House Dems propose taxing equity trades to fund new federal programs

"A financial transaction tax protects our financial markets from speculation and provides the revenue needed to invest in the education, health and communities of the American people."

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Under Ellison's Inclusive Prosperity Act, stock trades would face a transaction fee of 0.5 percent, bond trades would be charged 0.1 percent, and derivatives trades would be assessed a fee of 0.005 percent. Ellison said it would be easy to charge these fees because these trades are all computerized.

He also said it would make high-frequency trading "unprofitable," but said this would have the positive effect of reducing speculation on commodities.

Ellison noted that 30 countries around the world have some form of equity transaction tax in place, and while he was not specific, he said it would raise "billions" of dollars to help fund government programs.

Ellison's bill is co-sponsored by Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Bob Filner (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.) and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).