Leonhardt, David, “A Value-Added Tax and the Poor,” Economix Blog, NewYorkTimes.com, 04/23/10

“Given the rise in income inequality over the last three decades and the decline in tax rates for the affluent, these upper-income families probably need to bear a big share of the burden of deficit reduction. But they can’t come close to paying off the deficit by themselves.  One way or the other, taxes need to rise on middle- and lower-income families, too (unless you favor making huge cuts to Medicare and Social Security). A consumption tax, or VAT, seems a promising way to make this happen. Not only would it raise revenue. It would also encourage people to save more money — a bit of encouragement Americans could use.”