Cheering on Tax Increases
Mark Steyn cites some interesting stats in this tax-day column:
For one thing, pretty much everywhere else got with the Big Government program well ahead of America and long ago figured out all the angles: Two-thirds of French imams are on the dole. In the Stockholm suburb of Tensta, 20 percent of women in their late 40s collect disability benefits. In the United Kingdom, 5 million people — a tenth of the adult population — have not done a day’s work since the New Labour government took office in 1997.
America has a ways to go in catching up with those enlightened jurisdictions, but it’s on its way. Rep. Paul Ryan pointed out recently that, by 2004, 20 percent of U.S. households were getting about 75 percent of their income from the federal government. As a matter of practical politics, how receptive would they be to a pitch for lower taxes, which they don’t pay, or lower government spending, of which they are such fortunate beneficiaries? How receptive would another fifth of households, who receive about 40 percent of their income from federal programs, be to such a pitch?