@ Edward Amsden
I used to work in the property tax field, so have a passing familiarity with some of the theory of taxation. The most credible analysis I ran across was, roughly, "the sales tax (a tax on consumption); the income tax; and the property tax (a tax on wealth) taken individually are all highly inequitable taxes, but in combination the three yield a very equitable taxation system."
Also for your consideration, this (paraphrased) quote from a former Canajun minister of finance: "Sure, we could go to flat income tax; we already have only 3 tax brackets in Canada. But you still have to define "income", and that's where all the complications arise."
Merely offered as food for thought.
My own belief is that a lot of the difficulties with taxation systems arise from trying to use revenue measures as instruments of social change, behavior modification, etc. Eventually the tail begins to wag the dog, and revenue collection suffers, whence all sorts of illnesses of the body politic arise.
But to expect significant change is probably a daydream. There are too many people with vested interests in the existing hodge-podge, and redistribution of tax burden, even in a zero-sum manner, will create too many losers *and* winners to ever win approval of the electorate.
The best strategy is that of the ostrich: bury your head in the sand and resolutely ignore the news.