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Forum Post: Ten Charts that Prove the United States Is a Low-Tax Country

Posted 5 years ago on Dec. 13, 2012, 12:19 p.m. EST by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

The United States is a low-tax country. That’s true for individuals and for corporations, and it’s true whether you compare us to other countries or the America of the past. No matter how you slice it the conclusion is the same.

Conservatives like to claim that our budget deficits are purely a “spending problem.” Said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “We don’t have this problem because we tax too little. We have it because we spent too much.”

It’s a popular talking point, but it simply isn’t true. Deficits do not stem from spending levels alone. They are the product of a mismatch between spending and revenue. And when revenue is as low as ours is, you end up with big deficits.

Here are 10 charts demonstrating the simple, clear truth that federal taxes in the United States are very low.


Recently, President Obama met with a group of House Republicans to discuss the federal budget and the national debt. During the course of that meeting, the president noted, correctly, that taxes today are even lower than they were under President Ronald Reagan. This fact was met with “a lot of ‘eye-rolling’” from the Republicans. They didn’t believe him.

This anecdote suggests that perhaps the reason conservatives think we don’t have a revenue problem is because they don’t know the facts. Taxes today are lower than they were under President Reagan. They’re lower today than they’ve been in 60 years. And they’re lower than they are in most developed countries.

We do have a debt problem coming down the road. That debt problem is the result of an aging population, rising health care costs, and, yes, revenue levels that are too low.




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[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8485) from Phoenix, AZ 5 years ago

Great post, reminds me of these two oldies, they keep saying "we're broke" what they don't say is we been turning down overtime and working part time for years, people are working hard as hell for their money so they figure everybody is, but it just ain't so.



[-] 2 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 5 years ago

Thanx facts. These charts illustrate the side of the ledger that pols keep from us.


[-] 0 points by factsrfun (8485) from Phoenix, AZ 5 years ago

did you see this piece too?


I know it's "off topic" but still damn

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 5 years ago

No I didn't see it, but it's not surprising. There is much good we could do for people in this country if our leaders would put us in that direction. They and we have to CARE!!

Another off topic that i"m about to post on:

The banking giant HSBC has escaped indictment for laundering billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels and groups linked to al-Qaeda.



Thanx for the link :)



[-] -1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 5 years ago

If you know revenues are at an all time low, and likely to continue to decrease, then why borrow and spend like there is no tomorrow? Why would anyone do that, unless of course, they themselves are the bankers who intend to finance that borrowing?

That's the point you fail to mention: that they are borrowing on the backs of the people.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 5 years ago

I think you hit the nail on the head.

"Why would anyone do that, unless of course, they themselves are the bankers who intend to finance that borrowing?"

The federal reserve is owned by the largest banks in the world, and it uses Quantitative Easing to funnel "free" money (our debt) to the banks. QE is simply the FED injecting money into the US Treasury by printing it and buying bonds. The FED doesn't buy these bonds from the Treasury directly, but rather uses the largest banks to do so. These banks earn commissions (in the billions) as the FED buys these bonds. What this means is that the banks get richer, and the Treasury has more (newly minted) money to spend. How do they spend it? They can't spend a penny unless the House of Representatives authorizes it by doing an appropriation. So, this whole thing could work, if the House authorized expenditures on infrastructure, college grants, green jobs, truly "small" business tax incentives to hire, retraining, etc. But, we know that, so long as Congress is controlled by the Banks, these appropriations won't happen. So, in the long run, we simply owe more to the FED (called national debt), the banks just get much richer, and everything else goes on as it is now.

All government borrowing is on the backs of the people. The wars, buying bad debt and non-performing mortgages at a tune of 100% on the dollar from the banks, corporate welfare and bailouts are all on the back of the people.

The way to fix the problem is

1 Stop the federal reserve robbery and corporate welfare

2 Increase revenue

3 Growth - Because austerity is nothing more than a race to the bottom and will only result in a huge depression.

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 5 years ago

Well, honestly, I'd like to see corporations pick up more of the infrastructure; it's the corporations, directly or indirectly, that utilize that infrastructure. Just having them pick up much of the healthcare tab, as they have traditionally done, was not a bad idea. I'm not completely buying item #3.

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 5 years ago

What the 94%. It is absolutely true. Here's another source, but you can research it yourself. Just search "historic tax rates".


That's why companies started to offer benefits to workers; because they couldn't attract them with super high wages, because monetary compensation was taxed so high. So they started offering vacations, healthcare, dental, etc.

Personally, I support Single Payer.

If you give health care to all; paid for through taxes; and remove the "for profit" component; you would save 30%+ right out of the gate. Some of the things you do need to spend money on to supply health care to someone is doctors, nurses, hospitals, drugs, medical equipment, clinics, etc. The one thing you don't need is insurance companies. They offer no service except to jack-up the costs and provide a return for their investors at patients expense. Through sheer volume, we could self insure ourselves at a much cheaper price and more efficiently.

Think about it. The only way an insurance company can make money is to collectively overcharge their customers the percentage of profit margin, over and above their expenses. The expenses include the paying of claims, but also include, executive pay and bonuses, employee pay, benefits, taxes (maybe not), Marketing and Administrative Expenses ( you even have to pay for their TV ads), utility costs, maintenance costs, and much, much, more; that are passed directly to the patient on top of already high actual health care costs.

A 2004 economic study published in The New England Journal of Medicine determined that a national single-payer healthcare system would reduce costs by more than $400 billion a year "despite the expansion of comprehensive care to all Americans." I'm sure that figure has increased since then.

I think the cartoon at the bottom of this page says it all -


Cheers :)

[-] 0 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 5 years ago

Yea but you forget one or two things: one, if the insurance company profits it's only because they have negotiated a lower fee to doctors and hospitals. If all are single payer we will not have this option because doctors and hospitals cannot uniformly accept lower fees for all; two, much of the insurance company's profit is due to Wall Street, an option not available to government. There is also bureaucracy, inefficiency, and corruption that we must deal with - the government has its share of well paid CEOs also. And I think there are many counties nationwide that have experimented with self insured only to discard it.

[-] 0 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 5 years ago

" doctors and hospitals cannot uniformly accept lower fees for all"

Do you mean like medicare does?

By law, a publicly traded company's main objective is to INCREASE shareholder value. That money comes directly from the people. It reflects the company's ability to squeeze the most money from it's customers.

Countries that Single -Payer are :


[-] -1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 5 years ago

Can you imagine the healthcare industry in this country if all were forced to accept medicare's negotiated fee? It would immediately collapse.

80% of all doctors today are non-participating; can you imagine if all were forced to participate?

And most of the insurance company's profit comes from reduced terms, and ever decreasing benefit, invested on Wall Street.

[-] 0 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 5 years ago

Yeah, that's why we're #1 in healthcare costs and # 37 in care. So what you're saying is if we stop the extortion, the doctors will go away. If a doctor's main concern is money, then I don't want their services anyway!

Sorry man ................. not drinking the kool-aide.

[-] 0 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 5 years ago

It's a mess I agree... but it was at its best when costs were contained and the employer provided full insurance, including (believe it or not), full dental. Those days are gone. Things grow until they break; this is true of corporations and it's true of the healthcare industry. It's broken.