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I think a flat sales tax with no exceptions would be the smartest way to go. Yes it would be harder on the poor but the current system gives the poor no incentive at all to not demand more and more govt. services no matter the cost. If everyone had skin in the game we’d like see a higher % of the population voting and we’d see them voting for less govt. If there were not any exceptions the rate would not likely be very high. Anything purchased be it TV’s, food, clothing, cars, houses would be included. Purchasing services of any kind be it plumbing, mowing the lawn, medical, or getting your hair done would be included. A simple sales tax of this nature would not need the massive IRS bureaucracy to administer it nor even tax returns filed by consumers.

The reality is that this could never happen of course because special interest groups and politicians would start carving out endless exceptions so as to render it meaningless and with a very high tax rate for the few taxable items left on the list.