Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An e-mail from a reader

Dear Bill,

I sell carpet for a living, but I read your blog and check out your web site to keep up with the maintenance end of the business. I often find helpful tidbits that assist me in my own business even though it's not cleaning related. My compliments to the people who designed and maintain your site for its ease of navigation. And thank you for providing this excellent source of common sense information about the cleaning business and other things.

On another note, you get a bit political at times and I thank you for doing a public service for the small business community. I'm sending this in the hope you will put it in your blog since you have such a large following. If our country continues down the path to globalism (which you have written about) and socialism, we can expect drastic changes in taxation.

Current European Tax Rates:

United Kingdom Income Tax: 50% VAT: 17.5% = 67.5%
France                 Income Tax: 40% VAT: 19.6% = 59.6%
Greece                 Income Tax: 40% VAT: 25% = 65%
Spain                   Income Tax: 45% VAT: 16% = 61%
Portugal              Income Tax: 42% VAT: 20% = 62%
Sweden              Income Tax: 55% VAT: 25% = 80%
Norway               Income Tax: 54.3% VAT: 25% = 79.3%
Netherlands        Income Tax: 52% VAT: 19% = 71%
Denmark              Income Tax: 58% VAT: 25% = 83%
Finland                Income Tax: 53% VAT: 22% = 75%

Keep in mind that in spite of these astronomical tax rates, these countries can't finance their social welfare programs exclusively with tax revenues. They are all mired in gargantuan debt that threatens to collapse the European Union.

Greece has had a socialistic system for decades. Even with a 65% tax rate, they are drowning in public debt. Greece would have defaulted without billions in bailout money from the EU and the IMF which gets our tax money. 20% of the Greek population lives in poverty.

The VAT is the national sales tax that Europeans pay. Most started out at 1% or 2% and grew. A US VAT is what you can expect the current administration to propose after the election.

Bob Mathews

P.S. I just heard France is raising taxes on the rich to 70%. Does that sound familiar?

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