The New Tax System We Need Will Probably Never Happen

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There are thousands of tax-filing deaths every year under our current system. Photo: iStockphoto

A lot of smart, important people think the United States needs to implement a value-added tax like the rest of the world. This is a tax that's collected at every phase of the production process (see this nifty graphical explanation), and it's supposed to raise revenues quickly, efficiently, and a lot less confusingly than our current system. Making the VAT a reality, however, "would probably require an overhaul of the entire federal tax code," as well as the political will in Congress to deal with voters' heads exploding upon hearing the phrase "new taxes." [NYT]