When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

06 August 2007

An American VAT?

Bruce Bartlett, guestblogging at Andrew Sullivan's this week, is a big proponent of consumption-based taxes (a Value Added Tax, or VAT, such as is in common use throughout the European Union.)

He gets off a pretty good line at the end of a post, paraphrasing Lawrence Summers:
To put the issue more succinctly, let me quote Larry Summers, who once said something to this effect. We don't have a VAT because liberals think it is regressive--it takes more in percentage terms from the incomes of the poor--and conservatives think it is a money machine. We will have a VAT, Summers went on, when liberals figure out that it is a money machine and conservatives realize that it is regressive.

Wiser words were never spoken on this topic.

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