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“Wall Street bankers have been lucky. They have been able to preside over, not create record profits for their banks during these times because they have gotten record assistance from the government. Taxpayers are justifiably upset to see the financial elites pocket millions, while the rest of America worries about losing their homes, losing their jobs, and providing economic security for their families.
“It is noteworthy that with an estimated $145 billion in bonuses in the offing, Wall Street is not interested in using the money to create jobs, put it back in the economy, or to give to shareholders as dividends. The financial titans are taking the money for themselves. It is time for the Congress to temper the greed of Wall Street, and my bill, HR 4114, the Responsible Banking Act, would do just that. HR 4114 would impose a 75% bonus tax on the bonus pools of Wall Street institutions, creating an incentive to spend their profits to help Americans. This is not just an issue with banks that took TARP funds; this is an industry-wide problem that requires an industry-wide solution.
“Many on Wall Street and in the government would have us believe that the near economic collapse was a minor miscalculation; that Americans need to simply accept their losses and let Wall Street continue its business as usual. Congress now wants to discuss fiscal discipline. A good place to start is Wall Street. Let's show Wall Street that we will not stand by and let it reward itself with billions of dollars in bonuses for dragging our economy to the brink,” said Kucinich.