Best possible tax system (if we were starting from scratch)?
The question is intended as an intellectual discussion, as it is impossible to have a purely clean slate, but... if the country were to just plop down from the sky and begin today, and we had to set-up a tax system from scratch... with absolutely no pre-determined bias or anything... what would be the best tax system for the overall common good of society?
1) Progressive income tax, with deductions, credits, incentives, etc.
2) Progressive income tax, with no deductions, credits, incentives, etc.
3) Flat national sales tax ("necessities" excluded)
4) Progressive national sales tax ("luxuries" taxed at a higher rate, but "necessities" still excluded)
5) Flat income tax, no deductions, credits, incentives, etc.
6) Value-Added tax, i.e.: tax hidden in cost of goods and services
Your reasons can be social, or economic, or a combination of both.
Note #1: "Necessities" defined as basic food staples, etc.
Note #2: I purposely am not including "no tax system at all" as an option. While there is some irrelevancy in the form of "starting from scratch" involved to facilitate discussion regarding the topic, I am not willing to entertain the fantasy that no tax system would be even remotely viable.