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.
What are you on about?
Tax isn't hidden, it's clearly displayed on receipts. 20% is the norm (it's 1/5 so it's pretty easy to work out and you don't really even need it displayed), and receipts typically show you the full amount, the tax amount and the without tax amount. You're also shown which items (if any) were tax free, which is mostly relevant for grocery shopping since the majority of food is tax free.
Not sure what you mean by "taxed at every level". I'm guessing you mean as well as stores charging tax to customers, their suppliers also charge them the tax? eh... not really. While technically true, stores then deduct that tax amount from the tax they charged customers. So only the final 20% tax for customers actually gets paid to the government for items that are sold.