Sen. Bernie Sanders. the Democratic presidential candidate, is proposing a tax that would affect some expats living here.
The senator wants to assess a 50-cent tax on every $100 of stock trades. His aides estimate that this will raise hundreds of billions of dollars a year, which would be paid by what they call Wall Street speculators. It also would be paid by expats here who are involved in stock market investments.
This is known as the Robin Hood tax, based on the legendary Sherwood Forest outlaw who is said to have taken from the rich to give to the poor.
Sanders is a Socialist who won office as an independent but participates with the Democratic caucus.
With the money raised by the tax, Sanders would eliminate undergraduate college tuition fees for students attending public colleges and universities, reform student loans and expand work-study programs, said an announcement. The bill is a critical step to eradicating student debt, currently pegged at nearly $1.2 trillion and the fastest growing form of consumer debt, as well as expanding educational and employment opportunity, the announcement said.
President Barack Obama has proposed free tuition, but he has not said how this would be done.
Sanders was to give details on his plan today at a Washington press conference.
The senator would seek the Democratic nomination in competition with Hillary Clinton, who has been the leading figure in a series of negative news reports lately.
The tax also would put the U.S. on a path embraced by other nations that already provide free college education including Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Slovenia, and Sweden, the announcement said.
The Robin Hood tax would also slow the growth of automated high frequency trading, which makes the stock market more dangerous, said the announcement. A small tax would make risky high frequency trades unprofitable, and help reduce the excess speculation on commodities like food and gas that drives up prices, which will protect the economy from computer-generated collapses and market manipulation, it said.