But freeman, you are wrong about the taxes...here it is 40% of the GNP.
My property taxes for next year will be over $6000. Just an old rundown house, a pair of outbuildings and two acres of property.
Since Bush reduced federal assistance to the states, most local government has fallen back on regressive taxation like property taxes to make up the difference.
It is difficult to estimate the real percentage of income going toward taxation for that reason. At the lower socioeconomic levels, I would guess well over 50%. People compensate by going further and further into debt. The high standard of living that you still perceive when you as an outsider visit this country is largely enabled by the big debt bubble.
And with no national health insurance program, most families are now paying $500-$1000 monthly out of their own pockets for private health care insurance, even those with employer coverage.
We are not as wealthy as we look.