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Are U.S. Taxes Too High?

Updated on January 1, 2008

Taxes in Industrial Nations

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) issued a report on taxation this week which estimated that taxes in 2006 in 30 industrial countries amounted to 36.2% of GDP. The cost of government has increased from its level in 1975 when taxes accounted for less than 30 percent of GDP in member countries.

The 36% figure is for the OECD countries as a group. However, the range is wide, from 50.1% in Sweden to a low of 26.7% in South Korea. The U.S., at 28.2%, ranked in the fifth quartile along with Greece, Japan and South Korea.

Estimated Tax Revenue as % of GDP (Preliminary 2006)

1. Sweden..............50.1

2. Denmark.............49.0

3. France.................44.5

4. Norway..................43.6

5. Finland..................43.5

6. Italy........................25.4

7. Austria....................41.9

8. Netherlands.............39.5

9. Britain......................37.4

10. Spain......................36.7

11. Germany.................35.7

12. Portugal...................35.4

13. Canada....................33.4

14. Turkey.......................32.5

15. Ireland........................31.7

16. Switzerland.................30.1

17. UNITED STATES........28.2

18. Greece.......................27.4

19. Japan.........................27.4

20. South Korea...............26.8

"Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

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    • Logical Brian profile image

      Logical Brian 

      8 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

      I do have to laugh a bit, Ralph. Public rest stops present a perfect example of millions of dollars wasted by the government across the country. Thank you for offering a case where the government-run option is awful by comparison.

      For a long time now I have gone to fast food establishments. They don't mind me using the bathroom for free (they might sell me something) and I don't mind a touch more driving (get a better maintained facility).

      Forewarning: I have done tens of thousands of miles in over-the-road travel for work. Yes, some private facilities are bad too BUT, on average the private restrooms are MUCH cleaner.

    • Logical Brian profile image

      Logical Brian 

      8 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

      I have to fix Wisconsin at the moment. Governor Doyle (D-Wisconsin) and Mayor Barrett (D-Milwaukee) continue to raise costs on businesses in Wisconsin to the plight of the blue collar workers in my area.

      History shows us that smaller government is the answer. I didn't say "Republican" government. I just said smaller.

    • Ralph Deeds profile imageAUTHOR

      Ralph Deeds 

      8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      You should move to Arizona. They are trying your theory there, to the point of shutting down highway rest stops.

    • Logical Brian profile image

      Logical Brian 

      8 years ago from Racine, Wisconsin USA

      Oh, for crying out loud..."Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society."

      Taxes are (well...should be) what we pay for national and local defense, police, fire fighters. Voluntary charity is how we "pay" for a civilized society. Ralph, you disappoint me again.

      http://www.shrinershq.org/Shrine/

      http://nyp.org/volunteer/index.html

      http://www.lds.org/library/page/display/0,7098,643...

      That is a civilized society in action...no government corruption and better for it.

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