James Pethokoukis

Team Obama already running the numbers on a VAT

April 19, 2010

Talk about burying the lede. This from the NYTimes and my pal John Harwood:

One way to reach that 3 percent [deficit-to-GDP] goal, by the calculations of Mr. Obama’s economic team: a 5 percent value-added tax, which would generate enough revenue to simultaneously permit the reduction in corporate tax rates Republicans favor.

CBO’s Elmendorf on the VAT

April 8, 2010

The Weekly Standard reports some interesting bits from a breakfast chat by Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf. The charming Mary Katharine Ham has some quotes:

Verily, Volcker avers VAT is in the vicinity

April 7, 2010

Reuters has the scoop:

The United States should consider raising taxes to help bring deficits under control and may need to consider a European-style value-added tax, White House adviser Paul Volcker said on Tuesday.

How America might get a VAT of its own

April 6, 2010

When will the other chaussure drop? Now that America has gone French (and German and British) with universal healthcare, expect Washington to eventually propose a European-style, value-added consumption tax to pay for it — as well as the rest of the historic rise in federal spending. But U.S. voters are in a severe anti-tax mood. It might take another financial crisis to give politicians the will and hubris to ignore them.

The other government mandate

April 1, 2010

Forget about being forced to buy health insurance. Aren’ t Americans pretty much forced  by our complex tax code to buy tax prep software or see an accountant? That is a mandate, too, notes Howard Gleckman of TaxVox:

7 reasons a VAT is a dicey proposition

March 29, 2010

My guy Pete Davis over at Capital Gains and Games unsheathes the katana and slices up the VAT. Not so easy to implement he says. A brief summary of his reasons (though read the whole thing, of course):

VAT Attack! Obama and middle-class tax hikes

February 11, 2010

As long-time readers know, I am convinced that the Obama administration is itching to slap the US economy with a value-added tax. Team Obama just needs to figure out how to do it politically. Listen to the POTUS in this BBW interview:

The new Washington Consensus: taxes, taxes and more taxes

December 29, 2009

This depressing WSJ article outlines some possible solutions to America’s long-term fiscal problems:

The political blowback from healthcare reform

December 18, 2009

Kim Strassel of the WSJ states her case:

1) Consider North Dakota. A recent Zogby poll showed 28% (you read that right) of state voters support “reform.” A full 40% said they’d be less likely to vote for Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan next year if he supports a bill. In a theoretical matchup with Republican Gov. John Hoeven (who has yet to announce), Mr. Hoeven wins 55% to 36%. Mr. Dorgan has been in the Senate 17 years; he won his last election with 68% of the vote.

VAT Attack! Will deficit commission lead to a VAT?

December 11, 2009

That is one theory offered up as the eventual outcome of the C0nrad-Gregg deficit commission. And today in the NYT, there is a story extolling the virtues of a VAT.  Indeed, it is a great revenue raiser, and liberals love it because they think Americans are undertaxed and don’t want to cut spending to reduce the long-term structural budget deficit.