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Which Western Nation Really Has the Most Progressive Tax Code?

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Posted on March 23 2011 7:05 pm

The more the rich pay in America, the more people insist that they’re getting a free ride. Never mind the fact that 47% of Americans pay no income tax at all, we have the 2nd highest corporate income tax in the world, and even if we confiscated EVERYTHING the rich are making, it wouldn’t fix our deficit woes. Somehow, they’re still getting off easy.

If only Americans would stop demanding all these tax cuts and would instead embrace the tax policies of our more enlightened European superiors! Well, here’s a little bad news for liberals who think that way. We’re already putting a higher tax burden on the rich in America than they do in Western Europe:

During my recent testimony before the Senate Budget Committee (found here), I cited an OECD statistic that the U.S. has the most progressive income tax system among industrialized nations.

The first column shows that the top 10 percent of households in the U.S. pays 45.1 percent of all income taxes (both personal income and payroll taxes combined) in the country. Italy is the only other country in which the top 10 percent of households pays more than 40 percent of the income tax burden (42.2%). Meanwhile, the average tax burden for the top decile of households in OECD countries is 31.6 percent.

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