Oops, 7 Days. Hey look I don't update on weekends.

Average taxation rate in America?

Is there any sort of statistic for the average tax, in percent of gross income, that a US household pays?

(Inspired by the Canada thread and saying that 50% of income was very high... it isn't.)
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 9:49am
Don' know if this will show correctly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Canada

International comparison
Comparison of taxes paid by a household earning the countries average wage

Country Single
no kids Married
2 kids Country Single
no kids Married
2 kids
Australia 28.3% 16.0% Korea 17.3% 16.2%
Austria 47.4% 35.5% Luxembourg 35.3% 12.2%
Belgium 55.4% 40.3% Mexico 18.2% 18.2%
Canada 31.6% 21.5% Netherlands 38.6% 29.1%
Czech Republic 43.8% 27.1% New Zealand 20.5% 14.5%
Denmark 41.4% 29.6% Norway 37.3% 29.6%
Finland 44.6% 38.4% Poland 43.6% 42.1%
France 50.1% 41.7% Portugal 36.2% 26.6%
Germany 51.8% 35.7% Slovak Republic 38.3% 23.2%
Greece 38.8% 39.2% Spain 39.0% 33.4%
Hungary 50.5% 39.9% Sweden 47.9% 42.4%
Iceland 29.0% 11.0% Switzerland 29.5% 18.6%
Ireland 25.7% 8.1% Turkey 42.7% 42.7%
Italy 45.4% 35.2% United Kingdom 33.5% 27.1%
Japan 27.7% 24.9% United States 29.1% 11.9%
Source: OECD, 2005 data [3]
Permalink Send private email Mongo 
September 7th, 2006 9:55am
Speaking as someone who's lived in the US and Canada for long periods of time, I can assure you the taxation in Canada is a lot less (or the US is a lot more) than it appears when you factor in medical, insurance, education, etc.
Permalink Send private email Mongo 
September 7th, 2006 9:57am
OK... that shows a 2-kid family paying twice as much in taxes in Canada than in America, but a single person paying only slightly more.

Interesting.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 9:59am
Education? Education through high school is free.
Permalink Send private email Philo 
September 7th, 2006 10:00am
You don't think that half of your income is a very high tax?

You really are a retard.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
September 7th, 2006 10:01am
Remember in the US that family will be paying :: US$ 1,000 / mo :: for medical insurance.
Permalink Send private email Mongo 
September 7th, 2006 10:01am
I looked at the citation for that table...

"For a family with one wage-earner and two children, only Iceland and Ireland have a lower income tax burden than the U.S., according to the most recent data for 2005."

Iceland?
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:02am
Interesting to see that Eastern European countries actually have higher tax rate than Western European countries.

I jus wonder how can these countries attract businesses and talents?
Permalink burner 
September 7th, 2006 10:07am
"You don't think that half of your income is a very high tax?

You really are a retard."

It buys me healthcare, retirement, education (including higher education), and public transport.

I doubt if anyone's calculated the cost of all those things in the US, though if they did the results would be fascinating.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:10am
"Interesting to see that Eastern European countries actually have higher tax rate than Western European countries.

I jus wonder how can these countries attract businesses and talents?"

Estonia has no corporate tax. There's income tax on dividends paid, but reinvested profit is not taxed at all. So there are throngs of subsidiaries getting their operating costs from the parent company.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:12am
I'm sure our effective tax rate is very high when you figure in the cost of services we have to provide ourselves.  However, I'd much rather pick my own private doctor than be locked into the seriously broken national healthcare systems they have in the UK or Canada.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
September 7th, 2006 10:12am
"Remember in the US that family will be paying :: US$ 1,000 / mo :: for medical insurance."

I'd be interested to see a cite on the cost vs. benefits of average access to healthcare. I know that $1k/month buys you pretty good coverage for a family of four with no assistance from an employer.

How many people are paying for their own coverage? What kind of coverage do they get? How many people are getting shitty HMO coverage from their employers? How many people are getting decent HMO coverage from their employers? How many people are getting good PPO coverage from their employers?

Cynics can say "I'm sure coverage for most people sucks" but I'd like to see actual numbers. I know the mortality statistics are a start, but there's more to it than that as well.

BTW, how are the health care professionals treated in Canada, the UK, and France? Are they happy? Encouraging others to pursue the field? Likely to stick around? What are your accidental mortality rates?
Permalink Send private email Philo 
September 7th, 2006 10:15am
"Remember in the US that family will be paying :: US$ 1,000 / mo :: for medical insurance."

OK, so if we take that figure, and the average household income is just over $40k ($43,318 in 2003), then medical insurance is a cost of 28%.

Wow.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:17am
Hmm.  Does that 30% include Social Security taxes?  I assume it does.

