Quote of the Day

24Apr10

A Big Government is no longer a prospect to ward off. That choice has been made. One might regret it — but not as much as the consequences of refusing to pay for it. – Clive Crook

Yeah, basically. I’m not normally a huge fan of Clive, but this view strikes me as very realistic. It’s time to accept the idea that anti-big government sentiment is much more rhetorical than practical. That said, we need to take the deficit seriously, and the only way to do that is to raise taxes in the most efficient way possible. Aside from budget concerns, the VAT would also, in theory, curtail the consumerist culture that’s brought so many into personal credit card debt. In theory. I’m not sure when would be a good time to institute it–I’m guessing it would be near the end of Obama’s second term. That, of course, is dependent upon political realities.

Long term, having a higher VAT tax would make it easier to cut income and capital gains taxes. This idea is very long term, and it’s a conservative idea that, of course, I have serious reservations about. But I won’t lie, there’s something intriguing about the VAT and a fair tax model. If we can do it in a way that isn’t regressive, it’s worth considering.

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