If you think taxes are higher than their historical rates, well, it depends on how far back in history you’re comparing them to. Take a look at the accompanying chart, which shows tax revenue as a percent of total national income for four countries—France, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S.—since 1868. The chart ends in 2008, and is taken from research by tax policy analyst Thomas Piketty.
Long time readers of this blog know that Cullen Roche of the PragCap blog is my favorite economics blogger. If you’re not reading him, you should. In a recent “Three Things I Think I Think” Cullen puts the US National Debt into proper prospective: