Frank: It's "as dead as a doornail"
There is no chance of Congress implementing a value-added tax (VAT), a top House Democrat said Thursday.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said on CNBC that the VAT was "as dead as a doornail," despite Republicans' caution that Democrats might try to pass one.
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 up earlier this year after top Democrats, including President Obama, suggested 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