TAXES: The Simmering VAT

ONE of the hottest economic debates this election year crackles round a measure that President Nixon has been conspicuously flirting with but has not yet openly embraced: the value-added tax. A kind of national sales tax that is imposed on most goods and services, VAT is a big revenue raiser in Europe. West Germany, for example, collects 25% of its government's money from it. By adopting VAT, the U.S. could ease its crushing problem of raising funds for urgent social needs from a revenue base that has been steadily diminished by income...

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