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GOP Rep. Mike Simpson Can’t Recall If He Supports A Financial Transaction Tax: ‘You’ll Have To Look It Up’

By Zaid Jilani  

"GOP Rep. Mike Simpson Can’t Recall If He Supports A Financial Transaction Tax: ‘You’ll Have To Look It Up’"

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Why won't Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) come clean on his position on an FTT?

One way for the 99 Percent to reclaim some of the wealth that the nation’s biggest banks destroyed is with a Financial Transactions Tax. This tax would be placed on the trading of certain financial products and even a small tax would amass as much as $350 billion in revenues annually.

Yesterday morning, journalist Sam Husseini asked Reps. Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Mike Simpson (R-ID) about why many in Congress are focusing on cuts for the poor and middle class but not taxing the super-wealthy. After Shuler and Simpson refused to commit to an answer on this broader question, Husseini asked Simpson about the FTT. Holding up a carton of band-aids, Husseini asked, “Let me ask you this: yesterday I went to a pharmacy and there’s a tax on Band-Aids. Why isn’t there a tax on financial transactions? I had to pay a 6 percent tax on Band-Aids that people need?” Simpson kept dodging the question and finally told Husseini to go look up his position as he walked away:

HUSSEINI: Let me ask you this: yesterday I went to a pharmacy and there’s a tax on Band-Aids. Why isn’t there a tax on financial transactions? I had to pay a 6 percent tax on Band-Aids that people need.

SIMPSON: Probably a state sales tax, right?

HUSSEINI: What’s your position on financial transaction tax?

SIMPSON: You’d have to look it up.

HUSSEINI: Why can’t JP Morgan pay its transaction tax on their dealings?

Watch it:

It’s bizarre that Simpson can’t seem to remember his position on an issue as important as the FTT. Or maybe the congressman was simply feigning ignorance to avoid commenting on an idea that may offend the banks that have been donating to his 2012 re-election campaign. (HT: @jeremyscahill)

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