Newsweek: Why are all these crazy wingers talking about a VAT? 

No one’s seriously talking about a VAT, nutters.

White House advisor Paul Volcker called the idea “not as toxic” as it’s been in the past.

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf said he’s fielding “a lot of questions” about it from members of Congress.

White House economic advisor Austan Goolsbee did not avail himself of the opportunity to rule out a VAT on “Morning Joe,” despite the fact that Mark Halperin gave him six tries at it.

The head of the White House’s debt commission said the magnitude of the problem (made more magnitudinous by Obamacare) requires that everything, including a VAT, be on the table.

Obama himself did not rule it out, calling it a “novel” idea for America that has “worked for some countries.”

Conclusion: This is all probably just a clever fund-raising ploy for conservative organizations. Dang, that Frank Luntz is good.

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