A large group of House Republicans warned this week that adopting a value-added tax (VAT) would lead the U.S. economy down a path toward the economic problems being suffered in Greece.

As of late Tuesday morning, 101 House GOP lawmakers, including the top members of the party's leadership, wrote members of President Barack Obama's fiscal commission to warn them of the controversial tax.

"Without serious reforms it is very possible that Europe’s debt crisis will become America’s debt crisis," the group wrote to Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), the bipartisan co-chairmen of the commission.
"Therefore, we urge the Commission to focus on spending reduction, not tax increases," the Republicans wrote in a letter crafted by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). "We must avoid the mistake Europe made when it tried to pay for bigger government with new taxes—namely the Value Added Tax (VAT)."

The letter lumps together two of the GOP's favorite cudgels against Democrats on issues as of late: the VAT, and the Greek and European debt crisis. The GOP lawmakers said the tax would decrease consumption and economic output that would fuel increasing debt if government spending continues to increase.

Republicans have seized on any indications that the VAT may be part of the options being considered by the commission, which Obama established earlier this year to address long-term deficits and debt. House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) and Conference Vice-Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) have meanwhile led a charge in opposition to the U.S. contributing to assisting in bailouts of European economies.

"The VAT did not save Greece," the Republicans wrote, noting a 19 percent VAT that had been in place in that country, where massive debts sent it to the brink of default and triggered fears of debt crises in other European Union economies.

"Adding a VAT to an overly burdensome tax code will destroy American jobs and crush American innovation," they said. "We urge the Commission to consider other ways to rein in out of  control government spending."