I'm always amazed at how often a Big New Idea in politics just happens to be simultaneously canvassed in Washington, London and Canberra.
Today Kevin Rudd is reviewing the Australian tax system and contemplating raising the GST from 10% in the next budget. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown is facing another revolt over his government's plans to abolish the 10% lower tax bracket in the coming budget:
The 22% tax rate is coming down to 20%, and the 10% tax rate for lower earners is being abolished altogether - forcing more than five million workers up into the 20% tax bracket.And look what's suddenly being discussed on FOX News and the Wall Street Journal:
Gigot: But on that point, the optional flat tax does seam to be at least a big step in the direction of tax reform - fundamental tax reform, which is a big idea. And of course would be something he [McCain] could run on as a reformer and not just somebody representing the status quo.Is this just a frenzied, borg-like, panic response to the latest global financial problems? Or do the backroom guys in the USA, UK and Australia actively collaborate on co-ordinating their governments' Budget strategies every year?
How would that work, John, the optional flat tax?
Fund: Well, it's been done in various other places, including Hong Kong, which as you know is economically booming. What it basically says is, you agree to give up all deductions, and you get a flat rate, 15%.
Gigot: Presumably lower rate.
Fund: Right, much lower rate. And you basically solve the paperwork problems. You don't spend time worrying about keeping records on every little bit...
What about other issues like foreign policy? How much is being decided in secret by unelected global elites?