CNN PRODUCER NOTE Romanian iReporter chemycala says that while Romania experienced its own financial crisis, along with most of Europe, it responded in its own way - reducing public salaries and raising sales taxes. "Romanians understood the urge to sacrifice and did not go so much in the streets to protest against austerity," she said. She does not have a problem with paying sufficient tax so long as the government's system is efficient in how it spends it. "I am careful with my family budget so why shouldn't someone that I elect be also careful with the money they borrow in my name?" she said. She did, however, feel angry that the US and other nations used public money to bail out banks. "As a former communist country Romania was told during the 1990s by the IMF and World Bank and Western governments that it was forbidden to save its industry and companies with public money, that we had to 'reform' and 'restructure' the system in the name of free market values and capitalism," she said. "We had to close hundreds of factories, and my hometown was one of the heaviest hit from this point of view, tens of thousands jobs were gone. I still believe in those ideas but now I felt betrayed, especially when I see that when it is happening to other countries."
- sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer
Romania is a country where everybody (companies and private persons alike), pays 16% flat rate income tax no matter the income level. Of course in case of private persons there is a deduction, and poor people in some cases pay nothing at all. I do not think that there is an automatic link between enjoying better public services and higher taxes. You can have higher taxes and reckless government spending and you can have lower taxes and wise spending. I think there is a lot to do first of all towards ensuring an efficient, transparent, intelligent and responsible government spending everywhere in the world before applying a tax increase that I believe should be a solution of last resort. Abnormally higher taxes towards the richer people backfire and do not work. Rich people will always find a way of lowering their taxes or fleeing the country with their profits. As I told you, Romania has 16% flat rate and US has a progressive rate. The flat-rate may seem cynical and unfair to you in the USA. Nevertheless I see that some very rich Americans, in spite of your sharp progressive rate, manage to pay even less than our flat rate, so something is both wrong and hypocritical in your system. Also, if America genuinely wants to build a better world, it should start a direct and decisive "war" (of course with non-violent means) against fiscal paradise countries and territories similar to the war on terrorism. Sometimes fiscal evasion, when depriving a person of basic medical services for example, kills the same way as a weapon of mass destruction. Elena Matetovici - public school teacher - Braila, ROMANIA
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