The United States is a low-tax country

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Remember the distinction between marginal income taxes and the effective tax rate.  The marginal income tax rate is the tax on income above a certain high threshold.  Nobody pays 35 percent of their total income in federal income taxes.

U.S. taxes on corporations, investments and estates also are low, by historic standards and in comparison with other countries, as the charts below show.

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Many average Americans are allergic to tax increases because their earning power is stagnant.   That is also why they are so concerned about inflation.  If their earning power was going up as in previous generations, they wouldn’t be so concerned about taxes and prices eating into it.   This provides cover for high net worth individuals who can afford somewhat higher taxes.

Some intelligent and public-spirited rich people, such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, recognize that it is better for them to pay somewhat higher income taxes than for the U.S. government to cease to meet its responsibilities.

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