Kansas Republican: VAT Tax Would Cripple U.S. Recovery

The VAT is highly regressive, hitting unfairly the wallets of low and middle income wage earners while being a massive revenue machine for the government.

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By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Kansas Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt is demonstrating the kind of leadership that is sorely needed in Washington right now.

Fearing that a commission chartered by President Barack Obama and chaired by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson will recommend the introduction of a value added tax to pay down the debt all of Obama’s new spending has accrued, Tiahrt has authored a resolution asking Congress to go on record against the VAT.

[See which industries donated the most to Tiahrt.]

House Resolution 1245, written by Tiahrt and co-sponsored by 32 of his colleagues, expresses “the sense of the House of Representatives that the Value Added Tax is a massive tax increase that will cripple families on fixed income and only further push back America’s economic recovery.”

According to Tiahrt, his anti-VAT resolution is intended to put Congress on record as opposing a massive tax increase of this type, which he says is “the wrong path for the American economy and the working families of America.” As he points out, the VAT was first enacted in Europe in 1967, at a time when the United States and Europe both taxed about 27 cents out of every dollar of national income. Since the VAT is a sales tax that is imposed on goods and services at each stage of production, the true cost is ultimately hidden from the end user. Moreover, it is highly regressive, hitting unfairly the wallets of low and middle income wage earners while being a massive revenue machine for the government.

“Since the introduction of the VAT in Europe, its average tax take has gone from 27 percent to 41 percent, nearly a 50 percent increase in just four decades,” Tiahrt says. 

A member of the Class of 1994, Tiahrt is one of those activist House members who have consistently tried to change the way Washington operates, especially when it comes to issues of taxes, spending, bailouts and debt. Instead of imposing a VAT on the U.S. economy, Tiahrt says he would much rather see Congress adopt a pro-growth approach to the problems facing the American economy by taking up issues like tax relief and simplification, liability reform, regulatory reform, healthcare security and energy independence, which is the kind of thinking that is much needed today in the nation’s capital.

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