In a press release I just got from Robin Carnahan’s campaign, Carnahan teed off on the idea of a national sales tax that Obama advisor Paul Volcker recently floated.

I swear I’m not on the Robin Carnahan beat now, since my recent posts have dealt with her and her opponent, but this strikes me as an interesting move. Carnahan gets to distance herself from Obama, who isn’t as popular in Missouri as in other places, and at the same time, she’s right on the merits.

Just to go over what Paul Volcker proposed, he claimed that the US should look into a value added tax, commonly known as a VAT, which many other countries use as a source of governmental revenue, in order to balance the US federal budget. A VAT is similar to a sales tax, but it taxes the value added at each stage of the chain of production. In theory, it’s a lot easier to collect VAT than a sales tax because each seller has an incentive to collect their portion of the tax and send it to the government, whereas with a sales tax, the seller might not verify that the purchaser is not the end user.

Regardless, passing a VAT would essentially be a national sales tax, a tax on consumption, a tax increase on all Americans which would fall hardest on middle and low income Americans. Given that the deficits have grown largely due to Bush’s tax cuts throughout his two terms, which mainly benefited the wealthiest Americans, raising taxes on the poor to offset the deficit doesn’t stand to reason.

The full press release is below the fold.  

Robin Carnahan Rejects National Sales Tax Proposal

Carnahan calls tax hike on middle class families “outrageous”

St. Louis, MO – Today Robin Carnahan issued the following statement rejecting the suggestion made by one of President Obama’s economic advisors that Congress should consider imposing a national sales tax in order to raise revenue.

“Folks in Washington and Wall Street bankers may think the recession is over, but here in Missouri, middle class families are hurting more than ever and a tax hike is the last thing they need.

“I support tax cuts for middle class families while Congressman Blunt has opposed tax relief for families and small businesses – and instead spent the past 13 years bailing out big Wall Street banks and lavishing subsidies on big oil companies and multinational corporations.

“I believe we must do everything we can to reduce the deficit, but it’s outrageous to consider raising taxes on middle class families while Washington politicians continue to pass wasteful pork barrel spending projects and giveaways to big banks and oil companies.”

Congressman Blunt’s Record of Sticking it to the Middle Class Includes:

·         Accepting $10,000 checks from Wall Street to bail them out of financial reform efforts that end too-big-to-fail [Kansas City Star, March 19, 2010]

·         Voting to raise his own pay 12 times []

·         Opposing a payroll tax holiday for businesses that hire workers [Vote 90, 3/4/10; Vote 182, 3/24/10]

·         Opposing exempting small businesses from capital gains taxes [Vote 90, 3/4/10; Vote 182, 3/24/10]

·         Opposing quadrupling the deduction for small business start-up costs [Vote 90, 3/4/10; Vote 182, 3/24/10]

·         Opposing allowing small businesses to write off new equipment purchases more quickly [Vote 90, 3/4/10; Vote 182, 3/24/10]