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Vatican official touts 'Robin Hood tax' on financial transactions

Catholic World News - November 16, 2011

The chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences stressed the dangers of man-made climate change, and called for a tax on international financial transactions, in an address to a Caritas International meeting.

Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo said that a tax on financial transactions—popularly known as a “Tobin tax” or “Robin Hood tax”—would constitute “economic common sense.” He told the Caritas International meeting that it makes no sense to exempt such deals from taxation.

Bishop Sanchez said that in the fight against world poverty and hunger, top priorities should include education, the development of renewable energy, and protection of the environment.

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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Nov. 17, 2011 2:39 AM ET USA

    Who would collect this tax? What bloated agency would expend the majority of the funds before they were distributed? It is time to preach subsidiarity, person to person or at least neighborly giving rather than empowerment of government which is much too great already. The good father should restrict his pronouncements to matters of faith and personal action within the guidelines established by our Lord.

  • Posted by: dover beachcomber - Nov. 17, 2011 1:41 AM ET USA

    I'm not a bishop, but I'd venture to say that in the fight against world poverty and hunger, "top priorities" should also include preaching the Gospel. Besides being the Church's primary job, it might also lead more of the world's wealthy to give voluntarily to alleviate the sufferings of the poor. Far better that, than giving governments even broader powers, which sooner or later always leads to corruption.

  • Posted by: unum - Nov. 16, 2011 7:47 PM ET USA

    It sounds like the bishop has been educated beyond his capacity. The "Robin Hood" tax is a terrible idea that would hurt the low income population the most.low income

  • Posted by: JJF - Nov. 16, 2011 6:22 PM ET USA

    The poor would not be so poor if we had more affordable energy. For example, governments could subsidize hydrothermal energy, natural gas, and nuclear power. They could also stop subsidizing corn for ethanol so the world would have more food. Moreover, they could lower the taxes on oil so transportation would be less expensive for the poor. Solar & wind power will never be a significant part of the energy mix.

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