America’s Tax System the Most Progressive

This is fascinating, and vital information:

Barack Obama’s admission that his policies would “spread the wealth around” has ignited a nationwide discussion of how progressive the tax system should be and how it should be used to redistribute income among Americans.  Obama has been very successful in bolstering the conventional wisdom that the U.S. tax system does not place a significant enough burden on wealthier households and places too much of a burden on the “middle class.”

But a new study on inequality by researchers at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris reveals that when it comes to household taxes (income taxes and employee social security contributions) the U.S. “has the most progressive tax system and collects the largest share of taxes from the richest 10% of the population.” As Column 1 in the table below shows, the U.S. tax system is far more progressive—meaning pro-poor—than similar systems in countries most Americans identify with high taxes, such as France and Sweden.

It’s more complex than that, and that’s discussed in the article–which is worth a read. But it shows that Obama, again, is either ignorant or deceptive. Or both. Not that I believe McCain is much better on this account.

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