Taking the stage in Lafayette Park across from the White House in front of nearly 1,500 union members and Occupy D.C., supporters, a not-quite Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner look alike vowed “Never, Never, Never” to impose a Robin Hood or financial speculation tax on Wall Street.
He then launched into nearly undecipherable litany of financial jargon, before German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who supports such tax, snatched the microphone away and accused Geithner of spouting “Avant garde financial psychobabble.”
The tongue-in-cheek skit was a reenactment of a real press conference in Cannes with Merkel, Geithner, and France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy, who also supports a Robin Hood tax. It kicked off the Washington, D.C., rally in support of a financial speculation tax on banks and financial institution to create jobs and rebuild the economy that Wall Street broke. Actions are also scheduled in Los Angeles and San Francisco too.
Earlier today, nurses from National Nurses United, (NNU), held a press conference in Cannes calling for adoption of a Robin Hood tax. The leaders of the world’s top economies—known as the G-20—are meeting there and many of the G-20 leaders support such a tax, but the United States does not.
Yesterday, when a financial speculation tax was introduced in Congress, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who is Cannes for the G-20 meeting and meetings with labor leaders from those nations, said:
Reckless Wall Street gambling has cost Americans trillions in lost wages, savings and household wealth. It is time to put Wall Street to work rebuilding Main Street with a financial speculation tax to create jobs, rein in speculation and lay the groundwork for long-term economic prosperity.
At the Washington rally, Karen Higgins, an ICU nurse at the Boston Medical Center, who is co-president of National Nurses United, said a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street
will put us back on the road to reclaiming Main Street…Its day has arrived.
Metropolitan Washington AFL-CIO President Joslyn Williams said the financial speculation tax was a message to Wall Street.
You put us in this mess and now we’re going to tax you Wall Street, to get us out the mess you put us in.
While the crowd chanted “Heal America, Tax Wall Street,” 11-year-old Amaya Trujillo sat on a park bench near the rear of the large and loud crowd, barely peeking over her sign calling for a Robin Hood tax because “It’s About My Future.”
The Mansfield, Ohio, youngster was visiting her grandmother, Karen See, a member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). When asked if she thought that being at the rally would make a difference and get a Wall Street tax passed, the shy sixth grader vigorously nodded her head “Yes!”