The top ten highest taxed countries in the developed world include all five Scandinavian states: Denmark (#1), Finland (#4), Sweden (#7), Iceland (#8) and Norway (#9).
In other words, according to Kirkegarrd, if Bernie Sanders is to completely level with the American people (which he hasn't done hiding what he doesn't want them to know) and be perfectly frank and transparent with them about Scandinavian socialism, and specifically Denmark (the best, according to Sanders, of the Scandinavian states), then he needs to tell the truth about Scandinavian taxation. He needs to say that Danish taxpayers, upper and middle-income folks, are taxed at twice the amount of their US counter parts. Indeed, Sanders needs to tell the public that to benefit from what the Danish people have, free single payer healthcare, free pre-school child care, free college tuition and the like, they need to adopt Denmark's tax code and accept the necessary economic and financial burden of having their taxes raised by nearly 100% - 26% of GDP to almost 50%.
In other words, if Sanders is to honestly sell Danish democratic socialism to America he has to say that not only the rich top 1% millionaires and billionaires have to pay their "FAIR SHARE" of taxes, but middle class working families and small business owners (no longer the wealthiest middle class in the world see) also have to pay their "fair share." After all, the primary moral purpose of socialism is to mostly benefit the HAVE NOTS (those less fortunate defined as poor with the least wealth) at the cost of the HAVES (middle and upper class income earners who own the most wealth). And unless the Haves take care of the Have Nots, offering them for free everything they pay for with the wealth that they work hard for and earn, they are heartless, greedy, uncompassionate bastards (see)."
*Oddly enough, if I may digress here for a moment, a 100% tax increase is what was required in Bernie's home state of Vermont to make single payer work in that state.
Denmark has the highest capital gains tax in the developed world with Finland in 5th place, Sweden in 6th and Norway in 8th.
Normally, when Bernie is faced with inconvenient facts, that make his Scandinavian socialism seem unrealistic, impractical and just plain dumb for America, he dodges them either artfully or ridiculously. But this time he couldn't do that. Confronted by a Danish economist (in front of a large TV audience) who knows the Danish economy better than he Bernie conceded that Kirkegaard was right. He conceded that nothing is free; that single payer, free college and the other programs have to be paid for by taxes collected by the government. Indeed, he conceded what Ted Cruz said earlier in the debate that to pay for his socialist state taxing the rich to death isn't enough; that confiscating 100% of their wealth (and causing a depression) would still fall far short of paying the high price of socialist paradise. In sum, Bernie finally publicly admitted to Cruz's delight that without tax hikes on the middle class the heaven of Scandinavia could never come to America.
However, Bernie handled this by treating massive socialist middle class tax hikes as an investment with big short-term future returns for working Americans. He said that the return would be worth it and pay off big time in huge savings. He said that though a middle class family under his plan might have to pay $3000 or more in taxes than their paying now what they get in return are large reductions in healthcare, childcare, college tuition costs, etc. that exceed $3000 and would raise their net worth and standard of living making life better for all. In short, in Bernie's American socialist state there are only winners, no losers. Everyone prospers, everyone gains, society collectively is better off economically and financially. In short, TAX HIKES ON ALL = SOCIALIST PARADISE.
Now if there was any truth to this then Bernie would be right, and on to something good and worthwhile for all or most Americans. Indeed, only a fool would oppose paying more in taxes if it cuts his costs and makes him a wealthier person however slight - while benefiting the poor and improving their lives. In short, if Bernie was right Danish democratic socialism would be the best thing we could import from abroad.
But as Ted Cruz said in the debate typical of socialists Bernie was making promises that were unrealistic, far-fetched, that couldn't be achieved. Or, to put it another way: DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM = LA LA LAND UTOPIANISM. Socialism in all its forms (communist, fascist, democratic) is based on false promises, false hopes, false dreams (going back to Marx) of an all caring, empathetic, compassionate government making a cradle to grave good life for all its citizens through the equitable redistribution of wealth. This is what Bernie and all socialists promise. But the promise is a BIG LIE. For as you will see below there's trouble, BIG TROUBLE, in Scandinavian paradise.
Indeed, unfortunately what went unmentioned in the debate was the disintegrating state of Denmark's "model" socialist economy; and the worsening finances of its struggling middle class whose household debt is three times that of the US because of staggering higher taxes* and more expensive everything. For high taxes, as Obama economic advisor Christina Roma said, have a contractionary or diminishing effect on productivity and growth (see); and typical of high tax Scandinavian states Denmark has a low, pathetic, worsening trickle growth economy (worse than the US). Indeed, since the Great Recession of 2008 Denmark has had three recessions followed by terribly anemic recoveries (each weaker than the last). After the last recession in 2015 GDP for 2016 was under 1% at .7% (see chart below); so far in 2017 its slightly worse ( indicating a trend). With Denmark's government forecasting (actually understating) historic low growth in the years ahead its stagnating economy (like Sweden in the early 1990s) is clearly in steady decline and headed toward a crisis as its growth killing socialist tax policies catch up to it.
If graph is blank click to see.
DENMARK SOCIALISM = MASSIVE CRUSHING HOUSEHOLD DEBT
Indeed, Bernie Sanders and the pro-Scandinavian Left are using the failing, slowly collapsing socialist state of Denmark as a model for never-to-be-democratic socialism in the US. Common sense tells us (in short supply on the Left) that the enormous and growing private debt load carried by the Danes is evidence of how badly Denmark's social state is failing them. To make ends meet and buy the things (goods and services) they need and love (which are far more expensive than in the US) Danes are going deeper and deeper into financially ruinous crushing debt; and this completely, totally and absolutely erases all the cost saving benefits of single payer healthcare and other low-cost or no cost socialist programs. It's smoke and mirrors economic deception. One big slight of hand hoax. By making food, clothes, energy, TVs, computers, cars, homes* etc., artificially more expensive (with a 25% value added tax (VAT) and other government levies and fees (a 200% tax on new cars for example), Danes are driven deeper and deeper into personal debt to pay for these things.
*This over-taxation has led to Denmark having the lowest car ownership and home ownership of all western nations. And it has put farmers, manufacturing, and general merchandise businesses under because people do not have the money to buy in excess.
Indeed, it appears that Denmark is approaching the stage where socialist Sweden was in the early 1990s: an economically wrecking imbalance between a large, growing public sector (government) cannibalizing a shrinking private sector with diminishing productivity and growth. The Denmark socialist state by degrees is greatly damaging the goose that lays the golden eggs: free market capitalism. Like broken, busted, bankrupt socialist Greece Denmark is likewise collapsing in on itself; and like Sweden in the early 1990s to save itself from becoming like Greece or Venezuela it must downsize its over bloated government by slashing taxes, spending, regulations and pensions. But what is certain is that Denmark and the other Scandinavian states have no answer for these United States.