Long/Short Equity, Portfolio Strategy
Contributor Since 2009
I'm not a glutton for punishment, but I was somewhere and saw a New York Times on the floor-so I picked it up.
Anyway, I see this article titled "America's Aversion to Taxes" and it's laced with all the dumb nonsense that celebrates socialism while promoting racism. This is the one-two punch the administration and its media allies have decided to go with. The author Eduardo Porter paints this glorious picture of socialized medicine in Europe, particularly Italy where greatness is measured by a social safety net rather than opportunity and upward mobility. Huge welfare and the veneer of free medicine is how the NY Times measures richness. Italy is in deep trouble and is anything but the ideal place for America to emulate.
It would be like Usain Bolt asking me for tips on running and staying in shape.
Let's talk facts. According to the World Health Organization, the United States spent 15.2% of GDP on healthcare in 2008. This is the highest percentage in the world and heading to 20% in the next few years.
The $2.3 trillion spent on healthcare in the United States in 2008 is greater than the entire GDP of Italy ($2.19t), Spain ($1.49t), Netherlands ($836.3b), Sweden ($538.1b), Denmark ($332.6b), Greece ($298.7b) and Portugal ($237.0b) while France barely beats it with $2.7 trillion. America spent $256.0 billion on healthcare in 1980, which means the outlay has grown 4 times faster than inflation.
It's not that America isn't pumping enough money into healthcare; it's how that money is spent. The same with education, which is also mentioned in the article. As for free healthcare ... nothing is free. From VAT taxes, to sky-high gas to massive individual income taxes
Europeans are paying for their welfare states big time. Check out the table and see just how expensive it is to live in those wonderful European nations that are so much nicer to its population than America. I put gas prices on the table because more than half the price at the pump comes from taxes, from $5.40 in France to $6.00 in the Netherlands. By the time anyone gets to the hospital, they have more than paid for the work that by the way is nowhere near as great as in America (the photo of that great Italian hospital looked like an old WWII temporary US military hospital).
Moreover, the lack of entrepreneurs, innovation and real redistribution of wealth that turns poor families rich from hustle and smarts is non-existent. But, wait, there's more. The article says high taxes work in Europe because white people don't mind helping white people, but we hate the idea of helping blacks in the United States. At this very moment, Belgium is on the cusp of separating into two separate nations based on the fact the hard workers in the north hate paying for the French-speaking freeloaders in the south. The same in Italy where all the industrious north is seething as their tax Euros flow to the beaches of lazy folk in the south.
I personally abhor the idea of any person of any race sucking up my tax dollars without trying to get a job. I don't like them buying drugs with my tax dollars. I don't like them getting tattoos with my tax dollars. I don't like them going clubbing with my tax dollars.
The only thing the article got right is how wealth in Europe historically came for a special class, mostly royals and their close advisers. Of course, anyone would feel frustration, and anyone would vote to attack that wealth via higher taxes but America creates new millionaires. Heck, as much as liberals are trying to create the image of burning crosses at GOP headquarters, if they get their way blacks would have been limited to only one generation with a legitimate chance of earning great wealth. And if this is where the nation hits the pause button and coast, blacks would remain permanently at the bottom of the totem pole.
What person in the country would want to exchange our economy for any in Europe? There is no "free" health care and there is no upward mobility and there is no future greatness unless they pry themselves off giant taxes and huge government spending.
So in the end I say, "Damn Skippy we hate higher taxes because it's stupid and unfair to punish success."