Study: U.S. #32 When It Comes To Tax Burden

by William Teach | September 15, 2014 8:13 am

That’s out of 34 nations, to be clear

(Wall Street Journal[1]) On Monday the Tax Foundation, which manages the widely followed State Business Tax Climate Index, will launch a new global benchmark, the International Tax Competitiveness Index. According to the foundation, the new index measures “the extent to which a country’s tax system adheres to two important principles of tax policy: competitiveness and neutrality.”

A competitive tax code is one that limits the taxation of businesses and investment. Since capital is mobile and businesses can choose where to invest, tax rates that are too high “drive investment elsewhere, leading to slower economic growth,” as the Tax Foundation puts it.

By neutrality the foundation means “a tax code that seeks to raise the most revenue with the fewest economic distortions. This means that it doesn’t favor consumption over saving, as happens with capital gains and dividends taxes, estate taxes, and high progressive income taxes. This also means no targeted tax breaks for businesses for specific business activities.” Crony capitalism that rewards the likes of green energy with lower tax bills while imposing higher bills on other firms is political arbitrage that misallocates capital and reduces economic growth.

The index takes into account more than 40 tax policy variables. And the inaugural ranking puts the U.S. at 32nd out of 34 industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

First you have high tax rates, so often used to punish and reward, then throw in missallocation of tax dollars to essentially reward campaign donors. Then you throw in a far left President and his political party which constantly talk about raising taxes and punishing companies and “the rich”, and it’s no wonder companies have been performing tax inversions more and more, as well as more and more people renouncing their US citizenship.

With the developed world’s highest corporate tax rate at over 39% including state levies, plus a rare demand that money earned overseas should be taxed as if it were earned domestically, the U.S. is almost in a class by itself. It ranks just behind Spain and Italy, of all economic humiliations. America did beat Portugal and France, which is currently run by an avowed socialist.

Only Saudi Arabia (55%) and Chad (40%) have higher[2] marginal corporate tax rates. The world wide average is 22.6%, with a weighted average of 30.6%.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[3]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[4].

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