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VAT, Health Care and Imaginary Stimulus Jobs

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VAT, Health Care and Imaginary Stimulus Jobs

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggests adopting a European-style “value added tax” or VAT.

Critics question why the Senate leadership isn’t moving faster on health care legislation.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) takes the Obama administration to task for inaccurate reporting on stimulus jobs.

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.

1. CONSUMER

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggests adopting a European-style “value added tax” or VAT.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews and Journalism Fellow Ryan Young on why the VAT is a big tub of trouble:

“As far as taxes go, the VAT is especially destructive. If Congress is going to increase taxes, installing a VAT is one of the worst options. For one, it would require roughly doubling the size of the IRS. Fifteen years ago, the Congressional Budget Office estimated compliance and administrative costs for a VAT at $8.5 billion annually. That figure can safely be placed at more than $10 billion by now. The IRS' entire budget is currently $11.4 billion.”

 

2. HEALTH

Critics question why the Senate leadership isn’t moving faster on health care legislation.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Iain Murray on why health care is not a right:

“The expansive ‘rights’ demanded by liberals—like the right to ‘affordable health care’ or to a ‘decent standard of living’—are not rights but positive demands that require others to hand over some of the property to the claimant. Whereas genuine rights protect citizens from state coercion, the ‘right to health care’ serves to justify state coercion against a particular part of the population: those who pay taxes. Moreover, by their very nature, such positive demands cannot be clearly defined and hence are capable of infinite expansions. As one need is satisfied, others arise.”

 

3. BUSINESS

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-WI) takes the Obama administration to task for inaccurate reporting on stimulus jobs.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Attorney Hans Bader on how the stimulus package has actually destroyed jobs in the real world:

“The stimulus package actually destroyed thousands of real world jobs by triggering trade wars with Canada and Mexico that killed jobs in America’s export sector (the stimulus package barred a measly 97 Mexican truckers from U.S. roads, a minor NAFTA violation that led to massive Mexican retaliation against U.S. exports of 40 farm products and kitchen goods worth $2.4 billion).  It also is wiping out jobs by inflicting costly mandates on state governments.”

 

Listen to LibertyWeek, the CEI podcast, here.