I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I'm married to a foreigner. Worse yet, I'm married to one of those foreigners who hails from a nation that any conservative windbag would assure you is a liberal hellhole on the brink of taxing itself into oblivion. It's been on that brink for several decades now, enjoying a higher standard of living, better schools, lower infant mortality rates and greater life expectancy; that's one hell of a brink. Damn, I should live on that brink.
Anyway, my brilliant and lovely wife from the brink and I sat down the other day and compared paychecks. She works for an organization based on the brink and as she is still a citizen of said brink she is taxed at their rates. It turns out that far from being taxed to death, she's paying marginally less than I am. Now, I live in New York City, so your mileage may vary when it comes to this little thought experiment, but even though New York is one of the most highly taxed cities in the country, its taxes are not so far out of line with the rest of the country that one thinks of it as a proto-European nanny-state.
All of this brings me, in an admittedly roundabout way, to Michael Moore's Sicko. I haven't seen it yet, so please don't consider this a review of any sort. Another relation from the brink saw it over the weekend, though, and that relation was curious as to why the US doesn't seem to have enough money to cover universal healthcare for all of its citizens while the rest of the civilized world does. It's a point my relation felt Moore could have explored in more detail; after all, due to the USA's size and relatively prosperous economy, the money should be there even though we're not taxed at a rate equal to what you see in those states that provide universal coverage.
I'm no accountant, but I'm pretty sure this has something to do with it.
And maybe this. It's tough to tell.