Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Comparative tax rates

Eric Black was an excellent researcher and feature writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He now writes for the online MinnPost.

Today he wrote about tax rates.

Is America Undertaxed?

"Of the 30 nations of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), which includes most of the prosperous industrialized nations of the world, the U.S. ranks 26th for overall tax burden. That number is calculated by taking all taxes paid as a percentage of GDP...

"This general ranking is nothing new. And it is a fact, which, as Ronald Reagan liked to say, are stubborn things.

"The U.S. has long been among the lower taxers in the industrialized world. The four countries that have lower tax levels -- Japan, Korea, Turkey, and Mexico -- are hardly a good starting point for the argument that lower taxes are the key to prosperity..."

Here is the OECD data in graphic form:

[Click on the image to see it full size.]

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