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Archive for April 10th, 2009

I took my first trip to Paraguay last week, courtesy of the good folks at Fundacion Libertad. I gave a couple of speeches (the photo below is from a speech to business leaders in the Parliament), did a few interviews, and met with a bunch of policy makers, including the Vice President. The purpose of the trip, at least I think, was to help build pressure to block an income tax from being implemented. Paraguay is not a free-market paradise, but the fiscal burden of government is low and there is a serious debate in the nation about whether to be one of the few places in the world without the plague of an income tax.

As far as I can tell (given my total lack of foreign-language skills), the trip was successful. The Paraguayan equivalent of the House of Representatives voted to suspend the tax, joining their colleagues from the Paraguyan Senate in voting against the income tax.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to permanently kill the tax. As such, I’ll definitely have to return for another visit – especially when the weather is cold in Washington.

paraguay-speech1

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This mini-documentary from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity discusses the global flat tax revolution. There are now 24 flat tax jurisdictions (actually 25, but we didn’t know about Trinidad & Tobago when the video was filmed), a remarkable development given the ideological opposition to tax reform from special interest groups and class warfare advocates. The six-minute video explains the key features of the flat tax revolution and highlights the reforms in Hong Kong, Estonia, and Iceland. The flat tax revolution has been especially strong in former Soviet-bloc nations, a rather ironic development since a so-called progressive income tax was a key tenet of Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

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Based on a theory known as Keynesianism, politicians are resuscitating the notion that more government spending can stimulate an economy. This mini-documentary produced by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation examines both theory and evidence and finds that allowing politicians to spend more money is not a recipe for better economic performance.


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