White House Press Office: Don't Listen To the President

President Obama's press secretary considers the idea that the president is considering giving some consideration to the idea of a value added tax to be completely inconsiderable. Another White House flack considers the whole thing beyond consideration, From AP's Charles Babington:

For days, White House spokesmen have said the president has not proposed and is not considering a VAT.

"I think I directly answered this the other day by saying that it wasn't something that the president had under consideration," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters shortly before Obama spoke with CNBC.

After the interview, White House deputy communications director Jen Psaki said nothing has changed and the White House is "not considering" a VAT.

Now consider this considerably more considerate comment from the President, who told CNBC he considers the VAT a considerable idea:

When asked if he could see a potential VAT in this nation, the president said: "I know that there's been a lot of talk around town lately about the value-added tax. That is something that has worked for some countries. It's something that would be novel for the United States."

"And before, you know, I start saying 'this makes sense or that makes sense,' I want to get a better picture of what our options are," Obama said.

He said his first priority "is to figure out how can we reduce wasteful spending so that, you know, we have a baseline of the core services that we need and the government should provide. And then we decide how do we pay for that."

So which is it? Consider the options...

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Contemplationist||

    Threadjack guys, but this is incredibly important.

    Union-backed corruptocrats are trying to pass a bill to prevent towns from shedding union pensions/benefits in bankruptcy in California.

    http://www.sacbee.com/static/w.....-bill.html

    This needs to be on every news channel.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Government of, by and for it's employees at its best.

  • Nipplemancer||

    Mr. President, have you considered a career in proctology?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Yes, and it's focal orifice.

  • Jeffersonian||

    "as"....shit.

  • Shit happens||

    when you go into the orifice

  • ||

    Not if the Go Lytely prep is properly done. Shit obstructs the field of vision of the colonoscope.

  • ||

    If Obama rams through a VAT, there are going to be people on the White House lawn with pitchforks and torches. I mean, holy shit, how stupid can he be? It's an incredibly visible tax that will effect everyone in m any ways.

  • SWATzi||

    ...and we'll be there to meet them. And kill their dogs.

  • Warty||

    Epi, unless we pass a VAT, the human race is going to go extinct very soon. You are going to have a horrible life ahead of you, and there's nothing you can do about it. Not the birds, though. They're peaceful.

  • Ghost of Schrödinger's cat||

    you've been talking David Mathews and Organic Girl, haven't you?
    Or did Organic Girl promise you sex?

  • Warty||

    Myth: men have survived sex with Organic Girl.
    Fact: Organic Girl's vagina is more deadly than a Komodo dragon's mouth. Do not approach it.

  • ||

    "Geezus, I think that hair has a pussy growin out of it!"

  • Ghost of Schrödinger's cat||

    but is she hot?

  • ||

    I think Mathews is a spoof. At first I wasn't sure, but whoever it is blew it when they started agreeing with MNG and Chony.

  • No shit||

    Sherlock

  • ||

    OK, smart guy...who else is a fake?

  • smart gal||

    I am not outing anyone.

  • ||

    How can you "out" someone if you are just guessing? I'm calling shenanigans on you.

  • smart gal||

    Not guessing. You've called me worse ;-)

  • Warty||

    You're his mom???

  • ||

    That would explain a lot.

  • Episiarch's mommy||

    I don't care how many times you ask, you're not crawling back into my uterus.

  • ||

    ROFL

  • Warty||

    I would think so to if it weren't for his flickr page. That would be way too much prepwork for even the craziest spoofer.

    And first-half-of-a-sentence-for-a-name-dude, you are a retard mongoloid rapist. And that's equally true in all the possible ways it can be parsed.

  • smart gal||

    Warty, the pics gave it away!

  • Warty||

    What, the thousands of captions of the exact same rantings that he spews here? If that's spoofing, then that's one dedicated spoofer. And that means that, if he is that kind of spoofer, then he's even crazier than if you take him at face value.

  • ||

    Don't yell at the retard mongoloid rapist, you detestable swine, until it reveals whether it is a retarded mongoloid who is a rapist or a rapist who rapes retarded mongoloids. Or a retarded rapist who rapes mongoloids. Man, there are a lot of permutations to that. Try saying all that shit 5 times fast.

  • Jayrad||

    I'm telling you guys, I commented on it before, but no one might have seen it cause it was on the ass-end of that 500 comment "Rise of Decline" front page article.

    David Mathews is seriously no spoof. I ran across him while lurking at AmSpec around election time, 2008.

    When I saw him show up here a couple days ago, my jaw dropped. His level of crazy is amazing. He is the super-sayian of crazy. (sorry for the nerd reference, but I find it apt for this situation.)

