Shared publicly  - 
 
Great article. Taxes do not mean "redistribution of wealth," as some contend. But low taxes, no public services, and elaborate tax loopholes equal the systematic distribution of wealth to the already rich.

+Abraham Epton
 
Like anorexics, who think they are grossly fat when they are very thin, the American body politic is suffering from a national version of body dysmorphia, with nearly half the country believing taxes are high, when they are comparatively and historically low.

Fantastic piece by +Chrystia Freeland on the disconnect between perception and reality in US tax politics.

"According to the International Monetary Fund, in 2011, among the world’s 30 leading Western economies (plus Japan), only in New Zealand and in Japan was government revenue a lower share of gross domestic product than in the United States. Countries like Australia, Estonia, Ireland and Switzerland, which tend to favor low taxes and a small state, have government revenue that accounts for more of GDP than it does in the United States."

"The Internal Revenue Service is also relatively restrained compared with recent U.S. history. In 1945, at the close of World War Two, federal tax receipts were 20.4 percent of GDP (expenditures, by the way, were 41.9 percent, putting the federal budget deficit at 21.5 percent, compared with 8.7 percent in 2011). In 1952, the year the Republican Dwight Eisenhower was elected president, federal government revenue was 19 percent of GDP. In 1988, the last year of Ronald Reagan’s transformational conservative presidency, the federal tax take was 18.2 percent of GDP."

"Compare those figures with that of today, when a Democrat is in the White House, nearly half of Americans think their taxes are too high, and both parties are promising to keep taxes low for all, or, in the case of the Democrats, 99 percent of Americans. In 2011, government revenue was 15.4 percent of GDP, lower than it was at any time during the Eisenhower or Reagan eras. Like anorexics, who think they are grossly fat when they are very thin, the American body politic is suffering from a national version of body dysmorphia, with nearly half the country believing taxes are high, when they are comparatively and historically low."

Those low revenues (also known as low taxes) is a major reason the deficit is so high.
1
Add a comment...