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Complaining About High Taxes? Don't Tell France And Germany...

Tyler Durden's picture


To all Americans complaining about high taxes, better keep your beef on this side of the Atlantic. According to a recent OECD report, captured by the Economist, when it comes to total taxes paid out by both employees and employers, the US doesn't even come close to its just slightly more socialist European cousins. In fact, while total taxation as a % labor costs is about 30% in the US, comparable with Japan and Ireland, in France and Germany this number is nearly half of the total. Which explains why there is no greater threat to these two countries than the perpetuation of the status quo welfare state. Should Greece file Chapter, who knows what will happen to the Bismarckian ideal. Incidentally, on the other end: Chile, which pays out just 7% of labor costs to taxes. Per the article: "The report splits out the tax burden on employment which is paid by employers (in the form of social-security payments) and employees (as income tax and more social security). France and Germany have some of the most costly tax regimes—with people who earn the average wage taking home just over 50% of their total labour cost. The effect of fiscal austerity, particularly across Europe, has meant that the tax burden rose in 22 out of the 34 countries in the OECD from 2009 to 2010. Meanwhile real incomes for average-wages earners fell in 15 OECD countries. As the second chart shows, these reduced earnings caused by the world recession and subsequent inflation tend to have a much larger impact on incomes." Also notable: these charts exclude any Value Added Taxes: another favorite European mechanism to fund the welfare state. Should that be included in the total and the take home may in fact drop to less than 40% in some cases.

Of course, one may say that the American perspective is certainly stunted, as among the chief taxes omitted are property taxes, city taxes, private medical insurance, not to mention sales tax. Perhaps a more objective analysis would confirm that the US is just as bad on the communism scale. One thing is certain: the global population is already taxed seemingly to the max. How the global population will be able to afford another round of imminent, austerity and/or debt ceiling debate induced tax hikes, is completely unclear...


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Mon, 05/23/2011 - 07:50 | 1301370 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Belgium 52%



Mon, 05/23/2011 - 07:57 | 1301376 Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

SD, speaking of ruling, where is your government?

Are they ever going to form one??

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 07:59 | 1301383 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Belgium and Portugal are the european experiment in having bureaucracies rule the people. For the bankers, it cuts out the middlemen.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 13:14 | 1302325 Fat Ass
Fat Ass's picture

This article is unbelievably silly.

They forgot about FICA, state and city taxes.

How bizarre.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 15:47 | 1302811 AGuy
AGuy's picture

+1. Exactly. US taxes are much more than Federal Taxes. I wish all we had to pay is federal taxes.



Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:43 | 1301446 A_S
A_S's picture

Everything is fine here, you don't even notice we don't have a government. Government spending even dropped, great!


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:12 | 1301715 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

So wait a minute... let me make sure I'm getting this right...

Without a functioning government..... life keeps... going on..? You're telling me you can live your life without having somebody plan it for you? Hmmm.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:52 | 1301485 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

It's called Chimay mofo.  back off.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:43 | 1301469 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

America is very like 'Wall Mart' - you get what you pay for...and as American pay nothing - they get nothing.

Great system - until you're on the wrong side of it....born into chance of getting out....

despite the claims of wealthy turds like Trump - they don't actually 'work their way to the top' - 99% of them have some assistance along the way, either from wealthy family, a network of friends...or the odd 'fracture' of the law in the early days to get them started.


In trumps case he made his millions off the back of his shareholders who didn't - when he went bust a couple of times over.


This is why so many Americans can stand and decry the Government spending levels - at least the Europeans got free healthcare and unemployment benefits and social help - what did the US get? - Absolutely f**k all.


America got socialism - without the 'social' bit - so they just got 'ism' - which is shit frankly.

It's one in the eye for free market capitalism - it's the unions of Europe which have ensured that Europeans have austerity to challenge - the case on the other side of the Atlantic is truly sad.

4 million + on food stamps - and the right wing are complaining about Medicare.

It just goes to prove that 'freedom to spend your own disposable income' is not such a good idea - it seems that over the last 40 years the 'socialist' Europeans have been buying useful things - but the average American spunked his up the wall on frviolous shit - not realising the mother of all collapses was coming.


Again - an advantage of handing spending to the Government - like your ma and pa - they buy things which you don't immediately consider useful....but when that rainy day comes...


I hope the US are learning their lessons and not listening to the ramblings of the right regarding public spending.


The largest public spending in the US of course being on security and wars - now how much did the American public have in the choice between free medical care and fighting wars....and how many would have chosen the former in preference to the latter?

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:52 | 1301494 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

having personally experienced the medical care in the war profession i'll opt for the "war fighting" option hands down--especially given my observations and experience of the "free" civilian care.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:54 | 1301501 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Trump came from a wealthy real estate family. His father started the business he's in now and was a successful real estate developer in the boroughs of NYC

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:02 | 1301518 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Yours was not a very well-conceived rant.  Remember that Europe has suffered through many wars while the US has participated in a few, but hasn't had a serious dust-up since the 1860s.  I would argue that "freedom to spend your own disposable income" aka "economic freedom" is the only real freedom worth having--vote with your wallet and with your feet.  The rest is hogwash.  And what do you mean we pay nothing so we get nothing?  Our taxes are only a few percent lower than those of Europe.  The US middle class pays everything and gets very little in return.  We've got a giant military, and fake democracy.  Those things don't come cheap!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:12 | 1301553 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

This is a failed outlook I'm afraid.

" I would argue that "freedom to spend your own disposable income" aka "economic freedom" is the only real freedom worth having"

So the freedom to elect your leaders is worthless? The freedom to speak your mind is pointless?

What is the point of being able to choose your soap powder if you can't tell anyone why you're switching?


"vote with your wallet and with your feet."

Really? - and how do you make a rational decision when so much is based on deception? I used to buy McDonalds - until I found out that they are made with offal from the cow - however it didn't stop me buying 20 years worth of food and making Ronald a rich man before I 'voted with my wallet' - too late, Ronald used all that money of mine to deceive the next generation with whacky and expensive advertising and sponsorship.

How about the 'choice' - you can choose to buy fuel from whomever you like - oh but a limited range of suppliers. I don't like Exxon, Shell or BP - they are destroying the world - so which 'supplier' shoudl I use that uses none of these - and is my choice practical?

Your claim of 'choice' is hogwash - choice is but an illusion. You use the word like you know what you're getting, but actually your choice is limited to the options the corporations decide to let you have.

"And what do you mean we pay nothing so we get nothing?  Our taxes are only a few percent lower than those of Europe.  The US middle class pays everything and gets very little in return.  We've got a giant military, and fake democracy.  Those things don't come cheap!"

Point taken - but the idea is you pay nothing and get nothing - but I guess even that bit has gone awry in the US. You have merely highlighted your deal is worse that everyone elses.

....and it seems to many Americans were stuck on 'choice' to notice the progressively worse deal they were getting.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:08 | 1301913 goldsaver
goldsaver's picture

Dude, that is the beauty of having choices in the world. If you don't feel competent enough to manage your life and finances, move to China, North Korea or Cuba. If you feel somewhat competent, move to Europe. If you feel fully competent to manage your life, but are willing to put up with a nanny socialist state, move to the US. If you want complete freedom and free association with other humans... well, sorry, there is no place left on earth were that can happen anymore...

