Financial traders in Chicago could become "heroes" in the Windy City if they paid a tax on each transaction to help solve the pension crisis, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis told the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board this week.

Lewis and the union have proposed the so-called LaSalle Street Tax, after the street in the heart of Chicago's financial district, as a means of funding public pension obligations.

William Barclay, an economist advising the CTU, estimates a $1-to-$2 tax levied on the sellers and buyers of futures, futures options and securities option contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange could translate into an additional $12 billion a year, some of which could be used for pensions, according to the Sun-Times.

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