Kuttner points out that liberals may be in favor of an $80-billion VAT. The liberals can then pursue their spending programs using the resulting tax windfall. However, a tax of this magnitude on top of state sales taxes of up to 8% would crush consumer spending and cause the next recession.
Increased taxes will not solve the budget deficit as long as Congress increases its spending in lock step with the incoming revenues. Congress must place strict limits on its own spending before raising taxes.
WILLIAM W. HILDRETH