Comparing US taxes to other countries

Total Tax Revenue 

US taxes are relatively low compared to those in other developed countries. In 2015, taxes at all levels of US government represented 26 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), compared with an average of 33 percent for the 35 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Among OECD countries, only Korea, Turkey, Ireland, Chile, and Mexico collected less than the United States as a percentage of GDP. Taxes exceeded 40 percent of GDP in seven European countries, including Denmark and France, where taxes were greater than 45 percent of GDP. But those countries generally provide more extensive government services than the United States does.

Why are US taxes relatively low?

The answer is pretty simple, and already got answered in the paragraph above. Other countries offer more extensive government services than the US, which inlcude but are not limited to: Free Healthcare, Tuition Free College, no need of purchasing unemployment or disability insurance (as they are already covered by taxes), etc. All of those services are packaged and delivered by the government in most european countries, and here in the US you have to pay for those services whenever you need them.

Which option would you choose? Would you rather pay higher taxes and take advantage of free government services, or would you rather pay relatively low taxes and pay for those services whenever you need them?

4 Replies to “Comparing US taxes to other countries”

  1. I noticed you mentioned that other countries have higher taxes but free college tuition. I have noticed with talk about taxes rising people, especially older adults, are complaining about the rise in taxes that are supposed to improve schools. But, not every adult has kids or kids in school making the rise in taxes unfair to them. Do you think if the US was to make college free but a rise in taxes there would be an “out roar” of upset citizens that don’t have kids or kids in school?

    1. There would definitely be an uproar among citizens that don’t have kids or kids in school, just because most people here like their money and don’t want to spend it on services that don’t benefit them at all.

  2. I would rather pay relatively higher taxes and take advantages of the free government services, because in the end it probably all equals out. If you are paying lower taxes, but needing services more often, you are probably just paying the same price as you would for higher taxes. I feel like right now with the current state of government, most people would lean towards the higher taxes so benefits are free for everyone. Realistically free college in the United States is not going to happen ever or if it does it is very far in the future. I feel like we should be focusing on healthcare that most people are lacking and services that are necessary for the disabled.

    I also found it interesting that the United States is almost the last country on that list and that taxes are so high in other places like Denmark and France. Denmark and France are in the bracket of 40-45%, where the United States is at 26%.

  3. I’m pretty sure that Tennessee is about to make community colleges free for all adults, and it’ll be funded by the state lottery account. So there are definitely ways to make colleges tuition free, but I agree with you, I don’t think it will happen anytime soon that all colleges will be free of charge.

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