My wife and I signed our 2016 tax returns about a month ago. In total, we gave up about 42 percent of our income to the federal government and to the province of Ontario. Add in property taxes, gas taxes, and sales taxes, and the figure goes up to about 46 percent. By my rough calculation, a similarly situated couple living in an equivalent part of the United States—I picked Chicago, which sometimes is described as a sort of sister city to Toronto, where I now live—that number would be about 10 points lower, at 36 percent.
What does that 10 percent premium buy for my family? Aside from universal health care, there’s world-class public schools, a social safety net that keeps income inequality at rates well below America’s, and an ambitious infrastructure program that will help Canada keep pace with its swelling ranks of educated, well-integrated immigrants. Oh, and I also get that new bridge. Naturally, it will have a bike lane, and be named after the hockey legend Gordie Howe.The Atlantic, Why Canada Is Able to Do Things Better
I posted a link to this article on several social platforms a few days ago. Naturally, I found a know it all blowhard US Citizen to argue about the subject.
Malarky. Canadians pay much less taxes than Americans.
We’ll skip over the part where my generic opponent forgets that the Canadian government actually works, and get to the part where he believes he knows something about the tax burdens of not only US citizens, but of citizens of foreign countries; and this all by simply looking up income tax rates for the two different countries and stating that as the total tax burden for individuals. The person who believes ‘Murica is the best would have to be an accountant and interested in expanding his understanding of the subject in order to glean the depth of information required to understand this subject.
As my generic opponent went to pains to illustrate, the Canadian level of taxation is (like my opponent) generically about the same level as the US level of taxation. This is a fact that I had also munificently supplied in my first reply to him. It’s not like he really had to look that fact up and do it more than once. The author of The Atlantic article was making a point about one of the higher taxed cities in the US, Chicago, which compares nicely to the author’s home city of Toronto. See the quote I started this rant out with if you are confused.
That the government of Canada actually works when saddled with the same low level of tax return to the system, while the government of the US can’t even repair it’s own bridges, should be infuriating to the #MAGA (Misguided Appallingly Gullible American) who take the time to read this far and think they know a few things about the subject being discussed. But it gets worse.
The way that the tax burden is shared in the US means that the costs fall more heavily on the middle and lower classes. This is especially true when it comes to denying services to the poor. The US has the most expensive healthcare system in the world.
This cost is paid for largely at the city level, by the most regressive taxes present in the US system, namely sales and property taxes. This cost-shifting allows the wealthy to walk away from most of the burden imposed on the tax-paying public, leaving the poor to do without essential health services unless they can find a charity that will write off their costs, another burden paid at the local level.
The failings of the government to repair its own infrastructure? This information can be found many, many places. For example,
The American Society of Civil Engineers has just released its latest infrastructure report card, and grades the United States at D plus. That means the country’s public works are in substandard condition, with a risk of failure. The ASCE releases its reports every four years, and the mark hasn’t changed since the last time. “While our nation’s infrastructure problems are significant, they are solvable,” says ASCE President Norma Jean Mattei. But that’ll take money.
So … $1 trillion, right? Great news! Except the ASCE report says it’ll take $4.59 trillion to bring things up to a B, or adequate grade, by 2025. That’s a shortfall of $2 trillion over current spending plans. Again: $1 trillion is nowhere near enough.
The way to correct the problems in the infrastructure, healthcare systems and other government provided services is to admit that the government has to pay for those things, and then pay for them through taxation instead of at point of sale; driving on the roads, showing up at the emergency room, etc. Make sure that we get value for dollars paid instead of allowing drug manufacturers and lobbying organizations to force the government to pay more for services than other countries have negotiated to pay. All of which is what The Atlantic article I posted on the various social sites goes into, if the #MAGA had actually bothered to read it.
I knew the article was correct because, as I’ve just demonstrated, I have read other articles that backed up the assertions made in the article before I bothered to post it. I have read widely. I have attempted to understand the subject. Why Canada Is Able to Do Things Better was just a nice succinct way to express the sentiment that citizens of the US are uniformly misinformed and really don’t care that they are wrong on almost every subject so long as their leaders reinforce the lies they believe in. I’d like to thank my generic opponent for volunteering to illustrate this fact, even if it was ungraciously done.