“The High Cost of Low Taxes”


Over at, Joshua Holland started a series last week about the hidden costs of the push for lower taxes. Holland notes that compared to European countries, “we pay a hugely disproportionate share of the costs out-of-pocket*, through the private sector. And when things go badly – when misfortune hits — the safety net that we fall back on is truly pathetic in comparison. Call it the great American rip-off.” (Holland is using “out-of-pocket” to include all private-sector social spending.)

Holland’s “The High Cost of Low Taxes” mentions the experience of Asheville local, Leslie Boyd, whose son, Mike, died of complications from untreated cancer. Mike couldn’t get insurance at any price in the “free market.”

While the United States ranks third from the bottom in total taxation among OECD countries in 2010, “it’s almost a wash when you add back what we spend out-of-pocket.” And what we get for it is much worse.

At Campaign for America’s Future, R.J. Eskow observes,

Conservatives like to complain about politicians who promise too much. But when politicians claim that Americans can pay less in taxes, spend less on government, and sacrifice nothing in the way of services, that may be the biggest scam of all.

Holland’s series continues in “How Private-Sector Health Costs Are Killing the American Dream.”

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