According to the Tax Policy Center, Barack Obama plans raise the tax burden on all Americans by $627.1 billion over the next 10 years. Defending this policy on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Joe Biden told Americans they should enjoy paying higher taxes because “it’s time to be patriotic … time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”Apparently, the rest of the world does not view higher taxes as “patriotic” as Biden does.

Over the last decade almost every member of the European Union has cut its corporate tax rate. Germany cut its rate from almost 40% to nearly 30%. The United Kingdom reduced its rate to 28% from 30%. Even the famous Scandinavian welfare states have gotten in on the corporate tax cutting game. Sweden and Norway both dropped their corporate tax rate to 28%, down from 60% and 50%, respectively. Meanwhile, the U.S. corporate tax rate, after averaging in state corporate tax rates, is stuck at 39%. This is higher than all 27 members of the EU.

High corporate tax rates are undermining U.S. international competitiveness. In today’s global economy, high rates deter companies from taking advantage of new market opportunities in countries they otherwise would be eager to compete in. According to the 2008 Index of Economic Freedom, the U.S. has the fifth-freest economy in the world (behind Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland and Australia). Of the top 10 freest economies in the world, the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate. Even seventh-ranked Canada has joined the tax cutting crowd. Canadians recently cut their corporate tax rate to 19.5% and they have already scheduled another cut in their corporate tax rate to 15% by 2012.

Heritage analysts Terry Miller and Anthony Kim of the Center for International Trade and Economics examine how these taxing disparities threaten U.S. competitiveness:

Clearly, U.S. inaction and complacency in improving fiscal freedom through tax cuts risks the nation’s global competitiveness; America stands still while its competitors are moving forward. Such inaction is particularly damaging in a time of economic slowdown. A long-term policy plan that strengthens economic fundamentals would calm fears among entrepreneurs and restore confidence in the U.S. economy.

Quick Hits:

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission has temporarily banned short selling stocks.
  • The Gang of 20 officially announced it would not introduce an energy bill this year.
  • The nation’s largest public employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), has funneled more than $5 million to a series of non-profits running ads attacking Republican congressional candidates.
  • According to a new report by Human Rights Watch, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is a would-be autocrat intent on consolidating power.
  • According to The New York Times, scandal-plagued Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) felt entitled to keep his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee because Republican members also facing investigation, Reps. Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and Don Young (R-AK), never gave up their committee positions either.