Hey, wait a minute…

Iraq is getting a flat tax of 15 percent, here is the full story. I’m all for this, but note that under Saddam very few Iraqis paid any income taxes at all, despite a published marginal rate of 45 percent.

You might now ask who will be exempt from the new taxes:

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.

I don’t mean to show lack of appreciation for those who are putting their lives on the line. But, symbolically speaking, I doubt if this is a worthwhile way to avoid additional expenditures.


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