Taxes: Who Pays How Much in Eight Charts

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There was a steady stream of post office customers dropping off mail including their tax forms at the Pembroke Pines, Fla., Tuesday, April 15, 2014. The post office placed signs on the mail boxes to inform patrons about times. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
There was a steady stream of post office customers dropping off mail including their tax forms at the Pembroke Pines, Florida, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. The post office placed signs on the mail boxes to inform patrons about times. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Ideological arguments about whether taxes are too high or too low miss the crucial question of who ends up bearing how much of the burden of financing our public sector.

There’s an inescapable reality surrounding that question: unlike corporations and the ultra-rich, America’s working majority have neither the lobbyists to write loopholes into the tax code, nor the financial planners and high-end tax accountants to exploit them.

The result, as economist Joseph E. Stiglitz tells Bill Moyers, is a system that is fundamentally unfair. Here are eight charts that illustrate how our tax burden has shifted over the years, and why we need to reform our tax code.

The US Is One of the Least Taxed Countries

Here’s some important context: Overall, we pay relatively little in taxes today compared to other wealthy countries.

Of the 24 countries that were members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1979, the US paid the 16th highest share of its economic output in taxes.

Fast-forward to 2010, and the US was the third least taxed country, ranking 32nd out of 34 OECD countries in terms of taxes as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). As the graph below shows, only two countries, Chile and Mexico, paid less in taxes than the US did in 2010. And as the green bar shows, the 24.8 percent we forked over in taxes was significantly less than the average of 33.4 percent that the other 33 countries paid.

On the Federal Level, Corporate Taxes Are Down and Payroll Taxes Are Up

This graphic shows that since 1950 the share of federal revenues from individual income taxes has remained relatively stable. But during that same period, corporations’ share of the burden has plummeted, while the contributions from workers’ payroll taxes have dramatically increased.

That’s an important point because payroll taxes are regressive — after the first $117,000, the more money a person makes, the smaller the share of income gets deducted from his or her paycheck.

Share of federal tax revenue, by source

(Chart: Mother Jones)

Federal Taxes Are Down; State and Local Taxes Are Up

As you can see from the chart below, the federal government collected a smaller share of the nation’s economic output in taxes from 2010 to 2012 than it had at any time since 1950.

But over that same period, since 1950, the share collected by state and local governments has almost doubled.

Why That Matters

Perhaps you’re thinking, ‘Why does the distinction between federal taxes and state and local taxes matter? A buck is a buck.’

The reason it’s important is because at the federal level, those with higher incomes pay a larger share of their incomes in taxes than those who earn less, as the chart below shows.

While the richer pay a higher tax rate at the federal level, the opposite is true when it comes to state and local taxes. As the chart below shows, in 2011, America’s top earners paid a lower percentage of state and local taxes on their income, 7.9 percent, while the bottom earners paid a higher rate at 12.3 percent.

Many states’ income taxes are less progressive than the federal system, property taxes tend to be somewhat regressive and sales and “sin” taxes are very regressive. A 2013 study by the Institute on Taxation and Policy found that those kinds of consumption taxes averaged a “7 percent rate for the poor, a 4.6 percent rate for middle incomes, and a 0.9 percent rate for the wealthiest taxpayers.”

Polls consistently find that most Americans across the ideological spectrum favor the principle of progressive taxation — with the wealthier bearing a bigger piece of the burden than the middle class and the poor. Shifting federal taxes to the state and local levels makes our system less progressive overall.

Who Gets the Tax Breaks?

The chart below shows the percent of all tax breaks — the myriad deductions and credits written into our tax code — given to individuals at different income levels. The Congressional Budget Office says these breaks “resemble federal spending by providing financial assistance to specific activities, entities, or groups of people.”

As you will see below, the highest income group got the lion’s share of the tax breaks, 51 percent, while the lowest income group got the least, 8 percent.

What about the Tippy-Top?

