U.S. Has Lower Tax Burden Than All But 2 Developed Countries

by
Owen Poindexter
A new study from Citizens for Tax Justice shows that the United States takes in less on taxes, as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) than all but two developed countries.
u.s. taxes, taxes by gdp, tax policy
The U.S. has a surprisingly low tax burden compared to other developed countries. IMAGE: Captain Blood, Wikimedia Commons
 
Taxes are one of the most partisan issues in American politics. Many Republicans have signed Grover Norquist's pledge to never vote for a tax increase. Many Republican politicians complain of the stifling tax burden, especially on businesses and the rich. Given all that, one would think that the U.S. has an especially high tax burden.
 
Nope.
 
A new study from Citizens for Tax Justice shows that the United States takes in less on taxes, as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) than all but two developed countries. The main culprits for this are the low capital gains tax (the reason Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett pay around 15% in taxes while an average middle class citizen pays above 30%) and the divide between rich and poor. The poor pay little to nothing in taxes, the rich don't pay a very large percentage of their taxes due to the capital gains tax, offshore tax havens and other loopholes, and there isn't enough of a middle class to make up the difference.
 
The U.S. collects 24.8% of its GDP in taxes. That tops only Mexico and Chile among developed nations.From there, the number steadily increase over 32 more countries up to Denmark at 47.6%.
 

There's a driving force behind the low tax rates for the rich in the United States. I would explain, but Lawrence Lessig does a much better job than me.

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