It is not correct that the people of the United States, relative to comparable countries, are the most lightly taxed. True, the United States has the lowest tax, as percent of gross domestic product, of the Western industrialized countries, but tax rates alone do not tell the whole story. People in the United States pay out of pocket for many goods and services provided from tax revenues elsewhere. Consider universal health care, which is an entitlement supported by tax revenues in every other Western industrialized country, United States government health-care expenditures are equivalent to about 5 percent of the gross domestic product, but private health-care expenditures represent another 7 percent. This 7 percent, then, amounts to a tax.
The argument concerning whether the people of the United States are the most lightly taxed is most vulnerable to which one of the following criticisms?
(A) It bases a comparison on percentages rather than on absolute numbers.
(B) It unreasonably extends the application of a key term.
(C) It uses negatively charged language instead of attempting to give a reason.
(D) It generalizes from only a few instances.
(E) It sets up a dichotomy between alternatives that are not exclusive.
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Tuck Alumni, Class of 2008