Barney Frank: 'Zero chance' of Congress approving a value-added tax

The Massachusetts Democrat acknowledged that while the tax, which levies taxes on different stages of production, might have had some appeal due to its effect on export levels, "it had zero chance of going forward, it was very unpopular."

Fear of a VAT had crept upward earlier this year after top Democrats, including President Obama, suggested that the controversial tax could be an option in lawmakers' arsenal against the rising government debt.

"I know that there's been a lot of talk around town lately about the value-added tax. That is something that has worked for some countries," Obama said in April about the tax. "And before, you know, I start saying 'this makes sense or that makes sense,' I want to get a better picture of what our options are."

The president had been speaking about his fiscal commission and the recommendations they'll generate at the end of the year about how to curb rising deficits and debt. The Democratic co-chairman of that commission has expressed openness to the VAT, leading Republicans to pounce in an election year in which the fear of higher taxes are a key part of their message.

Frank lashed out against the GOP, saying that there was no chance of lawmakers pursuing a VAT, no matter how much Republicans warn otherwise.

"The Republicans -- it's one of their favorite straw men and there is zero chance of a value-added tax even being proposed," he said.

--Cross-posted from Blog Briefing Room.


%Bshow_vote]=