Jefferson City, MO 70° View Live Radar Fri H 84° L 60° Sat H 83° L 60° Sun H 86° L 68° Weather Sponsored By:

Your Opinion: Free stuff not free

Your Opinion: Free stuff not free

February 7th, 2019 in Opinion

Bert Dirschell

Centertown

Dear Editor:

Democrats want a bigger federal government and “More Free Stuff.” They want all the free stuff that is handed out in European nations. The question is, who will pay for the free stuff?

We hear a lot about top tax rates but we don’t often hear much about what the average person/family pays. Investopedia recently published an article on the average taxes paid by an average earning single and an average earning family with two children.

The following are the five countries with the highest tax rates for an average income single person: Belgium 42.0 percent, Germany 39.7 percent, Denmark 36.1 percent, Austria 34.9 percent and Hungary 34.5 percent. The equivalent rate in the U.S. is 25.6 percent. If you are an average earning single person in the U.S. you can have all the free stuff if you are willing to pay 40 percent more in taxes.

The following are the five countries with the highest tax rates for average income couples with two children: Turkey 25.8 percent, Denmark 25.3 percent, Finland 25.2 percent, Netherlands 23.8 percent and Norway 23.0 percent. The comparable rate in the U.S. is 13.7 percent. If you are married and have two children you can have all the free stuff if you are willing to pay 80 percent more in taxes.

European nations hide the true cost of free stuff with a value added tax (VAT). Virtually everything a person buys in Europe is subject to the VAT. It is similar to a sales tax but rather than being applied to the value of the purchase it is hidden in the price of the item. VAT’s range from 17 to 27 percent, depending on the nation.

The cost of Germany’s “Social Security Insurance” is worth noting. The employers rate is 21 percent of the employees gross earnings and the employee pays 19.4 percent of gross earnings.

A German citizen pays 19.4 percent on his/her gross salary for Social Security Insurance, then pays a 17 percent sales (VAT) tax on virtually every purchase he/she makes and then is subject to a “progressive income tax.” Free stuff ain’t free, nor do only the rich pay for it.