Bible Study On Revelations 18

When we consider the extent of divine judgment upon this city of fornication it can only lead us to contemplate the magnitude of her offenses. 17:18), and sits on seven mountains (Rev. According to Revelation 17, she will reign over kings and will make the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornication.

It is interesting to note the manner in which she will be punished. If we should only confine our Bible study about Mystery Babylon to Revelation 14 alone we may be lead to conclude that God will personally cause fire and brimstone to fall upon that seven-hill city for its iniquity. In my Bible study on Revelation 17 I see where Babylon is again mentioned under the symbol of a woman.

The eighteenth chapter of the book of Revelation outlines the details of her sins for which she will be rewarded and manner of her retribution. Certainly, God does not impose punishment more than what the crime deserves.

At some point these ten co-rulers with the beast (Rev. The first hint of Babylon’s involvement in last-day events is found in Revelation 14:8. She commits fornication by departing from her Lord and went a whoring after other gods just as Israel did in days of old (Exod. Even a peripheral Bible study on Revelations 14, 16, 17, and 18 will show clearly that this woman will be very much at the helm dictating world affairs. 6:3; Eph. 6:9).

As we examine each description as well as the biblical solution to the symbol, we can only be led to one conclusion – this great city that sits on seven mountains is none other than the city of Rome and her religion.

Like Jerusalem, Mystery Babylon was once a faithful city but she has now become a harlot (Isa. In this particular verse it is said that Babylon has made all nations drunk with the wine of her fornication.

. 17:12) will have reason to turn against her. Since the woman is a symbol, her fornication cannot be seen as literal; it must also be accounted as symbolic. Indeed, God’s judgment will be executed upon Babylon at the hands of her own allies (Rev. 5:21-27).

A study of the eighteenth chapter of the book of Revelations shows that the day is coming when Babylon will be punished for her misdeeds that brings calamity upon the world on account of the great apostasy into which its inhabitants will be led.

As we seek to connect the dots in the book of Revelations concerning the succession of world events we need to get a better understanding of the role of Babylon in the fulfillment of end-time prophecies. 34:16; Ezek. 1:21). And this is what explains the fornication part. 17:16. A Bible study on Revelation 17 will bear out the fact, “these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” Rev. 17:17).

The woman, Mystery Babylon the great, is obviously an impure religion since she is categorized as a whore. But she will not be punished just for her apostasy because she is not just a participant or a mere victim in this whole end-time saga. 17;9). Furthermore, in the scriptures woman in symbolic form usually refers to a religious entity (a church, see Jer. But based on what we read in Revelation 17, the destruction of Babylon will be the work of the ten kings.

In order for us to determine the meaning of the phrase ‘wine of her fornication’ we need to determine who this Babylon is. As a harlot she will lead the world into the same kind of prostitution of which she is accused, and hence, the world will suffer the same punishment that will be meted out against her for such an offense.

The clear biblical interpretation of this ‘woman’ symbol is said to be “that great city that reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Rev

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Morning line horse racing?

It also could be someone’s opinion of what they think each horse’s chances should be. For example if the morning line on a particular horse is let say 8-5, that could change it’s never set. The morning line odds are the probable betting odds as estimated by a bookmaker or track handicapper, usually issued the morning of the race, before wagering begins. That because in the parimutuel system the odds are determined by the betting pool. So basically, the morning line is someone’s estimate of what each horse’s closing odds will be. In this system if you make your bet on horse number 8 when the tote-board says the odds are 8-5 you are not guaranteed to get that payout, the odds will rise and fall prior to the running of the race when the pools are closed.

Note: Parimutuel is a form of betting and of handling the betting on horse races at racetracks, in which those holding winning tickets divide the total amount bet in proportion to their wagers, less a percentage for the management, taxes, etc.


The Best 15 Minutes You will Ever Invest

There is a notable exception, however. Unquestionably, the most life-changing habit you can develop is to systematically read good books.

I recently was made aware of two comparative statistics that I thought you might find extremely valuable. If I followed you around for one day, I’d bet $1000 that I could find a whole hour that could be better spent reading and you wouldn’t even miss it. I learned that the average American reads less than 2 books per year, one and a half to be exact, with almost two thirds of those going unfinished. If you do not currently make positive reading a regular part of your life- DO SO IMMEDIATELY!!!! Along with changing who you spend your time with, it is absolutely the most powerful way to change your life for the better.

