Why the US Should Raise Taxes German Example Shows Way Out of Debt Crisis

Almost all the industrialized economies are struggling under the weight of enormous debt levels. The problem is their government revenues are too low. Debt-ridden countries like the United States, Ireland and Japan need to raise their taxes to a similar level to Germany.
Von Peter Bofinger
A collapsed bridge in Minneapolis (2007 photo): The US already spends less than average on infrastructure.

A collapsed bridge in Minneapolis (2007 photo): The US already spends less than average on infrastructure.

Foto: SCOTT OLSON/ AFP
Graphics Gallery: The Most Important Facts about the Global Debt Crisis
Foto: DER SPIEGEL
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Graphics Gallery: The Most Important Facts about the Global Debt Crisis

Current and Projected Surpluses/Deficits of Selected OECD Countries, 2011(as a percentage of GDP)

Rank Country Current budget surplus/deficit Surplus/deficit if country had German-level revenues Surplus/deficit if country had revenues equivalent to the euro-zone average
1 Ireland -10.1 -2.3 -0.7
2 United States -10.1 1.9 3.5
3 Japan -8.9 3.1 4.7
4 United Kingdom -8.7 -6.9 -5.3
5 New Zealand -8.5 -3.0 -1.4
6 Greece -7.5 -6.2 -4.6
7 Spain -6.3 0.8 2.4
8 Portugal -5.9 -4.3 -2.7
9 Poland -5.8 -2.6 -1.0
10 Slovenia -5.6 -6.1 -4.5
Source: OECD
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