Oh not that again!

Nothing makes Opinion Journal crazier than The Flat Tax (Crazy Jesus Lady is a close second.) John Fund writes:

After being mired in stagnation for years, in 2001 Russia implemented a flat tax of 13% for individuals, along with a 15% rate for most business income. The economy grew 7.3% last year, thanks in part to underground activity going legitimate, more than doubling revenues from income taxes.

Luckily for John Fund, not a lot of people follow the Russian economy that closely. Sadly for John Fund, Google does:

Economic growth in Russia is estimated to have been around 6-7 per cent in 2000. […] The high price of commodities on the global market and the devaluation of the rouble after the 1998 crisis have particularly supported strong economic growth in Russia. Export has increased as a result of devaluation. Likewise, the price of imported goods has increased. For this reason, industries to replace imports have been developed in several sectors.

The traitorous French add (PDF🙂

The positive effects of the 1998 devaluation of the rouble (domestic output partially replaced imports)
and the surge in oil prices since 1999, accompanied by the steady rise in export volumes, are widely acknowledged
as the drivers of Russia’s economic turnaround after the 1988 crisis.

Let’s make this a slam dunk, ok?

The economy rebounded in 1999 and 2000, buoyed by the competitive boost from the weak ruble and a surging trade surplus fueled by rising world oil prices.

Speaking of slam dunks, we’ll let the CIA wrap this one up:

Russia ended 2004 with its sixth straight year of growth, averaging 6.5% annually since the financial crisis of 1998. […] Economic growth slowed down in the second half of 2004 and the Russian government forecasts growth of only 4.5% to 6.2% for 2005. Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of exports, leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world prices.

John Fund also throws in:

Greece is likely to introduce a 25% single rate for both corporate and personal income next month.

Given that the US pretty much has an effective federal tax rate of 25%, John should be pretty happy. [Ooh, a Sadly, No! classic.]


Comments: 6


Yeah, but what does Dr BLT, PhD, think about this?

And when will he put those feelings into song?


why do these traitors hate america?


I’d be in favour of flat tax if the alternative were “well-hootered tax.”

As it stands, I’ll opt for gradually tumescent progressive taxation. It’s not “hot”, like woefully underpaid sexy Russian women and men make it out to be, promising to rock your world like they did back when the Lada Faktory no.12 in Nizhniy Novgorod taught you the meaning of “bump and grind”, but then, I’m not young anymore.


Flat taxes are something that appeal to mentally teenaged Ayn Rand devotees. Ask them if they want to give up their deductions for their employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, children, etc. After a couple of feeble attempts at justifying the righteousness of their own deduction they generally just drop the subject.


Would this be the girl-friend beater John Fund?


If we loud Russian taxes, we should also loud their state provided services, like healthcare that helped to achieve one of the rare DECREASES in longevity, or law and order situation that is legendary (death squads for hire, anyone?)

Flat taxes make a lot of sense if collecting taxes is very diffucult due to low complincw and bribable administration. Also, in a pinch, Putin can always squize several billionaires to cough up a few billions more. If we admire Russia, we should seriously consider this as well.


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