September 1, 2012
Probably the most memorable moment of the Republican dog and pony show in Tampa earlier this week occurred when Ann Romney said “you can trust Mitt.” She didn’t elaborate, but Mitt’s handlers did. They promised Mitt will restore fiscal responsibility, expand the military, and cut taxes.
The last one is betrayed by the Republican platform.
“The 2012 Republican Platform calls for a complete overhaul of the federal tax system. No surprise there. But then it endorses a value-added tax or national sales tax as one possible solution to the nation’s budget problems. This is shocking,” writes Jim McTague for Barron’s.
In order to sell this, the Republicans say they will only move to institute a value added tax – a tax that confiscates money at all stages of the production process – but only if the Sixteenth Amendment is repealed.
In 1909, a Republican Congress devised the Sixteenth amendment. It allows the government to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states. It was ratified in 1913 despite the fact it undermines the constitutional requirements regarding direct taxes.
In January, Romney refused to rule out a value-added tax, which is a hidden tax and more politically acceptable. Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan also had a VAT (as represented by the last 9), and Romney’s supposed Tea Party friendly vice president pick, Paul Ryan, included a value-added tax in his “roadmap” scheme.
Obama and the Democrats also like the VAT idea because they realize increasing income taxes on the rich will not generate the revenue they require to keep expanding the size of government. Obama has said he thinks value-added taxes are “something that has worked for other countries.” Obama and the Democrats have not specifically called for a VAT because they are politically addicted to the class warfare mantra that brings disgruntled Americans to the polls.
Both Democrats and Republicans love confiscatory taxation, they just disagree on the best way to force it on the American people. Republicans are especially squeamish about open taxation because they have spent the last few decades claiming they are the party of small government and minimal taxation, which is of course a lie.
Despite all the self-serving rhetoric, Republicans have worked closely with Democrats to impose more taxes on working middle class Americans. The latest example is the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act, which is, despite its misleading title, an internet sales tax. “They introduced their internet tax as an amendment to a Senate small business bill, but that bill stalled. Now they are confident they can sneak the internet tax into a lame duck session of Congress, just in time for Christmas shopping,” Erick Erickson wrote for RedState in July. A lot of Republicans love the idea.
Romney also favors cap-and-trade and a carbon tax, although he has addressed the issue obliquely in order to pretend he is some kind of “conservative” opposed to further decimating the middle class with taxation. In 2007, when asked if he was in favor of adopting carbon taxes, Romney said: “Carbon tax? That’s something we’re looking into.” Romney’s economic adviser, Gregory Mankiw, took to the pages of the New York Times in September of 2007 and argued in favor of carbon taxes.