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2010-04-22 Economy
Obama suggests VAT may be an option
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Posted by tu3031 2010-04-22 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6490 views ]  Top

#1 Luckily, Obama promised that people (like me) who earn less than $250,000 won't have their taxes raised. So I will be exempt from the VAT, right? Right?
Posted by Rambler in Virginia  2010-04-22 00:21||   2010-04-22 00:21|| Front Page Top

Posted by 3dc 2010-04-22 02:57||   2010-04-22 02:57|| Front Page Top

#3 Rambler: If it isn't income tax, then it doesn't count.
Posted by gorb 2010-04-22 04:08||   2010-04-22 04:08|| Front Page Top

#4 Rambler: I guess I should throw in the disclaimer that it doesn't count if you're a Democrat. If you're a Republican like George Bush I, then you better fasten your seat belt.
Posted by gorb 2010-04-22 04:09||   2010-04-22 04:09|| Front Page Top

#5 Who needs a stinking Constitution?
Posted by Procopius2k 2010-04-22 07:08||   2010-04-22 07:08|| Front Page Top

#6 He said his first priority "is to figure out how can we reduce wasteful spending

A VAT will certainly have an impact on spending, car sales and large ticket item purchases will definately tank. Of course he'll figure a way for the non-earners to get their VAT back via "Earned Income Tax Credit" welfare payments. You know, the wealth re-distro plan. Can a single day or week go by without this bastard or his cadre coming up with some communist, take-away SHI*?
Posted by Besoeker 2010-04-22 07:22||   2010-04-22 07:22|| Front Page Top

#7 I guess the Mighty One thinks we should be more like the Euro_Peons. Thought we left Europe to get away from a tyrannical government, lack of freedom, an unrepresentive government, and unfair taxation?
Posted by JohnQC 2010-04-22 07:56||   2010-04-22 07:56|| Front Page Top

#8 "That is something that has worked for some countries."

Ummm...define "worked".
Posted by DepotGuy 2010-04-22 08:52||   2010-04-22 08:52|| Front Page Top

#9 Quote of the day:

"Our president can multi-task."
Vallerie Jarrett - Fox News interview, 22 April 2010
Posted by Besoeker 2010-04-22 08:59||   2010-04-22 08:59|| Front Page Top

#10 "Our president can multi-task."

Yeah, he can screw something up and rewrite the Constitution at the same time.

As for the VAT, in my experience that is a business-to-business kind of tax. If a business buys something from another business, they add the VAT to the sales price. Is this how it works, or is there a private VAT as well?
Posted by gorb 2010-04-22 10:15||   2010-04-22 10:15|| Front Page Top

#11 VAT in Germany was 18% on consumer items, less food as I recall. I believe it has been raised to 19% now.
Posted by Besoeker 2010-04-22 10:18||   2010-04-22 10:18|| Front Page Top

#12 That's how it works, a stealth sales tax. If we want to have a sales tax, and I do instead of, not in addition to an income tax, it should be explicit just like state sales taxes.
Posted by Nimble Spemble 2010-04-22 10:18||   2010-04-22 10:18|| Front Page Top

#13 What all this taxation will do is to accelerate the underground economy. IIRC, at the time of the fall of the USSR, 50% of the GDP was the *ahem* alternate economy.

Ultimately, in the tax and spend scenario, the govt gets everything and gives the serfs what the govt thinks they need.
Posted by Alaska Paul 2010-04-22 10:53||   2010-04-22 10:53|| Front Page Top

#14 The sad truth is the US is in a terrible bind. Everyone talks about cutting "wasteful spending" or cutting "discretionary spending". But these areas are drops in the bucket compared to where the real expenditures are. Everyone needs to educate themselves on government spending. The big ones are obvious: defense, social security and Medicare. In that order. And those account for most of government spending, I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but probably >75%. How many here know that government spending already accounts for 50% of healthcare spending? How many know that 50% of Medicare costs are incurred by 5% of medicare recipients in the last 6 months of their lives? So what are we going to cut? Social Security? Medicare? Even if the government cuts those programs, that cost still exists. It doesn't go away, society still pays it in some form. The same with healthcare. Nobody wants "socialized" healthcare, but we already have it! What do you think insurance is other than socializing costs? The cost of people without healthcare is already socialized by higher charges and premiums. No, I'm not defending the obamacare abomination, it's horrible and will increase costs. No doubt. But people need to understand, if you actually want the US to get it's fiscal house in shape, then, at the appropriate times (booms) we NEED higher taxes. That is just basic economics. Our society, for the most part has decided that Social Security and Medicare are something we want to do. Check the polls, a majority want to keep these programs. So then how do we cut costs in a meaningful way? Most people have no clue about the economic and financial position of the US. It's not good. We need real solutions, not fantasies that cutting pork will save us.
Posted by AllahHateMe 2010-04-22 11:17||   2010-04-22 11:17|| Front Page Top

