Scat VAT! Rasmussen reports that while Democrats would go for a national sales tax to pay for universal healthcare, no so the rest of the country:
Healthcare reform is gaining momentum. (“If we don’t get it done this year, we’re not going to get it done,” Obama said yesterday.) Ted Kennedy’s bill is beginning to be unwrapped, says the WaPo:
Back in January when Team Obama was pushing its stimulus plan, the White House put out a self-analysis of the potential economic impact of the plan, authored by Jared Bernstein and Christina Romer. If Congress passed the president’s plan, the report said, the U.S. unemployment rate would rise to just under 8 percent by later this year and fall to 7 percent by Q4 2010. If the plan was not passed, the reported predicted, the U.S. unemployment rate would climb to 9 percent next year.
Nouriel Roubini paints a gloomy picture of the economy ahead:
“I still expect that economic growth in the U.S. is going to be negative through Q4, and that we’ll see positive growth in Q1,” Roubini told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the Seoul Digital Forum.
Bob Williams over at the Tax Policy Center takes note of recent research that suggests “taxes don’t always have to depress demand. People may not react to tax changes they don’t perceive. If the price change isn’t obvious, homo economicus goes on merrily consuming the same as before.”
My Reuters Commentary pal and fellow snappy dresser Felix Salmon wonders how noted Stanford economist John Taylor can be worried about big budget deficits and also be in favor of low taxes: “Or maybe deficits caused by permanent tax cuts are somehow to be preferred to deficits caused by temporary stimulus spending”
The WaPo discovers that a value-added tax would be one way to pay for Obama’s healthcare reform plan. (White House healthcare adviser Ezekiel Emanuel is a big VAT fan and even wrote a book about it.) Len Burman of the Tax Policy Center describes a VAT this way (in a different report):