The U.S. was the third least taxed country in the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2010, the most recent
year for which OECD has complete data.
Of all the OECD countries, which are essentially the countries the
U.S. trades with and competes with, only Chile and Mexico collect less
taxes as a percentage of their overall economy (as a percentage of gross
domestic product, or GDP).
This sharply contradicts the widely held view among many members of
Congress that taxes are already high enough in the U.S. and that any
efforts to reduce the federal deficit should therefore take the form of
cuts in government spending.
As the graph to the right illustrates, in 2010, the total (federal,
state and local) tax revenue collected in the U.S. was equal to 24.8
percent of the U.S.’s GDP.
The total taxes collected by other OECD countries that year was equal to 33.4 percent of combined GDP of those countries....
In 1979, the U.S. had the 16th highest taxes as a percentage of GDP, out of 24 countries at that time.
In 2010, the U.S. had the 32nd highest taxes as a percentage of GDP, out of 34 OECD countries.