US Taxpayers Pay Less Taxes Than Citizens In Other Countries.

You think your taxes are bad? I don’t necessarily think I pay too much in taxes (although I would like to see waste cut back on, for sure, so the taxes I do pay actually go further than they do), but when you look at the tax rates for the rest of the world, the people of the United States actually pay less taxes per person than most other countries. In the US, the tax rates for mostnormally falls between 15% and 35% of income, but if you look around the globe at some other countries, even the 35% doesn’t sound all that bad…

Australia: 17-45%
Austria: 21%-50%
Belgium: 25-50%
China: 5-45%
Denmark: 38-59%
France: 5.5-40%
Germany: 14-45%
Greece: 0-40%
Ireland: 20-41%
Israel: 10-46%
Italy: 23%-43%
Japan: 5-50%
Morocco: 0-41.5%
Netherlands: 0-52%
New Zealand: 0-39%
Norway: 28-49%
Portugal: 0-42%
Slovenia: 16%-41%
South Africa: 0-40%
Spain: 24-43%
Sweden: 0-57%
Taiwan: 6-40%
U.K.: 0-40%

What do you think about this list?

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Comments (14)

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  1. Nowhere near comprehensive. Federal income tax is but a small part of the total taxes we pay in a year.

  2. Melanie says:

    I agree with Jake, but what I’d be really interested in seeing is what they get for their money. I wouldn’t mind paying higher taxes if I got good, otherwise free health care, safe daycare for my children, and strong environmental laws for a clean living space. I would suggest, if we want those things, we pay very high percentages of our incomes to have them, just not all in taxes.

    Love your blog!

  3. Melissa says:

    Agreed with Jake…was actually commenting to post a similar sentiment. I wonder if the taxes posted for the foreign countries are all inclusive (i.e. do those countries have sales tax, property tax, etc)?

  4. Tracy says:

    In Denmark, there is free higher education, fantastic and frequent transportaton, subsidized daycare, and healthcare for all. And considerable peace of mind.

  5. david says:

    That’s what is being compared, Jake. Its our average rate to their average rate.

    Tracy, I am with you – they get a lot there, that I wish we had here.

  6. I’d rather pay lower taxes and receive fewer services from government. They haven’t proven they can manage other people’s money very well, and tend to muck up whatever they get involved with. No one, no matter how well intentioned, can spend my money more effectively than me. After all, nothing is free, and once a government program is implemented another class of dependents are created, and I’ve never seen a politician with enough will power to cancel a government program once created, no matter how screwed up that program might be. I’d rather endure a little personal hardship to remain nanny-free.

  7. Annie G says:

    Total taxes paid in the US are approx between 20% and 37%. This includes ALL taxes (property, sales, income, payroll, etc). Don’t confuse “marginal tax rates” with actual tax rates.

    And, in fact, with the current tax cuts that favor the wealthy and will soon expire, the top rate has dropped to 33% (the 20% remains virtually unchanged).

    I’m definitely in the “peace of mind” group! Consider health care. Our family pays about $5k per year now, if everyone stays healthy. My husband’s job is not secure, and if we use Cobra, this amt will rise to about $17k per year (still assuming we stay healthy). Most people we know in his field who have found new jobs do not get ANY health benefits (or for the employee only, not family). With pre-existing conditions we are probably un-insurable for finding a policy on our own. That’s pretty scary stuff! Add the fact that I’m currently awaiting results on a mammogram followup after they found a mass, and my husband’s company just announced an upcoming 30% layoff.

    Yes, I’d totally pay higher taxes in exchange for less fear about the future.

  8. PT Money says:

    We started a revolution and became the US because of high taxes. It makes sense that we have them low and want them lower. It’s our nature.

  9. No, no, David, we’re not talking average rates here. Yes, that’s what’s compared above, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about federal plus every other little tax taken out of your paycheck, sales tax, gas tax, tobacco taxes, alcohol taxes (or here in PA it’s known as the 1936 Johnstown Flood Tax… look it up), property tax, etc. On top of that, things that aren’t called a tax, but really are, such as vehicle registration and driver’s license fees. It adds up, and damn quick.

  10. Annie G says: “Yes, I’d totally pay higher taxes in exchange for less fear about the future.”

    Benjamin Franklin says: “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”

    Paraphrasing, yes, but still definitely applies. More people around here need to acquaint themselves with the Constitution of the United States of America, as well as the Federalist Papers.

  11. Miranda says:

    I would have more choices if we had government health care. I wouldn’t be stuck with “in network providers”, and I wouldn’t have exclusions to my coverage. Plus, the increase in my taxes to cover the costs would be less than what I pay in insurance premiums. That sounds like an INCREASE in liberty. Besides, I think there is merit in the argument that health care falls under Article I, Section 8 as one of the things that constitutes “general Welfare”.

  12. david says:

    Amen to that Miranda. That, and they forget the “FOR the people” part of the Constitution. 🙂

  13. Bucky says:

    Miranda, I was just about to remind Jake of that very section of the Constitution. That section actually allows congress to raise funds for debt, common defense and general welfare of the United States.

    Most people stop reading after the word “defense” and think that is all that a government need do.

    Jake, if you think that Mr. Franklin’s “liberty/security” tradeoff applies to reigning in the greedy corporate interests of today’s mega insurance companies … I’d suggest that you go back and read more of Franklin’s writingd than just a few right-wing sound bites.

    I’d recommend starting with “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.” It’s a great read.

  14. KD says:

    2/3 of the Federal budget today is spent on benevolence, that is the forcible taking of one person’s rightful property to give to another in the name of doing good. If this happened on the street, it would be called robbery, but government has the power of legal coercion. And predictably, a lot of people are ok with this, as evidenced by many of the comments to this article, as long as they think they are receiving more in benefits than they pay in, i.e., as long as the wealth is redistributed to them in greater proportion than what is taken away. Some people may even call this form of government dependency freedom or liberty. Madison, the father of the Constitution, stood on the floor of the House one day irate with his fellow Congressmen and stated “I cannot even undertake to lay my finger on the article of the Constitution that authorizes Congress to spend the money of their constituents for the purposes of benevolence;” somehow we’ve progressed from that clear statement to the modern day perversion of the general welfare clause to justify governmental benevolence. Or as Franklin put it so succinctly: “When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” We are there. We are no longer a Republic with strict Constitutional limitations on what government can’t do. We have degenerated into a Democracy where politicians are voted into office based on the goodies they promise to redistribute to their constituents. It’s inevitable that sooner of later they will run out of other people’s money to redistribute and start coming after yours. With few enforced limitations on government, where does it all end?