I have already noted that government spending in the United States (as a percent of gross domestic product, or GDP) is below average for a developed country, using data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Those data also show that government revenues in the United States are low by international standards.
That’s not just because of the economic downturn. The United States is consistently one of the lowest-taxed countries in the OECD.
Here’s what you need to know about the OECD figures:
By the OECD’s broad measure, government revenues in the United States are about 5 to 6 percent of GDP below the OECD average, and about 13 percent below the average level among countries that have adopted the euro. This country’s relatively low revenue levels are one reason — among several outlined here — why revenue increases need to be part of a balanced deficit-reduction package.