As typically happens during campaigns, the arguments about tax rates in the United States focus on all the wrong questions.The real questions should be “what lifestyle do you want to live?” and, then, “what is the best route to get there?”
Mitt Romney’s gaffe, describing the 47% of Americans who don’t pay income taxes as free-loaders is forgivable when you consider that the part of America that listens to Fox News regularly hears about it all the time. The truth is there are people in all income brackets that pay no taxes, but most of them are poor – really poor. NPR did a great job of framing up this part of the issue here.
I love this graphic from that report:
It is an odd myth that has lead the American consumer to believe that controlling all their own money and spending would result in something “better.” Most people are not in a position to make well-informed decisions on all their purchases and most of the things they purchase are not necessarily best purchased by individual or effected by market forces.
You can search the internet and find dozens of people slicing the tax numbers dozens of ways and coming up with justifications for their own personal agendas. You can say that you would like to pay lower taxes. Of course we would all like to pay less and get more on some level but the getting and giving are more complicated than that.
Personally, having experienced a few other countries with other approaches to this, I prefer to have good civil resources that keep everyone from being so desperate that they lose hope instead of having ultra low taxes and have to live behind barbed wire and armed guards.