Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What about a "progressive consumption" tax?

Steven Pearlstein Sunday, in the Washington Post, revisited a suggestion that I think still deserves airing: a “progressive consumption tax”.   He mentions Cornell University economist Robert Frank’s book “The Darwin Economy”, which I should look into; maybe it should be called “The Spencer Economy”, though. 

Investment income would be taxed only when it is consumed.  This is a “principled” kind of Buffet tax:  maybe the rich pay lower rates than their secretaries, but once they live better, they pay. 

Is that so different from a VAT, with vouchers for the poor?  Or from special taxes on travelers (hotel and car rental taxes levied by most municipalities and states – after all, travelers don’t vote in their areas).  

Here’s his link.

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