US top tax rate would be 52% with health surtax

July 15, 2009

Curtis Dubay of the Heritage Foundation emails me:

As calculated by the Tax Foundation, when factoring in the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, average state and local income taxes, Medicare taxes, and the new surtax, the average top marginal income tax rate in the U.S. would be 52 percent!

The top rate in the U.S. would then be higher than countries like France, Canada, Italy, Spain and Germany. Only 3 countries in the 30-member OECD, an association of the most economically developed countries in the world, would have a higher rate. Taxpayers in the 6 highest taxed U.S. states would pay higher rates than every country in the OECD except Denmark. Taxpayers in every state, even the 9 that do not levy a state income tax, would face a higher top marginal rate than taxpayers in 21 out of the 30 OECD countries.

Read the whole paper here:


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Why the surprise at a 52% tax rate, Mr. Pethokoukis? Run the numbers!
Other countries don’t have 6th Fleets patrolling the seas, 1,500+ nuclear warheads and the largest military on Earth. Who do you expect to pay for all that? Are you one of the people who complain after an expensive dinner, expecting a discount because your peas were over-cooked? 52% is a good deal for all of that- unless you are one of those who expect others to pay for things- which seems to be one of the more dislikeable traits of wealthy Americans: you are in the land that enabled you to make the money, why not pay the taxes to keep it going?
Shame on you- or perhaps I am wrong- explain yourself.

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

I’m one of the many Americans without healthcare. And yes, I would appreciate having it, but I’m not in need of going to the doctor often because I focus on preventative healthcare and proper diet. I would rather see this money go towards better food quality for low-income people rather than healthcare. I have a friend who, in their mid-30’s, is diabetic because he didn’t eat good food because he’s poor. Let’s cut down on the corn and sugar in our processed foods, make organic fruit and vegetables more affordable and teach people the importance of eating right, with proper proportions. Let’s alleviate stress in American’s lives to make ends meet by lowering the costs of the basics: phone, gas, food and housing. Stress is the leading factor in any kind of sickness, physical or mental. To financially stabilize our society and keep them healthy, let’s try to bring the middle class back….and taxing American’s over 50% won’t solve that.

Posted by meg | Report as abusive