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.