To stop sequester - should we tax Wall Street?


President Obama already made his pitch to Congress to delay the sequester, $85 billion dollars in harsh automatic cuts scheduled to take effect March 1st. He proposed replacing it, at least temporarily, with “a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms.”

Chris Jansing on Wednesday asked Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., “What would you like to see replace the sequester?”

“Certainly eliminating tax subsidies for oil companies, some of the farm subsidies that are unjustified, I’d like to see us consider a securities transaction tax, a so-called Wall Street tax that can raise tens of billions of dollars,” Yarmuth said.

The securities transaction tax is something the New York Times Dealbook examines in depth here. 

Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately struck down the idea of any new taxes or revenue, insisting the sequester should be replaced by spending cuts.

“I think we got to be very careful, when we just say we’ve got to cut, without regard to the impact of those cuts, both on the economy and on some very important programs,” Yarmuth said.

He insisted the $85 billion dollar sequester should be avoided.

“That would do very serious damage to the economy in the short term, so yes, we ought to talk about what we need to do in 2015,16,17.  But, right now the economy is much too fragile to impose another $85 billion dollars in cuts.”