Any plan to clean up the mess on Wall Street must:
Ensure that middle income and working families are not the ones who are paying for this bailout by
-Imposing a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers. That would raise more than $300 billion in revenue over five years;
-Ensuring that assets purchased from banks are realistically discounted so companies are not rewarded for their risky behavior and taxpayers can recover the amount they paid for them; and
-Requiring that taxpayers receive equity stakes in the bailed-out companies so that the taxpayers’ assumption of risk is rewarded when companies’ stock goes up.
Taken together these three provisions will substantially reduce the likelihood that this bailout will end up on the backs of average American taxpayers.