Just a graph showing what your obligation towards the government is if you live as a single in Germany.
This is taxes and public duties added together. It's in German, but I guess it is understandable. Remember that 1€=$1.30 right now.
Even though taxes here are rather low, the public duties (social insurances) are pretty high. And they have exactly the same effect on an indivudual. You have to pay and you get something back in return. That's why I added them together in the graph.
Remarkably, these taxes and public duties aren't really all that much progressive once you reach 45k a year. Which is not all THAT much. You can easily earn 45k Euros a year the moment you have a reasonable degree in the natural sciences, economics or law.
Even more remarkable is the comparison to the US: Germany has considerably lower unemployment (about 5.5%). And while there are certainly some special reasons within the Euro crisis, our "job creators" don't seem to mind paying some 44% taxes and public duties. And if you earn more than 250k € you actually have to pay 45% marginal tax rate. Unless you make all your money with investments in the financial markets: in that case it is 25%, 66% higher than in the US where it is 15%. Oh my god: the economy is going to collapse !! ;)