Taxes are a big political issue the United States. Progressive Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have proposed higher taxes on wealthy Americans to help fund generous state welfare programs. Sweden, and other Nordic countries, are often now used as successful examples of nations that collect high taxes without hurting employment or their economies. Here’s a look at how Sweden pulls it off.
The April 15 deadline for federal tax returns is fast approaching. At the same time, taxing the wealthy is becoming a big political issue in the leadup to the 2020 presidential election.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., proposed a 70 percent marginal tax rate on wealthy Americans as part of her co-sponsored Green New Deal in February. Since then, wealth inequality and taxes have become a common platform among Democratic presidential hopefuls.
That 70% sounds like a big number, but there’s another country where some workers are paying similar taxes. Sweden.
“The short version of the story is that Sweden and other Nordic countries ... have high taxes and they have fairly good economic performance,” Torben Andersen, a professor in the Department of Economics and Business Economics at Aarhus University in Denmark, told CNBC. “And the simple explanation is that you cannot judge the effect of taxes without knowing what they are financing.”
Sweden is known to have some of the highest taxes in the world. At the same time, unemployment is low and the country has posted b...