Obama: Yeah, I’m open to a VAT

posted at 9:30 am on April 22, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, Obama left the door open on imposing a new federal sales tax in order to get more revenues to the federal government, reversing previous denials.  CNBC notes that Barack Obama’s sudden U-turn on a value-added tax (VAT) has been carefully prepared by subtle changes in his rhetoric on protecting the middle class (emphasis mine):

Obama’s admission came during an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood. Asked if he could see the potential for a VAT, 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’s VAT admission may explain his recent attempts to alter the terms of his central campaign promise. Twice in the past two weeks, Obama has claimed his middle class tax pledge only applied to income taxes rather than “any form of taxes”.

In his April 10 Weekly Radio Address, Obama said: “And one thing we have not done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000. That’s another promise we’ve kept.” In a speech on the evening of April 15, Obama repeated the truncated promise: “And one thing we haven’t done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year — another promise that we kept.” The two recent statements stand in stark contrast to Obama’s original promise: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

The sudden change is a clear example of the Jim Geraghty Axiom: Every Obama promise has an expiration date — every one. A VAT would rapidly increase costs across the entire spectrum of wage earners, but the middle class would get particularly hard. Usually, a VAT gets accompanied by some sort of subsidies for low-income families, and wealthy families won’t have it hit their disposable income as hard. The middle class will end up carrying the burden of a VAT, the very antithesis of Obama’s promise in 2008.

CNBC’s catch of the rhetorical dancing of Obama shows that the White House is preparing some sort of major change on taxes, and an acknowledgment that the change will hit the middle class.  Since they’re apparently defending their position on income taxes, the VAT is the most likely alternative.


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In related news, Senator Corker explains a very serious flaw in the Dodd bill. Essentially the federal government wants the flexibility to determine the winners and losers in a command economy: http://article.nationalreview.com/432208/corker-vs-the-real-bailouts/stephen-spruiell

onlineanalyst on April 22, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Baxter Greene on April 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Baxter, your posts are always super-long BUT YOU NEVER WASTE A WORD. They are ALWAYS worth reading! Thanks so the work you put in ‘em.

Perhaps you can convince Faraway (in the clouds) that his VAT chat is nonsense. who says having a VAT implemented will get rid of the income tax? How has the abolition of incomes taxes been coming along with ZerObama Regime?

NO MORE TAXES ARE NEEDED!!!! We are taxed too much already. Simple as that.

Gob on April 22, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Paging Rep. Paul Ryan, paging Rep. Paul Ryan.

ObaMao should simply fire the clowns on his Kommittee of Fyscal Komedy and have a beer summit with Rep. Paul Ryan.

In re to a point I had made about looking to the models of fiscally sound states rather than bankrupt European models, this piece that contrasts California with Texas provides a verifiable object lesson.
http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=N2E2MDIwNDM0ZjcxYjA3OWNiZTA0Zjk0OWY3NWMxZDY=

onlineanalyst on April 22, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Obama: Yeah, I’m open to a VAT

OK. How about a 50% VAT on the memoirs and speaking fees of former government officials.

J_Crater on April 22, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Liar. Fraud.

Terrye on April 22, 2010 at 3:33 PM

OK. How about a 50% VAT on the memoirs and speaking fees of former government officials.

J_Crater on April 22, 2010 at 3:04 PM

HA HA HA LOVE IT. And a good idea, too.

NJ Red on April 22, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Unfortunatly, this clip was clipped a little to tightly.

Obama clearly explains that what he is doing is to first spend as much money as he deems appropriate for socialist, welfare, and handout programs. Obama then states that he will then implement taxes to support his programs.

The discussion of a VAT is inconsequential to Obama as he simply does not care how these tax dollars are raised.

Obama is an economic idiot.

Freddy on April 22, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Do these idiots even talk to each other?

http://www.breitbart.tv/geithner-obama-does-not-support-the-vat-for-the-u-s/

AUINSC on April 22, 2010 at 4:51 PM

What a novel idea.

carbon_footprint on April 22, 2010 at 4:53 PM

O-Burma shave is delusional, knows nothing about the middle class, and lives in a bubble. Our bubble boy will finally realize that all bubbles break.

Dhuka on April 22, 2010 at 6:14 PM

Too funny. An idiot just yesterday on facebook called me a liar for saying that policy thinkers had been talking about a VAT. His support was this article which apparently has been updated today and clearly supports what I said.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2011668493_vat22.html

“Obama appeared to be less emphatic Wednesday during an interview with CNBC — “I want to get a better picture of what our options are.”

lol

aikidoka on April 22, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Obama lies every time he turns around. What about his no new taxes promise?

Until America votes out liars we deserve what we get.

scotash on April 22, 2010 at 10:56 PM

The very term “VAT” seem to connote socialism. Money which were paid to everyone but organizer (businessman) are some sort of “natural value”, while his profit is “added value”.

Alexey on April 23, 2010 at 9:04 AM

The discussion of a VAT is inconsequential to Obama as he simply does not care how these tax dollars are raised.

Obama is an economic idiot.

Freddy on April 22, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Sums it up…

right2bright on April 23, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Haven’t read the whole thread, but surely someone has already noted – ” Read My Lips”, your taxes will not increase ” By One Thin Dime!”

humdinger on April 23, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Obama’s original promise: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

I’m probably in the minority on this one, but the way I see it, creating a VAT is one of the only ways Obama can raise taxes on the middle class WITHOUT breaking his pledge.

That’s because his pledge, as written, has a gaping hole in it. If you parse his words carefully, you’ll se he never says “no NEW taxes”, as GHW Bush did. He only promises that taxes will not be increased, which presumes that the taxes in question must first exist. A VAT, however, currently does not exist, and VAT taxes currently cannot be “increased” because the tax itself is undefined.

So that leaves him free to impose a VAT and not break the letter of his pledge. (After all, how could “any of your taxes” possibly refer to a tax that doesn’t even exist yet?)

RD on April 23, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Effing Liar.

sgt_rich on April 23, 2010 at 6:58 PM

WE THE PEOPLE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVAhr4hZDJE
/
The Cloward-Piven Strategy
http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_strategy.html
http://frontpage.americandaughter.com/?p=1878
/
DEMOCRATS = Socialism = Progress-ism = Marxism = Hell
/
O ne
B ig
A ss
M istake
A merica

byteshredder on April 24, 2010 at 3:16 PM

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