Wednesday, January 29, 2003
A VAT of Revenue: The nice thing about the VAT is that, theoretically, it wouldn't have to be too high, since it cuts out most non-consumer deductions (mortgage interest being the biggest). Another nice thing? You get point-of-purchase sticker shock; that is, you see how much the government is bilking you. It would foster more awareness than the current paycheck deduction method, whereby you never actually see the money the government takes away. This is one major reason why, as you note, the VAT is unpopular. I've flirted with the idea lately, as you recall, and I don't think it would be a disaster to have a national "sales tax." I just worry that it would come on top of the current income tax, not instead of it.