2009 Tax Misery & Reform Index


(I’m not so much concerned with where these numbers are today as where they will be if Obama and the Dems have their way with us.)

Raising the Roof

Jack Anderson, 03.26.09, 05:00 PM EDT

Forbes Magazine dated April 13, 2009


Government taxing and spending is about to explode globally as countries confront the meltdown. Time to consult our annual entrepreneur’s guide to world taxation.

2009 Tax Misery & Reform Index

The Misery score is the sum of the taxes shown in the colored bars, at the highest marginal percentage in each locale.

It’s our best proxy for evaluating whether policy attracts or repels capital and talent.

The countries at the top of the chart impose the harshest taxes while those at the bottom are the most tax friendly.

The Reform column reflects a reduction in misery (a negative number highlighted in red) or an increase in misery in the past year.

In most of the world local governments are usually funded from property taxes, which aren’t part of the Misery Index.


Tax Burden & Spending (for the year 2007, except where noted)

This chart takes into account the total taxes, including “stealth” taxes (green and carbon taxes, for example) imposed by a country at all levels, national and local, as a share of GDP.

It includes as well overall government spending, which will only get worse in reaction to the economic meltdown and contracting economies around the world.

Some countries, such as Norway, are running large surpluses because of North Sea oil taxes.

Others, such as France, are spending more than they’re taking in.

The resulting deficits are covered by public debt repaid through future taxes and stealth taxes.

This breakdown is available only for OECD member countries (smaller than our Misery set) and uses the latest official 2008 data from the OECD for the year 2007, except where noted.


Why turn to Keynesian policies that will take a generation to undo? (Good Question)

Is the only response to the current financial and economic crisis the abandoning of the Reagan supply-side fiscal policy that spread around the world? That U.S. President’s success in lowering tax misery encouraged the private sector and, at least in part, resulted in the great U.S. expansion of 1982 to 2007. It is commemorated in our annual Tax Misery & Reform Index. Will declining tax misery now be replaced with a worn-out Keynesian fiscal policy of more government tax-and-spend and stagflation?

President Barack Obama’s Panglossian budget plans call for increasing tax revenue annually by over 40% of current levels by 2013 and eliminating President Bush’s tax reforms in 2011.

(Pan⋅gloss⋅i⋅an — characterized by or given to extreme optimism, esp. in the face of unrelieved hardship or adversity.)

Will the U.S.’ new tax policy thinking also lead Asia and the rest of the world into a new round of tax misery? India got a head start, going up a walloping 24 points on our index this year, by far the biggest one-year gain. India is part of an Asian trend toward the social coverage costs of Europe, with a jump in social security charges for both the employer and employee (replacing an employee provident fund).

Other Asian countries inflicting pain: China and Thailand, which were up seven and five points, respectively. China, suffering from the economic slowdown, is putting in place massive infrastructure spending. For workers suffering from the slowdown, the country is further expanding its social security coverage and related levies. The sensitive and changing political environment in Thailand is allowing upward tax drift.


New Zealand is where it’s at!

Going the other, brighter direction, New Zealand leads Asia-Pacific by reducing tax misery by nine points, mainly through individual income tax and social security reductions that are designed to give a stimulus to personal spending. Other places that have reduced tax pain: Korea, which lowered top rates and provided tax incentives for research and development; Taiwan, which lowered tax burdens at lower income levels; Singapore; and Malaysia.

Worst Country in the World

This year’s “winner” is, again, France, with a leader who said, “I was not elected to increase taxes.” Despite President Nicolas Sarkozy’s assertion, France added 1.1 points.

The deeper but financially insolvent European-level social safety net and health care benefit programs

At the upcoming G-20 meeting in London there will be a lot of talk about how the U.S. and Asia should Europeanize their Misery Index rates to higher levels of social and income taxes (including adopting new sources of green and carbon taxation) to provide the deeper but financially insolvent European-level social safety net and health care benefit programs as a partial response to the crisis, while at the same time generating more tax revenue to cover Keynesian stimulus spending.

But will Asia find this a competitive move? China, Japan and India are already on this road, as shown.

