The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday released a paper that makes the case against financial transaction taxes (FTTs), which several Democratic presidential candidates have floated as part of their campaigns.
“While some people may think that they’re trying to take a shot at Wall Street, they’re actually going to take a shot at Mr. and Mrs. 401(k), as well as the business community that depends on capital markets to start businesses, expand and create jobs,” Tom Quaadman, executive vice president of the Chamber’s center for capital markets competitiveness, said on a call with reporters.
FTTs are taxes on financial trades, such as trades of stocks, bonds and derivatives. This type of tax has gotten interest from Democrats in Congress and the 2020 presidential race as they look for ways to raise taxes on Wall Street and the wealthy to pay for their campaign proposals.
For example, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), one of the higher polling candidates in the 2020 race, has floated taxes of 0.5 percent on stock trades, 0.1 percent on bond trades and 0.005 percent tax on derivatives trades to pay for his higher education plan.
Another prominent 2020 contender, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), has called for instituting taxes of 0.2 percent for stock trades, 0.1 percent for bond trades and 0.002 percent for derivative transactions as a way to help pay for her health care plan.
Supporters of the taxes argue that they could help to curb volatility in financial markets and address economic inequality.