PS – I would love to hear your book recommendations – post a comment here:…

. I dare you to take just 15 minutes out of those kinds of activities each day and invest it in a good book. All you need is 15 minutes a day, preferably right in the beginning or right at the end of that day.

And don’t give me any crap about not having 15 minutes a day. Watching TV, surfing the internet, eating lunch, just zoning out, the list goes on and on. CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies read, on average, roughly FOUR BOOKS PER WEEK! That equates to about 200 times the average for the rest of America, and I can guarantee that the vast majority of those books are good, meaty stuff that causes them to think about their business and/or their Life in a very healthy way.

Now I am not saying that you yourself need to start reading 4 books a week, but I will tell you this, I have personally seen that there is a direct and positive correlation between the amount of good reading an individual does and their influence and income. I promise that over a very short period of time, you’ll find it’s the best 15 minutes of your entire day.

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones coined the phrase that “Leaders are always Readers”. On the whole, Americans have lost the habit of reading good books.

Roger Seip


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Don’t get me wrong, I realize that you need to work, spend time with your family and engage in all the great activities that you engage in, and you should. Our friend Brian Tracy has seen it happen many times where an individual went from zero to 30 minutes a day of good reading and saw their income double, and we’ve seen it too. You don’t need to become a full time student or some kind of hermit bookworm crazy person

Biden: 2016 is ‘lifetimes away’ – CNN Political Ticker

The traditional lower voter turnout during midterm elections often favors the GOP over the Democrats. And Obama’s low approval ratings are also working against the Democrats.

Giving a pep talk Thursday to Democratic Party officials to go on offense as the 2014 midterm election season heats up, the vice president went on to say that “my central message to you is look: I think we should not apologize for a single thing.”

Biden painted the GOP as a party of pessimists, and as he’s mentioned in the past, Biden said “there is no Republican Party,” citing the four separate responses to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

Biden’s comments came as he spoke to state party chairs, who are gathered in the nation’s capital for the Democratic National Committee’s Winter Meeting.

Biden, who’s mulling another bid for president in the next race for the White House, cautioned against looking ahead to the next election, saying that “everybody wants to talk about 2016. The vice president said that Democrats need to lay out to voters that “this is who we are. This is what we’ll do,” adding that “if we run on what we believe. If we run on our value set, which happens to be totally consistent with where the American people think we should be on this substance set of issues, we will win.”. That’s lifetimes away.”

In the House, Democrats need to pick up 17 GOP-held seats needed to win back control of the Republican-led chamber, a feat political handicappers say is unlikely considering the shrinking number of competitive congressional districts.

Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats located in red or purple states.

Washington (CNN) – Vice President Joe Biden says he’s “so tired about hearing about the demise of the Democratic Party.”

The vice president repeated his pledge, which he gave in an interview with CNN earlier this month, that he’s committed to campaigning for fellow Democrats this year, saying “I think I’m signed up for more than 120 races.”

Democrats may face challenges this November. This is what we stand for

Norm Macdonald’s riveting behind-the-scenes account of the SNL 40th anniversary special

So I went to Lorne.

Among many other things, this show was to be the return of Eddie Murphy. Eddie does not need the laughs. Tough job. I take a video on my phone of Fred Wolf, striking a Dylan pose, with McCartney in the background at the piano, singing. This was bad news. People were exhausted. And the 4 of us follow McCartney in to 8H and he sits behind the piano and does 6 songs. He knew the laughs would bring the house down. The magazine had listed all 141 sat members and ranked them, best to worst. It was like the old days. Very cool. At least that’s what I was told the dozen or so times I was asked. It was all Steve Higgins idea. We received permission and beside Darrel and I, the talented Mr. Eddie decides the laughs are not worth it. “As long as I beat George Coe”, I said, making a fine joke. I’m standing with my son, Lori Jo, and Chris Rock. The bigger joke is that I hadn’t. Again the truth was a finer joke. Work ethic, remarkable taste, and never taking no for an answer.

