Today in "We've Got a Democratic President, Right? Just Checking."

Obama suggests value-added tax may be an option:
President Barack Obama suggested Wednesday that a new value-added tax on Americans is still on the table, seeming to show more openness to the idea than his aides have expressed in recent days.

Before deciding what revenue options are best for dealing with the deficit and the economy, Obama said in an interview with CNBC, "I want to get a better picture of what our options are."

After Obama adviser Paul Volcker recently raised the prospect of a value-added tax, or VAT, the Senate voted 85-13 last week for a nonbinding "sense of the Senate" resolution that calls the such a tax "a massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income and only further push back America's economic recovery."
Yes, yes it would. That's because a VAT, which is essentially a national sales tax, is a regressive tax, meaning it's more of a burden the less money you make, because the 10¢, say, added to a gallon of milk is a bigger percentage of the income of someone making $15,000/year than someone making $100,000/year.

The US has regressive taxes now in the form of state sales taxes, in the states that impose them, although the tax percentage varies between states—and frequently even within states, with different counties or cities charging different rates—in order to reflect the average standard of living and thus mitigation the regressive nature of the tax. Still, the heaviest burden always falls on the poorest people in any principality.
In the CNBC interview, Obama said he was waiting for recommendations from a bipartisan fiscal advisory commission on ways to tackle the deficit and other problems.
Of course he is.
When asked if he could see a potential VAT in this nation, the president said: "I know that there's been a lot of talk around town lately about the value-added tax. That is something that has worked for some countries. It's something that would be novel for the United States."

"And before, you know, I start saying 'this makes sense or that makes sense,' I want to get a better picture of what our options are," Obama said.
I'm quite genuinely not sure what details he needs to understand this is a terrible, terrible idea.

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