Note: News and commentary about taxes in general, as well as the IRS, can be
Taxes are high enough already, yet the government still can't scrape together
enough money to pay for every imaginable project. Rather than reducing spending, which would seem to be the obvious
solution, the answer is always higher taxes and new forms of taxes. The value-added tax would be a national sales
tax on top of all the other federal and state taxes we already pay.
The newest items are at the top of the page. The earliest hint of a US VAT (on my web browser)
appeared in May 2009.
Myths. The value-added tax is a very dangerous levy for the simple reason that giving a big new source of
revenue to Washington almost certainly would result in a larger burden of government spending. That's certainly what
happened in Europe, and there's even more reason to think it would happen in America because we have a looming,
baked-in-the-cake entitlement crisis and many politicians don't want to reform programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and
Obamacare. They would much rather find additional tax revenues to enable this expansion of the welfare state. And
their target is the middle class, which is why they very much want a VAT. The most frustrating part of this debate is that
there are some normally rational people who are sympathetic to the VAT because they focus on theoretical issues and somehow
convince themselves that this new levy would be good for the private sector.
New York Times Is Dumber Than I Thought. A small tax doesn't seem like a lot but when you are trading trillions
of dollars every day it does. The initial jobs that get eliminated will be the lower level jobs where people start.
This tax will extinguish opportunity for young people entering the industry. A transaction tax is a totally sexy idea to
someone that is not familiar to markets. But, once enacted they will become very familiar with it as all kinds of bills go
up; from the grocery to the fees banks charge them to handle money. Basically, anywhere they transact business will be
Tax, Value Added Tax, Sales Tax — and Puerto Rico. Just one more tax and
our political masters will be through. Rand Paul's cure for the income tax is a 14.5% value-added
tax. Oh, he doesn't call it a VAT, it's a "business-activity tax." A VAT by any other name still
smells as foul. Unlike a sales tax, VAT captures revenue for the government at every step along the
supply chain as raw materials are turned into finished goods. Anyone who adds value to the product
pays VAT on their profit minus the VAT paid by the preceding business. But what about me, the end
consumer? I add no value to the product, yet I pay the full VAT on something whose price has
necessarily risen due to the taxes paid by all the processors upstream from me. So "VAT" is a
misnomer. It should be "VAT cum sales tax." But that is unwieldy, and, more importantly,
it would give the game away.
Sam Is Coming After Your Savings. Once you've hit your fiscal capacity to tax the rich, a few big sources of tax
revenue are left: [For example,] A value-added tax. Very efficient and generates a lot of money because evasion is
very difficult; it is almost self-enforcing. It minimizes economic distortion, and what distortions it does introduce encourage
savings over consumption. It is also highly regressive. So it's hard to see where the political support will come
from: Progressives hate the regressivity, conservatives, the imposition of a large new tax that will squeeze a lot of money
out of people.
Texas VAT Bill
Would Threaten State's Prosperity. Boasting the laudable goal of eliminating property taxes throughout the State of Texas,
a recently filed Value-Added-Tax (VAT) bill — House Bill 3472 — would replace not only property taxes, but also
business franchise taxes, a limited statewide sales tax, and various other local sales taxes with a VAT. Texans have never
experienced the economically depressing effects of a VAT, but once they realize what those effects would be, they will oppose any VAT in
order to preserve their state's prosperity.
Sorry, middle class. The VAT may be inevitable.
If the government fails to enact structural reforms in spending, an entirely new source of revenue will be needed. The most likely one
is a value-added tax that would crush the middle class. [...] If Washington gridlock persists, the big new tax is a virtual certainty.
The most probable choice will be a VAT. Since the VAT is assessed on things people buy, not their incomes, it falls heavily on the
middle class. Suddenly, the issue is sneaking into the fiscal debate.
VAT: The Nightmare Tax Gets Proposed,
Again. Former South Carolina Senator Fritz Hollings in the Huffington Post [suggests we] cancel the 35% corporation
tax and to replace it with a 6% VAT scheme. He seems to think that just because the rest of the world has this, especially
Europe, it can't be all that bad. That might seem clever — after all, 6% is less than 35%, right? — but
there is a hidden cost to VAT that is paid by both profitable and unprofitable businesses. And remember, before almost any
startup makes a profit, it makes a loss. VAT doesn't care about profitability.
Will Republicans Hand
the Left a VAT Victory? In a recent interview on these pages, presidential candidate Mitt Romney
refused to rule out a value-added tax (VAT). He suggested that this hidden form of a national sales tax — which
is embedded in the prices of goods and services during the production process — might be appropriate,
particularly as a way of financing other tax cuts. He's not the only Republican to speak favorably of a
VAT. Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan featured a flat tax and national sales tax. Very few people realized,
however, that the final 9 was a VAT.