As much as we talk about income inequality and the 1 percent, the greatest inequities exist even higher in the economic stratosphere.

This chart looks only at the wealthiest 400 families. They make up about the top 1 percent of the 1 percent. While their average income increased by 392 percent between 1992 and 2007 (and most of us are thrilled when we get a cost of living increase of 3 percent), their tax rate dropped by 37 percent.

Changes in taxes for top 400 earners.

(Graphic: Mother Jones)

Joshua Holland is a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com. He’s the author of The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) (Wiley: 2010), and host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter or drop him an email at hollandj [at] moyersmedia [dot] com.
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  • Anonymous

    Oh silly us…we were under the illusion that when we elected our congressional representatives, that is what they were supposed to do-lobby for us.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    So what are the specific income levels that define each quintile? With that one set of numbers everyone reading can see where they personally fall in these analyses. Otherwise, it’s just theory.

  • Pat Branigan

    Europeans get so much for their taxes and we get so little. their entire citizenry get healthcare, retirement, day care, schooling through college plus a safety net. What do we get an inadequate retirement, maybe a little help with healthcare, day care if you are in a poverty program that they take from you as soon as you are making a little money but not enough, Crappy public schools and huge college debt. And the Republicans pulling unemployment out from under you in the worst recession since the Great Depression. Oh wait we get stupid wars that cost us money, prove nothing and proliferate terrorism. No wonder Americans hate taxes.

  • Anonymous

    Oh boy, someone needs to go back to grade school.

    The graphs show that 2010 Federal taxes in the US were 15.1% of GDP and state and local taxes were 13.9% of GDP, for a total of 29%, which would put the US tax rate higher than Switzerland, Japan, Australia and other high tax places.

    Yet, in the OECED total tax chart, it is listing the US tax rate as below 25%.

    Hard to take the rest of the article seriously, when the most relevant statistic it is off by US$750,000,000,000.

  • Anonymous

    Congratulations to Joshua Holland for easy to understand and mind-blowing statistics and great graphics. Sometimes a picture tells it all.

  • Nick

    I learned in grade school not to add percentages.

    I learned in high school that it was particularly important not to add percentages when they are derived from different data sets.

  • Anonymous

    $120 million dollar aircraft… and FREEDOM to be poor!

  • Anonymous

    So you are saying other countries do not have state and local taxes like sales tax or real estate tax. So while I was living in Spain paying import and real estate taxes it was going where? To the church as tithings I suppose. Nice try!

  • Anonymous

    No it’s not – just shows you’re too lazy to use Google to figure it out if you don’t know already.

  • Anonymous

    You have a serious problem with math… and reading charts.

  • Anonymous

    like Jacqueline implied I’m
    taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month on the computer . see
    post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  • Anonymous

    You get a prize! OECD uses “harmonized” data to do cross-country comparisons, while the state and local tax data is from Census and the federal tax data is from OMB.

  • cgmcle

    I thought it would be informative to compare tax rate as a percent of GDP with a happiness index for the OECD countries. I was able to find the OECD’s list of the 11 happiest countries in 2010 (top 11 instead of top 10 because there was a tie) along with their happiness scores. I intended to find the correlation between tax rate and happiness, but there is severe restriction of range for the happiness score (7.4 – 7.8), so a correlation would be misleading. Someday soon when I have more time (busy weekend) I’ll try to find more complete data to conduct a proper analysis.

    In the meantime, the preliminary findings are suggestive. Of the countries with the top 9 tax rates, 6 (67%) are among the top 11 in happiness. Of the 25 remaining countries, with lower tax rates, 5 (20%) are among the top 11 in happiness.

  • Anonymous

    We do not have a tax problem. We have a compassion, wisdom, human problem. Those with no need for more wealth/power, keep accumulating more because the system is set up for them. Instead of spending on creating more problems by spending on electing lap-dogs, they should think about creating a better social order that serves all and endear the super rich/super powerful as genuine leaders. Think Warren Buffett and Bill Gates…..

