I can see some of your points, Bruce. The problem, however, is that you've so far cited Larry Kudlow and Jack Kemp as important supply-side names. And those two guys are some of the same people spouting today what you call bastardized supply-side economics.

I'd agree that it was important in the late 1970's and early 1980's to cut marginal income tax rates. They really had crossed the point of diminishing returns and were stifling the economy. But at the end of the day, tax rates are just one part of the equation. And this fundamentalist-like devotion to constantly cutting taxes that we see from modern Republicans is simply irresponsible. They're playing Santa Claus for current gains and passing a bill to future generations that would make Lyndon Johnson blush.

So given that we have a massive national debt, expensive foreign engagements, literally crumbling infrastructure, and grand new entitlements from the same administration that cut our taxes as you said, "starving the beast" is a sham we'll need to get the government revenue somehow. The alternative is we eventually default on Treasury Bills, which would plunge the economy into an even worse mess than any large-scale tax increase. It would be so bad, Americans would be illegally crossing the Southern border to look for jobs in Mexico while the United States is making concessions to the IMF and the World Bank.

So what would you do? You've mentioned passing a VAT/national sales tax, but what would the tax system look like when you were done? How much of it would be income tax, how much sales? And what would the total tax rate be, relative to GDP?

And remember, Larry Kudlow and Jack Kemp will probably hate just about any answer you give. After all, you seem like a pretty smart and responsible guy to me.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.