Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Tax Myths

In the most recent issue of Commonweal magazine, Charles Morris writes:
Recently, when speaking to a number of businessmen, I came to realize how convinced they were that America is a high-tax country, which just happens not to be so. But, then, almost everything that everyone, liberals and conservatives alike, thinks about taxes is not so. Here are a few of the standard myths.

Myth 1: Americans Pay High Taxes Each year, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), a research group sponsored by the thirty leading industrial countries, publishes an analysis of comparative tax burdens—taxes actually paid as a percent of the Gross Domestic Product. They include all taxes—sales, income, property, whatever, imposed by all levels of government. And they count actual tax revenues—in other words, they measure what governments do, not what they say.

The most recent data are for 2007. And guess what? The United States, as usual, ranked twenty-seventh out of the thirty, trailed only by Korea, Turkey, and Mexico. The total American tax burden is about 28 percent of GDP; the OECD median is about 36 percent; and the highest, in Denmark, is 48 percent.

To learn the other myths, and the facts, go here.