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 12:13 | 1302131 blueRidgeBoy
blueRidgeBoy's picture

it's easier to whine about it

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:21 | 1301733 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Geez, the more you describe Trump the more I realize he has all the prerequisites for an american politician

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 14:23 | 1302515 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

Free healthcare?  Not in Germany.  Do some research before you start talking crap.


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 16:00 | 1302856 AGuy
AGuy's picture

<sarcasm>Socalism is working well over in Europe. Those aren't riots in France, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and the UK. They are Giant Block Parties!</sarcasm>

You think that there are no Rich elites in Europe? They make Donald Trump look like Jesus. You just don't hear about them, unless one of them happens to be in the US when a crime is exposed, DMK (for example). Europe is just as corrupt as the US and in many cases much more corrupt. Socialism = Central planning = a few people with near absolute power that take advantage of the common worker. Hiter, Mousulini, Stalin, and Franco were all die-hard socialists. Why would anyone want the gov't control their lives is beyond me.

"Lazy, Dumb and Socialist is no way to go through life, son." -Dean Wormer

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:07 | 1301535 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Yeah, Belgium rocks!

Seriously, despite what these European tax figures seem to show ... it feels a damn lot cheaper to live in Europe now, than it did to live in the USA when I sojourned there more than ten years ago, and I was not in an 'expensive' US area.

Seems overall that in Continental Europe we have a much higher quality of life for less payout, with things like health care and so on being much better handled ... and food and drink of higher quality and lower price.

Above all, there seems much less 'grifting' in the system here in Europe ... seemed like in America you often had a shoddy experience but with a high 'vig' collected by the legal and financial mafias from everything.

Taxes here are fine to me because life is so good here.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:11 | 1301934 goldsaver
goldsaver's picture

...and that is great! Some are children who need someone to take care of everything. Some are teenagers who believe in personal freedom but not on personal responsibility and some are grown ups, who just want to be left to their own choices and decisions while willing to take responsibility. To each his own.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 12:37 | 1302203 Arttrader
Arttrader's picture

"...Belgium, which of course is pretty much a non-country."

"You have the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk. Who are you? I've never heard of you. No one in Europe had ever heard of you!" 

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 07:54 | 1301373 agent default
agent default's picture

 I love it when politicians think they know what to do with your money better than you who earned it.  When the time comes France and Germany will crash harder then anybody else.  Nobody has ever taxed his way into prosperity.  It's just another bubble.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 07:59 | 1301382 Doc
Doc's picture

Common dude,

Paying to blow up bridges in Iraq and then rebuild them is a very efficient allocation of capital.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:19 | 1301413 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

"It's just another bubble."

As the Oligarchs continue manufacturing bubbles from their bubble machines it gives colluding governments opportunity to take more and more freedoms away and as you can see the dumb shit politicians, bureaucrats, and an apathetic welfare lazy ass European peoples are willingly to destroy themselves for the good of the collective.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:51 | 1301482 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

...meanwhile you have retained your freedom - but at what cost?

No government assistance for the next decade of joblessness. Lets see how free you feel at the end of that.


The French and Germans will be getting free 'obama care' to fill their time for the next decade - hell it might even provide some jobs!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:26 | 1301588 Strike Back
Strike Back's picture

Government assistance entails taking capital away from investments, which results in joblessness.  Just like the minimum wage. 

You are not talking about freedom.  You are pandering guarantees, i.e. the guarantee to be free from economic insecurity, granted by the government.  You argue that this guarantee is antagonistic to freedom, which I agree with, but don't get freedom and government largess confused. 

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:48 | 1301655 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

"Government assistance entails taking capital away from investments, which results in joblessness. "

...and private sector investment is not always good for society - I mean would you be happy with Dow opening a nice brand new chemical plant by your house so they can make new 'plastic shoes' for all the people who can no longer afford leather?

Governments can (and often do) make good decisions about spending - but the private sector owned media is all too keen (I wonder why) to point out the mistakes.


Speaking of investments - how good were all the investments that the private sector bansk made in the sub-prime market upon reflection? - good use of capital (resources) - or a bad one in your opinion?


The private sector is littered with bad investment choices - the cost is usually passed to the sharehoder - but now it seems the taxpayer is carrying the can too!


It amazes me how people can even talk about private sector investment efficiency when we're sitting looking down the precipice created by the worst ever investments ever made by the private sector.


As for guarantees - well yes, you should have some of your production stored for hard times - whether you like it or not.

For example, car insurance is compulsury (like taxes) - but if there were a choice many people wouldn't bother - assuming that "I will never have a crash" - however when they do have one and mow down a child - the court says the compensation needs to be crica $20 Million - which the car owner simply doesn't have.


You will find the world is littered with those who will gamble with other peoples lives and liberty - or who are too stupid to foresee the risks involved in their choice. If these people didn't exist then we wouldn't need compulsory taxation - but they do I'm afraid - and most of them are republicans.


I do agree there is evidence of Government largess - this is because our Governments get too powerful and safe, they act like autocratic bodies. However this is partly the fault of people who want to hand their involvement of the running of the country to 'someone else' - so can you really complain about the result of something you 'passed on'?


Governments owned by the people, working for the people is what we need. So why not round up all the unemployed and lets get them working in Government - because there clearly isn't enough demand based work around (because Capitalism (supply) overshot....again)

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:21 | 1301741 Strike Back
Strike Back's picture

Companies that make bad investments would fail without government assistance.  Without the massive bailouts, the banks, the music industry, the automobile industry, etc. that made those bad investments would have failed and more productive industry would have taken its place.  It is BECAUSE the government has the power to make bad investments in the form of wealth redistribution that these inefficient and immoral businesses remain today.

The fact that governments can make good decisions is besides the point.  The point is that it can and will make bad investments behind the barrel of its monopoly on violence and continue to force these bad investments on the governed that is harmful to society.  You make a point on wars, the classic force fed bad investment.

People should be permitted to save, not forced to.  Once the government gets private funds in order to provide a safety net, it abuses its control over these funds.  For examples, see the recent U.S. and Irish government tapping into retirement accounts.  See the endless shifting of tax revenues between different categories to fund the drug war, bailouts, etc.  For your beloved Germany, see how the government is itching to provide a bailout to non-productive countries' economies such as Greece and Portugal from the German public coffers, a move that is massively opposed by the private citizenry.

It is a waste of time to try and perfect government.  Time and again, history shows that a liberalized economy with a restricted government leads to the most prosperity for all.  Government malinvestment, enforced through the threat of violence, is what creates a lack of demand for jobs, not "Capitalism supply overshoot."  Herding all of the unemployed into government work would create more malinvestment and drain more capital from the economy to pay these workers, which would create more unemployment.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 12:37 | 1302190 AdTheNad
AdTheNad's picture

You are living in a dream world if you subscribe to the meme that the world would be perfect if "the government would just get out of the way."  We would be left with a few oligopolies and cartels controlling everything instead of what we have now.  What do you think would happen when the sociopaths that control the most powerful companies in the world have vastly more power than the sociopaths that run the government?  I think it would be pretty much the same as we have now if not worse since they wouldn't even need to pretend to care about the common man.

Do oligopolies fail without government assistance, or do they just start to take what they want and ignore any form or justice or morality?

Clearly the right answer is to have a strong government that is run for the people, and independent from specific lobbies and business interests that have bastardised the system for their own private gain.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 14:19 | 1302492 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Perhaps you can illuminate us and tell us who this government would be? You are confusing what should be or could be with what is and always has been. If wishes were horses, beggers would ride. 

