Also, in most of Europe, the item is being taxed at every level - whenever value is added. In the US, the only tax is on the retail sale. I think the European system is terrible, as it hides the taxes from the consumers. That is totally unfair, and is a big part of the reason taxes are so high in Europe. People don't even realize how much of the purchase price they're paying is going to the government, so that don't push back as much. In the US, it is quite literally spelled out on the receipt, and very easy to understand.
You've never seen a receipt in Europe, have you?