They wanted Celebrity Jeopardy. A video daily double. Eddie, the man who, in Lorne’s absence, kept the show alive. Homebase would be dressed as a bar. Eddie did not attend due to a remark by David Spade. I joined the writer’s room, which Mike helmed, and tried to help. He was with Eddie somewhere. And the idea was that Cosby would be mixing a drink in a video that was taped 6 months ago. Mike Myers has an incredible work ethic and no joke is ever good enough and must be beaten, must be beaten. Downey had remembered a thing Bill Murray used to do around the office, the theme from Jaws, and thought that would be perfect. And he is in the circle of us and Lori Jo talks of being a vegan and he says his daughter works for Gucci and is a designer, but no leather. Got that out of the way early.

Higgins had the idea. We see Eddie from 100 yards away. In real life, Connery is the opposite of Darryl’s take. It was always the third podium that was hard to find a man to stand behind. We talk in his dressing room a good hour. And then comes Eddie. Solid hand.

Norm Macdonald’s riveting behind-the-scenes account of the SNL 40th anniversary special | BGR

The first thing to do is cut down the number of contestant/impressions and the second is to contact Eddie and to convince him to do it. All the impressions are forgiven.

Higgins would stick his head in the room from time to time, tell me another celeb had been cut and make me happy. Higgins and I co-wrote the first one years ago and I waited for Martin Short to host so I could ask permission to steal. It was to be Lorne.

There is Sarah Palin, gorgeous, and you can understand the charisma. My son and I look at each other. When it’s over, I’m convinced he’ll do it. I was confused as to who exactly was to be in charge of this thing. Nothing but Rich Little nonsense. I’d never seen this in 8H.. He will not kick a man when he is down. Eddie Murphy knows what will work on SNL better than any one. Until last week.

So we hunkered down to write it. Without Will’s perfect take on Trebek,maddened by the outright hostility of Connery, the faraway uninterest of Burt, the sketch is nothing. When he speaks, he is Cosby. When, on air, he announced, “number 1, the crew”, the studio audience, unprompted gave a standing ovation. Who was in charge of Update, I asked and eyes would get shifty. My mind searched for an even more obscure cast member. The show, for all intents, ends. “Guess where you ranked”, he laughed and I knew from the laugh it was low. It was about the hope of one man, Alex Trebek, the hope that never died. I kept trying to help Mike. At least I think. So happy my son could see them all. It would inevitably only be an impression, nothing but an empty showcase. Impossible. Eddie Murphy is the coolest, a rockstar even in a room with actual rockstars.

I should say that it was not the magazine that ranked us, but a single writer. It was perfect. He said that Eugene Levy had written the original. And Alec too.

Quite a week.

It was some week. The joke was that I really hoped I would beat a girl who nobody had ever heard of. It was what it was, though, and what it was to be. Then I was told it was to have a lot of impressions, 10 or 12, so a lot of big stars could be seen impersonating other big stars. I get all filmmaker and go over Fred’s shoulder and get real close to Paul and when he finishes he is looking directly in to my camera. The idea was for Connery to be abusive and Burt to be dismissive. Of course. Celebrity Jeopardy was about hope. The idea of jokes approved by a writer the caliber of Jim Downey being called lame by some sappy “writer” was a great joke.

Mike and Dana showed up. Short played Jerry Lewis.

Still, had to write Jeopardy. The audience would know what to do. Like Ali in Zaire.” Eddie, Bomaye. I was dead sure Eddie would do it. He doesn’t. The iconic doors would open and on to home base would step Eddie Murphy. Rock says, “There he is. It’s my job to talk him in to doing Jeopardy. “Brett says Eddie doesn’t feel comfortable”, “Eddie says ‘maybe it’s ok since he’s doing pre-allegation Cosby.” And on and on it went. The hand of security. Was it the guy that wrote the Rolling Stone thing?

Jim Downey, the best writer who ever touched pen to paper, showed up Wednesday, with a copy of Rolling Stone in his fist. Still, there was so much work to do.

Downey was in charge of the political pieces, the best of which he had written, and nobody knew what was going on with Update. Higgins, Lori Jo, and I would stay late into the night, then go to PJ Clarks and end the nights at 3. Then, as he finishes one and goes in to another I feel a hand on my back. Eddie Murphy doing a perfect Cosby impression. We worked straight through, me with my Winnipeg Jets jersey, Lori Jo in a beautiful dress, Higgins in his Tonight Show suit. Very tough. It was a massive undertaking, a 3 hour show. He doesn’t deserve to be named and his book was sentimental nonsense meant to look like something Dave Eggers would write. I had not spoken to Eddie or Brett Ratner. But there was a problem. And I was very nervous and he was perfectly calm. With Bill Murray, golf always comes first. “As long as I beat….” and I mentioned a girl who lasted 4 episodes. “Perhaps it would help if you called Eddie”, and that was that.