Oligopolies do fail without the police power of the state. They revert back to having to please the consumer, because otherwise- no one buys their products.

Clearly, the right answer is no government. Organization with decentralization. No lobbies, no business interests to bastardize the system, liberty and free choice.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 15:20 | 1302711 AdTheNad
AdTheNad's picture

People like Bernie Sanders?  Just make a new rule, anyone who wants to be in government gets a nice big pay check, and gives up the right to any private bank accounts.  There are enough good people could out there who could fill a few hundred seats without just attracting the power hungry a holes we get at the moment.

You understand that no government = no regulations right?  What about where a company can kick the can so far down the road and can obfuscate the facts the consumer is helpless?  Like where a building is put up and asbestos is used, or radioactive materials.  You die in 10 years prematurely through no fault of your own, but the company using asbestos who also owns all the media outlets is supposed to be worried about how the other consumers will react? No chance.  Life with no regulations is far worse than life with good regulation.

If market forces held companies accountable for their bad behaviour BP would no longer exist.  I'm not sure you could claim BP is being held afloat by government when Obama gave Tony a shake down, yet they still exist with a drop in share prices far less than the suffering that has been caused.  There is no way in many cases that oligopolies care or even have to care about the consumer.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 16:19 | 1302920 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

The Bernie Sanders government? One person does not a government make. It is a structure. 

One, regulations are written by the people whom control the government and therefore can profit from them. Two, you fail to understand the concept of private property and personal responsibility. Your company would be responsible for all the costs, including the cost to recover. Even if it bankrupts ALL the holders of shares, they would still be responsible to make additional restitution through future labor. 

The company would not own all the media outlets, because they could not depend on a government to restrict access. 

Social regulation is cheaper, more persuasive and cooperative. Market forces are not allowed to work, as in BP's case ,as government intervenes.

I suggest you learn more about the subject, then you might understand the benefits. Anarcho-capitalism is not perfect or even fully formed, but it has a potential far exceeding any government structure we know of. 


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 19:34 | 1303431 AdTheNad
AdTheNad's picture

Your dream only works with small local companies at best.  Do you think somehow with no government, companies would stop growing before they got too big to start employing anti competitive business practices such as predatory pricing and effectively killing off any competition even without regulations?  Oligopolies would occur with or without government, and that makes everyone on average worse off. 

How would you restrict companies from getting so big no one could make them be responsible for all costs?  If you seriously think market forces would stop people buying from these companies you are forgetting the layers of obfuscation and just how removed the average person is from where products come from.  People buy goods that come from slave labour because they are cheaper.  People buy stolen goods from the back of a lorry because they are cheaper.  People would buy eggs from a farm with salmonella if it came from the other side of the country because word of mouth doesn't work with generic products shipped from hundreds of miles away.  People would still buy from a company even if the company negligently killed your family because they don't give a fuck as long as the good is cheap, especially where there is no alternative.

How do you properly charge negative externalities where there is no accountability due to the above?

If given all of the above you still somehow think market forces would work with no regulatory oversite then you are missing any logical reasoning.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 20:29 | 1303628 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

What does company size have to do with this? You have some way of supporting this argument?

How would oligapolies occur with or without government, when we have always had government? You have a test world somewhere? Then you assume this makes everyone worse off? If the product is comparable at a smaller price- oligopoly on. 

If a company damages private property they would be responsible to pay the costs- otherwise the community would boycott their products. There would be  no government to protect them and allow them to do the damage they do now -WITH GOVERNMENT. If they are already doing all this terrible things with government, how could the elimination of government be any worse, I mean other than having to pay huge taxes to be abused by a large company.

I don't see the point of your argument about what people buy. You want to attach a moral superiority to a product based on a personal value system. Excuse me if I don't find value in your attempt at tyranny. Many would say Americans are warmongers, murders and debt slaves- does that mean no one should buy our products?

How does present government charge for negative externalities? Has GE cleaned up the Hudsen yet fella? Damage done to private property can be recovered in a private property, free market system. Yours, not so much.

Given that you have failed to make a case for your outlandish claims, with no support, evidence (historical or anecdotal), or even a good example, it may be that you have no idea what logical reasoning is. You are emotionally committed to the myth of law and government- and emotions are usually a poor bellweather of rational decision making.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 08:50 | 1304598 AdTheNad
AdTheNad's picture

Look at Somalia.  No government there to mess things up for those lucky entrepreneurs.  Must be paradise.  Or what it looks like from over here, is a warlord takes over, or it could be the biggest group of organised people, be it a gang or company and thus become the de facto government for the local area.  Excuse me local warlord, you've damaged my private property and killed my family, would you mind paying me restitution or all these people who are scared shitless of you won't buy your heroin?  How do you envision for a minute that this governmentless world could work?

The point of the moral argument was nothing to do with my value system, but to point out that people don't give a shit about morals when they buy the goods I mentioned.  People don't boycott products now, and they wouldn't in your dream world.  The only way it could possibly work is in small local communities, if they cared enough about the person who had been wronged.  And if the company has a local monopoly with no competition good luck with a boycott even if you want to.  Do you see how all the points I made are coming together?

There is a lot wrong with the way the government is run at the moment, but the answer isn't to get rid of government but to make it better and actually answerable to the general public and average person.

Complex systems such as deep sea oil drilling need big companies to operate, so big companies have to exist unless you want to remove complex systems entirely from your world.  With no regulation big companies would still not have to fear market forces in any scenario where it is cheaper to advertise and obfuscate the truth then pay to clean up after their own mess.  With no government in the BP oil spill, BP would blame Halliburton and other sub contractors, Halliburton would blame BP.  The people would never know who was really to blame and the entire Gulf of Mexico would now be a write off since it would have been cheaper for the companies involved to just abandon it and lie about whose fault it was.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 12:48 | 1302239 knowless
knowless's picture

i've never taken unemployment, i just lived with less, i don't understand why people think they are entitled to it..

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 14:27 | 1302534 still kicking
still kicking's picture

That's usually because they have paid unemployment taxes for years and have been shortpaid by their employers for the amount they also have to kick in to the state, so actually they are entitled to it, that's kind of the point of it.  That being said I don't think they should get 2 years worth.  Fyi, I have never been on unemployment.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:46 | 1301476 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

..but the Germans will still get health care and unemployment benefits for the next 'lost decade' of depression.

What will US citizens get? - the freedom to die where you like?

The Government in Europe has been used like a savings scheme - the US declined to set one up - now they will see the error of their ways.

Maybe it's time you considered that the Government beaurocrats DO have a better idea of how you spend the money you earned - because those old vegas chips aren't going to get your son or daughter better when you have no job!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:02 | 1301514 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Amazing you can liken theft to savings. They must be breaking windows all over Europe- just think of the jobs and benefits!

The bureaucrats must be better because they are not as inefficient as those other bureacrats. Do you listen to yourself think?

Government can't provide jobs, they can only provide more opportunities to tax. If the job was legitimate, it wouldn't require a government to create it. It would be the result of profit in a private business.

You're a pot calling the kettle black. 

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:23 | 1301580 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Theft? - is it theft to take from those who can afford to provide for those who can't....especially when those who can't were created by those tho can afford?

"The bureaucrats must be better because they are not as inefficient as those other bureacrats. Do you listen to yourself think?"

Oh the Beaurocrats are better because they bought useful things - you got some depleted uranium and Hawkeye missiles - I do hope you enjoyed them.

