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Q&A: Bank fees bill — Debt Free America Act proposed by U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa. — a long shot

Bank fees bill a long shot

I have been following, with great interest, a story about new federal fees on bank deposits. If there is any truth to this story, it is reason for great concern. After the election, if he is still president, Obama and the Democrats plan to introduce and pass a bill that would add a 1 percent fee to every bank deposit and withdrawal that is made in America. If I make a $1,000 deposit, the bank takes $10 and sends it to the federal government. When I spend the money, the bank takes another 1 percent and sends it to the federal government. I am told that claims this is true, even gives the House bill number and the representative that introduced it. Is there any way that this can be affirmed or denied?

This e-mail claim has been circulating for more than a year and, like many chain e-mails, it has a kernel of truth and a lot of conjecture.

First, the true parts: U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., has submitted a bill (H.R. 1125) that would eliminate all federal taxes on individuals and corporations and replace them with so-called transaction fees. Fattah calls it the Debt Free America Act, because he believes it would eliminate the national debt as well as the federal income tax.

Here's how it would work: At every financial transaction, with the exception of stock purchases or sales, a 1 percent fee would be assessed. So if you buy a $20,000 car, the fee would be $200. If you buy a $10 lunch, the fee would be a penny.

You can read the full text of the bill here:

Now, as Paul Harvey used to say, for the rest of the story:

According to, Fattah has been pushing for this since 2004. That year, and again in 2005, 2007 and 2009, he proposed that Congress pay for a study to determine the feasibility of the transaction fee. None of those bills drew support. In 2010 and again earlier this year, he decided to just get a bill making the transaction fee law. Again, he got no support.

So while there is plenty of evidence that no one likes his idea, there is none that President Obama or the Democratic leadership has any interest in Fattah's bill.

Could it happen? Anything's possible, especially in politics. But given the history, the odds against it have to be astronomical. You may have a better chance of winning the Lotto.

NFL games on Thursday nights

When does the NFL Network begin broadcasting NFL games on Thursday evenings?

According to, the Thursday NFL Network games begin Nov. 10, with Oakland at San Diego. Gametime is 8:20 p.m. Eastern time.

Thursday games continue through Dec. 22, which is week 16 of the 17-week season.

For the full NFL schedule, week by week, see

Q&A: Bank fees bill — Debt Free America Act proposed by U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa. — a long shot 10/23/11 [Last modified: Sunday, October 23, 2011 4:30am]
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