TELL CONGRESS:

TAKE ON WALL STREET

Wall Street billionaires have rigged our economy and our democracy. Let's fix our financial system and make it work for ordinary Americans.

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PETITION TO CONGRESS:

The big banks are bigger than they were before the 2008 crisis, and CEOs and Wall Street money managers continue to benefit from obscene tax loopholes that cost us billions.

Stand up to Wall Street. To build a financial system that works for Main Street and working families, not just Wall Street billionaires, Congress should adopt the following agenda:

  • Close the carried interest loophole that lets billionaire Wall Street money managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or construction workers.
  • Create a Wall Street speculation tax that would discourage short-term bets and generate billions in new revenue to make college affordable, invest in our infrastructure, and create jobs in our cities.
  • End "Too Big to Fail" by breaking up the big banks – making them smaller, simpler, and safer.
  • Stop subsidizing million dollar CEO bonuses by ending the CEO pay tax loophole.
  • End predatory lending and also expand access to fair consumer banking services through "a public option" like postal banking.

We call on every member of Congress to co-sponsor and urge passage of this agenda.

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Why reform
Wall Street?

Because a handful of hedge fund managers make more money per year than all of the kindergarten teachers in America put together.

Because the five biggest banks are bigger now than they were before the financial collapse of 2008.

Because we pay sales taxes on everything we buy – from a gallon of gas to a bag of groceries – but Wall Street doesn't pay a single penny in transaction taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars of financial products they buy and sell every day.

Because the richest 1% has captured 90% of all income growth since the recovery began.

Because seven of the last nine Treasury Secretaries came from Wall Street banks – or went to work for one afterwards.

Because the financial industry spends nearly $1 million per day lobbying members of Congress.


Our Agenda

The financial system is broken. Here are the tools to fix it.

Close the "carried interest" loophole
Wealthy private equity and hedge fund managers take advantage of a special loophole to pay a lower tax rate than ordinary Americans. The billionaires who benefit spend millions on lobbyists and campaign donations to preserve this unfair loophole. Read more...

End Too Big to Fail and make banks smaller, simpler, and safer
The 2008 crisis was a painful reminder that our political and financial systems are dominated by a small number of mega-banks that are too powerful, too risky, and too complicated. Let’s break up the big banks and reinstate the firewall between consumer and investment banking that served our country well for over sixty years. Read more...

Make Wall Street pay its fair share through a Wall Street Speculation Tax
Some people say we can’t afford good schools, or safe bridges, or even a secure retirement system. But a tiny tax on the sale of Wall Street financial products would generate hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in our communities – and it would also discourage short-term speculation. We pay taxes when we buy everything from a gallon of gas to a bag of groceries. Why shouldn’t Wall Street traders pay a tax when they trade risky, complicated derivatives? Read more...

Stop subsidizing multi-million dollar CEO bonuses: End the CEO Bonus Loophole
Because of yet another loophole, corporations can deduct millions of dollars in CEO pay from their taxes as long as the pay is "performance based," like stock options and bonuses. This incentivizes risky behavior focused only on short-term results. What’s worse, it’s also a tax-payer funded corporate subsidy of over $5 billion per year for big CEO pay at a time when executives are already paid more than 300 times the average worker. Read more...

End predatory lending and increase access to fair banking services
Predatory lending robs our families and communities of billions of dollars a year, often hitting people of color, and those already living close to the brink the hardest. To stop it, let's strengthen consumer protections – as the Consumer Bureau has begun to do. We also need options to provide families with high quality, low-cost ways to bank. Postal banking helped do that for many years in the US, and it can do it again. Read more...


Who's with Us?

"We are in this fight because someone has to be willing to fight back. And that someone is us."

— Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Richard Trumka
"Wall Street has rewritten the rules of our economy so the wealthiest 1% almost always wins. We must come together to demand that our leaders take on Wall Street and stand up for the systemic changes that all working families deserve."

— Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
"Wall Street was bailed out and sadly went back to business as usual—while working men and women are still bearing the brunt of the mess. Main Street deserves better."

— Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
Randi Weingarten
Congressman Keith Ellison
"We need a financial system that is fair to workers and families. The system is broken and it’s up to us to fix it."

— Congressman Keith Ellison
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Photo Credits

Image of NYSE building by Christopher Berry on a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

Image of Richard Trumka by Bill Burke/Page One on a CC BY 2.0 license.

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