Jon Stewart examines America’s broken tax system

Jon Stewart went where almost all Americans go when they talk about taxes – why do we pay so much? Where is he going ? And what can we do about it?

“Of course people hate taxes, but maybe they wouldn’t if they knew where the money went? Well, we found out, and now we hate it even more,” the host of Apple TV+’s “The Problem With Jon Stewart” said in Friday’s episode.

“Our tax system redirects our money from the middle class to the middle class,” he said. “The worst episode of ‘Shark Tank’ already. Everything we pay out of pocket, other countries pay with taxes. But we can’t do it that way because it would be considered… [dramatic pause] socialism.”

Cue ominous thunder and lightning.

“Americans can’t make money. Bad Uncle Sam reaches for his dirty little paw in our pants. We pay federal taxes, state taxes, property taxes, taxes on gas, alcohol, cigarettes, diapers, tampons…” he said, his anger growing with each addition. “We have to be the most taxed people in the world.”

As a chart scrolled showing the average tax burden across the world for a single-earner married couple with two children, Stewart asked, “What do we have here? Oh good? Eight percent is the average tax burden in the United States of America? It can’t be true. The point is this: it is weak. Lower than you think.

The list swept upwards until it stopped at countries like Sweden and Finland, which pay considerably After. “So,” said Stewart, “I mean, if were damn those Scandies paying 38% and eating meatballs must be absolutely outraged.

Apparently not. “I love paying my taxes,” said one respondent on the street in Sweden, while another said, “It’s a bit high, but that’s fine too.” These people seemed happy because their system was working.

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Person after person interviewed in one of these Scandinavian countries said she never had to worry about getting sick because insurance was paid for by taxes. Same thing with childcare, schooling and childbirth. In fact, in Finland, after childbirth, the government distributes a baby box that includes “towels for your leaky new body” and condoms “so you don’t get another one out right away.”

“But these are socialist countries, ice hippies,” Stewart pointed out. “Certainly countries that don’t use reindeer bones to make money sing a different tune.”

No. More happy people, cheering for free prescriptions, access to good education and health care, and free medical care for children.

“Wow. It’s amazing what you can pay when you weren’t allowed to have an army,” Stewart said sarcastically, getting a mixed reaction from the audience. “In 2022, Americans paid nearly $5 trillion to the government in federal taxes alone So what do we get?

People in America answered: battles with insurance companies over coverage (and lack thereof), unaffordable daycare, no vacations, no benefits, tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, etc. .

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Stewart sat down with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, to discuss why our tax system is so broken.

“You work in an institution… That, you know, you have two political parties, you have different philosophies,” she said. And we have lobbyists. When Congress was working on negotiating Medicare Part D (prescriptions), the 535 members of the House and Senate were paired with 600 lobbyists, who “barred us from being able to negotiate the price.”

“Taxpayers are spending all that money, but they’re not getting the value back. That’s the thing that fundamentally seems to have to change,” he told DeLauro.

“Well, we can change it,” she assured him.

“Oh,” he said, looking completely shocked. “Well, why didn’t you tell me at first!” he added happily.

You can watch that interview in the video below to hear how Rep. DeLauro explained how to make this change happen.

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