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Thread: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

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    Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    With budget deficits soaring and President Obama pushing a trillion-dollar-plus expansion of health coverage, some Washington policymakers are taking a fresh look at a money-making idea long considered politically taboo: a national sales tax.

    Common around the world, including in Europe, such a tax -- called a value-added tax, or VAT -- has not been seriously considered in the United States. But advocates say few other options can generate the kind of money the nation will need to avert fiscal calamity.

    At a White House conference earlier this year on the government's budget problems, a roomful of tax experts pleaded with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to consider a VAT. A recent flurry of books and papers on the subject is attracting genuine, if furtive, interest in Congress. And last month, after wrestling with the White House over the massive deficits projected under Obama's policies, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee declared that a VAT should be part of the debate.
    Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    The greed, ineptitude, and arrogance of the O administration knows no bounds.
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    Re: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    The greed, ineptitude, and arrogance of the O administration knows no bounds.
    Isn't The Obama the guy that guaranteed He'd not raise taxes on families making more that $250k?

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    Re: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    Call me crazy her, but wouldn't ya know... cutting spending be a better choice here?

    Anyone? Anyone?
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    Re: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    Isn't The Obama the guy that guaranteed He'd not raise taxes on families making more that $250k?
    he hasn't.

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    Re: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Call me crazy her, but wouldn't ya know... cutting spending be a better choice here?

    Anyone? Anyone?
    Kinda depends on if you're the one getting the government check or paying it, doesn't it?

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    Re: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    A VAT tax would be a mistake...it isn't necessary and is too regressive. Instead, we should allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, create a new 41% bracket for income over approximately $2 million, tax employer-paid health benefits as ordinary income, and slowly phase in a $1 gas tax hike.
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    Re: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    A VAT tax would be a mistake...it isn't necessary and is too regressive. Instead, we should allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, create a new 41% bracket for income over approximately $2 million, tax employer-paid health benefits as ordinary income, and slowly phase in a $1 gas tax hike.




    Ah yes, raise gas taxes so the poor would be hurt when filling up. Maybe you can force them to buy over priced priuses.
    Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us

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    Re: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    This will never happen, though I hope it does. Nothing would get his sorry ass booted (along with the rest of his crap party) than putting in a national sales tax to pay for health care. The fallout would be hilarious to watch. Then we could get a real President in there who could reverse it and institute fiscal sanity. In the long run, this would be great news for the country.

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    Re: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    A few things of notes:

    1. Per the article, the Obama Administration has neither proposed nor endorsed the valued-added tax (VAT) which amounts to nothing more than a national sales tax. However, members of his administration haven't excluded the idea altogether which is fine by me. It's not like this is the first time that a national sales tax has been proposed by Congress and it certainly won't be the last.
    2. Since the VAT would be an across the board tax, everyone would be affected by it. Thus, no one economic demographic (those whose income exceed $250K) would be able to singularly claim that a campaign promise was broken as far as a tax increase is concerned. However, Pres. Obama has stated several times while on the campaign trail and while in office that those making over $250K would likely see a tax increase, just not at this time. That will likely come around 2010, but not later than 2012 when certain tax exemptions geared towards the wealthy expire.
    3. Even the Washington Post article acknowledges that the U.S. tax code needs reform and a national sales tax could be of benefit to corporations as it would significantly reduce or all but eliminate the corporate tax. Moreover, corporations would pay closer attention to their spending habits as every dollar spent on goods or services would be taxed. The VAT would, therefore, eliminate alot of wasteful spending by Corporate America.
    4. Since consideration for VAT is geared more toward offsetting the cost of health care (reform), it's very unlikely to receive any real consideration at all.


    As long as the VAT isn't set extremely high (2-5% I think would be reasonable for most people), the income tax is eliminated, corporate tax codes are restructured so that corporations aren't hit with a double tax on purchases, and the VAT isn't incrementally increased (i.e., once every 5 years), then I really don't see a problem with it.

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    Re: Once Considered Unthinkable, U.S. Sales Tax Gets Fresh Look

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend_Hellh0und View Post
    Ah yes, raise gas taxes so the poor would be hurt when filling up. Maybe you can force them to buy over priced priuses.
    I wouldn't mind cutting payroll taxes by an equivalent amount, to offset the difficulty the poor would have affording gasoline. That's my biggest problem with the tax code, rather than the overall rate of taxation. It's not so much that people are taxed too much or too little (although I think we need to be taxed SLIGHTLY more overall)...it's that we tax the wrong things.

    Let's have less payroll taxes and more income taxes.
    Let's have less corporate taxes and more capital gains taxes.
    Let's have less general sales taxes (and no VAT tax) and more energy-specific sales taxes.
    Let's abolish the alternative minimum tax and simplify the entire tax code instead.
    Let's have fewer loopholes for employer-provided health care and more deductions for education expenses.


    Etc, etc.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-27-09 at 07:02 PM.
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