Focus Point - The Misery IndexCommentary by Pete du Pont
March 09, 2000
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. The press tells us Americans don't want a tax cut. So I'll tell you about Ernst and Young's Jack Anderson, and his Misery Index.
Anderson adds the top marginal tax rates, wealth tax, social security and sales tax for various countries, and figures out who gets hit hardest.
Germany's high rating means trouble, but that rating will fall after various new tax cuts start kicking in.
Meanwhile, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Austria and Greece are in bad shape -- overtaxed European countries top-heavy with bureaucracies. They trail the relatively freer and unburdened Britain and Ireland in growth and productivity.
France is the worst -- and why not? Their tax and regulation-hammered economy is staggering.
The state share of GDP exceeds 45 percent. So is there any doubt why half a million French citizens now live in the UK? And 60,000 French engineers live in Silicon Valley? Maybe some indifferent Americans should have them over for dinner -- and talk a bit about taxes in our country.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, batter up.