"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

A little more attention

Peter DeFazio

Peter DeFazio

Maybe as the article suggests, this is an idea getting little traction – now. But our guess is that if the thought got some serious exposure, it could poll strongly nationally: An idea that a whole lot of Americans probably would sign up for.

From a Congressional Quarterly article on a meeting about the proposed finance bailout (Tyson is Laura Tyson, formerly of the Clinton Administration):

“Tyson got an earful from a number of liberals including Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who advocated a new government fee of .25 percent of every stock transaction to ensure that the government can recoup funds to pay for the aid that it provides to lenders. ‘If this is truly such a catastrophe, I don’t see how anybody can object to a one-quarter of one percent fee,’ DeFazio said. Others who attended the session said that proposal seemed to be gaining little traction. Tyson rejected DeFazio’s idea and said she believed the government could recoup any funds it pays for troubled investments ‘deal by deal,’ by negotiating terms for financing rather than charging a fee on each transaction.”

Millions of deals by millions of deals? Really? Who would do all that negotiating? DeFazio’s approach could pick up steam, if it crosses the visibility threshold.

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