My son got in on Saturday and wandered as the stars became bigger and bigger around him. It was a great sketch, and he did a top ten list, best things about SNL. They were going to do Wayne’s World. The audience covers the fact he has not spoken. Bill Murray was in Carmel for the Pro-Am, which he had won a couple of years back with DA Points. Sometimes people ask me who the funnier character is, Connery or Burt.

Mood was too relaxed. Eddie Murphy, I realize, is not like the rest of us. I worked with Lori Jo Hoekstra and Steve Higgins, who was always in a suit, because he had to go be Jimmy’s sidekick, every day, round 5. I remembered the first year SNL hired an older man because they didn’t think all kids could play characters of age. It was always difficult to fit in that final celebrity. I didn’t get a single joke into Wayne’s World. The rhythm would be gone. 40th anniversary and all. Had to be the best one. And so it was Saturday and Bill Murray may not make it and Eddie Murphy may not do Jeopardy and who was in charge of Update? And chaos seemed ready to sink it all. The audacious hope that never let the facts of the past interfere. It was to be Lorne Michaels. And the idea was that it would be a bar set. Most others were not. How could it be saved from becoming an episode of copycats? And then Higgins had an idea. The audience does not let him finish. Too many superstars to take in all at one time. I saw Lorne, thanked him, congratulated him, and shook his hand as Canadians do. The sketch ends. Every Saturday Night at 11:30 Eddie Murphy, a kid, would fill 90 minutes with comedy. The last anniversary was the 25th. This is why he has created a half-dozen perfect comedies. This is what makes him so good. We never wanted a celebrity to be dumb, although many, even within the show, thought that was the idea. The category would be Potent Potables, a common one on Jeopardy, but one we somehow had never done. An idea that would blow the show wide open.

The funniest character in Celebrity Jeopardy, by far, is Alex Trebek as played by Will. I looked him up and found a book he had written. At the end of the sketch, Darrel would choose potent potables. Higgins had two funny categories already figgered. The old days. Why is Eddie wearing a multi-colored sweater? He steps behind the bar, begins mixing a drink. Celebrity Jeopardy was never about impressions. Anyway, it made for a very funny running joke. To every comedian who ever performed on SNL, what Eddie accomplished was unthinkable. David is a very kind man, but his remark was not. Singlehandedly. I got in early, Monday, so I could write. I’m talking to Lori Jo and Higgins and Fred and my son and suddenly Paul McCartney is there. He accepted. It was a rhythm piece, as each disaster was signaled by the sound of a buzzer, and each new category signified more, new, hope.

Lorne was in his office, which overlooks 8H,which overlooks 40 years of memories.Andhe was looking out the window, down on to the floor. Hanks always got it. The best to do it was Hanks, playing dumb Hanks. She is irresistible. I came up with the idea of Celebrity Jeopardy years ago by stealing it, note for note, from an SCTV classic, Half-Wits. Coe had easily outranked me.” And on it went.

And the 3rd contestant was the tough one. And now we were being told we would have to do a dozen impressions. So Eddie never came back. The middle man to talk to Eddie was Brett Ratner, a cool guy who knows a great deal about comedy. The third attitude always just out of reach of Higgins and me. So, the talks were underway. But, in all fairness, it was not the magazine who did the ranking. Connery was the perfect gentleman, Burt was the funniest guy in the room

Horse Racing Basics – free article courtesy of

It has to face the brunt of some fierce legislations and wars. Owing to these characteristics, this royal horse is perfect for racing tracks.

Horse racing is perhaps one of the most common and attractive wagering game. This horse has a capacity to carry heavy weights and gallop steadily for long distances. One such plot was unearthed and made headlines.

The most common event in horse races is betting. The quarter horse can sprint well over small distances and are known for their ?cow sense?. This was the privileged track where Bulle Rock, the most popular horse of the eighteenth century, ran it?s race. In fact the Jockey Club, one of the most famous institutions today, came into existence way back in 1750. The first official race track in North America was a grassy pasture in Long Island. These were then imported from England, in 1700?s, and have multiplied since then. Other factors can be the jockey and the prevalent weather conditions.

