Sen. George Voinovich, Ohio Republican, told me Wednesday that his vote against a resolution condemning a value-added tax last week was not a sign he is necessarily in favor of such a policy.
Voinovich, who is retiring at the end of this year, said he thinks “everything should be on the table” for President Obama’s fiscal commission to consider this year.
The senator said he doesn’t support a VAT. But he added that he would be open to a VAT if it replaced the income tax. Most conservatives, however, fear that in the current political climate the VAT would simply be tacked on to the existing tax structure, increasing the federal government’s ability to spend rather than reining it in.
Voinovich also said that the resolution, which was offered by Sen. John McCain and passed 85-to-13, was politically motivated. McCain is in the midst of a contested primary for his seat.
McCain spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said that the senator’s resolution was in response to comments made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and by Paul Volcker, a financial adviser to the president.
“We always appreciate reading about Senator Voinovich’s views on a variety of issues,” Buchanan said.