The White House tried its best on Monday to defuse press reports that the Obama Administration was actively running the numbers on how much revenue a Value Added Tax could bring in to Uncle Sam, saying it's not in the works at all.
"This is not something the President has proposed, nor is it under consideration," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
But while it wasn't in the budget, it was talked about by a key adviser to Mr. Obama, that being former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who ran the Fed during the Reagan and first Bush Administrations.
Volcker told a group in New York earlier this month that a VAT was "not as toxic an idea" as in the past.
But his feel for the politics of the issue wasn't exactly 100%, as Republicans have seized on the matter in recent weeks, trying to tie every living Democrat in the Congress to the general idea that the Dems want to raise taxes, taxes and more taxes.
"The President has not proposed this idea, nor is it under consideration," Gibbs repeated when asked again at Monday's briefing about the matter.
Last week, the Senate went on the record about a Value Added Tax, as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) forced a vote on a non-binding, "Sense of the Senate" amendment against the idea of a VAT.
The vote was 85-13 against such an effort, with 12 of the 13 votes coming from Democrats; the lone Republican voting in opposition was Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, who has made no bones about his desire to ease the deficit.
The other 12 Democrats in favor of a VAT were: Akaka (D-HI), Bingaman (D-NM), Brown (D-OH), Byrd (D-WV), Cardin (D-MD), Dorgan (D-ND), Kaufman (D-DE), Levin (D-MI), Reed (D-RI), Udall (D-NM), Webb (D-VA) and Whitehouse (D-RI).
Two other Democrats, Nelson of Florida and Warner of Virginia did not vote.
That Senate vote can be found at http://bit.ly/9DOjue .
Meanwhile, on the budget front, Democrats seem to be doing a 180 degree turn on a "budget resolution" which is supposed to be finished by now, setting out the framework for the next fiscal year.
Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee may decide to move forward on that resolution in coming days, which could mean giving themselves the option of another "reconciliation" bill this year.
That would allow tax changes to be made without a filibuster in the Senate.
The White House tried its best on Monday to defuse press reports that the Obama Administration was actively running the numbers on how much revenue a Value Added Tax could bring in to Uncle Sam, saying it's not in the works at all. "This is not something the President has ...
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