Remember that it was the Bush-Rove idea to make tax cuts temporary. Their idea was that every time that the tax-cut deadline drew near, the Republican party could shake down their donor base to get the tax cuts renewed. It was all about the money. It is time to pass a national VAT, conditioned upon repeal of the income tax. The oil and timber industries already pay an excise at the state level in the form of "severance" taxes. It will be very hard for industries like finance, big pharma, media and entertainment, high tech etc. to buy their way out of that one, no matter whose pocket (or purse) they fill to overflowing.