The course weblog for PA5113, State and Local Public Finance, at University of Minnesota
Despite the fact that Europeans pay higher income taxes than most Americans, it seems that the pay out is still much better in Europe. With that (slightly) higher degree of tax burden comes much more services from the government in return. I would rather pay a bit more taxes and know that I get plenty in return than pay the US average rate and wonder where all my tax money has gone
Although benefits are certainly higher in most European countries than in the US, I'm not certain that where the money is spent is any clearer. For instance, Germany, France, Italy, and the UK pay large sums of taxpayer dollars for economic development in other EU member countries. It is these large flows of money, for instance, there are largely responsible for the economic boom in Ireland, Spain and Portugal. There may be very good reasons for doing this, but I suspect many taxpayers in Germany and, especially, the UK might resent being net payers into the EU.