Table of the Day: Total Taxes

Via Bruce Barlett (from OECD data), here is total taxes collected in the US as a percentage of GDP (this includes federal, state and local):

 

No analysis, point, or argument being made here, just a useful FYI.

FILED UNDER: Politics 101, Quick Takes, US Politics, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Trumwill says:

    I completely agree with the point that you somewhat disingenuously say you’re not trying to make.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    So under the conservative and libertarian theories of economics it’s quite clear that Turkey, Chile and Mexico are wonderlands of joy filled with unicorns, while in Denmark, Sweden and Belgium people must choose which child to feed and which to sell into slavery.

  3. @Trumwill,

    I am being serious, in the sense that whenever I have posted something like this without comment, I have been acussed of trying to make a point by not saying anything.

    Now, I do reserve the right to come back and make a point in the future, however 😉

  4. A voice from another precinct says:

    Well I see Dr. Taylor’s point perfectly. if the US were to adopt a flat and fair taxing system instead of shoving ALL of the tax burden onto the backs of the richest Americans (who are NOT creating prosperity for all because they can’t afford to with their tax burden being what it is) we could have a revenue stream that met our national needs and retire the debt within 10 years.

    Did I get that right? That was your point, wasn’t it?

  5. Richard says:

    @ michael reynolds
    One caveat is that many social democracies are now being exposed as unsustainable. Belgium’s debt problem has been drowned out by the PIGS. The developing countries that you mention have far better growth prospects.

    Another issue that this chart fails to mention is that Hong Kong and Singapore both have lower tax rates than the US, more economic freedom, and presumably are still high HDI countries.

    I would summarize the chart as saying that the tax rate is less important than what the tax is spent on. Providing infrastructure, a fair judiciary, a basic safety net, and enforcing contracts are more important than say military imperialism.

  6. Gustopher says:

    Why can’t we be more like Turkey?

  7. Alex Knapp says:

    Richard,

    Hong Kong is a city, which has low taxes because it free-rides off benefits provided by the Chinese Government.

    Singapore is a city-state, so it’s not that comparable. But even so, I can’t find a perfect analogous figure, but from cobbling together a few sources Singapore is between 24-28%. But in Singapore, the government owns the majority of real estate in the form of public housing and has a much bigger stranglehold on industry – it’s a very different economy.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    One caveat is that many social democracies are now being exposed as unsustainable.

    And we’re sustainable?

    Are France, Netherlands and Germany in worse shape than we are? I don’t think we can come to to many clear conclusions from the table, but one thing is clear, and has been crystal clear for quite a while now: the Republican religious belief in the miraculous power of low taxes is horsesh*t. That at least is crystal clear. 10 years of Bush tax cuts and we are worse off.

  9. Southern Hoosier says:

    Aren’t Portugal, Greece and Ireland in a financial mess? Italy isn’t doing much better. And Iceland is in the middle of a banking crisis?

    And let me guess people from Mexico are coming here, because they don’t pay enough taxes in Mexico.

  10. Andyman says:

    @SH,

    Europe faces a fiscal crisis mostly because of fallout from the housing bubble and recession. Vanishing revenue is the culprit, not unsustainable spending. In fact before the recession Spain (in particular) was hailed as a model of restraint with tiny deficits.

  11. Dave Schuler says:

    Are France, Netherlands and Germany in worse shape than we are?

    Yes, there is an argument to be made that France, Netherlands, and Germany are in worse shape than we are.

  12. john personna says:

    This PROVES once and for all that 26.1% tax is the only tax we can ever have, because it’s the tax we have NOW!

  13. john personna says:

    BTW, epic fail on the cherry-picking of some “worse” countries with higher rax rates.

    You’d want to show that they all, uniformly, are worse off.

  14. Franklin says:

    if the US were to adopt a flat and fair

    Both flat and fair, at the same time? Not possible.

  15. mantis says:

    instead of shoving ALL of the tax burden onto the backs of the richest Americans

    False. Basic understanding of taxes FAIL.

    (who are NOT creating prosperity for all because they can’t afford to with their tax burden being what it is)

    The S&P 500 is doing just fine. Corporative profits are up. Jobs and wages for us normals are down. They can afford to “create prosperity” here, but can profit more overseas, so they don’t. Basic understanding of economics FAIL.

    we could have a revenue stream that met our national needs and retire the debt within 10 years.

    Just plain living in fantasy land….

    Another issue that this chart fails to mention is that Hong Kong and Singapore both have lower tax rates than the US, more economic freedom, and presumably are still high HDI countries.?

    One of them isn’t a country at all. Basic understanding of concepts FAIL.

  16. Southern Hoosier says:

    john personna says:
    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 08:33

    BTW, epic fail on the cherry-picking of some “worse” countries with higher rax rates.

    You want me to take it by the numbers?

    High levels of private debt, namely among Danish homeowners, are a grave threat to the country’s finances and call for corrective measures, wrote the commission in the document that was expected to be published today..

    http://goo.gl/8ylnq

  17. Alex Knapp says:

    High levels of private debt, namely among Danish homeowners, are a grave threat to the country’s finances and call for corrective measures, wrote the commission in the document that was expected to be published today..

    Thank God we don’t have problems like that here!

  18. Southern Hoosier says:

    Alex Knapp says:
    Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 17:02

    High levels of private debt, namely among Danish homeowners, are a grave threat to the country’s finances and call for corrective measures, wrote the commission in the document that was expected to be published today..

    Thank God we don’t have problems like that here!

    Don’t you mean thank Comrade Obama? I thank Comrade Obama everyday for his greatness and allowing the sun to rise each day.