The US Has Low Taxes — So Why Do People Feel Ripped Off?
David Cay Johnston explains what’s really been happening to our tax system:
Let me give you one killer figure: We spend so much money on our health care in this country — or as I prefer to think of it, sick care in this country — that for every dollar that the other 33 modern economies spend for universal coverage, we spend $2.64. And this is done using something called “purchasing parity dollars,” so they’re truly comparable. So we spend $2.64 per person and still have almost 50 million people with no coverage and 30 million with limited coverage, and these other countries spend far less with universal coverage.
Here’s how much that costs: In the year 2010, if we had had the French health care system, which is one of the most expensive in the world, it would have provided universal coverage and it also would have saved us so much money that we could have eliminated the individual income tax that year and all else would have been equal. Our excess health care costs above those of the French were a little over 6 percent of the economy and the income tax in 2010 brought in about 6 percent of the economy. (…)
We can continue to have this enormous military operation — one that I have been very critical of — we can continue to have that if we just fix the health care problem. So imagine what happens if we get our health care costs in line by doing what every one of our economic competitors has figured out is the cheapest thing to do: universal health care with little or no out-of-pocket expense. And if we then cut back on this enormous military, where we spend 42 percent of all the military spending in the world, we would be able to lower taxes, run surpluses, fund higher education and research that will make us wealthier in the future. It’s just two things we need to address — just two.
(via Matthew Tyndall)
Time-Lapse Filmed Entirely in the Video Game ‘Grand Theft Auto V’
This is fascinating on a lot of levels, the least of which is how thoroughly thought-out the visuals in GTA V are.
Like Guitar Hero for the piano. I love this, and it would be super fun to compete w/ friends.
More info at New Scientist.