Not so long ago, American leftists held up the Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden, as exemplars of left-wing success. But times have changed. First, Sweden took a right turn away from its former, almost-socialist policies. (Although, to be fair, Swedish officials always bristled at the suggestion that their country was socialist, or anything like it.) Next, Sweden opted for freedom during the covid epidemic. As always, freedom was anathema to American liberals.
Now the Swedes’ centrist government is contemplating tax cuts: Swedish government considers ten billion kronor tax cuts next year. The details are not yet clear:
The proposed tax cuts on work include lower tax for pensioners, a pause to indexing of electricity taxes and taxes on diesel and petrol in 2024 and 2025, as well as lower tax on plastic bags.
There are, however, no plans to lower tax on ISK accounts (which was an election promise), corporation tax or taxes on companies and capital, although Svantesson has said that these have not been ruled out.
“These taxes will be on the table when we come back from summer and start negotiating,” she said. “Then we can also see how great the scope for reform is, and that will play a large role.”
These proposed tax cuts are not huge. A krona is worth almost exactly a dime, so 10 billion kronor in tax cuts equals one billion dollars. On the other hand, America’s population is 32 times Sweden’s, so in our terms the cuts, if they are enacted, add up to around $32 billion. Even in today’s world, that isn’t chump change.
So once again, conservatives can urge our liberal friends to emulate the Swedes, as formerly they ardently wanted to do.