An Inconvenient Truth: We Already Have the Most Progressive Tax System in the World

This is from the OECD via Timothy Taylor:

Taxation is most progressively distributed in the United States, probably reflecting the greater role played there by refundable tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. … Based on the concentration coefficient of household taxes, the United States has the most progressive tax system and collects the largest share of taxes from the richest 10% of the population. However, the richest decile in the United States has one of the highest shares of market income of any OECD country.After standardising for this underlying inequality … Australia and the United States collect the most tax from people in the top decile relative to the share of market income that they earn.

Comments (7)

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  1. Chris says:

    Didn’t you get Obama’s memo? Never let facts get in the way of politics. The Ministry of Information has stated that the rich do not pay their fair share, they have never paid their fair share, and they will never pay their fair share.

  2. Len says:

    Interesting post.

  3. Buster says:

    It was a mistake to take people off the tax rolls. Everyone needs to participate and have a stake in paying the cost of government services. Only then can they appreciate that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

  4. Tom H. says:

    This is fascinating.

  5. Eric says:

    If you read the entire article, it says that the US has higher inequality, and that the author would advocate ” a somewhat higher marginal tax rate on those with very high income levels.”

  6. Dr. Steve says:

    Buster, not only should everyone pay, we should abolish withholding and make everyone write a check each time. Then they will start to recognize the pain.

  7. Ambrose Lee says:

    Can you really measure progressivity by only assessing tax revenues and their sources? Is it not also inherently necessary to assess where those revenues are going? Many other OECD countries run federal programs that almost exclusively benefit the poor (such as extensive national healthcare systems), whereas many programs in the United States benefit all citizens regardless of class. Is this effect negligible?