Also note in the US usually medical insurance is paid by the employer.  So individual rates may be very inflated.

Also note, under Clinton we had "the largest tax increase in history" in 1991.  It was nowhere near 50%, by the way.  It caused the country to kick the Democratic party out of congress.  But it also allowed us to balance the budget 3 years later.  It ALSO did not reduce the pace of business creation, did not reduce the pace of hiring, and did not put the US into an economic recession, despite dire predictions. 

Instead the economy boomed.

Under Bush, we've had the "largest tax cut in history".  Deficit spending boomed, and growth has been crawling along on a huge increase in Federal spending.
Permalink Somebody 
September 7th, 2006 10:17am
"However, I'd much rather pick my own private doctor than be locked into the seriously broken national healthcare systems they have in the UK or Canada."

*shrug* I can pick my GP and ask him/her to refer me to a particular specialist (as in, a particular person).
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:19am
Great, so your system works.  Are you telling me that it'd be better for the US, specifically, to institute a national health system, knowing how proficient our politicans are at fucking us over with a splintered broom handle?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
September 7th, 2006 10:20am
The tax rate table just reflect the income tax. In Canada you have to pay sales tax (15%, now lowered by 1%) on virtually everything. That adds a couple of thousand on top of the income tax. In overall, Canadians are paying much more tax than Americans.
Permalink burner 
September 7th, 2006 10:24am
The numbers for Canada are totally bullshit.

(this is all off the top of my head, but pretty close)

One thing that's missing from the table are the breakpoints where different marginal rates kick in.  In Canada they're much lower than the US.  By $60,000, you're in the highest tax bracket.

Federal income tax  34%
Provincial income tax  another 15%

In addition to straight income tax, there's a federal pension plan that you have to contribute to plus an unemployment insurance plan.  The pension plan will probably pay out something, but UI has so many restrictions that it generates a huge surplus that the government just spends, so it's like another tax.

Federal sales tax on almost everything except food  6%
Provinical sales tax on many items  7%

Civic taxes are pretty much only on property, I have no idea what the rates are.

Gasoline taxes are higher here than the US.

Medical - if you're employed, your company pays a bunch to the provincial government for medical "insurance."  If you're self-employed, you pay the premiums yourself, but they're a lot less.  If you're employed, you pretty much pay for prescription medicine yourself, but it's protected here, so it's less than the US.  Dental is either pay yourself of your company pays for a plan.

How well the medical system works is pretty much luck of the draw.  It takes a long time to see a specialist, but some of them you can see immediately if you pay it yourself.  Pre-natal care was excellent for us, but we found a good program.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
September 7th, 2006 10:24am
"Great, so your system works.  Are you telling me that it'd be better for the US, specifically, to institute a national health system, knowing how proficient our politicans are at fucking us over with a splintered broom handle?"

I am, if nothing else under the "it couldn't be any worse than the current system" principle.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:29am
"The tax rate table just reflect the income tax."

Ah, OK. That makes sense.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:30am
"I am, if nothing else under the "it couldn't be any worse than the current system" principle."

Oh cool - so you know the answers to all the questions I asked then. Or are you really judging the medical situation of 300,000,000 people based on the anecdotes you read in the news?
Permalink Send private email Philo 
September 7th, 2006 10:32am
It could be so, so much worse than the current system.  You only have to look at Medicare to see that.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
September 7th, 2006 10:33am
"It could be so, so much worse than the current system.  You only have to look at Medicare to see that."

How many people in the US today have no medical insurance of any type? I vaguely recall a figure of 40 million, though I'm not sure how accurate that is.

Centralized healthcare providing health insurance to everyone, even if it's so swamped that a lot of people pay for private care, is sure as hell better than that.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:36am
"BTW, how are the health care professionals treated in Canada, the UK, and France?"

France has, hands down, the best public healthcare in the world. The UK has a not so good reputation, but I've never used it so I'm just saying what I read. And I even know less about Canada.
Permalink Lustiges Häschen 
September 7th, 2006 10:36am
"Centralized healthcare providing health insurance to everyone, even if it's so swamped that a lot of people pay for private care, is sure as hell better than that."

It raises the price on private care, and more people are in the same terrible boat where healthcare is very low quality at the end of very long queues.

Currently we have "pretty good" healthcare, and people with no insurance can be treated without question and then make payment arrangements for the balance.  There are some (admittedly not enough) programs to help them defray the cost, too.

So yeah, the system has its issues but I'd much rather have it this way than universally poor (excepting the rich).
Permalink Send private email muppet 
September 7th, 2006 10:38am
Don't forget the stuff that is taken out pre-tax, such as 401(k) retirement savings, medical spending accounts, certain types of insurance.
Permalink xampl 
September 7th, 2006 10:39am
The big problem with both the US and Canada is that the systems are so huge that it's impossible to really control them.  All our government does is keep pumping money into health care, but we still have long wait times, so-so service in many cases.

