Higher taxes or … you decide

Is our national debt too high?
If so how do we tackle it?
We can reduce spending or increase taxes or some combination of both.

The political left says raise taxes, but only on the wealthy. The political right says cut spending – mostly on social spending – on the assumption they are misused.

The left says work requirements are unfair, unnecessary and too onerous to comply with. That most people who can work do work.
The right says work requirements need to be strengthened.

Somewhere in the middle are the facts and the truth.

The US debt to GDP ratio is 120%. Only a few countries in the world are higher.

The countries with the lowest ratio also generally have the highest income and sales taxes, but not necessarily the highest corporate taxes.

The countries with the most extensive social programs have the highest taxes on all their citizens, including national sales taxes (VAT).

The United States currently spends about 10% of the federal budget on social safety net programs (excluding Medicaid)

Tiny Denmark spends 43.8% of its federal budget on social programs. 30% of its workforce is employed by government. The US is about 6%.
Denmark has a standard VAT of 25% (sales tax).


  1. “The countries with the most extensive social programs have the highest taxes +on all their citizens+, including national sales taxes (VAT).”


    “…on all their citizens…” was stressed, but clearly, after taxes AND transfers there is a net redistribution. A very substantial redistribution in most cases.

    It would be interesting to see how much of that net transfer is due to medical care.


  2. Mr Quinn- Probably not your fault but on today’s posting parts of the commentary showed up as white lettering on a light gray background;  very difficult for these old eyes to read.  Not impossible, just a little challenging. I enjoy reading your posts daily! Smith SmallwoodSummerville, SC


    1. I just checked and todays post is normal black type on white. I try to avoid the gray because other people say the same thing as you. Seems like problem might be on your end.


  3. Our over sized bloated incompetent federal government has sufficient funding for its basic functions. Unfortunately it has stepped beyond its original functions, and purpose. Each year it grows in control, size, and inefficiency. There will never be enough money to satisfy it.
    A simple reflection on its most recent major undertakings is a prime example, catastrophic failure occurred. This includes pandemic response, withdrawal from Afghanistan, Ukraine involvement.
    Sorry, it’s corrupt, incompetent, over sized. I can’t see it ever shrinking in size. If someone like Coolidge was our current president, the powers that be would get rid of him.


    1. Do you really think we should not be supporting Ukraine and thus send a message to Russia it can do as it pleases?


      1. While I do support Ukraine, Europe should step up greater than the presently are. We send billions $$ to Ukraine, yet some of troops need food stamps to put enough food on the table. Somethings wrong.


      2. Should we not account for the spending.
        Last I heard nobody has kept track of it.
        Certainly we all know Ukraine has a corrupt government.


      3. Find a country without corruption Ukraine is not near the worst. No reason to abandon the people.


      4. In a word, yes. We shouldn’t be involved. If we had not interfered in the first place, the current situation probably wouldn’t have happened. All it would have taken was saying we wouldn’t let them join NATO.


      5. France did it for their own reasons, mostly to make things difficult for the British so they would be unable to confront the French as effectively as possible. We don’t need to do the same to Russia.


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