enough revenue to make public colleges and universities tuition free for working families.”

This tax would fall primarily on wealthy high frequency traders who make up 50-60 percent of all U.S. market trading.For ordinary investors, this tax would amount to less than typical pension management fees and would not harm middle-income savers who invest through pensions or mutual funds.

To read the full text of the bill, click here.