Thesh wrote:We can make up for it with income tax; it's more stable (i.e. you can generally predict with high confidence what next years income tax revenue will be) and more progressive (sales tax tends to get fairly regressive).
I don't think European countries have problems with the predictability of VAT, and they rely on it for something like half of their tax income. If US states have such problems, that problem lies presumably not in the tax itself.
The progressivity is an interesting one. The main reason Europe gets away with it is that the total system of all taxes and spending is rather progressive. The US probably have a more progressive system of taxation than most European countries. But European countries simply tax and spend more, and that compensates. If you introduce a regressive tax and use the result to pay for equal access to healthcare for everyone, the system as a whole is more equal, even if your tax system is now more regressive.
Of course, if you do not want to expand total expenditure, you can still introduce a regressive tax and compensate by making other taxes more progressive, or to change spending in ways that benefit lower incomes.