I counted on a $200 tax refund this year. But the Internal Revenue Service, perhaps sensing that I had vast hidden assets, adjusted my return, and I only got 129 bucks.
As a magazine intern and a college student, I make a little less than the average citizen of the Bahamas, who earns about $15,000 per year. The economy of that commonwealth orbits around tourism, smuggling and international finance. Smugglers, of course, don't pay taxes. And in the Bahamas, pretty much nobody does -- there are no income, sales, inheritance or withholding taxes.
"I don't believe the American government's reports because they are confusing," Mostafa Mahfouz told the Boston Globe recently. Mahfouz's nephew, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, killed two people on July 4 at the Los Angeles International Airport and was shot dead by a security guard.
Mahfouz, a retired Egyptian general, is probably not slow. Nor is he alone. The question as to whether his nephew was a terrorist -- or something else -- would confuse anyone.