Sweden’s GDP willÂ hit roughlyÂ 7%Â in the first quarter of 2011 despite something we are all supposedÂ to fearÂ — high Swedish taxes.
But I love Swedish taxes. Yup I said it. Sure we pay a lot of taxes in Sweden. This includes a 25% sales tax, income tax, and a super progressive tax.
Personally, I’mÂ sick and tired of hearing people complain about higher taxes.
Rich Swedes pay a ton ofÂ taxes, up to 65% for the richest.Â Isn’t that great? In the United States, the rich pay somewhere between 40 and 48%.Â YouÂ may have noticed the American economy isn’t doing so well right now. When the tax code in America was more progressive, the country was doing much better than it is today.
Call me a crazy socialist, an old-fashioned European. But you know what, Sweden still has a thriving middle class. The same can’t be saidÂ for many other countries, such as the United States, where the middle class is under serious threat.
According to a recentÂ OECD report, Sweden spends more of its GDP on social services such as free education and health care than any other country in the world. Who can argue with that?
And it works. Even Bill Clinton says the Swedish model is back in fashion.
So, tonight, I will go out and have a few drinks, happy to buy a beer, and pay extra for it, knowing that the money isÂ funding something greatÂ like free education orÂ public transportation.
Those of you with opinions on taxes, tell us which system you think works best and why.