Horseracing is a phenomenon that involves various activities. Seabiscuit was discovered in 1934, and won its first races in 1937. For example, how many if us know about the evolution of horse racing, or where the first race was run, or the various horse breeds other than those that run in the famous Kentucky Derby? Horse racing has various connected activities that help us to witness and bet on the final race.

This article was posted on October 04, 2005

The speed and adventure in these races make accidents quite common in horse racing. However, the bettors need to be aware players. The lack of distances between the competitors endangers both the horse and its jockey. Every country that permits horse racing earns huge revenue through it. The horse fascinated the Americans so much that it has inspired a novel and a movie, as well.

The most famous breed of horse is the thoroughbred. However, not every one is aware that a horse race has more to it than four legged animals and bets. Eventually racing spread westwards with more families migrating to newer areas. This legendary horse attained such popularity that death threats were made against him. However, racing was not always as strong as it is now. Thoroughbreds are sometimes used to improve the racing capabilities of this breed.

The most famous racing horse of all times would always be the Seabiscuit. The adventure and uncertainty of the game attracts various bettors. The first Kentucky Derby was organized after the Civil war and was a success. The information about the various related arenas helps to be informed participants and not just passive on lookers

The game emerged in United States of America when it was a mere colony. Though they are used in races as well, they are primarily bred for ranches and herding cattle. Any mishap can be dangerous for the audience as well, as the horse might get a scare and choose to run away from the tracks.

<< Back to “Recreation And Sports” Index

Another breed is the Quarter horse. At present the most prestigious American races include Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes.

Horse Racing Basics

 by: Mansi Gupta. Knowing the personal, medical, and racing history of the horse can help in placing the odds. Slipping of the horse can be fatal for the jockey as he might get crushed by the other horses. The ancestors of this horse were bred in Europe from Arab and Turk sires

Investigative Unit 2014: Recall Roulette

But the Craigslist ad ABC News posted for the recalled item remained on the site for a week until we took it down on our own.

In response, Kaye issued a challenge to Craigslist to make its site safer. Some recalls only see five percent returned or fixed.

PHOTO: Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Elliot Kaye speaks with ABC News.. In most cases, the sellers had no idea the products they were selling had been under recall, telling the local ABC News reporters that had they been alerted of the recall upon posting the item, they never would have attempted to sell it in the first place.

PHOTO: Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Elliot Kaye speaks with ABC News.

ABC News’ Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross attempted to ask Craigslist founder Craig Newmark about the findings and he refused to answer questions, saying he was only a “customer service representative.” A company representative told ABC News that Craigslist prohibits the sale of recalled items and the company says it notifies users that recalled products can’t be sold and sellers can access a link to a list of recalled items.

In an ABC News joint investigation with ABC affiliates around the country which aired last month on “20/20″, Kaye also came out swinging on Craigslist, singling out the classified online site as not doing enough to keep potentially hazardous, recalled products out of people’s homes, calling the company “morally irresponsible.”

World News Videos | US News Videos


[As 2014 comes to a close, the ABC News Brian Ross Investigative Unit looks back on some major reports over the last year.]

After the ABC reports aired across the country, the CEO of Craigslist wrote an open letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, firing back for singling out the classified site and insisting that his company was taking appropriate steps to thwart the sales of recalled products. The Bumbo was later recalled, and owners were offered a safety belt, but the original version continued to be offered for re-sale on Craigslist.

ABC News collaborated with 17 local affiliates from coast to coast, who did their own digging and found recalled products being sold on Craigslist. CEO Jim Buckmaster also invited CPSC Chairman Kaye to meet with company representatives.

In his first major interview, the newly-minted head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission told ABC News in November that the recall of a potentially dangerous product only takes about 20 percent of them off the market. On eBay, the listing was removed by the site after a day. And that’s a “good” recall, according to Chairman Elliot Kaye. Citing that the reporting done by the ABC News affiliates “appears to have contributed to a potential new stance on safety by Craigslist,” Kaye welcomed any future meetings with Craigslist representatives.

Among the potentially dangerous items discovered on the Craigslist site was a Bumbo baby seat linked to a series of accidents in which infants fractured their skulls or suffered other serious injuries.

