You know what startles me about talking taxes in Washington? So few are — at least there.
Not a single prominent Democrat rejected Senator Kent Conrad's idea of a value-added tax — on top of an income tax, on top of an even higher top income tax, on top of an even higher top income tax, on top of that tax.
No one made a big deal of that. I guess because no one's really surprised by that. After all, when you're spending like crazy, it only makes sense you try to keep up, taxing like crazy. Even though I guess I'm crazy for reporting it.
The White House insists they're not considering it, but they're not rejecting it either. No leader in Washington is. Here's why: They can't do honesty, but they can do math.
And the math tells them you can tax the rich all you want, you won't get anywhere near the dough you want to pay for all the programs you want unless you shovel deeper.
And trust me, what they're shoveling is going deeper and getting stinkier.
What began as an odor only the rich could sniff has spread to an annoying gas only those without a nose could miss.
In Washington, they call these trial balloons: Get it out there; let folks take a whiff of it out there. Pretty soon, they get used to the smell.
The smell of higher taxes on everything they buy, everywhere they buy it until you have no choice but to accept it.
Because you suddenly can't fight it. Because there's nowhere to turn to avoid it.
Egg prices go up and it makes you sick.
So you go to a doctor and the visit is taxed, which makes you crazy.
So you go to a psychiatrist and the session is taxed and that makes you want to kill yourself.
But you don't because you know your family would pay a value-added tax on the casket holding your suddenly value-less corpse. At a funeral where the flowers are pricier and the kind words for your now sorry life likely are fewer.
So you stick around and stay alive, paying more for the privilege and wondering why.
And it stinks. And the only thing that drives you crazier is that no one in Washington thinks it stinks at all.
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