#15 As for the VAT, in my experience that is a business-to-business kind of tax. If a business buys something from another business, they add the VAT to the sales price. Is this how it works, or is there a private VAT as well?

What that means is there is a tax levied at each transaction along the way, from raw materials production all the way to the consumer. And yes, VAT is levied on the final sale to the consumer as well. As I recall from my time in Germany, the VAT went well toward doubling the cost of the things I purchased, just as a housewife.
Posted by trailing wife 2010-04-22 11:25||   2010-04-22 11:25|| Front Page Top

#16 VAT is another tax on transfers. These cause less exchange of goods/time and thus more unemployment and a smaller economy.

There IS a tax that doesn't cause these problems but it's politically unacceptable.
Posted by Bright Pebbles 2010-04-22 11:31||   2010-04-22 11:31|| Front Page Top

#17 That's how it works, a stealth sales tax.

18-19% added to the price to the consumer in Germany?

We have a 9.25% sales tax in Knox County, TN. No income taxes in TN. However, that is not entirely true. There is an income tax on earnings from investments. Add another 19% and its looking bad. Add to that Federal income tax. Property taxes. Gasoline taxes. Telephone taxes. License plates taxes. Whatever other taxes BO has in mind for us such as that to pay off unions, pay for health care, pay for cap and trade, etc,. Throw in what was lost in the stock market debacle created by the government and Wall street. Starts to look a lot like living at the poverty level. My and Mrs. JOhnQC's plan for retirement is screwed. Not so easy to find work at age 71 with high blood pressure and "C" survivor. I guess there is Wal Mart greeter if they have any openings.

Posted by JohnQC 2010-04-22 12:30||   2010-04-22 12:30|| Front Page Top

#18 Not only that buts its too damn easy to kick up the rate on a VAT because, as I understand it, the VAT rate depends on the commodity - as long as you don't piss of too many people at the same time you can raise it as much as you like.

Also people don't 'see' the VAT tax directly - only via higher prices. So they will blame the BUSINESS for passing on the cost and not the GOVERNMENT which is the root cause - not the rampant GOVERNMENT SPENDING on sh*t like bailouts for bankers, newspapers, etc... They don't 'see' that while they are getting something like healthcare - it is not 'free' - they are paying for it with additional hidden taxes - often at much higher cost (and much worse service) than insurance or pay-as-you-go.

Much like the old Telephony monopolies - they have a monopoly and thus don't care about service - they are guaranteed a return.
Posted by CrazyFool 2010-04-22 12:44||   2010-04-22 12:44|| Front Page Top

#19 So what are we going to cut? Social Security? Medicare?


Look at it this way: Big Brother takes your money, says he's gonna give it back to you someday. You believe that? Maybe you get pennies on the dollar. Maybe, if you live long enough, you get all your money back and then some. Who pays for the "then some"? The ones who croaked early or the ones who are still working? Either way it's not fair. I WANT MY MONEY BACK, DAMMIT!!!
Posted by Ebbang Uluque6305 2010-04-22 13:12||   2010-04-22 13:12|| Front Page Top

#20 With AllahHateMe on this one. If we want to avoid becoming Argentina, and refuse to make deep cuts in Social Security and Medicare, then we need higher tax revenues, end of story.

My preference would be for huge tax increases on energy consumption, across the board,, balanced by a reduction in payroll taxes + an end to all bans on offshore drilling, including southern California and all along the coast of Alaska.