ABC News

When ABC News attempted to list the recalled version of the Bumbo on Amazon, it was immediately blocked

VAT: Will the U.S. Adopt a Value-Added Tax?

In fact, interest in a VAT is cropping up all along the ideological spectrum (albeit more often along the leftish end).

This story was updated on April 9, 2010.

© 2010 CBS Interactive Inc.. The VAT, a levy on all the goods and services you consume, is not a “toxic idea,” he added.

Tax the rich: Always a popular idea, but the math doesn’t add up. Ellis, of Americans for Tax Reform, points out that even if federal tax revenues return to their 40-year average of 18 to 20 percent of GDP (in 2009, it dipped to about 15 percent), the spending promises on the books for 2010 and beyond start at some 25 percent of GDP. President Obama has pledged no tax increases for 95 percent of the population, and most Republicans flinch at the “T” word in any form. needs a money machine.” A VAT, because it touches every transaction, is just that: The Congressional Research Service estimates that each one percent of a value-added tax would raise $50 billion. It has three options.

What’s to Love and Hate About a VAT?

White House adviser

Paul Volcker (Getty)

About 150 countries have a VAT. No one in either party seems interested in taming these leviathans. Ditto for taxing big business more heavily. That’s just one idea. In addition to Volcker, the head of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad (D-N.D), has mused that a VAT has “got to be on the table,” and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has murmured sweet nothings about it. Press the buttons of almost any tax wonk in Washington and a different plan spits out; a VAT is part of most of them.

The case for a VAT is simple: The U.S. A useful rule of economics is that if something cannot go on forever, it will stop. It’s easy to see why it’s popular: As a broad-based tax that’s easy to collect and hard to see, a VAT can rake in a lot of money.

A VAT could be a useful part of a larger reform. Raising that is an excellent way to reduce competitiveness.

Cut spending: If government spending were brought into line with revenues, new taxes wouldn’t be needed. Even if a VAT started at a low level, say 5 percent, it’s easy to increase the rate, as Europe has proved time and again. “We have to think about really revamping the tax system,” said Volcker, who’s best known for successfully beating down inflation while serving as Ronald Reagan’s Federal Reserve chairman. government’s fiscal gap is widening by the hour. And the logical way to do that is to pass a VAT. VAT had been limited to the back rooms of think tanks and cocktail hours of high-minded conferences. “I think America has prospered because the general level of taxation has been lower than Europe,” says Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute, who prefers spending cuts to new taxes. A VAT is likely to be part of the answer.

Neither party shows enthusiasm for taxing you if you are not a plutocrat. It comes in different shapes and sizes, ranging from 5 percent in Japan to 25 percent in Sweden. should consider using a European-style value added tax to help bring the deficit down, said White House adviser Paul Volcker in response to a question from CBS at a panel discussion in New York City Tuesday night. “There’s very little chance in the next few years,” says Ben Harris, a senior research associate at Brookings, a left-of-center think tank, “but a substantial chance in the next decade or so.” And Ryan Ellis, tax policy director at the right-of-center Americans for Tax Reform, who loathes the idea, says of the VAT, “I think it’s coming, in the next five to 10 years certainly.”

Americans as a whole did not squawk when spending rose during the Bush administration, and in electing Barack Obama, they voted for bigger government. The U.S.

A VAT can be assessed in several different ways. “It is almost literally impossible to close the gap on spending alone,” says Michael Linden, associate director of Tax and Budget Policy for the left-leaning Center for American Progress.

Find new sources of revenues: If more juice cannot be squeezed from the income and corporate tax code, the logical alternative is to tap a wider base. Because lower income people spend a higher portion of their earnings, it may hit them particularly hard.

To be sure, no one expects a VAT to join the tax code this year or next. But what about by 2020? The odds narrow sharply. Current U.S. “I don’t think we should go in this direction.”

The Best of the Bad?

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The VAT’s efficiency in raising money is also why some oppose it. In the most common method, the VAT is assessed on a good at each stage of production and distribution — when the raw material is sold, when the product is manufactured, when a store stocks up, and when the consumer buys it. When a business calculates its VAT payment, it deducts the tax paid at the previous stage, based on records every company along the chain keeps. But crisis can create opportunities for reform, and America’s fiscal position is close to crisis. At some point, even Congress will recognize this fact and be forced to act. And the income tax well is neither wide nor deep enough to fill more than a small piece of the $13.8 trillion hole. Top tax rates are already likely to go up to almost 40 percent. fiscal trends are unsustainable. By the end of the year, the Office of Management and Budget says the gross federal debt will stand at $13.8 trillion. That’s one reason the VAT is considered highly efficient — it’s hard to dodge since each link in the VAT chain keeps an eye on the rest.