9-9-no way. Herman
Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan has become center stage of the Republican presidential nomination race and for good
reason. The American tax code has grown into an unwieldy beast. Self-serving politicians hell-bent
on controlling you and enriching their cronies have morphed it into a multiheaded Hydra with endless loopholes,
exceptions, subsidies, giveaways, penalties and more. Cut off one head and another grows back in its
place. This monster can't be tweaked, massaged or even reformed. It must be killed. And
Herman Cain wants to give it a death blow with his straight-forward 9-9-9 plan: a 9 percent
personal income tax, a 9 percent corporate tax and a 9 percent national sales tax.
Woman with 15 IDs gets 7 years for multiple
VAT fraud. A Bristol woman has been jailed for using a complex web of 15 different identities and
companies to defraud the Revenue out of £118,000. 48-year-old Alison Reynolds was jailed for seven years
yesterday for VAT fraud and police offences. Reynolds was found guilty of four charges of cheating the Public
Revenue, one charge of using a false identity document and several forgery offences.
Could VAT Follow Corporate
Cut? Many were startled to hear President Obama tell the U.S. Chamber he supports a corporate
tax cut. Is it a ruse to get Republicans on board a value-added tax?
Value-Added Tax Would
Hurt Economy, Kill Jobs, Business Group Study Finds. An economic analysis sponsored by the National
Retail Federation (NRF) shows that a Value-Added Tax (VAT) would damage economic growth and kill hundreds of
thousands of jobs. The study showed that a large reduction in federal spending would be better for the
The VAT sometimes goes by other names.
Hawaiians Loudly and Successfully
Object to Proposed Tax Increase. [Scroll down to page 8] Hawaii's General Excise Tax
(GET) is a multilevel sales tax on all goods and services, including food and medicine. Because of its
compounding nature on the gross income, receipts, or proceeds of all business activities, the GET, at a base
rate of 4 percent, is comparable to at least an 11 percent sales tax. In addition, Hawaii's
GET is more regressive than most sales taxes, as many states and local governments exempt items such as food
and medicine but the GET does not. Currently the GET rate in Hawaii is 4 percent except for the
island of Oahu, which charges 4.5 percent to fund a $5.3 billion commuter rail project for the
Democrat 'Suicide Bombers'.
[Scroll down] Let's just think this through, which the Democrats obviously haven't. Both the
Cap-and-Trade bill, and a VAT imposition, would raise taxes on everyone in the country. ... These new taxes
are not the type that can be withheld from a paycheck, or tacked discreetly on everyone's phone bill.
They are the type that will be paid every day. They will be paid at the gas pump. They will be
paid at the checkout line in every store in the country. They will be paid every single day.
Need a VAT? We Already Have One. Democrats in Washington are struggling to find a solution
to the huge deficits created by the Obama Administration spending spree. The Commission on Fiscal
Responsibility and Reform recently had its first meeting, and they are widely expected — after the
November election, of course — to recommend a national VAT tax as the best way to solve the revenue
crisis. The problem is that we have a VAT already.
Should Be Taken Off Table ASAP. Adding up all of the annual deficits, the national debt will more
than double by the time today's newborns reach just the fifth grade. Many in Washington believe the
solution to this problem is to raise taxes.
Democrats at Ramming
Speed. The president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which began its work
last week, is required to submit a plan for serious deficit reduction by Dec. 1, four weeks after the November
election. Its recommendations are non-binding, but a lame duck Congress would be in position to take them up,
including a possible VAT. Should Democrats suffer a landslide defeat, their large majorities would still be
in place for the lame-duck session. What would Democrats who'd been defeated for re-election have to lose by
voting for a VAT? Not much.
There a VAT in our Future? There is an "emerging consensus" that we are headed for a Value-Added
Tax (VAT) in the United States. But the more optimistic among the experts and pundits believe it won't
come until after the 2012 election and then only if President Obama is reelected. There is no doubt that
something will have to be done about the financial crisis and the federal debt — even if ObamaCare
is repealed — and many believe the "hidden" VAT is the politically viable solution. Many
openly say that the VAT, with its costs hidden in the price of commercial products, is the only way to get
the money to pay for ObamaCare.
Value Added Tax and Illegals. It
is impossible to know the specific amount of future dollars produced by any tax that changes the cost of goods.
When someone tells you the VAT will produce "X" number of tax dollars in revenue, don't believe it. When
the price of something goes up, less of it is purchased. Thus, estimates of how many tax dollars will
result from a new sales tax are usually less than accurate.
Liberals Seek VAT to Pay for Big Gov't.
