Will: a VAT only if you get rid of the income tax

George Will, declaring that he could support a VAT only if the 16th amendment is repealed:

When liberals advocate a value-added tax, conservatives should respond: Taxing consumption has merits, so we will consider it — after the 16th Amendment is repealed.

A VAT will be rationalized as necessary to restore fiscal equilibrium. But without ending the income tax, a VAT would be just a gargantuan instrument for further subjugating Americans to government.

(…)

Because the income tax is not broadly based, it radiates moral hazard: Its incentives are for perverse behavior. The top 1% of earners provide 40% of that tax’s receipts; the top 5% provide 61%; the bottom 50% provide 3%. So the tax makes a substantial majority complacent about government’s growth.

Increasingly, the income tax is codified envy. A VAT is the political class’s recourse when the resources of the minority that is targeted by the envious are insufficient to finance ravenous government.

My only quibble is with his use of the word “liberal;” there’s nothing liberal about the dominant wing of the Democratic Party. It’s merely a thin mask covering a progressive-statist face.

(via Dan Mitchell)

One Response to Will: a VAT only if you get rid of the income tax

  1. Porkchop says:

    Finally, something sensible 😉

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