Back in May 2021, I showed how the U.S. is proposing to adopt Scandinavian social benefits and taxation: Adopting Scandinavian social benefits and taxes in the U.S. | Coldstreams Business and Tech
The White House issued a press release last April confirming a goal to copy most of the Scandinavian social benefit programs. Free college education, subsidized child care, free pre-school for all kids, subsidized personal costs of raising kids, guaranteed 12 weeks of annual paid leave for parents, provide free breakfast and lunch to about half the kids in America, subsidized health insurance for all, raise combined Federal+State+Local taxes to 70% for some, and double capital gains tax rates.
Their intent is this would be paid for, magically, by “the wealthy” (billionaires are mentioned frequently). Others point out that there is not close to enough money from the “billionaire class” to fund these programs. Consequently, there are influential Democrats who are pushing back against this expansion of government (it is not just Manchin and Sinema who are opposed).
Scandinavian countries are known for very high tax rates. In Denmark, the typical wage earner pays 40% to 70% of their entire annual income in taxes. That is not a marginal tax rate – that is how much of your income you give to the government. Norway, on the other hand, has a US$ 1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, paid for my offshore oil drilling leases. The income from this fund pays for infrastructure and education services, and other benefits, in Norway.
While “free” stuff is attractive, ultimately it has to be paid for and American voters seem opposed to taxing themselves at Denmark levels.