Actually, that was the line that triggered me, too, because of the incredible hubris behind it.

When it comes to Norquist, the larger question (which is not addressed in your pro-tax rant) is where necessary services should come from. I can’t speak for Norquist, but most individuals like myself who promote low levvels of federal taxation do so because we also wish to end the practice of “roundtripping” tax money from the pockets of people in a given state to Washington and then back again to the states to run centralized programs, assuming that a “one size fits all” approach makes rational sense in a nation of 320 million which covers nearly four million square miles.

One of the people who first questioned the wisdom of this practice, btw, was on the left — Daniel Moynihan. He pointed out how the practice penalizes certain states, like New Jersey, who get back only seventy cents on every dollar they send to Washington, and subsidizes states like Mississippi, who get a dollar back for every seventy cents they send to Washington,

If we had a system more like Switzerland (low federal taxes, higher state taxes, states run their own social services guided by standards set by the Feds) then states like Mississippi would have to raise taxes to provide those services, while states like New Jersey would either be able to provide tax relief to its citizens or provide desirable services over and above the federal baseline.

And if you did THAT, you would substantially make the practice of corporate rent-seeking, where corporations move their operations to lower taxed states out of higher taxed ones, less profitable, leading to a more stable and balanced economic environment nationwide.

Now, on to this:

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I like that you provided this graph, because it clears up a common misconception held by the left (and in Europe, elucidated by Ferdy Christant, that the US pays only a small percentage of the European norm in taxation. Typically, outside the US, there is no substantial “state” taxation like there is in the US, and also typically, the practice of paying substantial taxes on property is rare. Once those get taken into account, our total taxation is not out of line with the OECD mean.

But….there’s more. To get “apples and oranges”, you’d also have to normalize for the fact that in almost all those nations, their health care is paid for by taxation, whilst ours is not; even Medicare has a monthly premium paid for outside the tax system. When you add in THOSE costs, the US tax wedge is no longer lower than the OECD mean, it’s ABOVE it.

And….one more point. Out taxation debates are (unhealthily) obsessed with the top 1% of earners. Your chart displays another interesting anomaly when you compare the US to the rest of the world, that being that our middle class pays MUCH less in taxes than in other nations. In many of these higher-tax nations, the middle class pays double to triple an effective tax rate than in the US.

And ultimately, if you want the US to have European style social services, the middle class effect tax rate would have to be at least doubled. There’s just not enough taxpayers in the “rich” category to foot the bill.

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Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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