Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We're VAT it again

Mankiw on

Unless the president revises his spending plans substantially, he will have no choice but to find some major source of government revenue," wrote Mankiw in the New York Times. "A VAT tax may be the best of a bunch of bad alternatives.
Well gee, why is the former option not getting the proper attention?
Kudlow on CNBC:
Look, if you think for a one moment that spendthrift politicians in Washington won’t treat higher tax revenues as their very own honey pot, think again. That’s exactly what this crowd will do.
As it has always been the case. Government only seems to get bigger and more powerful.

At each stage, the buyer receives a tax invoice that is filed with the government tax collectors; the buyer then gets a refund for the tax already paid by the previous person in the chain. The government, of course, gets the entire sales tax; it just receives it in a piecemeal way.
Sounds like a lot of additional bureaucratic paperwork to me.

But if nothing is done soon, argue proponents of the tax, the nation's huge deficit and debt burden are going to produce a wicked fiscal hangover similar to the one that Greece is experiencing now.
So these proponents never thought that culling wasteful government spending could provide the answer?

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