(Andreas Tzortzis | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor)
" .
Last January, Slovakia became the sixth Eastern European country to adopt a
flat tax, which means all income-earners pay the same rate. Since then,
Romania and Georgia have followed suit, creating a global proving ground for
the concept. In the process, flat-taxers have moved Eastern Europe from a
Communist backwater to an investment spring - pressuring its higher-taxed
Western neighbors to adapt to the new environment.

US conservatives, meanwhile, hope the experience of flat-tax countries like
Slovakia - which the World Bank named top economic reformer last year - will
persuade President Bush to implement a flat-tax of his own.
Flat-tax advocates - and there are many here - say the reform has encouraged
tax compliance and added to the flow of foreign investors. But a small
chorus of critics here worries that the uniform rate will mean less money
for social services and make it difficult on the working class.