Wall Street Tax Eclipses Other Deficit Reduction Options

July 05, 2012

Nicole Woo

Most Americans will never see a million, let alone billions, of dollars in their lifetimes.  So it’s easy to get lost among various federal budget options in the billions of dollars. 

To help, here’s a handy chart that shows the financial transaction tax (a.k.a. the Wall Street or Robin Hood Tax) compared to 4 other revenue options that are often mentioned in the budget debates.  As you can see, the Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimate of $352 billion over 9 years from the FTT swamps the other options.


This is not to say that the FTT is the end-all solution to budget deficits.  But this does support the argument that it should be seriously considered, along with the other options, when policy makers and the media discuss deficit reduction.

Notes on the chart:

  • Revenue estimates are for 2013-2021, except for the Obama bank tax estimate, which is for 2014-2022.
  • “Buffett” rule:  JCT estimate of “Paying a Fair Share Act” (S. 2059, H.R. 3903), which assumes the Bush tax cuts expire.  Citizens for Tax Justice’s higher estimate assumes the extension of the Bush tax cuts.
  • Carried interest loophole:  Treasury Department’s explanation of the Administration’s FY 2013 revenue proposal to “tax carried (profits) interests as ordinary income.” This is estimate is lower than prior-year versions due to the new clarification that only “investment partnerships” would be affected.
  • Obama bank tax: OMB’s estimate in The Budget for Fiscal Year 2013 for imposing “a financial crisis responsibility fee.”
  • Oil, gas and coal subsidies:  Treasury Department’s explanation of the Administration’s FY 2013 revenue proposal to “eliminate fossil fuel preferences.”
  • Financial transaction tax: JCT estimate of “Wall Street Trading and Speculators Tax Act” (S. 1787, H.R. 3313). 

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