The DeFazio Bill: Reducing the Financial Industry’s Tax on Retirement Savings

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    • #396906
      • Total Posts: 8,950

      Representative Peter DeFazio, along with seven House co-sponsors, introduced the “Wall Street Tax Act” today. This bill would impose a tax of 0.1 percent of sales of stocks, bonds, options, and other derivatives. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it would raise almost $800 billion over the course of the next decade. This would be more than enough to cover the entire food stamp budget over this period. It would be almost enough to fully replace the annual research spending of the pharmaceutical industry, which would mean that all new drugs could be sold as cheap generics from the day they approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In short, this is real money.

      The financial industry is already screaming bloody murder over this bill for an obvious reason – it comes out of their hide. The financial industry has been ripping off retirement savers for decades with exorbitant fees and excessive trading. It’s not uncommon for an insurance company or brokerage house to charge people 1.0 percent a year or more for the privilege of letting them host your 401(k) or IRA. Just to be clear, this is simply what they charge for hosting the account. They charge additional fees for the various funds (e.g. stock or bond index or value fund) in which people actually invest their money.

      This means that a person with $100,000 in a 401(k) may be paying $1,000 a year to an insurance company or a brokerage house, for essentially nothing. Then we add in the fees for the individual funds. If they actively trade your account, these can easily run to another 1.0 percent annually, and often considerably more. It would not be uncommon for someone to be handing the financial industry 2.0 percent of their 401(k) every year, or $2,000 for this person with $100,000 in their account.

      The DeFazio bill will take a bite out of the industry’s take. The story is a simple one. It will make it more costly to trade financial assets. The industry will be hyping the additional trading cost as the end of the world.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #396931
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 20,625

      It should be a no-brainer, but even if Pelosi allows it to come to a vote and it passes the House(unlikely), it will never get through the Senate.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

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