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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Retro Housewife Survival Guide - Taxes - Know The Facts

I was snooping around the OECD statistical site the other day - what can I say - the geek in me is alive and well - and I happened upon a lovely little chart which compares taxes as a percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for a selection of different countries. I found this chart very interesting - and somewhat surprising. The biggest of the surprises is that the US pays a larger percentage of its GDP than France or Germany - two countries that are often tossed into the "Socialist Ring" by the wing nut commentators who see Socialists behind every bush. Both France and Germany have a national health care system (national - not nationalized although I am not very knowledgeable about France's system so I could be wrong there.)

What a big joke on us! - No surprise that Scandinavia pays the biggest share in taxes - they never met a social program they didn't like - but there aren't that many of them1 anyway and they are too busy working on their tans in Southern Europe to be a relevant comparison to the USA. The France and Germany thing was a huge surprise though. I would love to have Germany's health care system here in the US - and the numbers above seem to indicate that it is possible without taxing oneself to death. Still, one has to wonder just what we are spending all of our tax money on - we sure do not have anything close to the level of social services that Germany has - when I lived there the government was throwing money at us at every turn.

And the nursery schools! You would not believe the nursery school and Kindergarten my kids went to in Munich. My daughter went mornings from 8 - 12 (she was 4 and turned 5) and my son went twice a week for a few hours (he was 2 and turned 3). This was enough to give me some "Me time" because other than teaching a few English classes, I wasn't employed outside the home. (My son was actually enrolled full time, it cost us about $100/month for what could have been full time childcare, which pretty darn cheap.)

My son's Kinderkrippe (Nursery school) had one caretaker for each 8 children enrolled. These ladies were all licensed and trained to be doing what they were doing. Here is a copy of all that goes into their training.

The also manage to keep their roads in good repair in Germany - granted we have longer roads to build - but they have to keep theirs up to German standards - so my guess is that it evens out.

War is expensive. We fight a lot of wars. Maybe that's where we are tossing our cash out the window.

Finally, one surprising and extremely annoying statistic was that of our neighbor Mexico. They pay less than 5% of their GDP in taxes - compared to our 15%. In other words, we here in the USA pay 3 times the taxes as a percentage of GDP than Mexico does.

3 Times!

Mexico pays the smallest percentage on the whole list. So, when, for example, I hear Arnold our governor telling me to vote for propositions 1A - 1F - which are going to raise my taxes - I really must object. I know that we here in Kalifornia are paying to educate a fair number of illegal aliens from Mexico and children of illegal aliens who are born here - which we also pay for - how many exactly is a number we are not allowed to know.

I will be voting against propositions 1A - 1F because what those politicians in Sacramento are trying to pull on the Californian people is nothing short of criminal. I also really have to wonder just who is funding all of the Latino lobbies pushing amnesty and "fighting" for all of the social benefits to be extended to illegal aliens.

It seems to me that if they really cared about the Mexican poor, they would fight to have the rich in Mexico pay their fair share in taxes so that these people could have a decent life in their own country. But they don't. I would not be at all surprised to find a money trail from Mexico to political activists in this country. After all, why should the rich in Mexico pay for social programs for the Mexican poor when we are stupid enough to do it? Keeps their taxes nice and low.

BTW, Mexico has 9 official billionaires (not counting drug lords) - as does Switzerland and Sweden.


1(It is my belief that a socialist or even communist system only works well in small populations - like a family: Mom and Dad are the Politburo and the KGB and everything they earn belongs to the children, who they spend a good portion of their time spying on and trying to control. The children are required to tow the party line or else they'll get sent to Siberia (their rooms) limits are placed on the children's freedom of speech, and they are only allowed to view party approved television programs. Mom and Dad love all the children the same, regardless of talent and ability bestowed on each child.)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found your blog by looking up "Mexico taxes" on Google.

I remember reading the Mexicans were "untaxed." You chart shows that they sure are!! Obviously the poor can't pay much, but Mexico is something like #15 in the world in terms of income, so there are plenty who could pay much more.

Like you, I'm sick of being asked to take over the burden of Mexico's haves. I think they need another revolution down there, and quick. Now they're oppressing their own poor and us too.