Taxes are a reality that affects each one of us. From cigarette tax to income tax, there are scores of taxes, some hidden, that make a heavy impact on our lives and the country’s economy. It needs to be remembered that when talking about taxes, some people will gladly use tax myths if it suits them. Huffington Post reveals the tax myths that cause people to misunderstand how taxes affect them and the country.
“Any politician who promises to save every household $1,000 in taxes might be guaranteed an electoral victory. If Americans then learned that nobody was patrolling their streets, checking the safety of their buildings or water, operating their buses, teaching their children, or collecting their garbage, that politician’s popularity would be sure to fall.
What if they then discovered that it would cost them, say, $10,000 to buy those services on the private market? That politician would be best advised to get into another line of work.
That, at least in my mind, is “the high cost of low taxes.” Voters like to complain about politicians who promise too much. But when politicians claim that Americans can pay less in taxes, spend less on government, and sacrifice nothing in the way of services, that may be the biggest scam of all. Two American clichés come to mind: There ain’t no free lunch and pay now or pay later.”
There is a high cost of low taxes, and it affects healthcare and many other areas of the economy. The privatized health care system of the country demands more and gives less. Huffington Post has statistics to back the claim:
“The last study by the OECD showed that Americans paid $7,960 per year on average for health care, more than twice the $3,233 average for other developed countries . These figures are influenced by the enormous out-of-pocket costs Americans experience during catastrophic injuries, and also by our lack of effective cost controls — controls which would be very difficult for the private sector to put into place, even if it wanted to.
Despite our historically high levels of uninsured — a figure that should thankfully fall under the ACA — American physicians and facilities over treat their patients, leading to much higher utilization of high-cost procedures than what is found in other countries. Use of MRI scanners in the US is more than twice the average for developed nations. We average 213 knee replacements for every 100,000 people, compared to the OECD average of 116. Cardiac surgeons performed 377 coronary angioplasties per 100,000, double the OECD average of 188.”
Despite the overtreatment, there is little improvement in the health status: “Life expectancy at birth in the United States is 78.2 years, compared with 79.5 years in other developed countries. (Japan’s life expectancy is 83 years.) US expected lifespan is, in fact, the shortest of any among the countries we normally think of as ‘developed’. Our infant mortality rate is 6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, half as high as other developed countries (a category which includes newly developed nations like Turkey and Russia).”
The cause for worry is that the high cost of low taxes is not limited to an industry. The high cost of low taxes is an important revelation that will make us look differently to the taxes we pay and for what we pay them.