2013 IFT Resolutions arrow

Resolution No. 24 - Resolution for the Illinois Federation of Teachers to Support Financial Transaction Tax Bills

Submitted by: Chicago Teachers Union, Local 1

WHEREAS, a government must provide for the common good in order to function properly, and there is a direct correlation between the number of citizens whose fundamental needs are met and the percentage of citizens that can be classified as productive members of society, with the rate at which they are advanced educationally, economically, and technologically; and

WHEREAS, workers in the field of Education have a natural concern for the welfare of children and the family structures that support them, and in the years since the 2008 financial crisis, the number of homeless students (children living on the streets, in shelters or doubled-up with other families) increased 38 percent to 1.6 million nationwide; and

WHEREAS, in the last five years, 43 states have cut student funding for higher education as the cost of post secondary public education continues to rise faster than the cost of healthcare; and

WHEREAS, across America we see high levels of unemployment, and broad declines in healthcare, deteriorating infrastructure, shrinking pensions, and retirement savings, as workers in the fields of education, healthcare, and public safety are laid off as a result of a financial crisis they did not create; and

WHEREAS, Wall Street and the big banks have failed our economy and are exploiting tax loopholes while generating record profits and being rewarded with billions in bailouts and bonuses while leaving millions of Americans to suffer; and

WHEREAS, a recent national iteration of a financial transaction tax bill called the “Inclusive Prosperity Act” popularly known as the “Robin Hood Tax” (H.R. 1579) calls for the revenues gained to be used for such critical needs as education and job training, student debt relief, rebuilding public infrastructure, public sector jobs, public sector pensions, green jobs, expanding and improving Medicaid and Medicare, housing assistance for low income households, and protecting our environment; and

WHEREAS, the concept of a financial transaction tax is not novel, but has been in existence in England since 1694 at the London Stock Exchange, existed in the United States from 1914 to 1966 as a “securities transfer tax,” was in effect in the state and city of New York in the 20th century, and was approved in 2013 by the European Union for 11 Eurozone countries; and

WHEREAS, the United Kingdom’s 0.5 percent tax on stock trades raises their government billions of dollars a year and this is not a tax on the public but for the public. This tax would apply to Wall Street banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions and would not apply to ordinary Americans, their personal savings, their pensions, or everyday business and consumer activity such as purchases using Automated Teller Machines or debit cards; and

WHEREAS, the rate of this tax would be set as low as 50 cents on every $100 of trades and would target reckless short-term financial speculation that drove previous economic crises, pushed up gas and food prices in the United States and around the world, and continues to threaten financial stability; and

WHEREAS, this Act is supported by such organizations as the Chicago Teachers Union, National Nurses United, the National Organization of Women, Jobs with Justice, Oxfam America,, Greenpeace,; and Noble Prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, and business leaders Bill Gates, George Soros, and Warren Buffett; and

WHEREAS, in addition to H.R. 1579 filed at the national level, there have been two bills for a Financial Transaction Tax filed at the Illinois state level in 2013, House Bills 1554 and 3732, which would produce revenues of anywhere from 6 billion to 40 billion dollars annually depending upon the taxing formula; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Illinois Federation of Teachers publicly supports, promotes, and publicizes Financial Transaction Tax bills that can be implemented at state and national levels, and its members educate and encourage other locals, nationals, grassroots and non-profit organizations, and individuals to do the same until the time as such bills become law.



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