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Iranian Voters (Image courtsey ISNA)

Iranian Voters (Image courtsey ISNA)

Fire is not always the answer. Especially when the world’s on fire already. Iran’s voter turnout has been astounding and the results are expected to be far more closer than expected before. Similiar to politics in other “third world countries”, the scenes in Iran depicts a stark contrast between two ideologies or ‘marketing capaigns’ as I’d put it.

The moderate ex-premier Mir Hossein Mousavi is backed by the youth in major cities while fiery Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has the rural support behind him. With many expecting a close result, the international community is waiting in the wings to restore ties with Iran which have now been severed for almost three decades, with none more so willing than US President Barack Obama.

The people of Iran may chose the comparatively level-headed Mousavi to lead them to the much-needed financial stability that has been missing during Ahmadinejad’s first four year term. The nation’s nuclear drive has hampered its overall developement and the world waits for a breath of fresh air in the Iranian political scenario. Even today, all four candidates in the running are of the opinion that Iran has the right to all kinds of nuclear research although Mr Mousavi is believed to be willing to negotiate such matters with the West.

Looking at the long queues and the astonishing turnout in this year’s elections in Iran, it seems the people have come out in masses to bring a much needed change in the country’s political scenario. It seems the fire has burned too long and its time for things to cool down and settle. The results would be announced within 24 hours after voting ends but it seems this time hardliner Ahmadinejad may end up on the wrong side of a stunning upset. We wait with a hope of peace finally returning to this wonderful country

moderate ex-premier Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Tax Day protestors for Fair Tax

Fair Tax supporters

Fair Tax supporters come together on Tax Day

This April 15 was different from previous years as thousands of protesters came together at Tax Day “Tea Parties” in several cities from Atlanta to Anchorage to lend their voice to the growing outrage over recent government spending. It seems the American people’s animosity towards IRS is raising the tide of Fair Tax proposal. It is believed that the taxpayers view the passing of Fair Tax as a channel to vent their anger at the federal spending.

I find it hard to be on top of things when it comes to Tax Day and especially the Fair Tax proposal. I find graphs, charts and complicated tax reports to be a tad more baffling than plans to find “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. So, I’ve made four 60-second lists to keep you in the loop and ahead of the times…

Five things to know about Fair Tax:



1) It has been introduced by Georgia Republican John Linder in the House and by Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss in the Senate.

2) It is a proposal to replace all federal income taxes with a single national retail sales tax.

3) The tax would be levied once at the point of purchase on all new goods and services meant for personal consumption.

4) The sales tax, as stated in the legislation, is going to be 23 % of the total payment including the tax.

5) All family households of lawful U.S. residents would receive a monthly payment known as “Family Consumption Allowance” (FCA). It would be a ‘prebate’ or an advance rebate on purchases up to the poverty level.

Why people support it?

1) It would decrease tax burdens by broadening the tax base and effectively taxing wealth.

2) With the advance rebate of “Family Consumption Allowance”, the Fair Tax would be progressive on consumption.

3) An individual spending at poverty level, as per the proposal, would have a 0% effective tax rate. Whereas a person spending twice the poverty level would have an effective tax rate of 11.5%

4) It would enable the federal government to reduce the size of federal tax administration by 73%, by cutting the IRS budget to $8 billion from $11.01 billion (figure for 2007).

Why people stand against it?

1) It would decrease tax burden on high-income earners and increase it on the middle class.

2) The size of such a consumption tax makes it very complex to collect and may lead to widespread tax evasion.

3) It would cause an increased budget deficit as the new tax rate would raise less tax than its predecessor.

4) Imposing a national retail sales tax would force transactions underground and lead to an extensive underground economy.

What happens next?

1) The proposal, introduced in 1999, has not since moved from committee and is yet to have any say on the present tax system.

2) An advisory panel on tax reform, established by President Bush in 2005, had deemed such a tax system as undesirable to recommend in their final report.

3) President Barack Obama does not back the bill, arguing instead for more progressive reforms to the payroll and income tax systems.

Now that you know it all, what do you feel about the Fair Tax proposal…leave me your comment below…

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July 2021

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