By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
If rumors that the administration is eyeing a 3 percent tax slapped on everything but food are true, a new poll finds that a European-style value added tax would be DOA. A new Democratic poll, from Democracy Corps, puts a VAT near the bottom of choices Americans like as a solution to reduce the out of control federal deficit.
Of 14 choices given, the 3 percent tax ranks 11th. Some 57 percent oppose it, 42 percent strongly, and 40 percent favor the VAT, just 17 percent strongly. That finding is much wider than the overall view of Americans toward paying more taxes to fund the deficit. Overall, the nation is split, with 48 percent saying they can't afford higher taxes and 47 percent ready to write a check.
Interestingly, the public doesn't blame the Bush tax cuts for the deficit like most Democrats do. The largest group at 36 percent blame the wars for the growing deficits. Last on blame list are the Bush tax cuts, with just 9 percent. That could make it more difficult for the Democrats to end the tax cuts starting this fall, say Republicans.
Talk about a VAT was sidelined as the administration fought for and won healthcare reform. Aides worried that people would think the VAT would pay for the reforms. Now that the healthcare package has passed, there has been renewed talk about a VAT, enough so that Democracy Corps included it in their deficit poll conducted jointly with Tulane University.