Monday, November 03, 2003
A light-hearted look at the flat tax: Sunday's Washington Post features an article announcing the creation of a flat tax in Iraq.
The article features a colorful history of the flat tax idea and plenty of quotes from U.S.-based flat-tax supporters.
The idea also gets a couple of bricks thrown at it, one by an unnamed "Middle East expert," and the other by former Clinton economic adviser Gene Sperling:
Looking back at the failed attempt by presidential candidate Forbes to rally U.S. public support behind the flat tax, Gene Sperling, a senior Clinton economic adviser who is with the Council on Foreign Relations, said wryly, "If Steve Forbes does a bus tour [of Iraq] to promote it, I hope they have adequate security."
However, it's curious that the Post failed to find anyone who's really opposed to a flat tax.
Why did they fail to find someone who advocated a more progressive taxation system, like we have here in here in the U.S.?
Well, it should be obvious, even to Sperling, the kind of progressive tax system we have requires an enormous infrastructure and bureaucracy to administer. Iraq doesn't have it. If the new government is going to get tax revenue, then a flat tax is the best, quickest and easiest way.
But, the Post would rather take a light-hearted look at the issue than a serious one that would look at the difficulties and challenges of getting a government up and running in Iraq.