Taxes, Its All Relative…..

Source: Most Americans Face Lower Tax Burden Than in the 80s – NYTimes.com.

taxes 1But in fact, most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their income than it took from households with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980.

Households earning more than $200,000 benefited from the largest percentage declines in total taxation as a share of income. Middle-income households benefited, too. 


Everything is relative. I learned that in college in a physics class way back in the 1960’s.  Another lesson I learned is that everything is a shade of grey; nothing is totally black or white. So when I hear people complain about how all their hard
work goes out in taxes we need to remember that everything is relative.  It’s like all those millionaires who are complaining about the possible rise in their taxes. They seem to forget that during the Clinton years when many of them got the wealth they hoard today, their taxes were much higher than they are now. But I very much doubt they missed a meal during those “high tax”years.

Everyone loves to complain about taxes especially those folks in California. They don’t know of a single tax that they can’t eliminate by a ballot initiative . They seem to think they can get something for nothing out there on the west coast.  They just can’t seem to realize that all those roads, and they have lots and lots of them, that they drive on cost money to make and maintain.  They don’t seem to realize that the police who keep them safe or the fire fighter who save their lives and property cost money. All they see are taxes and that taxes are bad!! I did see recently that they are not totally oblivious to taxes as they did just vote themselves a tax increase. 

As the title here says it’s all relative. If you care to look it up the average tax rate for the U.S. is not remotely near the top of the most taxed in the world. There are socialist countries like Sweden and Denmark that pay a much higher percentage to taxes. But of course the old saying that “you get what you pay for” often applies even sometimes with taxes.  In those countries high quality single payer healthcare is the norm. They also have some of the best social insurance on the planet.  You get what you pay for……

In case you need some more reinforcement here is another article about this stuff:

Source: Facing the fiscal cliff: American taxpayers have had it easy for decades – Economy Watch on NBCNews.com

The case isn’t hard to make.  The U.S. federal tax burden, relative to gross domestic product, is lower than it’s been in half a century. Americans pay lower taxes in relation to the size of their economy than all but a handful of developed countries, including Chile and Mexico

5 thoughts on “Taxes, Its All Relative…..

  • An amazing set of stats that are ignored by the tea party/libertarian types. As is the stat that it is the “red” states that benefit the most by those taxes. Why are people so anxious to shoot themselves in the foot, so to speak? But then, as always, fear and ignorance are powerful persuaders.

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  • Good morning Steve, yeah I just looked it up and almost all of the red states get back more tax dollars from the federal government than they pay. And as you say they are usually the biggest complainers. Go figure… If I gave some a buck and they gave me back $1.25 it seems like I would want to give them more, not less, so I could get back even more 🙂

    “Fear and ignorance are powerful persuaders”. Great quote; I’ll have to use that sometime.

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  • I don’t object to paying taxes that are used for the intended purposes. It’s the gross abuse and misuse of our money that is so galling. You can find many reports of stupid spending and outright fraud. I don’t need to list them for you. If the taxpayers money was used for exactly what it was meant for we would probably have more than enough to run the country well and wouldn’t have to borrow one red cent. If our congressman can devise complicated and convoluted tax and financing structures like we have…why can’t they find a way to eliminate the abuse and right the ship?

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    • Hi Jane, I understand your frustration with that sort of thing but you must realize that it is not unique to our government. I was in the corporate world for thirty years and dealt with budget for fifteen of them. How money is allocated, spent, and abused is the same in the private sector. It is just that in the private sector it seldom sees the light of day.

      I know some give abuse as an excuse for reducing our safety nets but that just doesn’t wash with me. It is like throwing out the baby with the bath water. You go after the abuse with a passion but not the funding itself…

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