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View Diary: Short Q&A Riddle For Wingnut/Tea Party Friends and Relatives (9 comments)

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  •  I'm not sure comparing the U.S. with all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    the other countries in the OECD is a persuasive comparison.

    The United States has a unique history, and was founded based on a number of principles, one of which was an attempt to limit the power of government (witness the Bill of Rights).  

    I tend to think a more useful data point is U.S. federal receipts and outlays as a percent of U.S. GDP.  

    If you want to talk about where we should be in tax receipts and in federal spending, it seems to me that those are more useful numbers.  I don't think a majority of people in this country would be persuaded by what countries founded on different principles do.  

    •  Sorry, but that's just a little too... (4+ / 0-)

      American Exceptionalism for me.

      If you think America is too different, take a look at the countries in the OECD:    
       AUSTRALIA, AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, CANADA, CHILE, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, ESTONIA    , FINLAND,  GERMANY, GREECE, HUNGARY, ICELAND, IRELAND, ITALY, JAPAN, KOREA, LUXEMBOURG, MEXICO, NETHERLANDS, NEW ZEALAND, NORWAY, POLAND, PORTUGAL, SLOVAK REPUBLIC, SLOVENIA, SPAIN, SWEDEN, SWITZERLAND, TURKEY, UNITED KINGDOM, UNITED STATES

      There's a huge diversity of language and cultures there.

      If you just take the 8 with the highest tax burdens (as Holland does), we're still looking at: Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Italy, France, Austria and Finland. That's still a pretty diverse lot with a lot of different founding principles - but they still together do pretty well compared with us, so they must be doing something right.

      The point is, they do pretty well providing their citizens with services fairly efficiently through government for their taxes while we end up relying on paying directly out of our own pockets for a lot of that - and if you can't pay, you're screwed. As Digby notes,

      ...It's far from perfect, of course, with its own set of pathologies. But people don't commonly lose everything there when they get sick. And they don't have to fight with everything they have to ensure that they can be assured they will live their elder years in something other than penury…
      In contrast, the conservative fixation on taxation has now turned into a war on the poor as Paul Krugman notes.  Countries in the OECD that don't have constant hissy fits over taxation or government seem to provide their citizens with a lot more without being taxed to death.  Of course the global fixation on austerity isn't helping anyone.

      But re your point on using U.S. federal receipts and outlays as a percent of U.S. GDP, what is it you think they show in this case? If nothing else, it appears to show we're paying less - and getting less. (I.E. the observation that we pay twice as much per capita for health care as anyone else in the developed world, and get a lot less for it.)

      "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

      by xaxnar on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 05:14:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  xaxnar - what it shows is that the fedral gov't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        is near historical lows for post WWII taxes to GDP ratios. When discussing US taxes with wingers I agree with coffeetalk, US data will be much more compelling to them than what is done in the OECD.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:10:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A good point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfangus

          And it helps to be able to show what others are doing differently, and how it's working.

          "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

          by xaxnar on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 07:50:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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