Here’s an interesting quote from the article:
The U.S. generally has lower taxes than European countries but our overall federal tax system is unusually progressive. By contrast to the U.S. federal government, like it or not, European governments are raising lots of revenue from low-income people to pay for the services provided to them, as this article in The Economistclearly explains. The result is more revenue but also more government (and still some deficits). Americans like to think they are very different from Europeans. They claim to prefer smaller government and lower taxes. But what they’ve got instead is lots of spending that most taxpayers would rather not pay for.
This, by the way, is why I thought the Bush years were so toxic. Cutting taxes while increasing spending dramatically — Bush increased real spending by 60 percent, as opposed to Clinton’s increase of 12.5 percent — is a recipe for large deficits leading more taxes later or certainly intense pressure to raise taxes. My colleagues Matt Mitchell and Andrea Castillo have a new paper on this issue that I highly recommend for those considering the current debate. This mentality persists today: We are faced with large deficits but many lawmakers still aren’t serious about restraining spending, choosing instead to retreat behind a debate over the tax treatment of high-income earners.