David Kirkpatrick

December 2, 2008

Value-added taxation …

Filed under: Business, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:59 pm

… Bush 43’s parting “gift?” After eight years of cutting taxes and spending like a drunk monkey, George W. Bush may leave on last steaming pile on our lawn, value-added taxation. I’m all for cutting taxes, but I’m also all for cutting spending.

The Bush 43 years may be the doom of the GOP and maybe that’s not a bad thing since the RINO-accusing right seems to not get what it means to be conservative. Being an American conservative does not mean you want a christianist theocracy. It does mean letting government handle the big picture (like national defense) and then getting out of the way of all of us out there pursuing happiness and liberty.

From the link:

It’s highly possible, if not inevitable, that Americans will soon live under a radically different tax system – one that the pundits and politicians aren’t talking about.

It’s called a value-added tax, or VAT, and it’s been used for decades to pay the bills and sustain the immense growth of governments around the world, from France to Mexico to Australia. Created in 1954 by a French economist, the VAT is the most potent, efficient machine for revenue generation yet invented.

And if there’s one thing the U.S. government needs as the federal budget balloons, it’s a ton of new revenue. “The bottom line is that the income tax cannot support the level of spending that’s projected, something other countries faced years ago,” said Roberton Williams of the Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan research institute. Today the VAT raises almost half of the total government revenue in France, and a similar share in most of the developed world.

The VAT is essentially a sales tax, except that it’s charged at each stage in the development of a product instead of at the moment when the product is sold.

Take, for instance, a car with a sticker price of $30,000 and a value-added rate of 10%. Ford might buy its steel and other materials for $8,000 plus $800 in a VAT tax. A dealer then pays $25,000 plus a $2,500 tax for the finished vehicle. Ford takes an $800 credit for the tax it already paid and sends $1,700 to the government. A buyer then pays $30,000 for the SUV and $3,000 in taxes. The dealer collects the $3,000, takes a credit for the $2,500 worth of taxes already paid, and sends $500 to tax authorities. Ultimately, the government pockets $3,000, or 10% of the retail price of the car, in taxes.

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