The Most Important Economic Speech of His Presidency by Robert Reich
Obama gave a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas — where Teddy Roosevelt gave his “New Nationalism” speech in 1910. Roosevelt gave his speech at John Brown Memorial Park. I know Obama liked The Wire and his favorite character was Omar.
A similar show "Hell on Wheels" with many characters and plotlines is on AMC and stars Common.* I wonder if Obama's watching it - I doubt it but who knows?
On last week's episode John Brown was mentioned. One character is a preacher at the railroad camp. He used to ride with John Brown during Bloody Kansas. He tells the main character, a southerner bent on revenge against those who killed his wife, that in Kansas they used swords and axes on slave owners because they didn't deserve bullets, hence the "bloody" in "Bloody Kansas."
I wish the Obama administration wouldn't oppose a financial transactions tax.
The Robin Hood Tax.
Driven by populist anger at bankers as well as government needs for more revenue, the idea of a tax on trades of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments has attracted an array of influential champions, including the leaders of France and Germany, the billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and George Soros, former Vice President Al Gore, the consumer activist Ralph Nader, Pope Benedict XVI and the archbishop of Canterbury.
“We all agree that a financial transaction tax would be the right signal to show that we have understood that financial markets have to contribute their share to the recovery of economies,” the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, told her Parliament recently.
On Sunday, Mario Monti, the new prime minister of Italy, announced plans to impose a tax on certain financial transactions as part of a far-reaching plan to fix his country’s budgetary problems, and he endorsed the idea of a Europewide transactions tax.
So far, the broader debt crisis engulfing the euro zone nations has pushed discussion of the tax into the background. But if European leaders can agree on a plan that calms the financial markets, they would be in a stronger position to enact a levy, analysts said.
“There is some momentum behind this,” said Simon Tilford, chief economist of the Center for European Reform in London. “If they keep the show on the road, they probably will attempt to run with this.”
And Glenn Hubbard, who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush, said the Robin Hood tax is a “monstrously bad idea.”
“Such a tax isn’t really going to get at the banks,” added Mr. Hubbard, who is now an adviser to the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “It’s going to hit the people who own the assets that are traded,” like investors.
Supporters of a financial transactions tax note that Britain already imposes a levy of $50 per $10,000 of stocks traded, while Hong Kong and Singapore, with fast-growing financial markets, impose fees of $10 to $20 per $10,000 of the value of certain transactions.
The United States imposed a tiny tax on stock trades from 1914 to 1966.
The British actor Bill Nighy, who has made online videos promoting the tax, calls it a beautiful idea. “It would raise enough money to solve problems at home and overseas, and it could do it without hurting ordinary people,” he said.---------------------------------
*Common is from Chicago and belongs to Jeremy Wright's church. He sang at Obama's Inaugural Ball.