Tuesday, April 18, 2017

US at bottom in investing in its people

David Akadjian wrote about this for the Daily Kos blog site.  He is the author of The Little Book of Revolution:   The Distributive Strategy for Democracy.

On "Tax Day," it's interesting to look again at conservatives' claim that we are "over-taxed" in light of what we actually do with that tax money.   Akadjian says:

"The average developed country reinvests 34% of its gross domestic product (GDP) back into the country and its people.   As of 2014, America only invests 26%, which puts it ahead of Korea, Chile, Mexico, and exactly zero other developed countries."

 If we look at what we do with our taxes, most of the money goes to the military and to Medicare and Social Security.   If those are off limits for cuts -- and Republican budgets insist on big spending cuts to offset the tax cuts they're proposing, then the cuts have to come from the small slice of the pie that ordinarily goes to what we think of as investments in our people and our country.

This includes things like:   infrastructure improvements, job training, small business and agriculture subsidies, student loans, health care, medical research, the arts.   Then throw in cutting corporate taxes and income taxes for the top 1%.

We already were near the bottom.   Add all this in, and we'll be nudging Mexico out of last place.   This chart shows where the developed countries were in 2014 as to percent of taxes as a share of GDP, as compiled by the Tax Policy Center:
Taxes as a share of gross domestic product in 2014.

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