Sunday, July 17, 2016

Democrats’ Proposed Wall Street Trading Tax is Immoral and Regressive

The Democrats’ proposed party platform is full of unabashed statism. For example, Bloomberg reports Democrats Assail Wall Street With Plan That May Hit Mom and Pop:

Democrats are courting progressive-minded Americans by calling for a tax on Wall Street trades. If the party succeeds, the mom-and-pop investors they’re wooing could bear the brunt.

The Democratic Party’s platform doesn’t specify the size of the tax. A bill Representative Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, introduced Wednesday would tack on a 0.03 percent fee onto stock, bond and derivatives trades in the U.S. He said it would “discourage the same speculative financial trading that led to the 2008 Wall Street collapse and 2010 ‘Flash Crash.’”

Though that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s enough to potentially make a difference to the high-frequency traders investors rely on to complete their trades.

First, notice the bias: Bloomberg refers to supporters of the tax as “progressive-minded Americans.” But this and similar taxes that target specific segments are not progressive. Such targeted tax punishment is regressive, because it’s based on political inequality, not equal protection of the law. Further, the tax is intended to coercively enforce behavior that conforms to what government officials think should motivate people. As one supporter reportedly said, the tax is intended to “stem volatility and promote a long-term view among investors.” Such arrogance indicates the mentality of a thug who fancies himself more knowledgeable about what other people’s financial interests and goals should be than they are, and there’s nothing progressive about nanny thuggery.

Then notice the Big Lie, the standard Left statist mantra that switches the blame for the financial crisis away from the government culprits and unto private sector scapegoats; in this case, the “Wall Street speculators.”

Worse still, this proposed tax offers a peek inside the “progressive” mind. As Bloomberg reports, the tax will chill trading and reduce liquidity markets depend on, hurting small investors:

Tim Buckley, the chief investment officer of Vanguard Group, said taxes on financial transactions can backfire, upsetting a natural part of the market’s ecosystem. Vanguard, with more than $3 trillion in assets, is the investing gateway for millions of Americans.

“High-frequency trading plays a critical role,” he said. “When you put a tax on transactions, you risk damaging liquidity. As mutual fund investors we rely on having liquidity,” he added. “A drop in liquidity is bad for fund shareholders.”

Another opponent of the tax, Bloomberg reports, said

“If you look at what most of those high-frequency traders actually do, they are doing things that really support long-term investors,” said James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University in Washington, adding that the trouble with financial transaction taxes is that they “wind up being paid for by the mom-and-pop investors at the end of the day.”

So much for the Democrats’ concern for long term investing.

There may be differing opinions about how such a tax will affect the average investor. But one thing is sure: “progressive-minded Americans” don’t give a damn about the poor or the middle class or mom-and-pop or “the little guy.” They’re motivated primarily by hatred of success and wealth. They’re also motivated by power purchased by buying votes with promises of handouts. “The money could fund college tuition, Sanders argued during his campaign.”

The bottom line is that taxes targeted at unpopular or politically disfavored groups, or intended to coercively encourage or discourage behavior according to politicians’ whims, or motivated by envy or demagoguery or powerlust, are immoral as well as economically destructive. But this is the face of the modern, nihilistic, New Left Democrat Party.

Related Reading:

Wall Street’s ‘Unfairness’ Shouldn’t Scare the ‘Little Guy’ Out of the Stock Market

No comments: