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We're spreading already, thank you

October 30, 2008

The OECD, the organization of western economies, says the U.S. already has the second most progressive tax system among its members, trailing only Ireland.

Maybe there might be other ways to spread the wealth besides the tax system.

UPDATE: Greetings, Instapundit vistors!

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A bit misleading as the study only includes federal income tax and social security (which isn't progressive at all). It ignores the relatively low capital gains tax and the various ways the rich get out of paying them (and the very high rates in other countries) as well as the unavoidable sales tax and property tax and (in some places) state taxes that eat up a much larger proportion of low-income Americans' income. The annual tax on total wealth charged by Scandinavian countries is completely ignored.

This is a cherry-picked study. Shame on you if you think it's actually a representation of the true position of the American tax system and double shame if you're posting it to fool others or reinforce the beliefs of fools.

No Fool, what part of

"The table also shows that the U.S. collects more household tax revenue from the top 10 percent of households than any other country and extracts the most from that income group relative to their share of the nation's income."

did you not understand?


their numbers and criteria are bogus

I don't think this is particularly misleading at all. It is "cherry'picked", however, and perhaps it should be. Truly, We are a rather top-heavy country when it comes to federal taxes. The idea of VAT or usage taxes is interesting, yet makes the US even more progressive, since the millions of "under the table" employees cannot fully cheat the system. Therfore, the top 5% in the US float millions more "disenfranchised" non-workers. And although Social security is not progressive in collections, it certainly is in distributions. My return on investment is a negative sum, how about yours?

Actually, in the one other country I know about (Germany), there are no capital gains taxes, if you hold an asset for a longish period of time. They also don't have 401(k)s like we do here, but it's not quite as important to the extent that your 401(k) is in stocks.

No dog in this fight, just wanted to say Mazel Tov on the Instalanche!

This also omits the progressive nature of consumption. Financial aid for pre-school? Discounts on computers? These mean those with income are supporting those with less even more than the tax structure indicates.


Read the study.

"...these measures do not include the litany of other taxes households pay in each country, such as Value Added Taxes, corporate income taxes and excise taxes, but they do give a good indication that our system places a heavier tax burden on high-income households than other industrialized countries.

The study also shows that while most countries rely more on cash transfers than taxes to redistribute income, the U.S. stands out as "achieving greater redistribution through the tax system than through cash transfers."[1]

To Joe Kristan:
Thank you for the informative tax breakdown. Seems to me the best way forward is growth and particular attention to communication with our various congressional parties. It disappoints me that discourse is often interrupted by accusatory "flamers" and they should take a lesson from the other kind folks who took the time to share their outlooks - and educate the person so eager to paste blame on you because of his own misconceptions. Thanks again for your comments.
Yours, Lorendd

"... trailing only Ireland."

Since Ireland has one of the most flourishing economies in the EU, it must be the case that progressive tax schemes aren't that bad after all.

No Fool may want to rethink the tone of his/her argument. This data is actually relatively consistant. It may leave out some minor taxes that have tax counterparts in other countries as well. For example, do you not think that citizens of Nordic states pay local province or city taxes. They do. And it also doesn't take into account nanny taxes many of those countries apply as well (check the price of a glass a scotch in Stockholm) that are directed primarily to more well off citizens. But the real point of this study is about "progression" not relative tax burden to income. The point is that in most Nordic countries, the taxes are signficant across the board. And in our country, we have the upper 60 percent paying for everyone and a political party that proudly says it wants to take from one group of people and give it to another to buy their votes. The study results are pretty clear.

Ireland has a corporate tax rate of only 12.5%, the lowest in the OECD. Also, individuals receiving payments from corporations can fully credit this tax, so there is no double taxation. Light taxation of money kept in the business is why there is such good economic growth in that country.

Read this about the 10 biggest myths in America. Taxes are one of them.

Of course the simpliest way to spread the wealth is just create it. Get an education. Go to work. I can hear the liberals screaming now.

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