U.S. Taxes and Government Benefits in an International Context

3 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2013

Date Written: December 24, 2012

Abstract

This articles examines newly published OECD data on taxes as a share of GDP. It argues that the percentage for the U.S. understates the true burden of government because it excludes tax expenditures. The data overstate the percentage for European countries because those countries provide health insurance, which Americans must pay for out of pocket. When reasonable adjustments are made to the data, the US tax/GDP ratio is close to the OECD average, rather than being well below average, as the raw data indicate.

Keywords: OECD

JEL Classification: K34, H20

Suggested Citation

Bartlett, Bruce, U.S. Taxes and Government Benefits in an International Context (December 24, 2012). Tax Notes, Vol. 137, No. 13, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2196931

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