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Michigan Nurses Call For A “Healing Tax” On Wall Street

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Friday, September 2, 2011   

LANSING, Mich. - Nurses who are trained to heal the sick say financial politics and policies are behind some of the nation's ills.

Nurses from across the state gathered outside the offices of several Michigan congressmen Thursday, calling for them to support a tax on financial transactions. The Michigan Nurses Association, which is behind the movement, wants Congress to impose a half-cent levy on financial transactions involving stocks, bonds, currency trading and derivatives.

In the wake of the financial crisis and the Wall Street bailout, says John Karebian, the association's executive director, it's time for the nation's financial institutions to repay America for the damage that's been done.

"We see broad declines in health and living standards among our patients, their families, their communities, and these declines have caused a lack of jobs, people suffering from poor nutrition. They're losing their homes, their retirement savings."

Karebian says enacting the tax would show that the notion of shared sacrifice isn't just political rhetoric.

"We feel like Washington has abandoned our communities, and it's time that politicians quit looking at ways to cut programs, and instead look at ways to help working-class people reclaim the American dream."

Michigan nurses join those in 20 other states in calling for the Wall Street tax.

A similar tax on financial transactions already exists in several European countries. A report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimates the tax could raise as much as $350 billion each year if enacted in the United States. That report is online at peri.umass.edu.


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