Pelosi says new tax is 'on the table'

A new value-added tax (VAT) is "on the table" to help the U.S. address its fiscal liabilities, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Monday night.

Pelosi, appearing on PBS's "The Charlie Rose Show" asserted that "it's fair to look at" the VAT as part of an overhaul of the nation's tax code.

"I would say, Put everything on the table and subject it to the scrutiny that it deserves," Pelosi told Rose when asked if the VAT has any appeal to her.

The VAT is a tax on manufacturers at each stage of production on the amount of value an additional producer adds to a product.

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."

Pelosi said that any new taxes would come after the Congress finishes the healthcare debate consuming most lawmakers' time, and that it may come as part of a larger overhaul to the tax code.

The Speaker also emphasized that any reworking of the tax code would not result in an increase in taxes on middle-class Americans.