Bank tax in financial reform legislation

Capitol Hill

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: The Senate starts getting into specifics of financial reform legislation today. One item up for grabs is a proposed bank tax to help pay for the bailout. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will be on Capitol Hill this morning lobbying for that for the administration. The public's still angry at taxpayer-financed bailouts. And as Marketplace's John Dimsdale reports, bank tax supporters are feeling the wind at their backs.


John Dimsdale: The White House proposal would hit up big banks for $90 billion over the next 10 years. That's just a little less than the projected taxpayer losses from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Robert Weissman: The bank tax is gonig to have a lot of populist appeal and is going to be hard to defeat.

Public Citizen's Robert Weissman says public outrage should overcome heavy bank lobbying against the tax.

Weissman: They want to recover some of the money from the beneficiaries especially as they see these same beneficiaries taking out billions of dollars in profits and bonus compensation.

But banks say they're already reimbursing taxpayers. Phil West is a tax partner at Steptoe and Johnson:

Phil West: The main incidence of the tax falls on institutions that didn't create any of the TARP losses.

The real scofflaws, he says, are GM, Chrysler and AIG. But supporters of the bank tax are even considering making it permanent to raise enough money to avoid future bailouts.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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