Nate Silver spanks Jonah Goldberg for parroting the conservative myth that America gives massive amounts of tax revenue to the poor:
The post is definitely written for statistics geeks (who? me?) but Silver makes abundantly clear that the U.S. is the least redistributive country of the 26 largest economies.
And his four frustrations with conservative views of American Taxation and Spending are spot on:
1. Dollar for dollar, America offers the most effective and efficient government on the planet, doing so for about 20 cents on the dollar nationally, 28 cents if you include state and local taxes. If you ask a conservative to name a country that provides as many quality services for less, or more and better services for the same price, they can't name one.
2. American government is redistributive, but not to the degree to which boogeyman conservatives would have us believe.
3. When it comes to deficits and fiscal responsibility, conservatives tend to focus on the spending and not the taxation side. If you're raising less than you're spending, you can either raise more, spend less, or some combination of both. But conservatives invariably turn the conversation to how big government is as a spender, rather than how small it is as a taxer.
4. It's just a myth that all this American "socialism" will only constrain our growth, turning us into one of those laggard western European nanny states.
It’s worth a read.