To this point, I'm sure I've paid more in taxes than I've used in medical care, but it's nice to know that I more or less don't have to pay for some big illness.

But ultimately, the money has to come from somewhere.  If there were a way to stip of a couple dozen layers of beaurocracy, I think that would help.
Permalink Send private email Ward 
September 7th, 2006 10:39am
Also, the upshot of our current system is that even the very poor benefit from the "pretty good" healthcare quality in the US, with the caveat that they're responsible for the bill.  But they could pay $5/week for the rest of their lives and not be too badly impacted.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
September 7th, 2006 10:39am
"It raises the price on private care"

I doubt if private care could be much more expensive than it currently is in the US.

"and more people are in the same terrible boat where healthcare is very low quality at the end of very long queues"

My experiences with my country's national healthcare system do not substantiate this.

"people with no insurance can be treated without question and then make payment arrangements for the balance"

Really? There are no cases of denied treatment because of a lack of insurance?

"So yeah, the system has its issues but I'd much rather have it this way than universally poor (excepting the rich)."

Could it be because you're not the one without health insurance?
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:46am
"Also, the upshot of our current system is that even the very poor benefit from the "pretty good" healthcare quality in the US, with the caveat that they're responsible for the bill.  But they could pay $5/week for the rest of their lives and not be too badly impacted."

$5 per week? I doubt it. How much is the cost of an average ER patient's treatment?
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:48am
"My experiences with my country's national healthcare system do not substantiate this."

Let me paraphrase:

My limited and highly specific experiences do not substantiate this, even though there is documented evidence in other countries with national healthcare of EXACTLY what you're talking about.


***

After that, the rest of your silly post is pretty much moot.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
September 7th, 2006 10:49am
Show me the documented evidence?
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:50am
"Really? There are no cases of denied treatment because of a lack of insurance?"

No.  Such a practice is illegal and I've never experienced it or heard of it.

"Could it be because you're not the one without health insurance?"

No.  I had no health insurance for years.  That's why my credit score is so poor.

"$5 a week?  I doubt it."

A judge isn't going to force you to make payments that will break you financially.  When my medical debt rose in excess of $10,000, my court-ordered payments were $25/week.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
September 7th, 2006 10:50am
Also, my experiences have ranged from A&E, to ambulance service, to specialist treatments and consultations by world-class specialists. So no, your paraphrase is not accurate.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:51am
"A judge isn't going to force you to make payments that will break you financially.  When my medical debt rose in excess of $10,000, my court-ordered payments were $25/week."

Which, assuming some sort of interest, would take you nearly 10 years to pay off. Assuming you never needed medical treatment again in that time.

Yeah, the system works *fine*.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 10:54am
That was never my argument.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
September 7th, 2006 10:58am
Health care costs in the U.S. are entirely hidden from private individuals.  A person who doesn't get a plan through their employer can't buy an equivalent plan in the private market either, because they don't sell them.  Your insurance agent will try to tell you that they do, but if you look at what is covered you'll find that it's very very different.  My wife and I both found ourselves in that market, and what was offered was very depressing. 

My current health care coverage is costly roughly $4800 per year to my employer, possibly as much as $5000.  That's roughly 12% of my income, so the 33% taxation rate now bumps to 45% equivalent.  Except that the skinflint employer I work for wouldn't actually pay me the extra $5k if I opted out of the health care plan, or if we simply didn't carry a health care plan. 

Public transit benefits are very hard to judge, because we don't have any outside of some major cities.  But even in Canada, people still need to commute from what I understand.

We do pay for the education through taxes, but again hard to judge because the burden isn't shared proportionately.  In Michigan it's funded via sales tax at the State level, and locally supplemented via property taxes.  That means that some areas pay more for their schools than others, and renters don't directly pay for schools at all.  Here in Michigan sales tax is 6%, but that funds a lot more than just the schools, so it isn't very practical to add it in.
Permalink Send private email Clay Dowling 
September 7th, 2006 11:04am
"France has, hands down, the best public healthcare in the world."

That doesn't answer the question. It's that way right now, but is it maintainable? Are there enough doctors entering the system to keep it running? Are medical professionals trying to get *in* to the system or *out* of it?

I don't know the answers. Apparently neither does anyone on here.
Permalink Send private email Philo 
September 7th, 2006 11:11am
National healthcare systems do not raise the price of private care. Private healthcare monopolies raise the price of private care.

