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One factor that is overlooked is the percentage of the US budget spent on militarism compared with other industrialized countries.

The effective rate in the US is about 50%. As a consequence many people have an anti-tax attitude since they are not getting value for their taxes. The social programs that taxes fund in Europe are only being used half as efficiently in the US.

This lets the neo-cons build on the anti-tax feeling and blame the tax rate on social programs (especially for the poor). The net result is that safety net programs in the US are underfunded compared to elsewhere. Part of this libertarian mindset is to blame poverty on the victims as some sort of moral failing.

Just today a government commission recommended cutting back on the tax exemption for home mortgage interest. This will impact the middle class. In addition they recommended eliminating the alternate tax which affects only the wealthy. Just another example of shifting the burden to those least able to afford it.

I've written about the problems with wealth redistribution in this short essay:
Wealth Distribution

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Wed Oct 12th, 2005 at 11:14:13 AM EST

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