The VAT (Value Added Tax) Cometh

This massive new entitlement needs a cash cow.

Charles Krauthammer
National Review
3/26/2010

As the night follows the day, the VAT cometh.

With the passage of Obamacare, which created a vast new middle-class entitlement, a national sales tax of the kind almost universal in Europe is inevitable.

We are now $8 trillion in debt. The Congressional Budget Office projects that another $12 trillion will be added over the next decade. Obamacare, when stripped of its budgetary gimmicks — the unfunded $200 billion­–plus doctor fix, the double-counting of Medicare cuts, the ten-six sleight-of-hand (counting ten years of revenue and only six years of outflows) — is, at minimum, a $2 trillion new entitlement.

It will vastly increase the debt. But even if it were deficit-neutral, Obamacare would still pre-empt and appropriate for itself the best and easiest means of reducing the existing deficit. Obamacare’s $500 billion of Medicare cuts and $600 billion in tax hikes are no longer available for deficit reduction. They are siphoned off for the new entitlement of insuring the uninsured.

This is fiscally disastrous because, as President Obama himself explained last year in unveiling his grand transformational policies, our unsustainable fiscal path requires control of entitlement spending, the most ruinous of which is out-of-control health-care costs.

Obamacare was sold on the premise that, as Nancy Pelosi put it, “Health-care reform is entitlement reform. Our budget cannot take this upward spiral of cost.” But the bill enacted on Tuesday accelerates the spiral: It radically expands Medicaid (adding 15 million new recipients/dependents) and shamelessly raids Medicare by spending the $500 billion in cuts and the yield from the Medicare tax hikes on a new entitlement.

The article continues at the National Review.

H/T The Thomas Jefferson Club Blog

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