I stand corrected on points one and two, Bruce, although points three and four are still concerns to some extent. But I'd nevertheless be more than open to establishing a mixed VAT/income-tax structure.

But I think we can both agree that when all is said and done, the overall tax burden as a percentage of GDP has to go up in order to pay for the mass of entitlement spending and military commitments that George W. Bush has subjected us to these past years. Few of us seem to care about the national debt and permanent deficits, unfortunately, even though that bill will come due sooner or later in a massive fiscal/monetary crunch if we do nothing.

And while we can quibble about the details, at the end of the day the overall tax rates will have to go up considerably. There's just no way around it, despite the Lafferist excesses we saw at yesterday's Republican debate.

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