We were stationed overseas for fourteen years -- I say it was thirteen years, my wife says it was fourteen. In addition to that, I spent another half dozen years overseas on various "short" duty assignments. Our family literally grew up with a national sales tax, something we (fortunately) don't have in the US.
How severe is that national sales tax? It's called a value-added tax, and it's not just a tax at the final point of sale but at each point where value is added to the product. Whatever.
Consumers simply see the "bottom-line VAT":
- Germany: 16%;
- France: 22% plus a new digital services tax of 3% on top of that 22% for "digital" products;
- Italy: 22% plus the new digital services tax of 3% on top of that 22% for "digital" products;
- UK: 20% plus the new digital services tax of 2% on top of that 22% for "digital" products;
- Chile: 19%
- Mexico: 16%
- Saudi Arabia: 15% (recently increased from 5%)
- Turkey: 18% plus the new digital services tax of 7.5%;
There is nothing more regressive than a sales tax. The rich can complain about it but probably seldom notice it except when buying a new car or a new yacht, but the middle class face it every day.
See comments at the linked article. It's "fun" to see how Europeans try to justify VAT -- call it what you want, I see it as a sales tax. And whatever it is called, it is a most regressive tax.