Clinton, President Bill, “Federal Budget and the National Debt,” interview with Bob Schieffer, Peterson Institute for International Economics, C-Span Video Library, 04/28/10

President Clinton: “(T)he Europeans have used it quite successfully.  I think if you did it you’ld have to readjust the whole – the rest of the tax system to keep it progressive.  It’s also somewhat complex because it’s on every stage of the production process.  But, the one thing that blue collar America should like about it is it’s good for exports and it in effect, it doesn’t allow quite so much subsidy of imports – when other countries subsidize their production for export at least they get slapped with a value added tax when it comes in here.  And, it’s good for exports.  So, if you’re not willing to give up on manufacturing and I’m not, I think it’s a great time to,  for us to, rebuild a manufacturing sector in America.  If we had the right sort of value added tax and we made enough adjustments in the other tax bills to make it – to keep the progressivity of our tax system, it could be really good.

Now the real problem with the value added tax is the problem why we couldn’t pass the single-payer health system, right?  A lot of things that are good in theory require so much change that people just can’t make the mental leap.  So, I’m not at all sure, that the Simpson-Bowles Commission will wind up recommending it.  I know ’em well enough to know that they’ld have to have a theory in their mind about how it could actually pass before they would recommend it.

It’s a big leap, but if you look at it, people in Europe – just like any other sales tax – they just get used to payin’ it, and it would be good for exports and it would, our home market products would, be on more even footing with imports if we had one.  And, we compete in countries that have ’em all the time.  So we get it comin’ and goin’ because they have it and we don’t,” 58:14-1:00:30

Bowles, Erskine, Bipartisan Deficit Commission, “Balancing the Budget,” Andrea Mitchell Reports,, 04/27/10

Erskine Bowles: “I don’t think anybody’s gonna look at a value added tax without taking into account the income taxes.  You know there’s a lot of good arguments for a consumption tax as opposed to taxing wages or savings.  But, we can’t take startin’ this thing by takin’ things off the table.  We’ve gotta put things on the table and then we’ve gotta find some common ground that we can bring this budget back into balance.  We’re gonna have trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see if we don’t, and this country’s gonna become a second rate power, you know, just by not takin’ the tough stands.”

Toder, Eric, Urban Institute, “Can Washington Embrace the Value-Added Tax,” NPR, 04/24/10

“Increasing the personal income tax very much is not a very good idea, and so that you’re left with a VAT which could be used partly to buy down income tax rates, partly to buy down corporate rates and partly to buy down the deficit. But that’s not to say the political system is ready for that.”

Zakaria, Fareed, “America’s future faces a lot of doom and gloom, but perhaps its largest problem, the budget deficit, has a solution (VAT),” Fareed Zakaria, GPS,” 02/28/10

“…We have big problems, but the biggest one by far is the growing national debt.  It’s worth reminding ourselves that this is not a fact of life that we simply have to accept.  There are many simple economic measures that would correct the budgetary mess easily.  Let me give you just one – a value added tax.”

Hunt, Al, “Bowles, Simpson Discuss Federal Deficit Commission,” Bloomberg, 02/18/10

Erskine Bowles: “I think a value added tax – I’ve looked at lots of them – ought to be something that’s on the table.  Again, I think you’ve got to look at all solutions.”

Alan Simpson: “Flat tax, I’ve heard that talked about – I never thought that would work very well.  Value added, anything.  Tweaking, raising the social security age – I mean the thing was set up when the average age was 57; that’s why they started at average age 65; now the average lifespan is 80/83.  Can’t work.”

Sachs, Jeffrey, “Choices for America’s Economic Future,” lecture, Columbia University, 11/16/09

Sachs Student Lecture – Choices for America’s Economic Future from Earth Institute on Vimeo.

“…The things that President Obama wants to do: better education, sustainable energy, new transport, improved infrastructure, green recovery, improved international relations, development assistance for hungry people – all of that costs money…”

“…Basically we need new taxes.  And, the difference essentially that I would recommend is introducing a Value Added Tax…something like a 12% VAT rate…”