FTT Not the Way to Go, South Carolina Rep Scott

As the Presidential race is sure to heat up now that the field has become smaller, so does the rhetoric.

And tops among the hot button issues aside from COVID -19 endurance, and now possible recovery, is taxation. Namely, several Democratic candidates have advocated for a financial transaction tax (FTT) as a means of tapping into Wall Street and the people who make money on it and from it. Well, recently one state Senator, Sen. John Scott (D-SC) was reported in The State as saying a FTT is not the way to go when it comes to raising revenue.

Sen. John Scott, (D) SC

“Yes, it’s important for the candidates to have proposals for us to consider, but it is equally important that they tell us how they would pay for them,” Scott said referring to the FTT. “For example, we all want to improve family leave or make college more affordable — but the rubber meets the road when it comes to funding such goals.”

He said that the FTT, an idea that has been floated by some of his fellow Democratic candidates as the best way to raise revenues for new social programs needs to be fully examined as to who benefits and who loses.

“Taxing all market transactions isn’t a new concept: America did it decades ago. But Democrats were largely responsible for the eventual repeal of such taxes — and that’s because the results were so disappointing,” Scott said. “Indeed, other countries have seen similar poor results when they have experimented with a financial transaction tax.”

According to several studies the FTT would affect upwards of 130 million Americans retirement plans by increasing their costs. Furthermore, Scott noted the education savings accounts that nearly half of all American families have built for children and even the agriculture futures that farmers use as a price management tool can also be harmed by such a tax.

Not so for Wall Street. Just Main Street – the electorate.

As noted cited by Scott, a 0.1% FTT would force the average employee to work two-and-half years longer to make up for retirement fund losses, and it would require the typical university student to go an additional $7,500 in debt. It would also narrow the profit margins for farmers and lead to an increase in food costs.

“Now just imagine the consequences of a 0.5 percent financial transaction tax rate, which has actually been proposed by at least one prominent and former Democratic Party presidential candidate — Sen. Bernie Sanders,” Scott declared.

South Carolina has nine electoral votes and was won by Joe Biden in its most recent US Presidential primary. The state was carried by Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election with him garnering 54.9% of the vote. Republicans have only lost South Carolina once since the assassination of John F. Kennedy.