In this Facebook conversation hosted by the most excellent Facebook page ever, Capitalism, the question is raised how heavy the tax burden in Sweden actually is. Hey, I’m a Swede! I should be able to answer that! Or, maybe, I can’t. This is my “answer” so far:
We have so many taxes in Sweden that it’s hard to figure out how much tax the government forces off of us. That’s by design I guess. For the income tax we have “Progressive” taxing. Meaning that above a certain level of income you are forced to “pay” a higher percentage in tax. I think this maxes out at just under 60%. But then there’s another income tax that they call “employer tax” that amounts to 33% of the salary, taken before you robbed of those 60%… Then we pay high VAT taxes (25%) on everything you buy. And then there are lots and lots of other taxes… 80% sounds like a good guess.
Another way to look at it is how much of the GDP that is government spending. According the The Heritage Organization that figure is 53% for Sweden: http://www.heritage.org/index/Country/Sweden#government-spending But I wonder if the spending of more local authorities are included there.
What would your answer be?