  • Anonymous

    I’m not saying any such thing. The OECD chart is ALL taxes (federal, state/province, local) for all countries.

  • Anonymous

    Wow – you learned in high school not to add percentages? Really?

    The OECD charts are based on individual country statistics collected by each country’s national finance authorities reported to the OECD on total taxation. And it is nothing more, nothing less than total taxation.

  • Anonymous

    First of all the OECD stats are freely available on the net at stats dot OECD dot org. And the explanation is very clear. For the taxation table there is no adjustments. For GDP you can view with nominal or PPP. For the taxation table it doesn’t matter because the results would be the same, nominal or PPP – since both GDP and taxes use the same calculation.

    Second, data is available all the way to 2012, not just 2010, as state in the sites where you extracted the data (Citizens for Tax Justice).

    Finally, clearly the national charts and the OECD charts do not agree with each other by the tune of 3/4 of a trillion dollars or nearly 5% of GDP. Not a trivial difference.

    Either an explanation for the discrepancy needs to be posted, or the validity of the charts come into question. Hard to have it both ways.

    But the key thing is the distribution of taxation. In virtually all the OECD countries – e.g. all of Europe – most of the revenue is regressive, in the form of a very high (20%+ in Europe) VAT national tax.

    So if the point is – you can raise more tax revenue with a flat, broad based, but regressive, tax. Yes – absolutely.

    Are you sure you want that in the US?

  • Nathan Phoenix

    Two words: French Revolution

  • UncleBucky

    There always has to be one to spoil the broth, in this case, baron95. Sad, sad, sad…

  • Nick

    No, I learned in grade school not to add percentages. I learned reading comprehension, too.

    If all the charts were based on the same data, your claim that
    5% of GDP is missing might be accurate. But the federal tax rate data is from OMB and the state and local tax data is from the U.S. Bureauy of Economic Analysis, You added that dissimilar data and compared the result to the OECD charts. Your “missing” three-quarters of a trillion dollars is most likely lost in the differences between those three data sets.

    Did all three data sets use the same values for GDP? Was ‘taxation’ defined consistently between the data sets? You simply can’t mix the data sets like you did and expect accurate results.

  • D J Bak

    Even assuming your figure of 29% is right and the chart includes all other taxes (local, VAT, etc), The US would still be in the bottom third – and I believe that all of the countries above it have universal health care and more government help with other expenses such as education, child care, etc. Also, if one part is a bit off, why should that make you question all of the rest – unless you are presupposed to do so?

  • Anonymous

    There is no need to assume anything. The OECD data is for all taxes, federal, state/province/local. The data, much more up to date than what was posted here, is freely available on stats dot oecd dot org.

  • Anonymous

    There is nothing to expose.

    The US is simply enabling people to decide if they want to live in a high tax state like California, New York or Illinois or a low tax state like Texas of Florida.

    Residents of New York City have total tax rate burden that would put them at the top of the OECD list, while residents of Texas have total tax rates that would place them at the very bottom.

    Over time residents will migrate to the tax/spend state they think is more effective.

    What do you have against choice. Move to New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia if you believe that high taxation has an advantage. You can self select into high taxation.

  • John A Gulsby

    They say that taxes on corporations are just passed along to their customers. So, let’s let the corporations pay all the taxes and the rest of us will pick up our share when we buy their products and services!

  • Anonymous

    You’re comparing three different charts using three different sources. If you can’t understand how all three could be accurate, I’m afraid there’s nothing I could say in a brief reply to help. Though when you use a phrase like “agenda for higher taxes”, I fear you already have an ideology that eschews facts.

  • Michael Enders

    One factor that ties many of these charts togethe is unfunded or underfunded mandates. The federal government creates programs that cost money, but shifts the burden for financing them to the states. Considering the growing proportion of taxation happening at the state level, I wonder how much importance the first chart has. Where would the U.S. rank if all taxes (including state and local) were considered instead of jus the taxes raised at the national level. I think one thing that conservatives and liberals should be able to agree on is that the tax code needs to be simplified to make it hardier to game the system.

