MSNBC's O'Donnell Frets Americans 'Suffer Deprivations' Because of Low Taxes

On Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC host O'Donnell fretted that people "suffer deprivations" in the United States because the U.S. is the "world's biggest tax haven" with a relatively low tax burden compared to other countries. After showing his viewers a chart recounting that the U.S. ranks 31st in the percentage of the economy the government collects in taxes, O'Donnell added:

The bad news is, because of that low tax burden, you are living in a country where good, deserving people who need government's help continue to suffer. They suffer deprivations that noneof the other countries on that chart would allow them to suffer in health care and other needs. They suffer deprivations that are unthinkable in the United Kingdom in Margaret Thatcher's time or in our time. Their suffering is the price that we pay to be at the bottom of that list.

The MSNBC host lamented how low the tax burden is in America during the regular "Rewrite" segment as he argued that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was more socialist than conservatives in the United States. After complaining that Obamacare does not really provide universal health care, he then lamented:

This country's refusal to provide adequate health care for all, even under the new law, is what allows the United States to be one of the least taxed modern economies in the world.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, April 9, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:

The United Kingdom really does have universal health care coverage. The United States does not. And the United States still will not come close to universal coverage after all of Obamacare is completely implemented. That law was never designed to be a universal coverage bill, despite  the rhetoric surrounding it. Our politics have simply surrendered the possibility of achieving universal health care coverage, what Margaret Thatcher called the principle that adequate health care should be provided for all.

This country's refusal to provide adequate health care for all, even under the new law, is what allows the United States to be one of the least taxed modern economies in the world.

As this chart shows, 31 countries have a higher tax burden than the United States. Another way to look at that chart is as a measurement of  what the government provides for its people. And another way to say that is you are looking at a chart that measures how socialist these countries are.

(...)

And, as a result, our government provides less for its citizens than those other countries, less of a social safety net. We are, as a government, less generous, and, as a people, less taxed. Those numbers include all forms of taxation -- state, local, federal, corporate, all of it. The reason Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist stay in this country and fight for lower taxation is there is not one lower-taxed country in the world that they would rather live in. They are living the the world's biggest tax haven, the United States of America.

(...)

And so, as you sweat through the complexities of your tax returns, or you cross your fingers while you watch your accountant do that for you, know that the good news is you are living in a country with a very low tax burden. The bad news is, because of that low tax burden, you are living in a country where good, deserving people who need government's help continue to suffer. They suffer deprivations that none of the other countries on that chart would allow them to suffer in health care and other needs. They suffer deprivations that are unthinkable in the United Kingdom in Margaret Thatcher's time or in our time. Their suffering is the price that we pay to be at the bottom of that list.