"Government can't provide jobs, they can only provide more opportunities to tax. If the job was legitimate, it wouldn't require a government to create it. It would be the result of profit in a private business."


Now I know you're out of your depth - ever heard of social costs and benefits? There is no 'private job' in stopping forest fires burning across California. In fact the cleared land is infact a private benefit....and yet you have firemen to put them out - now why would that be?

There's no profit in the NYPD - so are you saying these people are no longer required? Shall we tell them all to leave and you will manage by yourself?


My only complaint with the European model is that the state provision is owned by the Government - which is NOT owned by the people (as it should be) - however in the past when we did have more control we made them build hospitals, schools, police stations, fire stations etc. - so we can still receive these services - even in hard times. It also ensures that some people will continue to work through the private sector wilderness that will be the next decade.


"You're a pot calling the kettle black. "


No - you're someone confused about freedom and social needs. You'll probably work it out when you're being burgled 3 times a week by the starving masses on the streets who no longer care about getting shot, beated or arrested.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:05 | 1301896 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Yes, it is theft. The government is taking the money against your will. Blaming the rich for the poor? Poor reasoning and no way to show causation.

They bought useful things? People could have bought the same at a cheaper price. 

There are no social costs and benefits that cannot be provided by the private sector at a cheaper price. 

The private sector can provide security and justice at a cheaper cost, it would be driven by the needs of the consumer and it would reflect the benefits of cooperation rather than power principles that lock up and criminalize at additional costs while the victim remains all the poorer. 

All your schools, police and fire are provided at greater cost and poorer quality. You want public ownership? What do you think private property is? Do you think because there is no  government,there would be no social organization? People are incapable of creating communities that reflect their unique culture? That it is better to have one size fits all government? 

Who determines these social needs? You? 

You are typical of the those that would imprison all of society to provide the freedom you have determined to be necessary. Which is what totalitarian socialism is all about.


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 12:54 | 1302271 knowless
knowless's picture

i've payed taxes at every one of my menial jobs, i could easily qualify for section 8 housing, food stamps, unemployment.. but i don't, because i don't want to be dependant, if you give up responsibility, you give up rights, i'de rather be hungry and cold then collared, and i've been both.


and i don't know what you're talking about there not being private jobs in stopping forest fires in california.. i worked for a private crew which was contracted by governments... soo.. yeah.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:10 | 1301520 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Who would allow leeches to continue sucking the life blood from those who create, produce and make profits? Easy answer the appointed parasitical leech infested bureaucrats whom have throughout history have NEVER had a better idea because they don't think, their thinking is done for them bitch!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:28 | 1301585 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

...and yet the whole existence of banking is through parasitical means.

They don't make anything they simply utilise the power of exploitation to ensure that they get a slice of every piece of action.


At leats the Beaurocrats are taking a pay cut - the bankers are just boosting their wages as we speak!

You must be glutton for punishment.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:41 | 1301620 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

I junked you because you are stupid

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:50 | 1301660 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

I won't bother junking you because you simply don't understand what you're talking about.


I see you like the ape in the zoo, he looks like me, he has the same mannerisms as me - but I don't pick my nose and eat bananas all day and I would have escaped my cage by now.

Don't forget, you're the one living in a country which has the most debt in the world, not a lot to show for it....and no safety net.

I feel quite comfortable being junked - I have free healthcare and unemployment benefits should I lose my job.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:29 | 1301756 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

nothing is free, except maybe... humility 

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:32 | 1301767 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

First, let's be clear.   You don't have 'FREE healthcare'.   Unless you perform your own diagnosis and treatment using wild berries, sticks and rocks - somebody, somewhere is paying for your health care.   You, being the driveling idiot that you are, may not care, but it isn't free.

Second, you don't have a job.  But, if you did, and your employer was smart enough to notice that he'd be better off hiring a bag of rocks and fired you -- then your unemployment benefits would be paid by someone else -- i.e., you would be living off of others.   

Now, I know you don't care about living off of others -- leeches never do.    They feel entitled.   Well, that will slowly change, but I do have get a satisfaction knowing that people like you NEED us to support you.   YOU are a pet, a play thing, an insignificant societal leech.   Enjoy the trinkets your are handed by productive citizens like ME.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:07 | 1301929 j0nx
j0nx's picture

"Don't forget, you're the one living in a country which has the most debt in the world, not a lot to show for it....and no safety net."

Took you a while but you got there. Game, set, match. There simply is no refuting the point above unless you consider the world's largest military and the most 3rd world countries that hate you as something to show for it. Americans are taxed out the ass everywhere we look. I will EASILY take the pepsi challenge with any European citizen for most taxed when you add in every aspect of your life. The MIC simply has to FOAD at this point because I for one am sick of paying to be the world's police force and I don't think I am alone. Bring 'em ALL home and stick them on the border with orders to shoot to kill. Have them do repairs to our infrastructure, etc instead of slinging a rifle halfway around the world in some 3rd world shit hole that I could care less about.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:32 | 1302012 In Vino Veritas
In Vino Veritas's picture

Your health care is most assuredly NOT free.  You are just living off the backs of others, having them pay for your health care - and feeding armies of bureacracies along the way.  Anyway, the health care system here in the US has been excellent to me and my family.  We've never had to wait more than two days for any of the care & procedures received.  I know first hand how that's not conceivable when dealing with British and German national/public health care systems.  Of course, if you have private health care over there (where such is legal), you'll find a similar high quality.  It's interesting how that works, no?

We left Europe for the US many years ago and find our standard of living here is much better than it was there.  Our families in Germany and the UK are universally less well off.  We have more disposable income, can afford higher quality product and have more saved.

Unfortunately, the US is drifting toward the European model.  The consequence of which is that we're retreating somewhat from seeking new business.  The bureaucracy and taxation involved once one gets past a certain point is simply not worth it (I can enumerate if requested, but I don't think it'll be news to anyone here who runs a business).  The more this kind of nonsense continues to advance, the more we'll retreat.

The fatal flaw in the philosophies of people like you, is that you rely on others' monies - and believe said others won't react to minimize the confiscation.  Either they'll readjust operatons to lessen the tax burden, move away from the high taxed regions, or just bow out altogether.  We have taken two of those measures already, and as I mentioned above, are starting to engage in the third.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 13:45 | 1302409 malek
malek's picture

..but the Germans will still get health care and unemployment benefits for the next 'lost decade' of depression.

As so often much more interesting is not what you write but what you don't write.
The German pension system is FUBAR, much worse than the US. But unfortunately as a German employee you are forced to pay much more into their doomed system than a US worker into SS... making it much harder to put something on the side for private retirement savings.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 07:56 | 1301374 Cash_is_Trash
Cash_is_Trash's picture

Somehow Brazil didn't make it to the first chart, precisely becuase it's OFF the chart!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:03 | 1301384 BearishFeijoadaSushi
BearishFeijoadaSushi's picture


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 07:54 | 1301377 Robslob
Robslob's picture

Taxes being bubble...can't wait for that bubble to burst.

Politicians spending more of our money than we do and is anyone surprised we are in such sad shape globally?




Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:23 | 1301388 agent default
agent default's picture

Well they are.  In the good times you may not particularly mind when the government thinks it's entitled to 30 or 50% of whatever you make.  When the going gets tough however it will start having a meaningful impact on your standard of living, and at that point you and many others like you  will start asking the questions they fear the most:

"Just who the fuck do you people think you are anyway? And just what am I getting for all this money you cost me?"

