Big Government

The Tax Attic with Jerry Coon — April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010 // 0 Comments

Big government is expensive Let’s talk about tax rates this week. According to the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit organization that studies such things as tax rates, taking into account all of our phase-outs, deductions and credits, the highest tax rate any United States individual could pay today would be 39.76%. That puts us at number 21 on the worldwide tax rate list and places us below the average worldwide highest rate of 42.95%. Currently, there are eight countries with a highest tax rate at or above 50%. This dubious list is led by Denmark at 59.74%, followed by Sweden at 56.60%, France at 55.85%, Belgium at 53.50%, the Netherlands at 52.00%, Finland at 50.90%, Austria at 50% and Japan at 50%. What most of these countries have in common is that, for the most part, they practice what is called a European brand of socialism. They have socialized medicine from the cradle to the grave. Their business environment is highly regulated by the government, making it more difficult to start a business. The government has entitlement programs in place to help citizens in need. These are all good things. The government is charged with taking care of the populace and it takes its role seriously. To argue against having medical coverage in place that will take care of a person from the cradle to the grave makes the arguer sound like a lunatic. The government has regulations in place to make sure people starting a business have the best chance for success while simultaneously protecting those people already in business. Who can think that is a bad thing? When people get beat up by the economy like we are getting beat up in Michigan today, why shouldn’t the government have safety net programs in place to protect people? Today, that sounds pretty good to most of us. And therein is the problem. The government doing more for us sounds pretty darned good to most of us. It is very enticing. The government will do more for us and it will take its role seriously. However, it comes at a cost and that cost is called higher tax rates. I’m not prepared to argue that one of those costs could also be a loss of some […]