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FROM THIS EPISODE

The latest thing in presidential politics is as old as the Civil War, the so-called "flat tax," with new variations from Republicans Rick Perry and Herman Cain. We compare their plans and ask why a system with initial appeal has been often proposed but never adopted. Also, the ICC tries to persuade Gadhafi's son to surrender, and first-born daughters can now take the British throne?

Banner image: Former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain (R) speaks as Texas Governor Rick Perry (L) looks on during the Republican Presidential debate hosted by Bloomberg and the Washington Post on October 11, 2011. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Producers:
Anna Scott
Katie Cooper
Frances Anderton

Making News ICC Tries to Get Gadhafi's Son to Surrender 7 MIN, 47 SEC

The late Moammar Gadhafi will never face trial, but his son and presumed heir, Seif al-Islam, escaped Libyan rebels and is still at large. Officials at the International Criminal Court are trying to persuade him to turn himself in. Mark Leon Goldberg writes the UN and Global Affairs blog, UN Dispatch. He also contributes to the Daily Beast.

Guests:
Mark Leon Goldberg, UN Dispatch (@marklgoldberg)

Main Topic The Flat Tax 36 MIN, 12 SEC

America's "progressive" income tax takes a larger percentage from high earners than those lower down on the scale. At the moment, there are six tax "brackets," ranging from 10 to 35 percent. Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Rick Perry want to replace "progressive" taxation with new versions of the so-called "flat tax," which begins with the idea that all income should be taxed at the same rate. Abraham Lincoln levied the first "flat tax" to finance the Civil War. Since then, the idea's been revived by candidates of both parties, including California Democrat Jerry Brown, when he ran for president in 1992 and Republican Steve Forbes in 1996. What is the "flat tax?" Is it simple? Is it fair? Why do proposals often shift the burden from wealthy taxpayers to those in the Middle Class? 

 

 

 

Guests:
Peter Grier, Christian Science Monitor (@petergrier)
Roberton 'Bob' Williams, Tax Policy Center
David Winston, Winston Group (@dhwinston)
John Irons, Economic Policy Institute
Michael Keen, International Monetary Fund

Reporter's Notebook Ancient Rules of Royal Succession to Allow Women to Rule 7 MIN, 1 SEC

For hundreds of years, the ancient rules of royal succession have handed men the throne over the royal daughters. Britain's reigning monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. Both she and Queen Elizabeth, have served as queen for long times, but only because they did not have brothers before them. Today, at a meting of commonwealth nations in Perth, Australia, Prime Minister David Cameron announced a change to royal succession. Rafal Heydel-Mankoo is editor of Burke's World Orders, a guide to royalty and protocol.

Guests:
Rafal Heydel-Mankoo, 'Burke's World Orders'

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