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CShine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-03 09:58 PM
Original message
Flat Tax System Imposed On Iraq
Edited on Sat Nov-01-03 10:03 PM by CShine
The flat tax, long a dream of economic conservatives, is finally getting its day -- not in the United States, but in Iraq.

It took L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator in Baghdad, no more than a stroke of the pen Sept. 15 to accomplish what eluded the likes of publisher Steve Forbes, former representative Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.), former senator Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) and former representative Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) over the course of a decade and two presidential campaigns.

"The highest individual and corporate income tax rates for 2004 and subsequent years shall not exceed 15 percent," Bremer wrote in Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 37, "Tax Strategy for 2003," issued last month.

Voila, Iraq has a flat tax, and the 15 percent rate is even lower than Forbes (17 percent) and Gramm (16 percent) favored for the United States. And, unless a future Iraqi government rescinds it, the flat tax will remain long after the Americans have left.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A50031-20...
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-03 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. TAXATION W/OUT REPRESENTATION
Sound familiar?
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soupkitchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-03 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. Let's see if it persuades any Republicans to move to Iraq
Edited on Sat Nov-01-03 10:06 PM by soupkitchen
Great tax system that Iraq. I'm moving there.
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lostnfound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-01-03 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. No chance that applies to foreigners or corporations, eh?
Like Halliburton or its minions living in Iraq (and likely collecting the biggest paychecks of all..)
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wellst0nev0ter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
4. Made It All The Way To Page Nine, I See (eom)
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Gore1FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 04:24 AM
Response to Original message
5. Iraq has a supply problem
Hence a supply oriented flat tax may accually work in that environment. The implementation of such a policy in the US is stupid as it exacerbates a demand problem.

When you have too much coffe on the shelf, you need to spur demand, when you have empty shelves, you need to spur supply.

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Paschall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Supply of what?
Basic staples, perhaps. But in Europe, we've been getting video of Iraqi appliance stores--among other outlets--in the wealthier sections of Baghdad that are overflowing with goods. So much stock, in fact, that it's piled out onto the sidewalks and streets. Dollar-wielding GIs seem to be among the main customers.

In any event, this has got to mean little for most Iraqis. Fifteen percent of zero income is zero tax.
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tlb Donating Member (611 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Insufficient supply of CPA's and Tax Attorneys.
I guess a flat tax can stand as a temporary bridge until Iraq has developed sufficiently to provide enough tax advisors to interpret a 50,000 page tax code. :)
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
7. Taxes imposed at the point of a gun
<"Somehow, it's easier when you start from scratch," Norquist said.>
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booksenkatz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 07:31 AM
Response to Original message
9. Why can't the Iraqis decide for themselves
Edited on Sun Nov-02-03 07:32 AM by patsified
what they want their tax system/rate to be? We treat them like toddlers who know nothing of running a country, when in fact their country is a wee bit older than ours. The American experiment has flopped, anyway, who the hell would want to structure a new country using our rotten framework?

I am so angry about this, how must the Iraqis feel?

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Gin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Remember the suply train that was hit recently? It had American goods on
it..such as Televisons..etc. So if we are shipping supplies...that may be a part of the 7% growth they are touting...made in China...shipped back here...and then purchased by we the taxpayers.. via the government, and shipped to Iraq on our dime...while the suppliers are cleaning up.

The GDP will hit the roof but no new jobs. NOW I see where the numbers are coming from.
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Gin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yep..there it is....
The 15 percent rate does not take effect until January. In the meantime, Bremer has abolished all taxes except for real estate, car sales, gasoline and the pleasantly named "excellent and first class hotel and restaurant tax." Even while leaving these Hussein-era levies in place, Bremer exempted his coalition authority, the armed forces, their contractors and humanitarian organizations. Exempting occupation personnel leaves only the Iraqis to pay taxes, as well as journalists, business people and other foreigners.


Didn't it say that there was no tax under Saddam?
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oldcoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. There were taxes under Saddam Hussein
However, Hussein's government rarely enforced tax collection so most Iraqis did not pay taxes.

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karlschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Made in China, sold by Walmart, delivered by Halliburton.
...
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
12. Well seeing as how none of them have jobs...hey this sounds familiar
Now we will finally get to see how this doesn't work.
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snippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 10:59 AM
Response to Original message
14. If it is a "flat tax" why did Bremer set the "highest" rate at 15% ?
Doesn't that imply more than one rate?
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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Obvious Guess, 15% tax on people 0-1% tax on Corporations
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
15. How classically Neocon
A flat tax is a key piece of the Neocon/Conservative philosophy.

They're trying to build Iraq as they think it should, not what the Iraqi people want.
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realFedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
16. Interesting that these tax laws were written months before invasion
Edited on Sun Nov-02-03 01:16 PM by realFedUp
of course so were contracts...

No plans for post invasion or exit but plenty
for taxing outside the kingdom...
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
17. Won't work.
Edited on Sun Nov-02-03 01:39 PM by Buzzz
The Iraqis are going to need a strong centralized gummit for a long time to come to bring order from chaos, keep the peace among factions, fight terrism, and direct the building/rebuilding of their country. Conservative tax schemes are not likely to raise enough revenue to support the country's needs. In which case Balkanization can't be far off.
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moondust Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Furthermore,
Iraq starting over could turn out like Russia starting over and produce enormous inequalities in wealth. Those who one way or another get into top jobs in the oil business may accumulate vast fortunes while great masses of the population all but starve without meaningful work or income. The oily fat cats might ordinarily be called upon to make up the difference for the masses who are unable to pay taxes but a flat tax conveniently caps their liability.

But it'll be great for the future foreign owners of their oil industry, "led by the U.S."!
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
19. This way...
corporations can gain more money in Iraq, since they dont have to worry about high taxes.
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oldcoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
20. What happens to those Iraqis who can not pay?
Does the U.S. government confiscate their property and sell it to pay their taxes? Is this tax simply a scheme to allow American corporations to cheaply buy Iraqi businesses and land?
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DUreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-02-03 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Secret Tribunals, prison or execution. Tax Cheats are Terrists
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