... when you focus just on taxes on work, as the OECD does in a new report out this morning, the U.S. starts looking a little less like a low-tax paradise. The total "tax wedge" -- which measures "the difference between labour costs to the employer and the corresponding net take-home pay of the employee" -- was 31.7 percent of labor costs for the average single U.S. worker with no children in 2016, higher than in 10 other OECD countries.

... Zero in on personal income tax (that is, leave out employer and employee Social Security contributions), and the U.S. moves near the front of the high-tax pack

... how taxes are levied does affect incentives to work, invest and spend. And the U.S. taxes work and investment a lot more heavily than it taxes spending... One likely impact of taxing income more and spending less is to increase the U.S. trade deficit. Another is to discourage work.

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