Great quote from Jonathan Rauch's review of Patrick Allitt's The Conservatives:
"Bartlett argues that the smart conservative alternative is not to insist on no new taxes ever, but to champion a value-added tax (a VAT), which taxes consumption and allows very few loopholes. It is flat (or flat-ish), economically efficient, and difficult for lobbyists and politicians to game. Establishing a VAT would finance higher government spending, and that is not conservatives’ first choice. But we live in a second-choice world, and some spending growth is inevitable. Today’s tax system is so complex and perverse and inefficient (it punishes saving and investment, for heaven’s sake!) that a VAT could raise more revenues while strengthening the economy. Reagan–the real Reagan, not the caricature–would smile."
Tax reform is a potential big win for the GOP that the Democrats, given their core constituencies, wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole, but can't be seen as resisting.