The poverty level is a bad joke that has nothing to do with the cost of living. Why not just exempt the first $40,000 of spending for every household? That way all would be assured of not being taxed on reasonable living expenses. Used goods are exempt from the tax? Tax avoidance would be rampant. There would be no new goods sold as everything would be magically classified as used, especially those that are most expensive. Yachts and mansions are more often sold as used goods than new. The progressive benefit is dubious at best.