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    The kitties, Warty... what about the kitties??

  • ||

    Warty: Look up Toba Catastrophe (Population Bottleneck) on Wikipedia. It was a REAL event which nearly wiped out the human race; only 6 to 10 thousand people survived. Every person on earth is related to this small gene pool. If we were smart enough to survive that, we are smart enough to survive WITHOUT a VAT in America. Soon Liberal views will be extinct. I can see November from here. CUT SPENDING, especially for Liberal causes and vote buying programs.

  • Warty||

    Did you just take something I said seriously? You fucked up, fuckup.

  • Solanum||

    You will never know the bliss of an ostrich. Stupid human.

  • Jayrad||

    Haha, it's a sad day when you've been blacklisted by the ostrich community, but apparently, Solanum, the ostriches will never accept you. Sorry bout that.

  • Ivan||

    Can you say tipping point. A VAT would make secession a viable option. I'm not an alarmist, but this is serious shit.

  • Tony||

    For the love of god. Taxes for 98% of people in this country have been reduced. They are at historically low levels across the board. Which isn't helping that deficit situation you guys also whine about.

    I'm not for a VAT because it tends to be regressive (actually very much like a flat tax--you paranoid idiot). How about we tax the parasitic looters at the top for a change?

  • Ivan||

    "Taxes for 98% of people in this country have been reduced."

    Simple question Tony, yes or no, after you pay for food, housing, medical and transportation to work do you donate the rest of your income to the government.

  • Tony||

    I am taxed on my income and everything I buy. I pay what I'm required to by law. Because I'm not a whiny little bitch. Government doesn't require donations. It is constitutionally vested with the power to collect revenues. If politicians are scared of brainwashed cultish idiots who think all taxation is evil then what we're likely to end up with is a psychotically dysfunctional economy. Just as you can't really incant some latinish words and change a person to a frog, you can't make a functioning society with antigovernment platitudes.

  • Whiny Bitch||

    Yeah! Let's make it bigger, get more people hooked on handout heroin, and tax those rich bastards at 90& of every dollar they "own"!

  • Chad||

    *I* pay more than my fair share... because I AM a whiny little bitch.

  • ||

    You should pay more out of your disposable income Tony. Directly. You don't need external material niceties. It's for the children and minorities.

    Why do you hate the children and minorities Tony?

  • ||

    Shorter answer:

    Of course I am not talking about giving more of MY MONEY, I am talking about pillaging THOSE OTHER PEOPLE"S MONEY and WORK for my "free gubermint goodies".

    We should end this entire charade by levying a higher tax rate on our resident Leftist communists. They should pay for the "freebies" they want to distribute, but of course, the marxist messiah isn't taking about redistributing HIS money, only others.

  • barfman||

    *barf*

  • ||

    That's right Comrade Ivan, testify.

    We are presently constrained in our ability to grow the US govt. to a critical mass (+50% of GDP like in Europe). We need a fresh source of blood to feed the beast. The VAT will do very nicely.

  • ||

    Yep. Work hard, take on personal financial risk, invest, create jobs and you too can be labeled "parasitic looter" by some economic illiterate who thinks jobs and private capital can be replaced by tax and spend.

  • ||

    Stop spoofing my last name, white devil!

  • Old SWATzi||

    You kids get the hell off my lawn! Right now!

  • Contemplationist||

    Dude VAT is not visible to the end-consumer. You are confusing it with a specialized version like a Goods and Services Tax like in Canada. VAT could be added to every step of the production process thereby jacking up prices of everything manifold, but there would be no line item in your receipt at the point-of-sale.

  • ||

    You are correct; I was, in fact, thinking of Canada's, but even so, prices will go up across the board on stuff. That's something people will notice more than anything else.

  • It is on the receipts||

    I have claimed my VAT refund leaving Europe many times.

  • ||

    Try claiming the VAT when you leave an American store. Or do you live in Petoria? ;-)

    Assuming of course the VAT is itemized on a receipt.

  • smartass sob||

    If prices "go up across the board on stuff," doesn't that mean that prices will go up across the board for things government buys, too? In which case how much good would the extra revenue do them? Of course, I suppose that government could somehow make itself exempt from paying the tax - if it could even figure out how much of the price is tax.

  • ||

    The government paying a little more on stuff it buys would be a fraction of the revenue it would suck from our wallets. It doesn't need to be exempt, because it just doesn't matter to them.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    You guys are really slow. Every extra dollar the government pays creates a multiplier effect of $1.55. So it's win-win. You need to pay more attention to the president's economic team; they'll straighten you right out.

  • ||

  • Boxy Brown||

    I will CUT you, bitch!