  • BeliTsari

    Well, privatization of taxpayer’s infrastructure, services & governance couldn’t ignore the mob, could it? ALEC’s Kleptocracy has legalized Wall Street’s theft of our equity, labor, homes & retirements. Court mandated, OathKeeper enforced foreclosures, incarceration, indentured peonage, state legislated shake-down… The State has become our bosses’ collection agency & they never stop calling.

  • Jason Behr

    You miss the point. Its those southern states that dont tax the top that get subsidized by the northern states. Imagine how the southern state tax rates would change if they weren’t allowed to receive more federal tax dollars than they put in. The transfer of tax burden through state/local taxes has been going on since Reagan.

  • Nick

    The U.S. would rank right about where it is on the OECD chart, as that chart takes total taxation–federal, state, & local–into account.

  • Anonymous

    Now if I could only get my fellow Democrats and Conservative friends to read this.
    “Reading is fundamental.”

  • Anonymous

    Two words: The next American Revolution. OK…..four words. : – (

  • Anonymous

    Are you kidding? Surely, you are kidding. I am no expert; however, I do know that the paying of taxes is how you take care of a people and their country.

    By the state of the affairs of this country, it is obvious that our taxes are going elsewhere.

  • catman

    Exactly! The US spends 27% of Federal tax dollars on defense, while many of our NATO allies (those Europeans who get so much for their taxes) spend less than 2% on defense. Freedom is worth paying to defend – but all who enjoy it should pay their share.

  • Andrew Diamond

    That isn’t true. Markets set prices. Whether taxes become part of a price increase or not is a function of the market. Taxes can also be a reduction in after tax net income and retained earnings or dividends to shareholders.
    “They” say that because that is what they want you to believe.

  • James_R

    No one in a free country should have the power to dictate what other peoples’ needs are.

  • James_R

    Government is not a charitable organization.

  • Michael Enders

    Nick, yes, I figured that out after I made my post. I think much of the resistance to paying taxes comes from a sense that the tax code is complicated and unfair and the sense the much of the money that government receives is wasted. Personally, I wouldn’t mind paying taxes so much if i had more of a sense that the money was spent wisely and would even welcome paying more taxes if the government would be thrifty enough to start paying down its debt and not saddling future generations with it. I would really welcome a simpler tax code, because the enormous paperwork involved with taxes is even more painful than paying them.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, sure. People are just going to pick up and move
    according to the tax burden they prefer to … People move for jobs, for family, for the desire to be in a city or out in the country. People move for many reasons, but I have yet to meet a single person who’s said oh, we moved to flat hot wasteland of Texas simply for the low taxes.

  • D J Bak

    Well then we re in the bottom third and pay through the nose for health and higher education and other items which other country’s citizens get subsidized for with their taxes.

  • Anonymous

    The Government is US!

    We all contribute to its care and feeding and that is why we
    should be reaping the benefits. The people in government are there at our behest. If they are not providing for us, and our communities then WE the people must take action to correct that.

    I for one do not think that the military and its greedy toadies should be getting most of my tax dollars. Perpetual war is not good for my country. I do think that public schools, need my money more and as well I want a healthcare system for all. I would call it Medicare.

    While I am at it and I have them by the throats I will be
    demanding that we put people back to work rebuilding our infrastructure. That meaning, our roads, bridges, dams and yes our schools and also cleaning up our environment
    and building low cost housing. I would demand a minimum wage of twenty dollars and hour thus putting more money in people’s pockets and stimulating the economy.

    If a man or woman has a job, a roof over their head and plenty to eat, and is guaranteed to be taken care of when ill or injured, then people feel secure, then what is there to fuss about. It is a very simple formula to act upon, and to enact. However, its simplicity seems to escape ability of the psychopathic lizard brains out there in TV Land.

