A value-added tax! That’s a tax on manufacturers at each stage of production on the amount ot value each producer adds to a product. The consumer–that means everyone who buys anything–ends up paying the tax in the form of higher prices.
That’s the idea that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says is “on the table” to help pay down the $1 trillion-plus cost of Obamacare. Here is the Hill’s account of what Pelosi told PBS:
Pelosi argued that the VAT would level the playing field between U.S. and foreign manufacturers, the latter of which do not have pension and healthcare costs included in the price of their goods because their governments provide those services, financed by similar taxes.
“They get a tax off of that and they use that money to pay the healthcare for their own workers,” Pelosi said, using the example of auto manufacturers. “So their cars coming into our country don’t have a healthcare component cost.
Somewhere along the way, a value-added tax plays into this. Of course, we want to take down the healthcare cost, that’s one part of it,” the Speaker added. “But in the scheme of things, I think it’s fair look at a value- added tax as well.”
Hot Air’s Allahpundit says:
If you take her logic seriously, which is usually a bad idea, the only way to fully level the playing field and eliminate health-insurance costs from the price of U.S. goods is to … eliminate private health insurance. Anything short of that and you’re left with some health-care cost component, however small, built into the price of the good, with a VAT slapped on top to boot. Competitive pressure among companies to outprice each other will take care of the rest, leading them to drop private insurance coverage altogether and leave employees scrambling to enroll in the public option. In which case, there’s no need to legislate single-payer; ironically, the market will lead you there.
Yes, more taxes for everyone and socialized medicine to boot!