That always scares the shit out of them.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 07:55 | 1301378 duo
duo's picture

The difference between Germany and the US is that US corporations have an "executive class" that needs to be fed multi-million $ salaries and bonuses.  Keeping politicians on the payroll isn't cheap, either.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 07:57 | 1301380 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

And another whopper of a tax- inflation due to monetization. The gift that keeps giving. As the ECB targets 2% inflation as a "goal", the Europeans have regulated ass pounding.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:47 | 1301470 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Correct. Too bad that for no sane reason, the dollar is the world reserve currency, and thus their giant stealth taxing experiment is kinda hard to estimate in terms of income taxes. It gets even more complicated when one considers that rapid monetization also reduces real wages, because wages do not adjust at the speed of inflation.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:59 | 1301504 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

we invented baseball.  his name was "Abner Doubleday."  I love that name.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:02 | 1301386 iinthesky
iinthesky's picture

Yeah no one I've ever spoken to about taxes ever takes into account the dozens of other taxes already built into everything after they get their 'after tax' takehome pay. Income tax is fucking bullshit bloat to pay for interest on made up debt, and to be used to kill people and redistribute wealth and most of all to remove the possibility for any control whatsoever of the various governments. Look at how they spend the FRNs! Totally fucking useless to the people who shoulder the burden.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:51 | 1301480 Rynak
Rynak's picture

The worst part about nowadays tax schemes, is how nontransparent they are, because every type of tax may be arbitrarily redistributed to something else. Even though there are all kinds of taxes, which supposedly are to be used for specific things, in reality it is just one big mess that is arbitrarily allocated. This not only encourages undisciplined budget planning, but also obscures to the taxpayer what he is paying for.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:26 | 1301590 iinthesky
iinthesky's picture

Yeah so they can cry poverty and get more taxes. Where's it all going you ask the average lemming.. Well now, you have to pay for the roads and the schools and the POLICE and the army/navy/airforce/marines... Uhmm.. ok those things as far as expenses and compensation are what? a tiny fraction of what is being spent and most of that money comes from all the excise taxes. So.. hmmm.. I wondah.. what's the Federal income tax for? Social engineering? Its Monetary Policy. Control and fiat at its best.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:58 | 1301508 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

you forgot to add "ha! ha!  crash, bam, boom, bang!"  where is the Kool Aid guy these days anyways?

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:07 | 1301389 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture

I call bullshit on this chart.  No way the average american is taxed 29%.  We always seem to forget all the creep costs associated with anything we do, whether you define it as a tax, toll, surcharge, fee, fine, surtax or whaterver tag you want to attach to it.  Average american pays well over 60% of take home pay to the bloodsuckers.

As much as this movie sucked, this is the best depiction of living in america today:

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:07 | 1301394 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You might want to read the last paragraph. Your caveat is there.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:11 | 1301398 Sofa King
Sofa King's picture

Thanks, I was blinded by rage for a minute there.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:45 | 1301466 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

yeah it happens to all of us!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:12 | 1301401 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

Yeah, gotta be 60%+ by the time you factor everything in.

Over here in the UK, it's reckoned to be about 82% once you count up all the stealth taxes. That's assuming you drive a car, of course, as a lot of that cost is in fuel, insurance premium tax, road tax, etc.

Can't see the total tax burden for the average American being hugely different, given that our standards of living are broadly similar for the average family making a living wage.


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:38 | 1301459 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I have calculated at least 50 percent for those under 100,000.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:55 | 1301492 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Take into account that the above chart also does not include all european taxes. VAT in germany for example is around 20% and not included the chart - fun!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:11 | 1301536 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The one that galls me the most is the "surtax."  It's just a tax, but they apply it after all thoe other taxes and fees have been tacked on so that it's higher. 

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 05:22 | 1304349 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture

Average american pays well over 60% of take home pay to the bloodsuckers.

Probably more like 75%.

The Revolutionary War started when British taxes reached about 5%.

We put up with 75% today, plus all manner of rights invasions (like being sexually groped by govt goons at airports) colonists wouldn't have tolerated.

No, there won't be another American revolution.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:07 | 1301391 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

My next destination Chile !!!!!!!!! Ariba!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:40 | 1301451 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Chile is about the only place in South America where even the delicate offer of a bribe such as "Se paga la multa inmediatamente aqui en efectivo?" might result in arrest!

Chileans take pride in being the only south american country that is virtually free of the common type of corruption.  Of course they have the higher level corruption that infects us all.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:16 | 1301402 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

What about gasoline tax ? - imagine Americans paying the equivalent of 1.50 euro a litre.

Now that would be interesting.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:58 | 1301505 Rynak
Rynak's picture

1.50 EUR / litre? Obsolete.... think more like 1.60 EUR.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:42 | 1301633 zuuuueri
zuuuueri's picture

ha! and in greece, it's more like eur1.85 a liter! 

highest gas prices in europe!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:21 | 1301412 shortus cynicus
shortus cynicus's picture

Taking European VAT into account (15 to 25 %) and energy tax (extra 5 USD/gallon ?), and many other hidden taxes, one can estimate effective taxation going up to 80%.


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:31 | 1301430 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

And that is how it feels, as a Software dev I make a pretty good average but I feel almost poor, I don't own(loan) a car nor a house, if the taxes in Germany where like in Chile I would have both 100% paid for

This is Stealth Communism

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:42 | 1301460 Nicholaz
Nicholaz's picture

Yeh, you'd probably spend the money for your house on healthcare and protection and the car would have to wait because of the tution for school and university of your kids.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:46 | 1301475 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

It would be ok if the government could do it without being wasteful.  I have yet to see it done efficiently.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:52 | 1301496 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

...and you think the private sector is efficient? - then you have not worked in the private sector - let me break it down for you.

Government inefficiencies - blown open by the media - paid for by the taxpayer - accountable to the taxpayer

Private sector inefficiencies - kept under wraps - paid for by the shareholders - accountble to NOBODY (don't believe me, what about JPM shareholders? - what about Lehmnas shareholders? - what about Bear Stearns shareholders? etc.)


You bar for efficiency from teh public sector seems to be much higher than that of the private sector - you demonstrate bias in your thinking.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:04 | 1301526 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Efficiency does not fucking care if it's done by the gov, or by the private sector. Neither of both is more efficient "by definition" - it makes no logical sense at all.

Gov can do shit if the population doesn't care or cannot easily interfere. Private sector can do shit if the "consumer" doesn't care, or cannot easily interfere. And as you can see especially in the USA, it can become difficult to distinguish a wasteful parasitary and monopolistic gov program, from a wasteful parasitary and monopolistic megacorp cartel. Mafia is mafia.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:10 | 1301543 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Let me break it down for you: government inefficiencies are a result of an additional layer of cost not born by private industry, made worse by having no accurate pricing mechanism as they can spend anyway they want. They have stolen the money and denied the citizen the opportunity to invest it as they would CHOOSE. As the media is owned by corporations and bankers, information is carefully controlled. As the politicians are owned by the same interests, the taxpayer has no method of making government accountable except by changing to another politician chosen by the same interests.

Private sector inefficiencies are two fold- those that are laundered because of their influence over a coercive government and those born by private industry lacking enough influence. 

You are either incredibly naive or a strumpet for the Fabians.