  • ||

    You mean the same people who calculated unemployment below 8% with the stimulus spending which had to passed immediately but has only been 1/3 spent? The same people who never had a job in industry and tried to make payroll and PROFIT. Oooo. Sorry, but I had to use the "P" word. OBAMA lies, the Economy dies.

  • MJ||

    Yes, but there's plausible deniability with a VAT. It's easier to blame the increases on private sector greed, rather than government sector avarice.

  • ||

    It's not terribly visible if you do it the way the Europeans do, and make sure the rates the end users pay are very low.

  • ||

    No line item on the receipt, maybe, but don't underestimate the "Holy Fuck, why is everything so EXPENSIVE, all of a sudden?" effect.

    Of course, by then, it will be too late.

  • ||

    How about we tax the parasitic looters at the top for a change?

    Confiscatory taxation for all Congresspersons?

    I'm for it.

  • Warty||

    I suppose I should post some metal while it's still today.

  • ||

    Just for that, I'll post some nerdcore to annoy you.

  • Warty||

    I don't get nerdcore. You have as much nerdiness, self-referential masturbation, and lack of chicks as metal, but without any violence or ear-bleeding awesomeness. THOSE ARE IMPORTANT

  • ||

    I don't really get it either, dude, but I figured it would annoy you, and that's what counts.

    Besides, MC Chris does the voice of MC Pee Pants on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and that alone makes him cool.

  • Warty||

    What the fuck, spam filter? All I'm trying to do is link to the ATHF clip with Zakk Wylde. Fuck you. Have something even more worshipful of the genre's tropes, fuckass shitfucking filter prick bitch.

  • ||

    Well, at least you can probably watch the ATHF clip with Glenn Danzig.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I'll bet Danzig has never eaten cereal out of the bottom of anyone's skull.

  • ||

    Verstandlich?!?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Getting the blood to flow up the walls would be cool...

  • Meatwad||

    Daaaanziiiig! Want sumpin' ta eeeeaaat?

  • SIV||

    without any violence or ear-bleeding awesomeness. THOSE ARE IMPORTANT

    Yes they are

  • Barack Obama||

    If Obama rams through a VAT, there are going to be people on the White House lawn with pitchforks and torches.

    Let me be clear. I am sweetening the VAT by providing everyone, given they contribute a nominal processing fee, with health insurance. They should thank me.

  • DeCarlo Flyte||

    Thank you! Oh thank you! Its gonna be like Cripmas!

  • ||

    It's something that would be novel for the United States.

    Oooh, haven't heard "novel" before from this administration. From previous White House spinning we know "historic" is good and "unprecedented" is bad, but I'm stumped on this one.

    But seriously, how does this square with his promise that no one making less than 250K would see a tax increase? Or has he completely abandoned that fiction at this point.

  • Obamas Teleprompter Programmer||

    Roget, you magnificent bastard, I read your thesaurus!

  • LarryA||

    Oooh, haven't heard "novel" before from this administration. From previous White House spinning we know "historic" is good and "unprecedented" is bad, but I'm stumped on this one.

    It’s an obamaterm. A “novel” law is one with more pages than Moby Dick but not as many as a trilogy like Lord of the Rings. Trilogy laws are for Obama’s second term.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    a psychotically dysfunctional economy

    Sounds like Obama's economic policy, Tony.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "Rich people suck" isn't an economic policy. It's a mental disorder.

  • the shoe fits||

    Rich people suck is a reality.

  • cynical||

    If we're talking about Paris Hilton, sure.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I wouldn't let Paris Hilton anywhere near my junk.

    And the shoe had a fit. A pointless one, to boot. Oh, the puns just write themselves!

  • ||

    The Hollywood elite and the cast of The Hills would disagree with you. For that matter so would successful rappers and hip-hop artists. And Al Gore.

    For successful porn stars and politicians, it's a job requirement.

  • bonjour ||

    mon ami

  • ||

    Bonjour!

  • Bolivie||

    ?

  • ||

    Oui!

  • ||

    Adding the VAT will not reduce any other taxes. And it'll probably "start out at a modest 10%"...

    So we can have just as vibrant an economy as Belgium or Turkey...

    But Government spending will continue to increase, the money will be as worthless as it is in Zimbabwe (or 1930 Germany) and people with Obama stickers on their cars will be hunted down and shot like dogs in the street...

    (please note that setnaffa does not own firearms)

  • ||

    Really, how hard is it to find wasteful spending in DC? Surely, anything signed by the President or talked about on the floors of Congress, or slipped into a bill under the cover of night can't be wasteful spending!

  • ||

    Hell, they can't find Obamama's college transcripts or medical records. How d'ya expect them to find something like wasteful spending? That phrase isn't even in the Democrat's lexicon, except under defense spending.