A note:

Capital gains rates are not included in the Tax Misery Index. Why? Because the rates vary by asset type, period of retention and the adjusted cost basis of the assets sold.

For example:

In France the cap-gains rate varies from a low of zero, tax free on certain assets, to 52.1% after a six-year holding period and, if it is missed, to a high of total taxes being as much as 118%.

Next door there are no capital gains taxes in Belgium and Switzerland except on stock options.

Asia is generally again the direction for inspiration. There is no capital gains tax in Hong Kong and Singapore nor, with exceptions, in Taiwan, New Zealand or Vietnam.

Even China, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand have no capital gains tax for sales of listed securities.

However, there is full taxation on capital gains in Indonesia, India, Japan and the Philippines.

A crisis is an opportunity not to be lost; Asia faced difficult times not long ago and mostly stuck to a low-tax course. Why turn to Keynesian policies that will take a generation to undo?

From MediaIndustry


From DeltaSlaya

24 Responses to “2009 Tax Misery & Reform Index”

  1. ryansgrammy Says:

    Take a look at this — sorry if it has already been posted.

  2. j.b. Says:

    WoW. All I can say is ; I guess the ones that are allowed to walk away should consider themselves lucky. I bet D/o/n/a/l/d Y/o/u/n/g’/s family would have appreciated that “choice” for him.

    You know, I heard the other day that it will be a lonnnnnnnnnnnnng time before the “press” begins to expose barry’s true faults and mistakes, as they are SO INVESTED in him AFTER GETTING him ELECTED! They don’t want to look foolish. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  3. j.b. Says:

    rosettasister Says:

    May 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm
    That “+1″ number does not bode well for Obama.


    what do you mean by this?

  4. j.b. Says:


    Jeebus Crisp! Lookit this.

  5. CJ Says:

    Thought I’d pass along this information about what’s happening at the grass roots in my area of the country. NYS is a tyranny right now with all control by the infamous “3 men in a room.” The relevance here is that the fed. govt. will be much worse than NY if things aren’t changed. Every state level protest and action will help the bigger picture. Things are happening that you may not hear about in the msm.

    “Saturday, 02 May 2009 13:00
    Press Announcement

    May 4, 2009

    10:00 A.M.

    Niagara Square, Buffalo

    Thank you for taking part in this most important press conference. Before we begin I want to thank the many Primary Challenge volunteers that have worked hard to make this event possible. Also, I want to thank those volunteers that aided in research, and performing the many technical functions necessary to begin this most important project.

    We are here today to announce the launching of a Primary Challenge initiative labeled “project 2010”

    Before getting into the specifics of the project I would like to review the reason for this effort and explain why it is so vitally important.

    In a nutshell it is my belief that the government of New York is under the control of a corrupt political enterprise.

    There are many issues which have compelled us to pursue this course of action the first of which is lack of representation. For far too long New Yorkers have suffered under the illusion that their elected officials are empowered to represent them to the State and function on their behalf. Sadly, the truth is that of the many State elected officials, precious few actually work on behalf of their constituents but rather have made a practice of consuming our personal wealth, violating our liberties and ignoring our will for their personal gain.

    In addition, New York is suffering from a plague of injustice in the Judiciary. The courts in New York have routinely ignored the State Constitution and have given silent approval to the Legislative and Executive branches of State government to do likewise. In addition, the courts have allowed members of the legal community to plunder clients while ignoring their most sacred duty to ensure justice.

    By questionable manipulation of the political process those in control have rendered the election process all but irrelevant.

    The Legislature and Executive branches annually collude to deprive residents of New York of their hard earned money by instituting ever increasing confiscatory taxes, the burden of which has all but crippled many of our neighbors, families, and friends.

    To add insult to injury the State has empowered hundreds of unregulated, unaccountable non-voter approved authorities to create debt and institute fees which must be paid by the citizens of New York, increasing the already crushing burden of government.

