Can you imagine Barack Obama cracking down on financial speculators rather than giving them White House jobs? Jeff Cohen can’t:
With U.S. media obsessing on the fight here at home among conservatives vying to become president, most of them missed some big news about France, which already has a conservative president. This week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he would take the lead — even go it alone within Europe, if need be — in introducing and pushing a Financial Transaction Tax in his country.
That’s right — the conservative president of France wants to tax the financial traders and speculators.
Referring to the tax as a “moral issue” and blaming deregulation and speculation for the global economic meltdown, Sarkozy has said that traders must “repay for the damage they have caused.”
What does it tell us about U.S. politics that the conservative president of France – on this issue and others — is way to the left of President Obama? The U.S. president has not publicly promoted a Wall Street transaction tax (even though U.S. financial institutions, not the French, were largely responsible for the global crisis).