Oct 24

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How taxation by government has changed

Fun with tax


How taxation by government has changed

DEPENDING on your viewpoint, tax may be the price of civilisation or it may be a form of legalised theft. What is undoubtedly true is that it is less onerous now than was the case until recently, in the rich world at least. New data released by the OECD show that, measured by the share of GDP gobbled up by the taxman, tax burdens have come down in most countries since the turn of the 21st century. Within this macro trend, two smaller ones stand out. First, all the countries that were members of the European Economic Community in 1975 pay a smaller share of their GDP in dues to the European Union than they did then, suggesting talk of a ravenous Leviathan in Brussels is overdone. Second, in much of the rich world there is a trend towards taxes being spent in state and local government, rather than central government. America’s politicians, who spend much time railing against federal bureaucracy, have yet to notice this.


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