    The state in unashamed violation of the constitution has continued to grant billions of dollars annually to private corporations in return for a promise of jobs. This practice, commonly referred to as corporate welfare, continues to burden taxpayers across the state yet, has not created a net increase of one single job according to the Public Policy Institute of New York. Additionally, even if this program were successful, it cannot be ignored that its very existence is illegal under the current New York State Constitution. 1

    Over the past several years, and in particular this past year, New York and New Yorkers have suffered an economic collapse such as has not been seen in the past 60 years. And yet, the state government, in arrogant disregard for the security and welfare of our people, continues to grant themselves and those in the employ of the state ever increasing financial rewards. Such arrogant disregard for the people must not be tolerated.

    The so called “three men in a room” method of establishing and instituting a budget is an affront to the people of New York. Many and grievous are the additional failures of this government and yet it has remained deaf to the cries of the people for reform.

    As a result, New York now has the most dysfunctional legislature, an unjust and prejudiced judicial system, and an ineffective executive branch which threatens the futures of our children and grandchildren.

    Under the current corrupted system, it is impossible for the people of New York to enjoy the blessings of liberty as intended by our forefathers.

    The results of this corruption and dysfunction are evident throughout New York. The economy of New York has suffered significant damage. The loss of company after company has weakened our already fragile economy. Manufacturing companies are fleeing New York seeking safer and more prosperous locations.

    By continued and increasing tax burdens, the state has caused many a resident to leave New York in hopes of finding a better future in other states.2

    Most importantly the corruption of our government threatens the very liberty that was purchased with the blood of our forefathers. This liberty must not be allowed to be taken from us. It must be defended at all cost.

    Project 2010 is the Primary Challenge answer to these and many other problems facing New York.

    As a part of Project 2010 Primary Challenge will sponsor and support a citizen referendum to abolish New York State’s government and institute a new government under a new constitution. The new constitution must include stronger and lasting safeguards of our liberty and prevent the centralization of power into the hands of a small and corrupt body.

    To facilitate the referendum, Primary Challenge will provide all citizens of New York with locations for voting in every town and city and will make every effort to support voting in election districts as currently defined.

    It is anticipated that the referendum will take place late in May of 2010. A final date will be set when all necessary resources for the referendum have been acquired and put in place.

    If successful, the referendum will require that an interim state government be established under the control of the County Executives around the state.

    Participation in this referendum will be limited to registered voters of New York.

    The referendum shall be declared passed only if a majority of voters approve the proposition, and only if the number of ballots cast exceeds that number of votes cast in the most recent gubernatorial election. According to data received from the State Board of Elections that number is 4.7 million votes.

    The obvious question which should be asked is under whose authority is all this being done. The answer is very simple, the authority of the people.

    The Declaration of Independence clearly states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” 3

    Additionally, all state constitutions reaffirm this principal in law. 4

    But most importantly, the very existence of our country is a testament to our forefathers exercising this most important unalienable right.

    The people of New York have the right, the duty, and now the opportunity, to abolish this corrupt and dysfunctional government and to institute a new government which to us “shall seem most likely to effect our Safety and Happiness.” 5

    All New Yorkers are urged to exercise their unalienable right in participating in this process.

    Primary Challenge will continue to support candidates running for office in the current system until such time as a new constitution can be put in place and approved by the people of New York.”


  6. j.b. Says:

    CJ, I look forward to hearing what comes of that. Kudos to the (new, future) powers that be. :).

  7. j.b. Says:


    I don’t know who wrote this, but it spoke to me. Hear it?

  8. rosettasister Says:

    I know this is “old news” but did anything ever come of this?

    April 08, 2009

    In the case, being handled largely by Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice Foundation, he recently subpoenaed the records documenting the attendance by Obama, or possibly the student when he was known as Barry Soetero, from Occidental College.

    The lawyer for the college, Stuart W. Rudnick of Musick, Peeler & Garrett, urgently contacted Fredric D. Woocher of Strumwasser & Woocher.

    “This firm is counsel to Occidental College. The College is in receipt of the enclosed subpoena that seeks certain information concerning President-Elect Barack Obama,” he wrote via fax. “Inasmuch as the subpoena appears to be valid on its face, the College will have no alternative but to comply with the subpoena absent a court order instructing otherwise.”

