Here’s the key nugget to take away from Barack Obama’s interview with CNBC’s John Harwood:
JOHN HARWOOD: If reducing consumption is a good idea, could you see the potential for value-added tax in this country?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know– 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. It’s something that would be novel– for the United States. And before, you know, I started saying, “This makes sense or that makes sense.” I want to get a better picture of what our options are
And my first priority is to figure out how can we reduce wasteful spending so that– you know, we have a baseline of the core services that we need and the government should provide. And then we decide how do we pay for that. As opposed to figuring out how much money can we raise and then– not have to make some tough choices on the spending side.
Translated: We’re going to wait until the deficit reduciton committee makes its suggestions after the November elections, and when the committee makes its suggestion, then we can act.
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