Government will spend whatever the tax system will raise (more like double…)

I’ve been reading a bit about Milton Friedman, a Hoover Institution economist – not a politician – who past away in 2006. Conservatives can learn quite a bit from this great man. We need another conservative economic mentor for present-day, and maybe Dan Mitchell is that person?

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VAT’s my problem?

Actually, the VAT is my problem, leastwise is some of the president’s “yes-men” get their way.

“President Barack Obama suggested Wednesday that a new value-added tax on Americans is still on the table, seeming to show more openness to the idea than his aides have expressed in recent days.  Before deciding what revenue options are best for dealing with the deficit and the economy, Obama said in an interview with CNBC, “I want to get a better picture of what our options are.”  After Obama adviser Paul Volcker recently raised the prospect of a value-added tax, or VAT, the Senate voted 85-13 last week for a nonbinding “sense of the Senate” resolution that calls the such a tax “a massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income and only further push back America’s economic recovery.””

For those not in the know, the Value-Added Tax is a scheme under which an item is taxed evey time “value” is added.  For example, imagine a freshly felled log.  When that timber becomes unfinished lumber, a tax is assessed.  When that unfinished lumber is finished, say, by turning it into a table or wood flooring, it is taxed again.  The tax at each level becomes part of the cost of doing business, which is, in turn, passed onto the consumer and, ultimately, acts as a “hidden” sales tax, payable by the end-consumer, i.e. you and I.   And, while I appreciate the “sense of the Senate” vote, I would remind the reader that the “sense of the Senate” vote on Kyoto was 95 to o, yet, even as we speak, the Democrats in Congress are dithering whether to push climate legislation or amnesty for illegal immigrants “immigration reform.

Speaking of dithering, Obama has not fully embraced the VAT, since, y’know, that would require taking a position that, based on the Senate vote, is a hill not even “his” side is willing to die on… yet.

Bernanke floats trial balloon – eventually must deal with entitlements

The federal government has floated another trial balloon reminding American’s we’ve got some serious obligations to pay out in the next few years. They seem to be softening everyone up for tax increases and entitlement cuts.

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More generational theft – White House adviser thinks VAT can work

If you’re all in, you might as well go all the way in. I was personally thinking Cap and Tax and immigration “reform” would be the next big items on the Obama administration menu, but that did not stop Paul Volcker from sending up the value added tax (VAT) trial balloon yesterday.

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Pelosi suggests VAT possible – end to employer-based plans

So much for not increasing taxes on any family making more than 200k. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is putting a value added tax (VAT) – and other taxes – on the table. To be clear, Pelosi is not suggesting replacing the federal income tax with a VAT, but she is strongly suggesting the elimination of all employer-based health insurance and pension plans.

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Is today “float a stupid government idea” day?

Two stories from the news wire today just have me totally baffled. I’m not always thinking “we’re doomed”, but if the Obama administration is considering a national sales tax of 10 percent or more, and has a dork working for him who thinks painting all the roofs in the world white will help stop global warming, we may just be doomed.

Today’s Washington Post has a story from Lori Montgomery on the value added tax (VAT) idea. Washington politicians are looking for more ways to generate revenue, take away our freedom and give everyone health care. Oh crap…

At a White House conference earlier this year on the government’s budget problems, a roomful of tax experts pleaded with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to consider a VAT. A recent flurry of books and papers on the subject is attracting genuine, if furtive, interest in Congress. And last month, after wrestling with the White House over the massive deficits projected under Obama’s policies, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee declared that a VAT should be part of the debate.

“There is a growing awareness of the need for fundamental tax reform,” Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said in an interview. “I think a VAT and a high-end income tax have got to be on the table.”

A VAT is a tax on the transfer of goods and services that ultimately is borne by the consumer. Highly visible, it would increase the cost of just about everything, from a carton of eggs to a visit with a lawyer. It is also hugely regressive, falling heavily on the poor. But VAT advocates say those negatives could be offset by using the proceeds to pay for health care for every American — a tangible benefit that would be highly valuable to low-income families.

Liberals dispute that notion. “You could pay for it regressively and have people at the bottom come out better off — maybe. Or you could pay for it progressively and they’d come out a lot better off,” said Bob McIntyre, director of the nonprofit Citizens for Tax Justice, which has a health financing plan that targets corporations and the rich.

Our second stupid idea of the day comes from the UK Telegraph. President Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu thinks it’s a good idea to paint all the roofs white to combat global warming.

He [Chu] said lightening roofs and roads in urban environments would offset the global warming effects of all the cars in the world for 11 years.

“If you look at all the buildings and if you make the roofs white and if you make the pavement more of a concrete type of colour rather than a black type of colour and if you do that uniformally, that would be the equivalent of… reducing the carbon emissions due to all the cars in the world by 11 years – just taking them off the road for 11 years,” he said.

No, this was not a story from The Onion, it was a statement made while Chu was attending a Nobel laureate Symposium! Oh crap…

yes, I know, the pet rock idea was not a stupid idea for the guy selling them, but it was certainly a stupid idea for the bozos who bought one. Are you buying what this administration is selling?