Jeff ID at The Air Vent Blog takes a clear-eyed look at government taxing and spending.
There is a lot of dogma in politics regarding tax rates and general government performance. I personally have found that most people make statements about politics with literally zero data. On thanksgiving, I spent about 4 hours on the government data website – http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm looking at various numbers reported there. A reader, who shall be unnamed, even stopped by recently claiming that taxes were lower than 1950, conservatives only make decisions with emotion (a common claim applied to today’s Marxist authoritarian-style liberals) and even that we should have an 80% of GDP tax rate to maximize government revenue.
Why maximization of government revenue (and therefore influence) is assumed a positive goal, is something you should ask one of those authoritarians, because it runs counter to everything a government should be attempting to do. Still, I found some interesting facts about government tax taking and spending.
Are we paying more taxes than before? Taxes are taken from us in so many ways, it is very difficult to add it up. It seems from those of us experiencing it, that taxes are continually on the rise and rarely pull back even a little. Taxes are a financial load, where they are taken from does have an effect, but how much is being paid in total is important when we consider the cost to society. First I looked at the per capita tax payed into government across all sources. (more…)