So is a progressive consumption tax the way to go? Maybe. Maybe not. The world of white papers is awash in interesting proposals, ranging from Value Added Taxes to transaction taxes to carbon taxes to simplification and fairness reforms like the plan proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden. What's puzzling, however, is the dearth of attention these initiatives receive from progressives.
Progressives have been so thoroughly bludgeoned on taxes that they've lost all appetite for engaging the issue. The Democrats running for president (with the exception of Mike Gravel who is, embarrassingly, a FairTax advocate) all have tax plans, but none do much beyond simplifying the filing system and offering the middle class some "tax relief." Both are potentially worthy goals, but they approach the discussion on firmly conservative terms: Taxes are too high, and they are too complicated.
Now go read the whole thing.