Private healthcare in the UK is relatively accessible to people without insurance, and private health insurance like BUPA is not vastly expensive. By relatively affordable I mean that you might pay from £5000 to £10,000 to have many routine surgical treatments done privately. Some people run up bigger credit card bills.
Permalink Send private email bon vivant 
September 7th, 2006 11:14am
"That doesn't answer the question. It's that way right now, but is it maintainable? Are there enough doctors entering the system to keep it running? Are medical professionals trying to get *in* to the system or *out* of it?"

In countries like France, being a doctor is quite the perfect job. Lack of professionals means they have extremelly high wages, their social status is that of a god (doctors tend to be extremelly arrogant around here) and with rare exceptions you are always employed by the state - employment for life, the Holy Grail of employment in Europe.

To deal with the lack of doctors, in Continental Europe there is a very big trend towards importing people from other countries. The chief exporter is Spain, where university averages are well below those from France, Germany and Portugal. Then you have Eastern Europem where for example there is a medical school in Czechoslovakia that takes students from all over the world and only teaches in english.

Yes, being a doctor is good. The hospitals are built to handle massive amount of persons in the fastest way possible, so no comforts. But I think the medical staff is pretty happy.
Permalink Lustiges Häschen 
September 7th, 2006 11:48am
Guys - I'm not going to dig out the stats yet again* but you'll find that the US pays more per head for public healthcare than we do as well as many times more per head for private healthcare. 

Looking at infant mortality and life expectancy figures it's clear you have different priorities in spending the money. You'll find the comparative figures for Cuba are also worth a look.

*try nationmaster or dig through the ?off archive.
Permalink Send private email a cynic writes... 
September 7th, 2006 12:16pm
Is there a huge difference in infant mortality?

Life expectancy depends on so many factors it is hard to conclude health care is the reason.
Permalink Rick Zeng/Tseng 
September 7th, 2006 12:52pm
"To deal with the lack of doctors, in Continental Europe there is a very big trend towards importing people from other countries."

+1. Finnish students are coming to my town to study medicine (because it's cheaper even if they have to pay for it, and with EU membership they don't), and University of Tartu nurse grads go to Norway for three years, and come back with enough in cash to buy a home, a car and a life.
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 12:54pm
>>> Health care costs in the U.S. are entirely hidden from private individuals. 

Same here.  In BC, if you were paying your own government health premiums, it's about $1200/yr for a couple.  If you're employed, I think your company pays a lot more, but I can't find anything online to verify that.  The number I've heard is twice as much, ie my employer is paying about $2500/year.

What doctors get paid is spelled out in gory detail:

http://www.healthservices.gov.bc.ca/msp/infoprac/physbilling/payschedule/index.html

>>> Public transit benefits are very hard to judge,

Public transit is a bit of a joke here.  Too expensive and too slow for short trips (e.g. it would take my wife at least an hour and $4 to drop our daughter off at pre-school and the same to pick her up vs. a 10-min drive).

Education is a bit of a joke as well, enrollment is declining these days, but the costs aren't.
Permalink Send private email Wärd 
September 7th, 2006 2:05pm
So health care insurance costs more for individuals than corporate group rates, except when it doesn't.

And health care costs are hidden in private insurere countries like the US. Except when it's more hidden in public insurer countries like Canada.

Wow. no one knows anything.
Permalink Send private email just me 
September 7th, 2006 2:17pm
"–≠Wow. no one knows anything."

Yeah, that's why I asked...
Permalink Send private email Flasher T 
September 7th, 2006 2:21pm
(it would take my wife at least an hour and $4 to drop our daughter off at pre-school and the same to pick her up vs. a 10-min drive)

Price is ok if you have monthly pass, which is about 2.5 per trip assuming 20 return trips.

The zoning rule is crazy though. It's not economical to go through zone border. Are Canadians too stupid to use more reasonable prizing scheme?

(This is above Vancouver)
Permalink Rick Zeng/Tseng 
September 7th, 2006 2:30pm
$70 for a one-zone pass.  Assuming 20 days of commuting, that's 40 trips, so about $1.75 per trip.  The passes are good if you know you'll use the bus at least 40 trips in a month, but if you miss a few trips, the cost goes up.

OTOH, if you buy a book of tickets, it's only a bit more at $1.85 per trip, but you have limited time to transfer: 90 minutes from when you first use the ticket.  So if you only use the bus some of the time, these are better.  But it's hard to use them for shopping, because by the time you get anywhere, you need to use a new ticket to get back. 

If we wanted to bus to the nearest Safeway, it's $1.85 per person per direction: $7.40  It's only about 15 minutes by bus, maybe 10 by car including parking, so it's not gonna use that much gas.


and stuff.  I used $4 to drop off and $4 to pick up assuming it wouldn't be possible to use the same ticket
Permalink Send private email Wärd 
September 7th, 2006 3:25pm

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