You don’t win friends doing it, but I’ve been trying to amplify the point that if you look at federal taxation from any angle you want, you will be very hard pressed to make an argument that Americans are overtaxed. Relative to our own past, to other advanced nations, to the optimal taxation literature…that argument is simply not in the data.
But what about state and local taxes? Have they gone up enough to offset the decline in federal taxation since 2000? Given all the different tax systems out there, it is of course not a simple question. But the answer appears quite clearly to be “no.” Sub-national tax analysts do not find consistent evidence of either higher tax rates or greater revenue collection appreciation over the past decade (outside of cyclical increases in property tax revenues associated with the housing bubble, which have, of course, evaporated).
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