Myth 4: Europeans pay more taxes than Americans.

March 13, 2010 | Economic Opportunity Institute

FACT: For their taxes, Europeans receive a seemingly endless list of benefits and services for which Americans must pay extra, out-of-pocket, via premiums, deductibles, hidden fees, tuition and other charges, in addition to our taxes.

For example, many Americans who have health care coverage are paying escalating premiums and deductibles, while Europeans receive health care in return for a modest amount deducted from their paycheck. Other Americans are saving a hundred thousand dollars per child for their college education, yet European children attend for free or nearly so.

Millions of Americans are scraping to save the amount they will need for retirement beyond Social Security, but the European retirement system is much more generous. Many Americans pay extra for child care, or self-finance their own sick leave or parental leave after a birth, but Europeans receive all of these and more — in return for paying their taxes.

When you sum up the total balance sheet, it turns out that many Americans pay out as much as or more than Europeans — but we receive a lot less for our money.

– Steven Hill, guest blogger



Ed. comments:

You can see all the posts in this series here.

Steven Hill is the author of “Europe’s Promise: Why the European Way is the Best Hope in an Insecure Age” (www.europespromise.org). He’ll be visiting Seattle and Bellingham next week:

  • Monday March 15 at 11 a.m., interview on the Dave Ross Show, KIRO 97.3 FM
  • Monday March 15 at 7 p.m., presenting at the University of Washington Communications Building
  • Tuesday March 16 at 7:30 pm: presenting at Town Hall Seattle (tickets here)
  • Wednesday March 17, 7:00 p.m.: presenting at Village Books, Bellingham
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Posted in Health Care, Retirement Security, Work & Family

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