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Rivlin Stirs Debate Over U.S. Sales Tax to Trim Debt

Alice Rivlin, a member of President Barack Obama’s deficit-reduction commission, is trying to stir a debate over imposing a national sales tax to reduce the deficit as part of a plan that includes steep Medicare cuts and a one-year payroll-tax holiday to spark economic growth.

Rivlin, as part of a separate 19-member group sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, offered a plan for a 6.5 percent sales tax. Her recommendation comes as the president’s panel prepares a Dec. 1 report on options for Congress to trim the national debt.