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:36 | 1301613 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

...but you have neglected the fact that private enterprise only seeks efficiency through PROFIT - nothing else.

Which is why the USA has a diabetes and lung cancer problems - due to the 'efficiency' of fast food restaurants and the tobbacco industry.

In BOTH cases the consumer was lied to regarding the health implications of these - who will pay for that eventually?



You reall are a mug, you got done over once....and now you go back for more.

With beaurocrats not having to be guided by profit they can invest in things which don't have immediate profitable return - but are good for the nation in the long run.


Put it this way - if it were down to the private sector then the USA would not be 'space explorers' as there is / was no profit in space exploration.

However in the long term there is a lot of socially good things to come from it - not least understanding our own planet much better and how we can move out into the universe.


...but you stay here on earth eating your fat laden burgers and smoking your cancer sticks because after all - that's where the profit is.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:13 | 1301950 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

No, America has diabetes, lung cancer and other maladies for two reasons: one government protected the perpetrators and two, the false sense of security given by government allayed the people's fears. 

Without government to protect them, people would have done their due diligence. As for space exploration, private industry is whom NASA has turned to. You don't get out much do you?

For your information, unlike a rube like you that ate mickey d's for twenty years, I knew better. I didn't eat fast food, I drink clean water, raise my own food, use herbs and and haven't beeen to a doctor or hospital in twenty years. Yet, I am healthier than almost everyone one I meet.

You on the other hand are so blinded by propaganda and ignorance, you fail to examine the world around you. You never question authority, you embrace it. In your case, it would seem ignorance is bliss.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:27 | 1301994 goldsaver
goldsaver's picture

Wow, you are an idiot. But its ok. Some slaves like been slaves. You have actualy bought hook, line and sinker onto the socialist Utopia shit. Good luck with that!

"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:14 | 1301546 aerojet
aerojet's picture

I have come to realize that what I am dealing with in the private sector is fascism without the mass murder, but fascism nonetheless.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:00 | 1301678 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

This is very true.


It doesn't take long to work out how we got from 'free market capitalism' to 'fascism'.

1) Private sector free markets where the goal of each participant is 'capital accumulation' i.e. capitalism.

2) The 'successful' (or is it the risk takers / semi-legal) businesses accumulate capital which they can then use to further improve their position. Marketing, acquisitions, 'road-kill', undermining competitors, R&D etc. They may all start innovative - like Microsoft, but soon they work out that "they don't need to innovate" - there are much easier and safer ways of making money when you're armed with tonnes of capital.

3) The large grow and grow - and can now engage in 'buying governments' and tilting the court in their favour. Governments are powerless - except through regulation - which is sold to the public as 'Government largess' by the nifty corporations who can run campaigns through privately owned newspapers.

4) Capitalism busts (as it always will) and as we see the circle in complete - Government is totally reliant on the corporations and WILL bail them out. Here we are - fascism, a merger of corporation and state.


Now the free market capitalists will swear blind that this is due to Government interference and a conspiracy by 'big government' - the truth is simply this is the next phase in a system run on capital accumulation.


FMC's want to go back a couple of steps - but this will only result in us being here again in the future - and a lot of people will be made poorer in the process.


The truth is a hard thing for some people to accept - but it's plainly clear that capitalism has (and will always) led us to fascism.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:15 | 1301946 Alasdair
Alasdair's picture

Totally agree.  "Fascism" has the negative connotation attached to it from the Nazis, so people are afraid to apply it to today's environment.  But that's exactly what it is, by definition.  And it creates a clear pathway to success for sociopaths.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:22 | 1301968 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

It is because the power of government is concentrated in the hands of a few, that it is so easily bought and conquered. In a free market, power is decentralized making it impossible for a set of companies to impose their will. 

Without the ability to dictate laws, they must compete on an honest basis and will fail if managed poorly as there is no special consideration from government. 

Capitalism is an economic system, fascism is a political system. Do you listen to yourself think?

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:21 | 1301414 I Am Ben
I Am Ben's picture

how can Denmark NOT be on that list ??

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:28 | 1301429 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Americans can't tell the difference between Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. The authors were making it easy for us by just including Sweden. 

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:31 | 1301437 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

why would small unimportant countries matter to us?

We know where China is.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:08 | 1301529 Rynak
Rynak's picture

why would small unimportant countries matter to us?

Maybe because among *some* of those, you will find traces of sanity.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:33 | 1301604 I Am Ben
I Am Ben's picture

Haha, no sanity in Denmark, none at all.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:35 | 1301791 falak pema
falak pema's picture

They make good music; I love the jazz there. And the mermaid always says hello, so it has to be a sane place to be.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:02 | 1301519 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

plus that's where all the super-models come from.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:28 | 1301420 Hexus
Hexus's picture

You heard it Germans, your country is doomed to communism! Move to Detroit as fast as you can! Wear your best underwear, you want to impress the TSA or you'll end up in Gauntanamo.

Also I find it very hard to believe that the average wage in the UK is $40k. Maybe a few of the top bankers have skewed it by $15k

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:32 | 1301432 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Yeah I have seen doctors making 60 to 80 thousand pounds.  They have an hour commute either way on the train or whatever you call it. Life in the UK metro area must suck for people who actually carry the burden of paying all the taxes.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:09 | 1301538 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

I'd say it's probably closer to £25-30k per annum.

My family are relatively affluent for this area, but that's because we didn't buy into the credit bubble and constantly borrow, remortgage and spend money we don't have on shit we don't need.

Note that affluent is defined here as 'the top line of the pay slip has a decently large number on it', not 'have piles of money saved up'. Four kids, a large dog and a small mortgage (monthly property taxes are currently 3x the mortage payment!) take care of the minimal surplus available once TPTB have finished rectally extracting over 80% of our paychecks, trust me!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:21 | 1301574 Hexus
Hexus's picture

Yeah, I'd say the average is more like £25k. I live in the UK btw, up north so that might explain my hesitance to believe these figures. Beer, petrol and cigs are my biggest outgoings these days, so pudgy george hasn't been helping my bank account recently.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:42 | 1301632 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

I'm in North Wales, as it happens. From Wigan originally, though.

And I'm right with you on the 3 biggest expenses here.

I've very nearly quit smoking (refer to previous comment about 4 kids for the reason why I haven't totally quit yet!), drive as little as possible and have been brewing my own beer, wine and 'vodka' for quite some time. 

We do occasionally go for a quick pint after work, but even at Sam Smiths near giveaway prices that comes in at £4.49 for a pint of lager and a pint of cider. So we don't do it very often.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:32 | 1301431 viator
viator's picture

Imagine that, Europe is taxing at about an 80% rate (including all taxes & fees) and yet they are insolvent. How is that going to work out? Their central banks, including the ECB, are stuffed with bonds, for instance Greek bonds, etc., that are worth, just maybe, 20 Euro cents on the Euro.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:31 | 1301436 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

This goes to show that no matter how much money you give a government it will always want more because there are always worthwhile causes out there that need redistribution.