This would greatly reduce the amount of cash we ship each year to Oogo, the Saudis and GazPutin; move us closer to energy self-sufficiency; stimulate domestic industries focused on smart energy usage / energy efficiency; and make us as a nation far less wasteful and more focused on the one area where huge advances in technology can actually help us restore lost manufacturing jobs and rebuild our industrial base.

Does that make me a "socialist"? I couldn't care less if it does. We need to be realistic about our situation and do whatever works before this nation's finances resembles California's. No time for ideology now.
Posted by lex 2010-04-22 13:15||   2010-04-22 13:15|| Front Page Top

#21 AllahHateMe - There are PRAGMATIC SOLUTIONS...
But, everybody in the US seems to be a believer in some theory, way of life, moral structure or something....

Let me propose some out of the the box non-acceptable to most Americans views of our society that an alien from outer space might see..

Lets start with parasites...
In the long telephoto view of things.... everybody not engaged in farming is a parasite on the products of farms. They need to invent reasons farmers need them ... therefore .. goods for farmers... protection from predation from other humans ... etc...

Now using the same analogy... there are two fuels in society that have become running sores engaging millions of people in remediation efforts and the fuel production and use... They are 1) Drugs 2) Oil.

Both are enabling gateways to huge criminal and warfare sinkholes...

So... before anything...
1) drill drill drill for oil at home and look for replacements..
2) Drugs need to be made legal and so cheap that a) addicts can poison themselves quickly and cheaply with minimal crime and then exit the parasite pool for good..
b) Drugs need to become so cheap that criminal gangs and failed states/(non-state warriors) can get no enabling funds from them or oil.
c) Prisons can be emptied of drug users... - Its even cheaper to let them poison themselves in a flop house on some welfare then keep them in expensive prisons - with the huge parasitical prison industry that engenders - (What amount of useful production of anything comes from the billions of $ spent on prisons? Near nothing so it's a parasite on the taxpayer)
d) Drug rehab industry... it is parasitical too... let Darwin save the taxpayers some money... IF somebody really wants to reform... they can do it themselves... Really.. I am not kidding... and know folk who have... You have to hit rock bottom and decide to save yourself.. Nobody can to it for you...
e) Having so many minority men in jail... disturbs the male/female demographics in said communities causing dynamics that accelerate the destruction of stable families in said communities.. You can see the results of that when women in the worst hit groups have the highest levels of STDs in our society.. the prison induced demographics put them in that position....

Then Oil and others...

But, for some reason .... we can't talk about this stuff in our society and it just gets worse and worse..
Posted by 3dc 2010-04-22 13:22||   2010-04-22 13:22|| Front Page Top

#22 The basic way that the Federal government operates has to change. We are rapidly becoming an economy of government workers and special interests. Public employee unions and special interests are fueling this growth in government employment and governmental goodies. Congress can't just keep passing legislation that costs more and more. If we operated the way government does, someone would take away the credit cards and send us to a head shrinker. I'll take the money back that I paid into social security and medicare and that I continue to pay in. I am willing to manage it myself. Better yet just keep the money I paid in and get off my back. At the same time unplug the economy and let it grow so that it creates jobs. Get independent of oil in the mideast. Quit enshrining political correctness and global warming as the new state religion.
Posted by JohnQC 2010-04-22 14:41||   2010-04-22 14:41|| Front Page Top

#23 #22 The basic way that the Federal government operates has to change. John

It changed in Nov 2008. We now have a KING!
Posted by Besoeker 2010-04-22 15:22||   2010-04-22 15:22|| Front Page Top

#24 Some good comments on this thread. I'd love to keep it going, but I have to go to class now. Graduate, not undergrad :-) I plan on revisiting this thread in the morning though. I have lots to say. Hope everyone has a good night.
Posted by AllahHateMe 2010-04-22 17:14||   2010-04-22 17:14|| Front Page Top

#25 Wish I had the time to input at the moment - Can't just cut MC/SS, but how about a progressive removal based upon age, with the cuttoff at age 30?
Posted by swksvolFF 2010-04-22 17:59||   2010-04-22 17:59|| Front Page Top

#26 It's just the beginning:
Nearly 4M people could pay without health coverage
Nearly 4 million Americans — the vast majority of them middle class — will have to pay a penalty if they don't get insurance when President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law kicks in, according to congressional estimates released Thursday. The penalties will average a little more than $1,000 apiece in 2016, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report.

