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This series was excellent and should be read by every American.

Peter (the other)

As long as we Yanks put sooo much into our "defense" (?)...

You left out all the wonderful public transportation that you enjoy.

Once, while working in Paris, I compared my tax situation with someone who did the same job at about the same level. After I added on my self-employment taxes, and he took all his legitimate deductions, we were at the same place. I am paying $750 a month for health insurance, with a $2,500 deductible for doctors and $500 for medicine. Living in Los Angeles, I have to have a car, for the transportation situation is famously non-comprehensive.But the pride I feel at all my intelligent fellow-countrymen bellowing "We're number 1!" over and over, is priceless.


... and with the $17,267 left, the single American living in California might also have to:

- save to pay potential deductible fees in case of health problem
- save for health-related issues in case of unemployment
- have additional savings to be able to survive few months in case of unemployment
- reimburse the college loan
- start saving to be able to send his kids to college in 15 years

None of this is to worry about in France. And that's a huge amount of money taken away from US salaries (e.g. $10,000 to $50,000+ per year for college education...). Those costs are taken care of by French taxes, while they must individually be paid for by US citizens/residents, at prices that are often way too high.

All together, given those additional costs in the US, it is reasonable to say that even if taxes are a little higher in France, at the end Americans must end up paying way more (wayyyyy more) than the French in order to get similar benefits.

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