  • ||

    Contemplationist (re comment #1)

    Let them. Bankruptcy laws are federal, the Supremacy clause will void anything the union thugs try to pass at the state level.

  • ||

    Which is it? Geez, are you kidding me? Liberals and taxes - OF COURSE THEY ARE GOING TO PUSH A VAT!

  • Duncan||

    Actually, there is a pretty broad group of conservatives who have advocated moving from income to consumption based taxation.

  • cynical||

    Note that "moving" would entail adding the consumption tax and removing the income tax, not having both.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Yes, the Fair Tax, which is NOT THE SAME AS A VAT.

  • ||

    He said his first priority "is to figure out how can we reduce wasteful spending so that, you know, we have a baseline of the core services that we need and the government should provide.


    As long as Obama's budget includes any appropriations for the Department of Education other than shut down costs, I'm not going to believe his twaddle about reducing "wasteful spending".

  • ||

    “When I say ‘If you have your tax and you like it. . .that you don't have to change taxes,' what I'm saying is the government is not going to make you change taxes under VAT reform.”

  • ||

    WASTEFUL SPENDING CUTS: Governor Christie in New Jersey shows how to run government and reduce wasteful spending. REAL CUTS, not promises. OBAMA LIES, the Economy DIES. I can see November from here.

  • ||

    Anyone have a clue as to what impact the VAT would have on determination of CPI? Would CPI spike? You have to figure that govt employee union leeches will want an instant COLA adjustment while the rest of us can starve.

  • ||

    If facts are of passing interest, delete all after "Obama said..." and equivalent. Always. Now if the media could just grasp this basic policy, we wouldn't be subjected to the incessant droning from the White House.

  • ||

    He said his first priority "is to figure out how can we reduce wasteful spending so that, you know, we have a baseline of the core services that we need and the government should provide.

    What a card. Show of hands, anyone who believes he means any of this?

    Remember "net spending cut" from the campaign? I do, and I pray to God whichever idiots run the campaign against Obama in 2012 feature it wall-to-wall in campaign ads.

  • ||

    I DON'T listen to the arrogant commie! I'm allergic!

  • LibsAreCommies||

    Worst. Lying. Radical Leftist. President. Ever.

  • SenatorMark4||

    While a VAT may be invisible to the consumer in most countries, I do believe that it WILL be visible in the U.S. Some enterprising point of sale vendor will make a system where it DOES print a line item for the VAT...probably naming it something like "Obamatax......$X".

  • ||

    Part of what's insidious about the VAT is that it is added at transaction along the production -> distribution -> sale chain.

    I don't know how you would inform a consumer how much of the purchase price was VAT taxes added at each step of the way. The most you could probably do was tell him how much was added at his purchase, and how much was added at the retailer's purchase.

  • ||

    And would it be applied to services? Lawyer's fees, doctor bills, those of us who build websites?

  • ||

    I always thought the Congress created the bills, and the president simply signed them or not.

    What is this stuff, Obama considering a VAT? When did we get a monarchy?

  • ||

    January 20 th 2008

  • ||

    Obama (The Child who could be King)
    Name Caller (cops,doctors,tea-party,republicans,insurance-company's,banks,wall-street,car-company's, I'm sure someone is missing here?)
    The Great Divider
    Rammed down our throats Health care (just higher cost Insurance)
    Value Added Tax (just more taxes, no value)
    Cap and Tax (higher energy costs)
    Immigration Reform (more free stuff)
    Spender (in the Trillions, with no sign of slowing down)
    All adds up to pitch forks and Civil Unrest
    Which gives us Marshal Law
    Which leads us to No more Elections
    We will have A King for Life!
    And we will have No Life!
    America is Dying!
    Vote them all out!

  • ||

    "He said his first priority 'is to figure out how can we reduce wasteful spending.'" What the hell!!? The best way to reduce wasteful spending is to throw this bum out of office.

  • ||

    Hang on folks, please tell me the last time our"elected leaders (and I use that term loosely)" listened to the majority of the people. They are there for one thing only, enhancing their own fortunes and pushing their personal agenda's. The VAT tax will be put in place no matter what the people think. If you believe that this is a government of the people and by the people then you probably believe the government is trying to save use money, example $300 light fixtures which in total cost $100 at a home fix it store. Trying to control costs, right!!!

  • ||

    Do you really expect people who are capable of thinking for themselves to believe the Liar-in-Chief?

  • ||

    I think the VAT is a splended idea.

    OsamaHusseinIslamObama 2012′
    (the terrorist-Uighur-ACORN-media choice)
    -It’s never too early to campaign-

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement