For months now, the Obama administration has been floating – somewhat at arm’s length – the idea of a European-style value-added tax.
U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, an Appropriations Committee chairman and major power in Congress, was in for a visit yesterday. He brought up the VAT entirely on his own – which suggests he’s getting invested in the idea. He sees it as a short-term tax dedicated exclusively to paying down the federal deficit.
And he sounded exasperated at his Republican colleagues’ “read my lips” opposition to any conceivable new taxes. “What if some modest adjustment is what it takes to save Social Security?” he said. He described the Republicans’ stance as “under no circumstance will we ever do what is responsible.”
Republicans will see it differently, of course. But Dicks’ comments confirm that the VAT is getting traction on one side of the aisle.