A Value Added Tax can be regressive, so it needs to be combined with progressive measures.
The Federal income tax is supposed to be progressive, and often it is. But it has been often hijacked by the special interests to the point that it’s often palpably regressive. It treats income that hedge fund guys earn for the work of managing investments as low-taxed capital gain and not high-taxed ordinary income. The Senate can’t summon the will to call that income by its right name. http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2010/03/15/100315ta_talk_surowiecki.
This issue is easy; see http://www.theconglomerate.org/2007/07/index.html. And the Government needs the money.