I saw a man dressed as Robin Hood on Halloween and I almost begged him to stay around.
We need Robin Hood and his merry band of wealth redistribution specialists not just on Halloween but every day, and this year in particular we need him on November 1.
That’s when $332 million in cuts to the food stamp or SNAP program go into effect. Three point one million low-wage workers, seniors, veterans and children are losing urgently needed aid. And that’s just the cuts the president and Congress enacted in 2010. We need Robin Hood because Congress is talking about taking $39 billion more. And we need Robin because while 1.2 million poor children are going to be eating even less, 400 already rich Americans are enjoying even more.
Take a look at the Forbes 400 List. While the working poor have taken cut after cut, the richest Americans have seen their wealth double in the last ten years.
We need Robin Hood because collectively those 400 are worth just over $2 trillion dollars. That’s two thousand billion. We only need the small change on that to stop those food stamp cuts. Robin Hood would know what to do.
He’d head over to Steve A. Cohen. It says in the papers that he’s getting ready to sell some of his art collection at auction. Steve Cohen has no business selling art. He has no business being on the street. Steve Cohen should be in jail. Cohen heads up SAC Capital—a hedge fund. Six of his former employees have pleaded guilty to insider trading. The firm’s facing criminal and civil suits and fines and penalties, but Cohen’s not even feeling it because he’s worth $9.4 billion dollars.
Steven Cohen could wake up tomorrow and restore those $332 million in cut food stamps—and make it back by dinnertime selling Warhols.
Imbalance like this is too big a job for one man, even with a merry band. Luckily there is a way to keep Robin Hood around.
Nurses, AIDS activists and environmentalists were in Washington this week telling Congress how. What the super-rich hedge funders need to be paying aren’t fines and penalties, but their fair share of taxes says National Nurses United Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro. A tiny tax on Wall Street trades could generate $350 billion: enough to restore the food stamp program and then some.
There’s already a bill in the House: the Inclusive Prosperity Act so how about it? We need you, Robin Hood, and the Robin Hood Tax all year.
For more from me, including a report on how people are starting worker co-operatives to keep wealth in the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy, go to GRITtv.org. Subscribe to the “F” word podcast on Soundcloud.