  • James_R

    Our governments role is to keep us free from force and coercion.. It is not here to ensure we get paid specific wages, have food or affordable housing. It is your job to provide for you and your family not mine. I don’t go to work everyday at 6am so I can make sure that the department of housing and urban development is funded. I do it out of pure self interest. If you want to give money to charity than that is your decision but when government takes money out of my pocket via taxation and gives it to their favorite special interest that is not charity. It is false altruism.

  • Anonymous

    I guess you do not understand the role of a goverment of, by and for the people.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t miss any point. The citizens of each state are free to set their state taxation, public employee pensions, etc as they see fit. Competition and innovation in the states is healthy and good.

    And that includes taking advantage of programs funded by the Federal government. The Federal government sets its rules and revenue sharing formulas with the states, the states set theirs.

    Clean and simple. If you want to pay high personal income taxes go to California or New York City. If you don’t like persona; income tax, move to Texas, Florida, New Hampshire, etc.

    And for the person above who claims that no one moves for tax avoidance, that is a clueless comment. Many people from New York have Florida residences and make super shire they spend more than 1/2 the year in Florida to avoid New York taxes. And now states like California are going after taxing you for each day you are in the state, even if you spend the majority of your time somewhere else. That is how prevalent the practice is.

    Just look at Detroit – how many white people and middle class blacks fled the city to avoid the high tax, low services death spiral?

  • Nick

    I once suggested during a discussion on the legitimacy of corporate personhood that, if corporations were people, they should file their taxes using the individual tax forms and rules for self-employed income. The tax accountant I was speaking with at the time almost had a heart attack…laughing.

  • Jason Behr

    So you admit that its ok for those dead red southern states to free load off the federal government. What you call innovation I call transferring the tax burden onto the middle class and letting the top off the hook. Do you remember when this started under Reagan?

  • Anonymous

    What are you talking about? The vast majority of people in the US (90%+) get subsidized healthcare from their employers, Medicare or Medicate, AND, we get to keep more of our pay.

    Why do you think that the average home of a poor (bottom quintile) American is larger than the average home of a rich (top quintile) Dane?

    Why do you think that the average poor American has higher car ownership rates than a rich Dane?

    The material wealth of Americans towers over any of those high tax countries.

    Why?

  • Anonymous

    Did you even read this article and looked at the chart? The share of total taxes that are coming from local/state grew the most from 1950 to 1980 – look at the graph – nothing to do with Reagan.

    As for “red” states like Hew Hampshire, with no personal income taxes, getting more money from the Feds than the send in, what is the issue? The Feds set the national rules, the states set their rules accordingly.

    Same with me. Fed tells me I can deduct interest on my mortgage, I factor that into my buy vs rent decision. If they change the rules, I change my behavior. While the Feds choose to subsidize me, I take it.

  • Nick

    The Census Bureau’s numbers for 2012 show that 15.4% of Americans did not have healthcare.

    Absent supporting documentation, I don’t think the home of a rich Dane is, on average, smaller than the home of a poor American. But it’s always possible that Denmark has a lot less space available, that that space is much more tightly managed, that housing costs in Denmark run at least twice what they are in the States, and that a 1000 square foot house that might cost $60,000 in the U.S. countryside can cost up to $200k outside Vejle or Thisted and over $450k in Copenhagen.

    I think the average rich Dane probably only has enough room to park one or two cars (see limited space, above). I also think the average rich Dane paid two or three times what an American would pay for the car, and pays the highest gasoline price in Europe (currently $9.14/gallon, according to Bloomberg). I think the average rich Dane lives within a five- or ten-minute walk from a bus stop that connects her to a transit system that will take her to and from work rapidly and reliably, or lives close enough to work that she rides her bicycle. I also think the average rich Dane probably doesn’t live more than a five- or ten-minute walk from a grocery store, bakery, delicatessen, drugstore, drink shop (beer/wine/liquor sales), a couple of restaurants, and a bar.

