All 50 states have regressive tax structures: the lower your
income, the larger share of it goes to state taxes. While a few states have
flat income-tax rates--here in Illinois, everyone pays 5 percent--most are
mildly progressive (higher rates for higher income).
There are two ways to reduce the federal budget deficit: cut spending
and increase revenue. Serious progress will require both. But neither can
solve the larger problem behind the nation's budget woes.
Sir Martin Gilbert, an author of many books, has written an argument for one of the silent participants in the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum. He recounts the story of the Jewish experience under Muslim rulers over the past 14 centuries, an ambitious task that necessitates wide reading among numerous specialties.
Egypt is facing a severe water shortage, which is getting worse as the population grows. Researchers at Alexandria University are developing an innovative desalination process using a membrane that binds with the salt as salt water passes through it. Since no electricity is used, the process requires about half the energy that other desalination methods use. It is hoped that the membrane, consisting of five components, can be mass-produced and used worldwide (Christian Science Monitor, October 28).