Jared Meyer of the Manhattan Institute asks an interesting question today: "America is performing well in the Sochi Olympics, but how would the medal count differ if countries competed on taxes rather than winter sports?"

The answer is, in a word, terrible. Meyer explains: "In a competition based on corporate tax rates, the United States would come in last out of the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries."

Put another way, comparing the U.S. tax burden with those of other major industrialized nations of the world suggests they've been going one direction while America has headed the opposite direction.

Look who's up

The figures compiled by Meyer are stark: "Taking state and federal taxes into account, the U.S. top rate is 39 percent -- 50 percent higher than the OECD average and triple Ireland's gold medal-winning rate of 12.5 percent."

Meyer notes that America's taxes have increased steadily since the 1980s, while the average for the other industrialized nations declined more than 40 percent.

"Apparently America missed the memo to drastically lower corporate tax rates in order to attract businesses," Meyer observes.

Okay, so what?

Why should anyone care? Because, besides slowing economic growth, discouraging innovation and reducing standards of living, Meyer points to an unintended consequence of high taxes that gets too little attention:

"Lower corporate tax rates can also weaken the connection between Big Business and Washington. When everyone — not just the companies that can afford the legal and accounting fees to navigate the current system — is paying a lower rate, competition would move to the marketplace instead of Capitol Hill."

In other words, those who seek less crony capitalism, corporate welfare and government regulation should make lowering corporate taxes a top priority. Meyer's op-ed merits close reading.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Journalists and Republicans must keep FCC out of America's newsrooms.

Columnist/Byron York: New Obama FCC initiative tramples First Amendment.

Columnist/Philip Klein: Liberals have bubkes on Gov. Scott Walker.

Columnist/Shikha Dalmia: Extreme censorship holds Hindus in chains.

Columnist/Ron Arnold: Legacy-seeking politicians preach the gospel of global warming.

Beltway Confidential/Michael Barone: Why do liberal cities have so much income inequality?

PennAve/Zack Colman: Another former Obama official backs Keystone XL pipeline.

Legal Newsline/Bryan Cohen: New York AG warns of Microsoft posers.

In other news

CBS News: Gunfire in Kiev as tentative deal reached to end violence.

USA Today: Plan to divide California into six states advances.

The New York Times: Egypt extends crackdown on critics to journalists.

The Washington Post: With 2015 budget, Obama will call for end to era of austerity.

ABC News: Billionaire environmentalist won't "Tea Party" Dems in 2014.

The Wall Street Journal: Obama budget reflects partisan divisions.

Righty Playbook

The American Thinker: Hypocrisy, thy name is John Kerry.

The Daily Caller: Obama enlists companies in minimum wage campaign.

The Weekly Standard: The Benghazi cover-up continues.

Bonus must-read

Washington Free Beacon: Convergence of the Twain.

Lefty Playbook

Grist: Climate change to cause 1.3 million extra burglaries by 2099.

Salon.com: Polar Vortex about to hit for the third time this year.

The Huffington Post: Chris Christie's Mansion Fund collected millions from favor-seekers.

Bonus must-read

New Republic: What Scott Walker's email scandal shares with Chris Christie's Bridgegate.

Blog Right

American Power: Vicious leftists attack Julie Boonstra as "not really hurt by Obamacare."

Ka-Ching: Map of Food Stamp recipients by state.

AEIdeas: Joe Trippi has seen the future of American politics and it's libertarian.

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: You won't believe what it's taken to save Obamacare in Arkansas.

Kevin Drum: A nerd's-eye view of the Olympics.

AmericaBlog: New Hampshire legislator introduces bill to stop small-town police from buying tanks.