What is a president to do when his gargantuan spending increases threaten to double the national debt and push the
federal government into insolvency? ... Well, President Barack Obama may take a page out of the European social
democracy playbook by employing a new Value Added Tax (VAT) as a means to balance the federal budget on the backs
of American consumers.
Barely on the Tarmac, Obamacare is Poised to
Crash. ObamaCare's first 10 years of operations would cost $2.5 trillion. This
massive new expenditure, plus Washington's other spendaholic commitments, explains Obama's eagerness to jettison
his oft-repeated commitment not to raise taxes on Americans who earn less than $250,000 annually. To
finance ObamaCare and their other pricey projects, many Washington Democrats crave a national sales tax.
Voters Do Not Want the VAT. As the
Obama Administration continues to float the possibility of enacting a Value Added Tax (VAT) as a solution to the
growing deficit problem, polls show that such a national sales tax is widely unpopular with the American people.
Voters don't want the income tax, either.
Obama's Debt Commission Will Consider a Value-Added Tax.
When President Obama asked former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Democrat Erskine Bowles to chair his debt commission in
February, he told them to consider any and all ways to reduce the federal deficit — including new taxes, apparently.
VAT, first rolled out in 1950s France, is a sales tax on everything that every person or entity buys within a
country, with exceptions or reductions carved out for things like food, newspapers, or various links along
the industrial supply chain. Compared to the H&R Block subsidy program that is the US tax code, the VAT
is a straightforward way for governments to skim 20% or so off the top of every transaction.
Silent Killer: Obama's VAT Proposal. When conservatives like Neal Boortz proposed the "fair tax" (a
levy on consumption, not on income), we should have known that the Barack Obama left would seize on the proposal not as
Boortz intended it to be — a replacement for the income tax — but as an addition to it. Now
Obama has let it be known that the value-added tax, or VAT, is "on the table" as he casts about for taxes to lock in his
gigantic levels of federal spending.
The VAT's in the Fire.
When President Obama was a candidate, he pledged over and over to voters: If you make less than $250,000
a year, your taxes will not go up. Voters read his lips. They hoped for change. Yesterday [4/22/2010],
the President said that the Value Added Tax is "on the table." That means it will be the main course
served up after the November elections.
VAT Is Obama's License to Spend. A value added tax is not just any old tax, it is a plague of
potentially epic proportions.
Don't Give Obama a VAT. In a
nationally broadcast CNBC television interview on Wednesday [4/21/2010] with John Harwood of the New York
Times, Obama said that a VAT would be "novel for the United States." He repeatedly did not want to
rule it out since he "wants to get a better picture of what our options are." These are not the words of
a President who is not considering a VAT, or who has ruled one out. Rather, they are a clear and direct
signal to anyone bothering to listen that a VAT is President Obama's preferred method of raising the taxes to
pay for his massive expansion of government spending.
The Perils of Double Taxation. We
Americans believe we are overtaxed, as a Rasmussen poll revealed, as we focus on the accretion of direct taxes
on income, payroll, products and services, and property. Intimations of new taxes, like the value added
tax (VAT), portend government's scrambling to find ways to access a citizen's wealth and income to fund its
huge deficits. It is the obscure double tax, though, that is insidiously harmful to the economy.
House Dismisses Speculation Over National Sales Tax. The White House pushed back Monday [4/19/2010] on
a report that administration officials had examined the impact of a national sales tax as a way to help close
the federal budget's gaping deficit.
U.S. eyes sales tax. U.S. Sen. John Kerry said
yesterday [4/8/2010] he favors exploring the possible implementation of a new nationwide sales tax
similar to ones now imposed throughout Europe. The issue of a new "value added tax" in the United
States emerged earlier this week when Paul Volcker, an economic adviser to President Obama, said
the U.S. may need such a tax to close the nation's long-term budget deficits.
Lessons. A VAT is essentially a national sales tax that is assessed at each stage of production, with the bill
passed along to consumers at the cash register. In Europe the average rate is a little under 20%.
In the U.S., a federal VAT would presumably be levied on top of state and local sales taxes that range as
high as 10%. Some nations also exempt food, medicine and certain other goods from the tax.
VAT chance. After running up more
than $3 trillion in debt in just two years, the federal government is looking for new ways to raise
money. Promised future entitlement spending in the tens of trillions of dollars has put the government's
AAA bond rating in jeopardy, so borrowing all that money could be an expensive proposition. That means a
tax hike is coming.
adviser Volcker says record deficits could lead to new VAT tax. White House adviser Paul Volcker
said the United States may need to consider raising taxes to control deficits. He also said a European-style
value-added tax could gain support.
The Editor says...
Heaven forbid that the Democrats should reduce spending. No, their answer is always
The VAT Cometh.
As the night follows the day, the VAT cometh. With the passage of Obamacare, creating a vast new middle-class
entitlement, a national sales tax of the kind near-universal in Europe is inevitable.