    Within hours, Woocher contacted Kreep regarding the issue, telling him, “It will likely not surprise you to hear that Obama opposes the production of the requested records.

    “In order to avoid the needless expense of our bringing and litigating a Motion to Quash the subpoena, I am writing to ask whether you would be willing to agree voluntarily to cancel or withdraw the subpoena”

    Woocher warned, “Please be advised, in particular, that in the event we are forced to file a motion to quash and we prevail in that motion, we will seek the full measure of monetary sanctions provided for in the Code of Civil Procedures.”


    Apr 15, 2009‎

    Kreep noted his organization’s efforts to obtain copies of Obama’s Occidental College records from the 1980s, which reportedly could reveal whether Obama was attending as a foreign student, an effort that resulted in a threat from Obama’s attorneys to seek financial sanctions against the plaintiff’s lawyers.

    Good night!

  9. j.b. Says:


    Remember this?

    Rose, I have not heard any update on that Kreep Case. I wonder why Barry Soetoro doesn’t want his records read?
    Such a selfish snot he is. Geeeeeez.

  10. CJ Says:

    This is a great video made 50 years ago that should be mandatory for anyone, especially those younger than 30 and immigrants, imo. It is so relevant to what’s happening and maybe would help wake some people up to the fact that it isn’t news that we have to guard our freedoms all the time, no matter what timeframe we are in. Very good and worth the 10 minutes.


  11. CJ Says:

    Darn, it didn’t pop up as a live link. Sorry!

  12. rosettasister Says:

    Thanks, CJ!

  13. rosettasister Says:

    Underreported Story – Perhaps the tide has started to turn already.

    Republicans Top Democrats on Generic Congressional Ballot


    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    For just the second time in more than five years of daily or weekly tracking, Republicans now lead Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.


    38% Dem
    41% GOP

  14. rosettasister Says:

    The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy.

    Since the House of Representatives insisted on inflicting reconciliation instructions on the Senate, effectively transforming the Senate into a sort of parliament, President Obama should be subjected to the same kind of treatment as Gordon Brown.


  15. rosettasister Says:

    Wasting Time for a Good Cause


    I may regret this. Last night, I started playing Foldit,


    a free computer game that’s rapidly becoming every bit as addictive as, say, Crayon Physics Deluxe,


    which is, to say, dangerous. Very, very dangerous.

    That’s where Foldit comes in. Computer programs could calculate all the possible protein shapes, but it would take far longer than the average researcher’s life span. Instead, the University of Washington team that developed Foldit is hoping that human game-players can figure things out faster.

  16. rosettasister Says:

    PHOTOS: Ancient Egypt Temples Found at Gateway Fortress


    Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II offers gifts to Geb, god of earth, in a 3,000-year-old carving discovered in the largest mud-brick temple yet found on northeastern Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula (map).


    The landmark is among four ancient temples discovered at a site near the Egyptian border near the Suez Canal, the country’s archaeology agency announced on April 21.

  17. rosettasister Says:

    Panel Plus

    Published: Sun, 3 May 2009

    Description: ‘FOX News Sunday’ panel continues discussion on who Obama should choose for Justice Souter’s replacement after the show


    Laura Ingraham Mara Liasson Bill Kristol and Juan Williams


  18. rosettasister Says:

    Condi Rice sticks it to the Stanford bleeding hearts


    “Maybe before you make allegations about Guantanamo, you should READ,” says Condi, with exquisitely measured scorn.

  19. goferit Says:

    Kudo’s to Ms. Rice and thanks for a job well done.

    Didn’t we all feel at least a little safer then, than we do now?

  20. rosettasister Says:

    goferit Says:
    May 3, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Hey, goferit!

    I studied International Relations as an undergrad and it would be a dream come true for me to study with her.

    She’s a hero of mine.

    Hear, hear!

    Thank you, Secretary Rice!

  21. rosettasister Says:

    Do your homework, you little twerp!

    Condoleezza Rice Enhanced Interrogation Defense: Rice to Stanford – Interrogations legal


  22. rosettasister Says:

    New thread:


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