    The average European doesn’t live more than a five- or ten-minute walk from a bus stop, and from there has access to a unified transit system that can take him to any other country in Europe vacation in less than 24 hours. They don’t need more than one car per family.

    In 2012, Denmark had median wealth per adult of $87,121 (#10 worldwide); the U.S. had $38,786 (#27, behind Cypress, for crying out loud!). I don’t where that tower of material wealth is, but it ain’t where most Americans are.

  • Nick

    Yet that is exactly what you do here.

  • Anonymous

    “In 2012, Denmark had median wealth per adult of $87,121 (#10 worldwide); the U.S. had $38,786″

    These figures mean nothing. When, in your own words the Dane needs to pay 3 times more for gasoline, three times more for a car, twice or three times more for credit, and much more than an American for virtually everything.

    That is why I wrote material wealth, vs financial wealth, which you quoted.

    If you want to buy a new car, is it better to make $50,000/year, but the car costs $75,000 or make $35,000/year, but the car only costs $25,000? Recheck your figures for 2014.

    As for your census report in 2012 for health care, did you forget that now we have Obama Care – you know “universal health care”?

  • Anonymous

    ??? What do you think all those lobbyists are doing in congress? They’re entire goal is to pass legislation to game the system, including taxes, federal and local. Nothing passes in congress that doesn’t benefit the 1%. Our “representatives” aren’t ours.

  • Anonymous

    Not really.
    When lobbyists legislate market (purchased via congress), free market principles swirled down the toilet.
    Offshored profits mean the shareholders get nothing, also legislated. Look up your holdings, corporate headquarters are Ireland, Cayman Islands, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Common sense does. Food, shelter, clothing. Our system is broken.

  • Anonymous

    Baron95, employers don’t “subsidize” anything. They either make a profit off of you or your gone. Laborers subsidize the 1%, by their labor and their taxes.

  • Anonymous

    Euro “universal health care” means it’s there for everyone via taxes, not the US version, where everyone’s required to have it via their own means (possible or not).

    $50K is better if you don’t need the car and most of them don’t. The US’ lack of effective public transportation is no accident.

  • James_R

    Very few people have common sense and even fewer people are brilliant enough to know what the needs are for each and every individual. Only the free market can do that.

  • James_R

    What?

  • James_R

    If shareholders in offshore businesses get nothing then these corporations would never be able to acquire or retain any investors..

  • Anonymous

    Legislated by Washington. Don’t know why their corruption is not targeted as root cause of the rising fiscal mayhem. Apparently shame is out of fashion. My vote’s anti-incumbent for at least the next 6 years.

  • Anonymous

    The entirety of payroll taxes is “progressive” meaning for every dollar a low income person puts in they get more than a dollar back in social security etc. and vice versa for high income (adjusted for time value, inflation etc.). Granted, it’s not as progressive as direct income transfers from high income to low income which seems to be what the Bill Moyers crowd is for, but it is misleading to look at one part of the social security program and call it regressive when social security is progressive over all.

  • Anonymous

    I get the anecdote but the idea that corporations are people isn’t the notion that people forming together in a corporation creates a new mythical person with the same rights a real person has. It is that a corporation is an association of individual people who shouldn’t be treated differently than other people just because they formally joined with others.

    Extreme examples are helpful- if you and I are both productive in our business endeavors and pay our taxes and have the same rights and treatment as everyone else, why should that change if we decide to join together and share resources and risk because we think that will make us more productive? That’s what a corporation is except the number of people associating is much larger.

    Shouldn’t policy incentivize this sort of efficiency and synergy? Doesn’t society as a whole benefit (assuming the enterprise’s activities are legal and ethical)?

  • Anonymous

    I fail to see the connection between taxes and compassion. I trust individuals (on average) to be more compassionate with their money than I do the government. The government allocates money by what will help them maintain or increase power, the only place compassion comes in is in the packaging.

  • Anonymous

    Add marijuana in Colorado.

