I have a reason that Norwegians might consider immigrating to the United States: taxes. Yes, they seem to have it made in Norway with universal health care, free college and a senior pension for all, but at what cost? All these benefits are paid for by two primary sources of government income.
The first is taxes. For the year 2017, Norwegians paid personal income tax from a low rate of 24 percent and up to a high rate of 38.52 percent. In addition, they paid a social security tax of 22.3 percent split between the employer and employee. However, we are not through yet because they also must pay a value-added tax (like sales tax) of 25 percent on most purchases.
The second major source of income is revenue collected from offshore oil wells in the form of royalties, taxes and profit sharing with the state-owned oil company Statoil. I find it interesting that Norway, a country that prides itself in having a strong focus on renewable-energy production, should subsidize the lifestyle of its citizens by the sale of oil to the world market. To me it has a “do as I say not as I do” feel especially since I recently read that the Norwegian government is pushing very hard to have all cars in Norway powered by electricity very soon.
The United States certainly has the economic capability to provide the things envied above. It is just a matter of how much in taxes we are willing to pay. Personally, I think a low rate of 32.2 percent plus sales tax, property tax, transit tax and gasoline tax is too high, and if Jay Inslee gets his way we can also add carbon tax.
Lake Forest Park