Courtesy of Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner
The New York Times nicely summarizes some facts that I have frequently brought up that infuriate many readers. Taxes are too low in the US. Our huge debt and deficits are purely due to the fact that a certain political class refuses to pay for the things that we as a society have decided we want like Social Security, Medicare, and a bloated military that costs more than the entire rest of the world’s military forces combined.
We have decided, furthermore, that rather than have universal socialized medicine at a cost of 9-11% of GDP like everybody else, we would rather have a system where we pay 18% of GDP while 50 million Americans are shut out. We are willing to allow 25,000 Americans a year to die prematurely because we think we are the best and refuse to recognize that the system stinks. If we want a better quality of life for all, then we have to be willing to pay for it. That’s a decision that we have yet to make.
Here’s an excerpt of the piece by Eduardo Porter via Slipping Behind Because of an Aversion to Taxes — Economic Scene – NYTimes.com..
Every developed country aspires to provide a better life for its people. The United States, among the richest of all, fails in important ways. It has the highest poverty and the highest infant mortality among developed nations. We provide among the least generous unemployment benefits in the industrial world. Not long ago one of the most educated countries in the world, the United States is slipping behind…
Citizens of most industrial countries have demanded more public services as they have become richer. And they have been by and large willing to pay more taxes to finance them. Since 1965, tax revenue raised by governments in the developed world have risen to 34 percent of their gross domestic product from 25 percent, on average.
The big exception has been the United States. In 1965, taxes collected by federal, state and municipal governments amounted to 24.7 percent of the nation’s output. In 2010, they amounted to 24.8 percent. Excluding Chile and Mexico, the United States raises less tax revenue, as a share of the economy, than every other industrial country.
No wonder we can’t afford to keep more children alive…
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