Starving the beast is the only thing that works.  It cannot be stopped by reason, because politicians get elected by promising to pay peter by robbing paul.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:40 | 1301448 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

The world is insane, we pay 80% taxes yet every1 is broke the governments the banks the people, this is exactly what you get when you use debt for money eventually every1 ends up broke no matter how much wealth you redistribute


Gold and Silver bitchezzz!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:43 | 1301462 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Be careful what you wish for.  All those wishing for gold and silver as currency must realize it is the end of the welfare state and transfer payments if such an event were to occur.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:48 | 1301639 zuuuueri
zuuuueri's picture

bring it on! let the leeches starve.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:25 | 1301582 Hexus
Hexus's picture

Not everyone is broke, the top 0.1% are doing very well for themselves, ciphoning money from the rest of us through derivatives speculation. Tax them and we'll be swimming in cash.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:39 | 1301447 Nicholaz
Nicholaz's picture

It's just funny that Germany with the highest taxes at the same time is the most solvent.


Do I see a pattern there?

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:44 | 1301471 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

The pattern you see is that germany  is just now waking up.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:26 | 1301589 Hexus
Hexus's picture

Hmm.. it's becoming clearer to me, I just need a little help with the figures... does 1+1=2?

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:32 | 1301596 Rynak
Rynak's picture

Imagine the following: You give someone else money, so that he "buys" your goods. You continue doing that long after it has become clear that this cannot work, and that he will never be able to give it back. In essense, you're giving money away for free.....

BUT.... those losses will not appear on your balance sheet, until you ask to get them back. Reason: Lended money is treated as wealth, not as losses. THIS is germany. It's balancesheet only looks good, because it has not accepted reality yet: that the billions it lended were actually a gift, rather than credit.

Germany's balance sheet is as much bullshit as china's balance sheet.... it is based on the assumption of "we will get all the money back which we gave away, KNOWING that we will not get it back"

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 14:13 | 1302480 malek
malek's picture

Someone get's it!
In essense, they're giving money away for free... and their goods too!!!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:07 | 1301534 Rynak
Rynak's picture

"Take my money and buy my wares!" is not a matter of taxes... it just is a matter of insanity.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:13 | 1301557 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Paging Mr. Laffer...

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:29 | 1301433 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

"Of course, one may say that the American perspective is certainly stunted, as among the chief taxes omitted are property taxes, city taxes, private medical insurance, not to mention sales tax. Perhaps a more objective analysis would confirm that the US is just as bad on the communism scale."

Perhaps a more objective analysis would, in addition to the valid points made, also describe it as "crony capitalism", and not "communism".

Be that as it may, other considerations should be:

1) The level and kind of services received for the taxation  -- much of US taxation is spent for wasteful militarism, policing, and imprisonment, while the social and physical infrastructure (schools, roads, rails, bridges, energy grid, water supply and sewage systems are all left to deteriorate).

2) The regressiveness of taxation -- obviously, one may have an equal or  lower rate of taxation, but also have the burden disproportionately shared thereby helping to create and maintain a great inequity of wealth (and political power).

3) The wider sources of "taxation" -- inasmuch as the environment is pillaged and destroyed in any nation, the pillaging nation is "taxing" its citizens of their natural wealth.   Inasmuch as one nation pillages other nations by military and financial conquest and domination, the pillaging nation is "taxing" other nations.   Inasmuch as one nation assumes a debt burden to avoid current taxation, it is "taxing" its future generations.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:38 | 1301443 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I would agree about hidden taxes in the USA.

If you are a small businessman and have only 100,000 or so in net income then you will pay close to 50 percent of that in taxes including the double social security portion (which may have been ommitted from this study even though it is paid by the worker).

By adding real estate, sales, and state income taxes as well as other various and sundry fees you have to get over 100,000 per year in business income before your tax rate goes below 50 percent.


And people wonder why there aren't that many people who want to start a business and hire others.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:19 | 1301562 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Very true.  I looked at spinning up my own consulting firm and realized that I would be taking a huge risk for a payday that might be less than what I make as a corporate flunkie right now.  And I get paid vacation as a flunkie!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:40 | 1301453 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:41 | 1301463 Nicholaz
Nicholaz's picture

Another of the hidden expenses is school and healthcare.  In Europe (except UK) you get very good healthcare and education in return for your tax money.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:30 | 1301594 Mitzibitzi
Mitzibitzi's picture

I'll qualify that:

The healthcare here is probably better than most foreigners may believe. It's not perfect, by any means, but most people get treated relatively quickly, relatively well and have a positive view of the experience (apart from the taxes levied to fund it, of course!).

State funded education here, quite frankly, sucks! My oldest sprog is currently doing her high school exams (GCSEs). I've taken the trouble to read her revision material and can quite honestly say that I could have EASILY learned all her subjects well enough to pass all of them with a good grade... in about 6 weeks. The High School has taken 3 years to teach her this watered down crap. And she'll still probably not get exceptional grades, despite being reasonably bright, since even SHE says the quality of teaching is somewhere between average and 'why do I bother coming in?'

Though I must confess she's more concerned about her arse looking big in her prom dress and how to rustle up the readies for a Blackberry to really care, despite our best efforts to drum into her what the world is probably gonna look like a year or two hence.

"Hey, why is there so much food stacked on top of the cupboards?"

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:09 | 1301531 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

EXACTLY!  "We pillage AND STILL pay taxes."  I say "bring the pillagers home...AND ALL WILL BE SOLVED!"

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:34 | 1301440 Nicholaz
Nicholaz's picture

It's pretty easy. As a government, if you want to spend money, you either tax your people or you borrow from others.  In the second case, you just will eventually have to tax your people in order to pay the interest.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:50 | 1301479 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

No. You inflate.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:01 | 1301516 viator
viator's picture

No, you borrow the money and then simply refuse to pay it back, as sovereigns have done for hundreds of years.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:59 | 1301503 Lucius_Junius_Brutus
Lucius_Junius_Brutus's picture

Just mailed my tax form today, while reviewing the randoms papers attached to my declaration I found a nice letter signed by François Baroin (The minister for Budget, Public accounting and public function and State reform) stating that :

"Every year, the declaration of income constitute an important moment for our citizens. Declaring one's taxtes is a major citizen act and that's why I made a point to adress each and everyone of you for this occasion.

Facing the economic crisis [...] the budget adopted by the parliement is a responsible one with important savings wich will allow for an historic reduction of our public deficit by 60 billions €, while protecting the most exposed and fragiles households (from what I don't know).

Be assured that with the help of the government as whole I am determined to succeed in redressing our "balance sheet". It's by reaffirming with force this major goal that France will protect itself from the financial crisis. (Nobody said here that it was over (lucky us)). It is also at this condition that we will advert a tax increase (as if they could take more).

As a tax-payer, you have rights and we owe you a just and equitable fiscality (Her... come again? Was'nt it Sarkozy that first day into office enacted a tax break for the wealthy?). We will pursue our fight against fraud (Cough cough...) by giving the fiscal administration the means to pursue the most complex frauds.

You expect of your public services a transparent relation and confidance, a service of quality and a simplification of your demarch.



The translation may not be perfect but you get the idea.

Well, I don't know about the others but sooner rather than later will come a time when nice declarations of good intentions and fiscal responsability will not cut the mustard anymore. And I suspect that time will come when we price in the cost of bombing Libya with our Fancy Rafales into the defense budget.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:15 | 1301548 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

I agree "we go to moon in this decade not because it is easy but because it is hard" is more readable.  Still waiting on the "moonrock investment" coming in big, too.  Still, it should be worse....