  • Anonymous

    Your first line is a scary thought. It’s like a slogan on an old USSR poster. I don’t know how people think that way.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t live in Texas, but there are 5 families in my neighborhood who fled upstate NY citing high state and local taxes as a major reason.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately I know too many liberals who hold it as a core belief that if you oppose federal policies, you should be forced to pay in, but not allowed to benefit from them. This is deranged thinking.

  • Anonymous

    I never said that employers subsidize anything. I said that employees, like me, get subsidized health care (in my case by 85%) from employers. That is, in fact part of my compensation package, just like salary, vacation, etc. The point is, for the vast majority of Americans ( 90%) health insurance is a non issue.

    I’d much rather negotiate my package with my employer, rather than have a one size fit all mandate by government. That is just a preference. It has worked wonderfully well for me and my family for decades.

  • Anonymous

    True.

    And they also think that all the money belong to the government. So, if there is a rule that a corporation can take a tax deduction, that is called a “tax expenditure” from the government to the corporation, and dubbed “corporate welfare”.

    And they don’t see any issue with that. Money not paid in taxes is equated to the government giving you money.

    :)

  • Anonymous

    Get a new accountant. Because that is EXACTLY how Limited Liability CORPORATIONS (LLCs) are taxed – on the owners personal tax return.

    Laugh is on you, it seems.

  • JonThomas

    Define “free market” from your perspective please.

  • James_R

    a market economy in which the forces of supply and demand are free of intervention by a government, price-setting monopolies, or other authority.

  • James_R

    And you don’t seem to be bothered by the prospect of fostering an oppressive government.

  • James_R

    What does one’s tax rate have to do with paying for the amount of government that they use? If I make $100,000/yr and pay 20% of my income in taxes and you make $10,000/yr and pay 25% of your income towards taxes; I am still paying $17,500 a year more in taxes than you are. I am the one being fleeced.

  • James_R

    Moyers has always been a leftist. Unlike his louder more unruly collectivist compatriots, he espouses his views with a softer tone and a grand fatherly demeanor which allows him to portray himself as being politically middle of the road.

  • Anonymous

    Denmark is a small country, that borders only Germany, with less than 6 million people, 90% of whom are “Danish” by ethnicity. It’s hard to make any sort of relevant comparison between Denmark and the U.S.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RPManke.solar RevPhil Manke

    Military bases, the CIA et al, and war don’t come cheap. Easy money for the fools in govt enable bullying and terrorism instead of peace-making, which is the real and only Christian way.

  • R Andrews

    Imagine how the northern states would do if the government subsidies in corporate tax breaks favoring the financial industries ( north east) or defense contractors ( north east, west and west coast) similarly did not exist….. get the big picture.

  • Andrew C Livingston

    “get subsidized healthcare from their employers…”

    Why argue with Baron. He’s simply wrong and can’t even read his own comments. He really does not know what the hell he’s talking about.

  • Andrew C Livingston

    You are wrong. And yet you still keep opening your mouth.

    Your figures are laughably incorrect. Gas does cost more, often up to 3x but there is public transport EVERYWHERE. You do not need a car in Denmark. And a car costs around about the same price in both countries. Credit is not more expensive, quite how that could even be the case I’m sure you don’t know either.

    You are laughable.

  • Andrew C Livingston

    He does. Read ten of his comments and learn never, ever to pay any attention to him again.

  • Andrew C Livingston

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    Sounds like “The government is US!” to my ears. You don’t know how people think that way? Then you don’t agree with the very principles our country was founded on. And as such, why do you get to participate in it?

    You can bash the Soviet Union all you like. Your rhetoric will push the next generation to accept communism as another viable alternative to the shambles of a system we now have. One day “conservatism” will be the new C-word in the US, one difference though: people will be right this time to believe it. Luckily we now have public record of how most people feel about it.

  • Anonymous

    Lets start with multi nationals and oversea profits being defended by our military and our embassies