Robin Hood Tax: PDA Tucson urges Barber to find his progressive side



by Pamela Powers Hannley

Each month, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) members across the country visit  their Congressional representatives and urge them to back progressive legislation. PDA Tucson visited Congressman Ron Barber's office today– the third time since he was elected.

One of the most important steps that Barber could take to help Arizona's economy and the country's would be to co-sponsor the so-called "Robin Hood Tax", which has now been introduced into the Congress as the Inclusive Prosperity Act (HR 6411) by Congressman Keith Ellison, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus (pictured above with Karen Higgins, vice president of National Nurses United). The Robin Hood Tax is a financial transaction tax on Wall Street. 

From National Nurses United:

New York – The U.S. Robin Hood Tax Campaign today applauded the introduction in Congress of a bill that would impose a tax on Wall Street speculation.  Introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison, HR 6411, the Inclusive Prosperity Act,  would raise up to $350 billion in annual revenues that would be used to breathe new life into Main Street communities across America, as well as international health, sustainable prosperity and environmental programs.   
The legislation embodies the Robin Hood Tax, a 0.5% tax on the trading of stocks, 50 cents on every $100 of trades, and lesser rates on trading in bonds, derivatives and currencies.  It marks the return of a sales tax on financial transactions in place from 1914 to 1966 and targets the high-risk, high-speed trading that dominates the markets. 

The letter PDA Tucson delivered to Barber today is after the jump. If you think Barber should co-sponsor the Robin Hood Tax, contact him by following this link

To: Congressman Ron Barber
From: Constituents of Az CD-8
Re: Important Legislation for Az CD –8

Dear Congressman Barber,

We are leaders in our community, and your actions on these issues will determine whether or not we support your reelection. We are working in a broad, national coalition called the Brown Bag Vigil campaign, organized by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and its partners. We've met at congressional offices nationwide each month since January 2010.

House members should cosponsor, Senators should sponsor companion legislation:

Financial speculation excesses crashed our economy. We urge you to cosponsor Rep. Keith Ellison's "Inclusive Prosperity Act" (HR 6411) to enact small tax on speculation aka a Robin Hood Tax which would increase revenues, limit speculation, help preserve the social safety net, make our tax structure much fairer, empower the middle class and kick start our economy.

Our economy is not creating jobs in the quantity or quality needed. We desperately need leadership from the Federal Government to create jobs, and to train Americans. We urge you to support HR 870 / 4277 – Rep. Conyers “21st Century Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act” and H.R. 2914 – Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s “Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act.” Osama bin Laden is dead.

Our mission in Afghanistan is over, and we can't afford a war with Iran.We urge you to Join the Out of Afghanistan Caucus, cosponsor and support HR 780, Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill to fund the safe and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan; and HR 4173, Rep. Lee’s "Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War Through Diplomacy Act."

Healthcare is a human right. We urge you to cosponsor and support legislation to guarantee healthcare for all: HR 676, Rep. John Conyers’s bill to establish an improved and expanded Medicare for All program; and HR 1200, Rep. Jim McDermott’s American Health Security Act of 2011. Please provide us with the name and contact information of your staffer(s) responsible for the above issues.

Thank you for your time and attention.

PDA Tucson


  1. Every single person in the US is overtaxed. The problem isn’t too little taxing, the problem is too much government spending. If Warren Buffett and Paul Volcker support such a tax I can only imagine the reason they do so is because they both realize what a fairy dream tax it is. The negative side effects, unintended consequences and perverse incentives of such a tax are far too easy to contemplate.

  2. But most of those engaging in financial transactions (especially the computer-driven stuff that caused the flash crash and other market turmoil) are currently undertaxed. Various people in the financial world — Warren Buffett, Paul Volcker — support such a tax.

  3. The Robin Hood Tax is appropriate, fair, and badly needed. Thanks PDA for advocating much needed measures. Smart people doing good things.

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