Bernie Sanders is winning people’s hearts and minds largely because he justifies his outlandish policies on the assumption that Scandinavia “proves” they’re viable. But just how much do his followers know about Sweden and Denmark? Based on research from the Tax Foundation, it’s definitely not the soak-the-rich nirvana they’re imagining.
Check it out here: “How Scandinavian Countries Pay for Their Government Spending”
What you need to know:
- The Scandinavian model is less progressive than our own. Despite all of the anti-rich rhetoric from Sanders’ campaign, Sweden and Denmark tax the middle class at much higher rates than the American government. In fact, implementing Denmark’s tax system would mean all income above $60,000 would be taxed at 60.4 percent! There is no such thing as a free lunch.
- Denmark and Sweden collect more revenue from consumption taxes than the United States. Each has a 25 percent Value Added Tax (VAT), which is an indirect sales tax which falls heaviest on those who spend a greater proportion of their incomes on consumption (lower and middle income earners). The United States, which has no national sales tax, collects less revenue from state sales taxes, which aggregate for an average of about 7 percent.
- Our tax rate on corporate income (39.1 percent) dwarfs that of Sweden (22 percent) and that of Denmark (24.5 percent). Sanders spills plenty of vitriol for income inequality, so the image of him advocating to decrease the corporate income tax rate (because, you know, it’s the Scandinavian model, after all) is absolutely hysterical.
Suffice it to say that most of Sanders’ followers don’t really understand the Scandinavian model. These are just some useful debating points to bring up when one of your friends defends Bernie’s policies on the basis that they work in Sweden and Denmark.
For the Files: The Truth About Scandinavia