(reposted from Various Taxes as a % of U.S. GDP » Sociological Images)
Tom Schaller at FiveThirtyEight posted this graph showing different types of federal taxes as a percent of total U.S. GDP (estimated through 2014 based on the current tax code):
Despite widespread beliefs that we’re all taxed to death, and that taxes are strangling the business sector, we can see that the only taxed [sic] that have clearly trended upward since 1935 are payroll taxes (SSI/Retirement). And corporate and excise taxes have actually decreased over time.
Total federal taxes make up less than 20% of our total GDP. Interestingly, a (non-random convenience) sample of Tea Partiers at a recent protest found that half of the attendees thought that federal taxes make up over 40% of GDP, and the mean answer was 42% (the highest answer being 99%).