Debt, tax collection, GDP numbers?

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I was listening to TH a few weeks ago and he mentioned something about how tax collection as a % of GDP or debt or something to that matter was the lowest it has been in a long time. I believe that number was right around 15%, and this was one of the reasons we don't have enough money to pay for many of the social programs we have. Does anyone know or have those statistics he may have been referring to? Thank you.

SUNDVLMIKE's picture
SUNDVLMIKE
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May 31, 2011, 6:00 AM

Are Taxes in the U.S. High or Low?By BRUCE BARTLETT

Bruce Bartlett has served as an economic adviser in the White House, the Treasury Department and Congress.

Historically, the term “tax rate” has meant the average or effective tax rate — that is, taxes as a share of income. The broadest measure of the tax rate is total federal revenues divided by the gross domestic product.

By this measure, federal taxes are at their lowest level in more than 60 years. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that federal taxes would consume just 14.8 percent of G.D.P. this year. The last year in which revenues were lower was 1950, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

The postwar annual average is about 18.5 percent of G.D.P. Revenues averaged 18.2 percent of G.D.P. during Ronald Reagan’s administration; the lowest percentage during that administration was 17.3 percent of G.D.P. in 1984.

In short, by the broadest measure of the tax rate, the current level is unusually low and has been for some time. Revenues were 14.9 percent of G.D.P. in both 2009 and 2010.

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Phaedrus76
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Thank You!

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SUNDVLMIKE
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Clinton had around 19.5% of gdp in 2001 while spending was 18.5% gdp in 2001, thus a surplus. W increased spending to 23.5% of gdp while cutting revenue to 14.5% of gdp. See you had to cut the revenue for the job creators. Clinton created 22,000,000 jobs with 19.5%. W created 175,000 with 14.5%.

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douglaslee
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Quote douglaslee:

Clinton had around 19.5% of gdp in 2001 while spending was 18.5% gdp in 2001, thus a surplus. W increased spending to 23.5% of gdp while cutting revenue to 14.5% of gdp. See you had to cut the revenue for the job creators. Clinton created 22,000,000 jobs with 19.5%. W created 175,000 with 14.5%.

Oh there the liberals go again. Using facts and numbers to make a point... Shock and AWE! Tax cuts! Beefcake!

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Phaedrus76
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Sep. 14, 2010 7:21 pm

"Taxes" and "Taxes Collected" are two separate ideas. We are "taxed" when the government spends money.

chilidog
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Plus Who is paying tax has changed.

Above comments answer the what question for income tax really well, and that explains the shortfall - but the bigger shift has been in the who-pays (transfer onto the Lower & Middle Income earners from Corporations and .01%ers).

Also, the distractors tend to ignore all the taxes on living like Sales Taxes and Propertry Taxes and Excise Taxes and Social Security/Medicare Taxes, etc. when they do their faux debates.

Wage-earners have to spend pretty much all of their net income in living expenses. The uberWealthy do not - which means those who can most afford to pay more in income tax (because they pay so much lower part of their income in Property/Sales/SS&M, etc.) - are the ones doing the least compared to their tax-bracket forebearers - which is why it [talking only about income tax] is considered a rigged argument.

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Rodger97321
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Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm
Quote chilidog:

"Taxes" and "Taxes Collected" are two separate ideas. We are "taxed" when the government spends money.

Absolutely, but the question was about taxes, and not the Freidman view vs a classical view, and policy implications, crowding out etc.

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Phaedrus76
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The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.

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