The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From last night’s “All-Stars.”

On the possibility of the Obama administration introducing a value-added tax:

The VAT is the biggest ATM machine in the world. And, as you say, it is used in Europe. And it is successful in bringing in cash because a small tweak of it, a tiny increase, which is hard to see in disguise, brings in a lot of revenue, and that’s why it’s liked in Europe and used.

The reason that people are talking about it here is because the expansion of healthcare is going to be so expensive under the Obama plans.

Originally, the idea was that the cash cow would be the carbon tax, the cap and trade system, in which the government sells pollution rights.

The problem is that it’s been working its way in congress, and in order to appease the Midwestern states that are coal producing and that are industrial and that would be ruined under a carbon tax, it has been re- jiggered so that over 80 percent of the permits will be given away for free. So no revenue.

So in the absence of that, the discussion of a VAT is beginning.

Now, conservatives have talked about it in the past, having a national sales tax, but as a replacement of the income tax, because income taxes is intrusive. It’s tyrannous. You have to keep receipts on everything in your life.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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