The Obligatory April 15th Tax Post

Rather than forcing my opinions about taxes on you, I thought I’d pass along some solid information from Keith Hennessey’s blog. He has some very easy to read graphs that demonstrate the trend in taxes since the end of World War ll. 

Here are the very simple conclusions he draws from the charts:

  1. Federal taxes have remained roughly constant as a share of the economy since the end of World War II, at just over 18% of GDP (I use 18.1%, others use 18.3%).
  2. Even if federal taxes remain constant as a share of GDP, total taxes collected by the federal government are going up in real terms.
  3. In contrast to federal taxes, State and local taxes have grown fairly steadily since 1950.
  4. So the trend line of government’s take of the U.S. economy is steadily upward since the end of World War II, from around 21% of GDP in 1950 to about 28% now.  Seven cents more of each dollar earned are going to government now than in 1950.     
    You might want to bookmark the page as it will be germane to some forthcoming policy debates.

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