Democrats: How do we game CBO so VAT doesn’t look so bad?
Mary Katherine Ham reports that the CBO is being hit with a lot of questions about the Value Added Tax (VAT) by Congress. Taking Paul Volker at his word, they’re obviously in the beginning stages of trying to make the VAT “not as toxic an idea” as it has been in the past. As the title implies, the masters at gaming the CBO are probably already hard at work.
Said CBO chief, Douglass Elmendorf:
“Many people in Congress are interested in it,” he said of the VAT, a national sales tax that adds between 10 and 20 percent to purchases in European countries where it’s been implemented. “We’ve had conversations with a number of members and their staffs.”
You don’t say?! I know, dear reader, you’re as shocked as I am, aren’t you?
A couple of points – this is going to be constantly misrepresented as a “national sales tax”. It’s not a national sales tax. VAT is a tax levied against every step in the production process rendering any retail good 10 to 20% higher than it would have been without the tax. No one is going to add 10 or 20% at the register – instead everything you purchase will have that additional cost of taxation already added to its final purchase price. It’s a nicely hidden tax (thus very attractive for the looters in DC) that saves you being reminded of it at the register everytime you buy something. You’ll just see your overall purchasing power erodeded by whatever the VAT percentage is.
Oh, and that will be in addition to the income tax. You didn’t think the IRS was going away, did you? Finally, it certainly isn’t a progressive tax as it will lower the purchasing power of the poor much more than that of the rich. And we all know what that means – somewhere there’s going to be a subsidy or a kick-back to consumers of certain levels of income. And yes, you’ll pay for that as well. Trust me, this will only end up being fully levied on the despised “rich”, as usual in t.
Revenue, folks, revenue – the beast is hungry and insatiable. And it has a very serious problem looming the future. It wants no part of lean and mean. Instead, it wants to be fat, happy and expanding – and VAT would do that. And you, dear wage earner, are the means to its dreams.