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:41 | 1301619 iinthesky
iinthesky's picture

Does anyone else find it highly unlikely that all these notices and bulletins from all these bloodsucking taxing 'authorities' all over the world use nearly identical language. Does anyone find this disturbing that there is a worldwide coordinated effort to ensure that no matter where you run the tax-payer status is always there in 'the code'... Welcome to the global plantation.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:51 | 1301656 Lucius_Junius_Brutus
Lucius_Junius_Brutus's picture

We don't have the same fiscal rules, but we do have the same 'lango' and I suspect that it's stem from the fact that robing someone blind is always better accomplished by being polite about it.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:58 | 1301506 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

writings..your nurse is waiting to administer the morning antipsychotics..please report to the med station..or else your government housing is revoked.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:03 | 1301524 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Enjoy life on the street mate - I kow I have a safety net should the worst happen.


You can keep your freedom - the freedom of a tramp - go where you want, eat what you want, sleep where you want.

(so long as it's 'away from me', from a trashcan and under a public bridge)


...but seriously - what did the USA get from it's massive spending? The Europeans are laughing because bankruptcy just means hankering down for the next decade - but with the publically owned tools with which to do it.


...and I can get my Meds - even if I'm not working - whereas you seem to have already run short of supply and nobody is prepared to subsidise you until things 'turn up'


...and if it's not you - then what about the guy next to you - looks like he hasn't had a dose in a that a knife he's holding?


You reap what you sow my friend and the USA has sown very little other than war.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:16 | 1301556 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Angelie Jolie seems happy.  She told me just last night...

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:47 | 1302057 In Vino Veritas
In Vino Veritas's picture

Putting aside your apparent lack of understanding as to day-to-day living in the US, I'm beginning to think that you're a troll.  Surely no-one in their right mind would so readily embrace the restrictions of a nanny state.  Unless, of course, you are not a productive person and quite happy living off the labour of others.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 14:31 | 1302539 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You obviously are ignorant of the derivative exposure of European banks (greater than the US) or the exposure you have taken on with the PIIGS or the debt to GDP ratios of France and the UK or the bankrupt states of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. 

Hunker down? You couldn't pay your debt in one hundred years, much less 10. If it wasn't for the FED bailing out your banks, you would have all been bankrupt and your "safety net" would have disappeared. Worse, you fail to understand what austerity means. Your safety net is about to get smaller.

On the other hand, though I don't condone it, all our militarism has resulted in control over resources worldwide- something Europeans used to do quite a bit of, until they lost the ability to project power. These resources have allowed our economy access to materials and the ability to produce goods and supplies.

Perhaps, you should try learning before speaking. 

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:02 | 1301510 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

It seems that most people in the US are brought up on a culture of expecting something for nothing. Nobody likes paying taxes - but I think you'll find that if everyone had the choice - then America would be an extermely volitile and dangerous place as the inequality of wealth causes friction in the social fabric of society.

The crisis you face is very much a private sector one - but the consequences will be suffered by all.

It does appear from the outside that the US has spent the last decade spending almost as much as 'socialst' Europe - but instead of buying socially good things - your Government bought bombs, weapons and flak jackets.


As I said above - the Europeans have a safety net - what is the US's safety net? Who will look after all those disgruntled people over the next decade to ensure the US doesn't return to civil war?


I have a suspiscion this is why the right wing dislike public spending - they want there to be another civil war because they think they can win it this time!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:37 | 1301615 Hexus
Hexus's picture

Yeah and they're deluding themselves. People are against being taxed until it's THEIR SS being taken away then all of a sudden it's "HANDS OFF MY ECONOMIC RIGHTS YOU GREEDY CAPITALISTS."

Nearly all Americans will come to their senses eventually.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:24 | 1301748 aerojet
aerojet's picture

That's bs.  Safety nets!  America's safety net is that people can go out and get working on something and turn a profit.  You don't need a safety net when you have free enterprise.  Safety nets are socialist dogma and they don't work because they're centrally planned.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:03 | 1301511 boooyaaaah
boooyaaaah's picture

The gov spending money it doesn't have is a form of taxation . Better for the gov because they don't need no stinking vote.

And Tyler baby, the overspending the debt the debasing of currency is all caused by governments. And socialist governments by definition are better at spending money.

So stop peddling this crap that its the bankers. Government is supposed to protect us from predators. Not join them.

The more socialism the more funny money.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:29 | 1301593 writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

"Government is supposed to protect us from predators"


...but I thought it was all about freedom? - you can 'vote with your wallet' can't you?


How can you be so hypocritical expecting freedom but demanding protection from the crooks - which I presume you think comes at no cost.

...otherwise you'll need a 'body' to oversee it - lets call that the SEC / consumer protection. Then you'll need laws devised to keep up with the slippery corporations....oh and good lawyers to fight cases....and they need admin...and training....


...before you know it - you're a socialist. You just want to play capitalism on the way up - but socialism on the way down - well that's not how it works baby.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 12:06 | 1302121 goldsaver
goldsaver's picture

Wow.... really? Government has only two valid functions. Protecting individuals form physical violence and enforcing contract laws. All else is hogwash. You really think that your "safety net" is safe and free? Someone must pay for it. Paying for it means that someone must be a servant to someone else. At the point of a government gun. And your safety net is only there in the amount, quality and function that the government decides it should be. Need heart surgery? Sorry Sir, the bureau of life quality and health has decided that at your age and health habits you don't qualify. What are you going to do then? Unemployed because taxes drove away your industry? Well, no worries, here is a minimum living stipend so you will not bother us by starving in the public square. Really, you need to grow up.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 12:23 | 1302156 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Sure, until government gets capture and begins serving you up as the main course to the "right" predators!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:20 | 1301564 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Apparently once again the best country is Canada. Rocks to be a Canuck!!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:23 | 1301573 Nicholaz
Nicholaz's picture

Does Canada not being on the list mean they have no taxes?  Yay!

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:29 | 1301592 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:42 | 1301624 lizzy36
lizzy36's picture

Interesting that the tax burden is smaller in the US than the majority of OECD nations.

Further according to  the Bureau of Economic Analysis the US tax burden is the lowest in 60 years."Americans are paying the smallest share of their income for taxes since 1958, a reflection of tax cuts and a weak economy."


Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:07 | 1301699 Nicholaz
Nicholaz's picture

Yuck ... Italy ... among the highest taxes and also among the most broke in Europe.  Those people sure know how to spend (and of course bunga-bunga).

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 09:50 | 1301661 Lmo Mutton
Lmo Mutton's picture

I am calling BS on all these rates.  


Where are the figures for state taxes?

Property taxes?

Gasoline taxes?

Cell Phone, Land line taxes?

Electric taxes, water taxes, sewer and waste taxes, school taxes, sales tax, munincipal taxes, bus taxes, and on and on and on and on.


If there is 1% of our take home pay left I would be surprised.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:07 | 1301687 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Having lived in Europe and the U.S. I can add a few tidbits.  In Europe no-one pays the full tax rate.  Everyone cheats on their taxes.  It's easier than the U.S.  As Europeans, who have moved to the U.S., ask what do you get for your taxes in the U.S.  In Europe you get great pensions, great public transportation, good schools, free medical care, safe streets, and efficient municipal services.  Exactly what do you get for your tax money in the United States?  Also, taxes aren't the only financial penalty levied on Americans by the government.  Licenses, fees, mandates, a tax code that requires hiring CPAs and lawyers, and 450,000 pages of rules and regulations to follow.  Then there's the worst tax of all: inflation.  The U.S. also taxes savings interest and inflation gains. 

Everyone in the U.S. should ask: "What do I get for my tax money?"

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