Millions face tax increases under Dems budget plan
President Barack Obama's Democratic allies in the Senate promise to cut the deficit by almost two-thirds over the next five years,(rubes) but their budget plan could threaten about 30 million people with tax increases averaging $3,700 in 2012 and after because of the alternative minimum tax.
Posted by ed 2010-04-22 18:01||   2010-04-22 18:01|| Front Page Top


go to the web site if you are interested. Breakdown isn't as neat as "defense, social security and medicare".
Posted by Whiskey Mike 2010-04-22 18:41||   2010-04-22 18:41|| Front Page Top

#28 "Our president teleprompter can multi-task."

Once the regime imposes this, and heaven knows they are gonna find a way, can we just make it official and join the EU?
Posted by Cornsilk Blondie 2010-04-22 18:50||   2010-04-22 18:50|| Front Page Top

#29 He said his first priority "is to figure out how can we reduce wasteful spending"

Wasteful spending - people spending their income on personal gain rather than giving it to the government.
Posted by DMFD 2010-04-22 19:13||   2010-04-22 19:13|| Front Page Top

#30 Hear hear WaltMan. Frankly, (!) we'd all be happier and there would be a shit load less violent crime. Instead of giving a hobo a quarter you could give him a packet of quality hoss and make sure he has a good blanket and a Whopper. That's a hell of a lot cheaper that having the state look after him 24-7.
Posted by Shipman 2010-04-22 19:17||   2010-04-22 19:17|| Front Page Top

#31 If they enact a VAT on goods, I'd recommend everyone buy nothing but food until its repealed.
No cars, tv's, boats or anything of the sort. School clothes for the kids and things like that would be hard to cut out, but I already have enough crap in my house to last me the rest of my life.
Posted by bigjim-CA 2010-04-22 20:51||   2010-04-22 20:51|| Front Page Top

#32 The bottom line is that we cannot keep living this lifestyle without working smarter. The rate of govt spending is not supportable. If we do not reign in spending, we will collapse economically. Period. Everyone, including Chicoms go down.

To get all the goodies, you have to be more productive. We are talking quantum steps. People contribute. No able bodied freeloaders.

So we are talking fiscal and physical conservation, new methods, higher efficiencies, spending on basics that work, then work into new technologies as they are proven out.

We reform our house or our house collapses. Simple as that.
Posted by Alaska Paul 2010-04-22 21:18||   2010-04-22 21:18|| Front Page Top

#33 I'd recommend everyone buy nothing but food until its repealed.

Isn't that what is happening involuntarily between replacing domestic labor w/ foreign workers and the oligarchs looting what remaining wealth is left?
Posted by ed 2010-04-22 23:02||   2010-04-22 23:02|| Front Page Top

#34 The sad truth is the US is in a terrible bind. Everyone talks about cutting "wasteful spending" or cutting "discretionary spending". But these areas are drops in the bucket compared to where the real expenditures are. Everyone needs to educate themselves on government spending. The big ones are obvious: defense, social security and Medicare. In that order.

The government spends more on administration than anything else. Of course these administration costs are bundled into the costs of defense, health, etc. And this ignores the administration costs to business and indiduals of complying with government rules/laws.

Which is why VAT (GST) is a good tax. Its efficient (hard to cheat on) and cheap to administer. My GST return used to take me about 5 minutes every month.

BTW, in Canada paying GST is optional for small businesses, but over 90% voluntarily collect and pay the tax.

How about that. A tax people want to pay.
Posted by phil_b 2010-04-22 23:38||   2010-04-22 23:38|| Front Page Top

23:59 gorb
23:57 Skidmark
23:53 Skidmark
23:39 bigjim-CA
23:38 phil_b
23:03 Steve White
23:02 ed
23:00 Anguper Hupomosing9418
22:58  abu do you love
22:57 Barbara Skolaut
22:50 Rex Mundi
22:41 phil_b
22:34 remoteman
22:31 logi_cal
22:27 ex-lib
22:22 Frank G
22:10 gorb
22:08 gorb
21:54 49 Pan
21:18 Alaska Paul
21:11 Barbara Skolaut
21:06 lotp
21:06 Alaska Paul
21:00 Besoeker

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