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An alternative to value-added tax

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Although a value-added tax (VAT) is gaining steam as the likeliest revenue source to help fill the nation's yawning fiscal gap, President Barack Obama's debt commission should consider an alternative: a progressive consumption tax (PCT).

The virtue of the PCT over the VAT is that it's simple, transparent and progressive. It would reward and encourage savings. And, politically, it would be an American invention, not a European import.

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