Any tax imposed on financial transactions would have to take effect internationally to prevent Wall Street jobs and related business moving overseas, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.So, if higher taxes cause job flight, why then do Democrats repeatedly push for tax hikes at the national, state, and local level? This is an inadvertent admission that fiscal conservatives have been right all along that higher taxes result in job flight and that higher taxes on Wall Street will result in further job losses.
"It would have to be an international rule, not just a U.S. rule," Pelosi said at a news conference. "We couldn't do it alone, we'd have to do it as an international initiative."
The top Democrat's comments seemed to spell longer odds for the Wall Street tax, which some Democrats in the House of Representatives are proposing as a way to pay for job-creating legislation.
The tax, which could raise $150 billion per year, would tap into widespread public outrage at Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis, but support is lackluster among key legislators.
It also points to a fundamental disagreement between the Speaker and New York Democrats, who have repeatedly used Wall Street as their personal cash cow to fund an overblown and bloated state budget. Now, in a recessionary economic climate, the House Democrats are wary of imposing further taxes unless everyone around the world does so in order to prevent still more job losses.