Gauging Tax Rate Level “Fairness” – Comparing Rates across Developed Countries

Tax rates are ever-changing. Often times, they change as a result of burgeoning national expense projections and increased reliance on government programs. When rates happen to increase, most taxpayers sigh collectively. But why (other than their pockets being dug into a bit deeper)? What is the basis for their discontent? In other words, what triggers united taxpayer belief that higher rates, at any level, are “unfair?”

In his 2009 article titled “Tax Tea Party Time?”, Bruce Bartlett addresses the habitual unfairness argument by (1) comparing U.S. income tax rates and revenues with other developed countries and (2) following U.S. income tax rate changes in relation to national Gross Domestic Product and other statistics. His findings regarding U.S. income tax rates just may surprise even the most ardent tax opponents.

Photo by: Max Klingensmith