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We're broke ... time for a new tax Given the country's fiscal hole, former Fed chair Paul V


An increasing number of influential Democrats and fiscal-policy experts have signaled that lawmakers will have to get a handle on the deficit. And they recommend seriously considering the creation of a value-added tax (VAT) on top of the federal income tax.

That could mean more money out of everyone's pockets when buying virtually anything -- sweaters, school books, furniture, pottery classes, dinners out.

A VAT is tax on consumption similar to a national sales tax. But it's not just paid at the cash register. It's levied at every stage of production. So all businesses involved in making a product or performing a service would pay a VAT. And then the end-user -- such as the retail customer -- ponies up as well.

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