VAT Would Be One Big Tub Of
Trouble. Ask a man on the street what VAT means. After giving you a strange look, he'll
probably give an answer along the lines of "a large tub." In a way, he'd be right: America's
on-again, off-again move towards a Value Added Tax (VAT) is a metaphorical large tub, into which huge but
nearly untraceable amounts of money will disappear.
VAT's The Matter? At least
twice a decade, it seems, desperate politicians latch on to the idea of a VAT as the best way to raise lots of money
for their spending schemes. No wonder. Unlike our current system, a VAT would impose a uniform levy at
each level of production, from raw materials to finished goods, so the revenue potential is huge. Which is
why it keeps coming up in our free-spending Capital.
Lied To Enough Already?
Individuals nationwide, regardless of political allegiance, have taken to the streets this year in opposition to the
radical liberal agenda and assert that we're taxed enough already, but we should also recognize that liberals have lied
to us enough already in regards to the further taxes we oppose. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) continued her
regularly scheduled display of dishonesty during a recent discussion of the value-added tax.
tax' is an economy-killer. The White House yesterday [4/7/2010] downplayed the idea —
but it's sure to resurface: It's an inevitable consequence of a government that's too big now and likely
to grow even bigger thanks to Washington's reckless spending spree. ... The VAT — on top of all
the other taxes Washington imposes — is a terrible idea. Imposing it would pretty well
finish the transformation of our country into a European-style slow-growth nation.
Mrs. Pelosi's VAT.
Candor about taxes is rare in Washington, so when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admits that Democrats may have to impose a huge
new tax on the middle class to fund their spending ambitions, believe her. Speaking with PBS's Charlie Rose on
Monday [10/5/2009], Mrs. Pelosi mused publicly about the rising possibility of enacting a value-added tax, or VAT,
as part of broader tax reform. "Somewhere along the way, a value-added tax plays into this," she said.
The Editor says...
That's a national sales tax, in other words, on top of all our other taxes.
First Hint of a European-Style VAT. [Scroll down] Now keep in mind, the addition of a VAT
would be on top of our already overly burdensome federal tax system — meaning that you would
continue to pay your federal income, payroll, capital gains, and estate taxes. Don't be deceived into
seeing this as a sister to the FairTax reform. This is an entirely new accounting which will
significantly increase the price of every good you buy.
a fix for spending addicts. The political speedball would combine the quick rush of income tax
increases with the euphoria induced by a value-added tax on consumption. Tax increases typically produce
a revenue spurt that quickly cools off as people find creative ways to evade them, while the VAT keeps taxing
consumption at every stage from production to purchase of a product. European VATs typically create
substantial revenue streams, but stifle entrepreneurial energy and job creation.
Beware of a Value Added Tax. The
Heritage Foundation describes the VAT, already used in the European Union, as "similar to a national retail
sales tax but is collected at every stage of business production until its entire burden ultimately falls on
the consumer." While the VAT could replace the income tax, which wouldn't be so bad in the eyes of many
conservatives, the odds are overwhelming that under Obama it would be collected in addition to the income tax.
CBO Fielding VAT
Questions From Congress. White House advisor Paul Volcker made news this week by calling a
value-added tax (VAT) "not as toxic an idea" as it's been in the past for tackling the nation's deficit
problem. Today, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf confirmed he's been getting "a
lot of questions" about the VAT tax from Congress.
The VAT Cat Is Out Of The Bag. For months I have argued that
Team Obama and the Democratic Congress were going to be forced to consider a VAT in order to pay for their extravagant
spending. Now borrowing almost 50 cents on every new dollar spent, the Democrats will at some point begin to
deal with the politics of deficit reduction as a way of countering Republican criticisms about deficit expansion.
And the VAT's part of their answer.
administration already laying groundwork for VAT. According to the New York Times, the
Obama administration's economic team is already running the numbers to prepare for the possibility of
instituting a national value added tax.
VAT, Ditch the Income Tax. When liberals advocate a value-added tax, conservatives should
respond: Taxing consumption has merits, so we will consider it -- after the 16th Amendment is repealed.
A VAT will be rationalized as necessary to restore fiscal equilibrium. But without ending the income tax,
a VAT would be just a gargantuan instrument for further subjugating Americans to government.
Ouch - VAT
hurts. Struggling Brits are being hit with a triple whammy — a painful VAT increase
along with huge rises in train fares and petrol prices. ... Inflation-busting increases in rail and Tube fares
took effect yesterday [1/2/2011], with some tickets up by 13 per cent. Petrol is already at a
record average of £1.24 a litre after a rise in fuel duty on New Year's Day — with a further
7p duty increase due in April.
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