The VAT also comes under attack for being regressive. An increase much above that is counterproductive, reducing incentives to work and invest while creating incentives to find tax shelters and other ways to avoid paying. But that isn’t happening. That number is hard to knock down because the majority of federal spending is for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, all of which are set to grow briskly as baby boomers retire. corporate tax rate (35 percent) is already among the highest in the world. The deficit for 2009 alone was a cool $1.4 trillion, and it’s projected to hit $1.6 trillion this year. (High VAT taxes back home are one reason that Europeans love to shop in the U.S.) A VAT is also relatively simple to administer, so its “dead weight” — the distortion it imposes on the economy above and beyond the price of the tax itself — is minimal.

The U.S. But nearly every other industrialized nation has one, and the idea is beginning to spread. And its very simplicity and lack of visibility — no tax returns, no obvious hurt at the cash register — raises suspicions that a VAT is a stalking horse for higher spending. But make no mistake: a 10 percent VAT would raise the cost of everything 10 percent. (Interestingly, though, many GOP economists favored a VAT in the 1980s, and Margaret Thatcher supported the VAT when a Tory government instituted it in the U.K.). At some point, the politics we have voted for have to be paid for. This may be the opportunity to take another real crack at our complicated and inefficient tax code, something last done in 1986.

Despite long-standing political opposition, the VAT is starting to get attention for the simple reason that it may be the best among several bad options. That’s real money.

More on MoneyWatch:

This process effectively hides the VAT from open view — unlike state sales taxes, the VAT is buried in the price of the good, not assessed at the cash register. For example, in his book, 100 Million Unnecessary Returns, Columbia law professor Michael Graetz proposes a 10 to 14 percent value-added tax, but earners making less than $100,000 would pay no income tax at all, and other income and corporate taxes would be reduced. As Bruce Bartlett, a former Reagan economic advisor who supports a VAT, puts it, “The U.S. Alan Greenspan, for one, considers the VAT “the least worst way” to narrow the budget gap.

Last Updated Jun 3, 2010 6:16 PM EDT

Until recently, discussion of a U.S

UConn friends pull in $60,000 on one big bet at Hard Rock Hotel – Las Vegas Celebrity Headlines

After picking up their significant winnings, the happy bettors went all in and decided to place another bet on UConn to win the men’s basketball tournament again next year.

The UConn winners later dined at the property’s mega-hip Mexican cantina Pink Taco for lunch. The UConn team had 50 to 1 odds of winning at the time the bets were placed, leading to the windfall for the college friends. That’s a lot of fruity pool drinks at the Hard Rock’s Sunday Rehab.

Paul Delvecchio, Andrew Zielinski, John Mitkevicius, Tom Andreoli, Harrison Fuchs, Dan Stewart, Patrick Charmel, Marc Demattie, Dave Faenza and Michael Price at Hard Rock Hotel's Race &amp; Sports Book powered by CG Technology.

© Chase Stevens / Erik Kabik Photography

Paul Delvecchio, Andrew Zielinski, John Mitkevicius, Tom Andreoli, Harrison Fuchs, Dan Stewart, Patrick Charmel, Marc Demattie, Dave Faenza and Michael Price at Hard Rock Hotel.. They toasted to a successful bet and started their Memorial Day Weekend celebrations in Las Vegas with a shot of tequila.

Tom Andreoli, Patrick Charmel, Paul Delvecchio, Chris Demattie, Marc Demattie, Dave Faenza, Ferid “Frank” Feratovic, Harrison Fuchs, John Mitkevicius, Michael Price, Dan Stewart and Andrew Zielinski each collected $5,000. These close pals (we hope) placed $100 each at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Race & Sports Book for their school to win the men’s college basketball tournament earlier this year. All but Chris Demattie made it to Vegas to collect their winnings, and get a little early summer party started.

It’s going to be one heck of a good summer for 11 graduates of University of Connecticut. They stopped by the Hard Rock on Saturday to pick up their winnings, a total of $60,000