Thank you for your cogent comments and perspective. There’s a lot in here and I can’t tackle it all. I suspect we actually agree on many things. A couple quick points…
- It’s a quibble, but i don’t know if this is a “pro-tax rant” — and why is anything you don’t agree with a ‘rant’ (much like other drivers are crazy a-holes when you’re driving), but I digress. I am pro common good and building a thriving society for all. I believe it’s both morally (i.e., “there but for the grace of God go I” kind of thing) and economically smart to, say, have a safety net. I believe we thrive when we all thrive.
- The state vs. Federal thing is important and has been the core debate of the American experiment forever. I don’t pretend to know the right mix, but I look for economies of scale and also look to the right level of government to protect rights. That said, I live in CT, so I’m more than aware of sending more dollars to the shared kitty than I get back.
- On the country graph, i posted this in another comment, but if you go to the site it came from, i think you’ll see this is income and payroll only (at all levels), so doesn’t have consumption/sales. It’s not all the taxes.
- I’d like to see data on your statement about middle class taxes would have to double, etc. That may or may not be true, but my meta/macro point here is that we should be asking what we want and whether that’s delivered at a reasonable price, not just ask what our tax rate is. So if all taxes were higher, but everyone got health insurance (for example), like in those other countries you mention, that could be worth it.
There are not easy answers here. The dialog is what we need. Thanks for engaging.