By Mike Archer. Every year at this time a great deal is made of the fact that, if you take the taxes we pay and cram them all into the beginning of the year, then, based on the percentage of our income which goes to sustain the country, we only start ‘working for ourselves’ just shy of half way through the year.
Setting aside the questionable logic of spreading our tax rates over a calendar year and coming to a useful conclusion (if you spread our taxes across the country would we all live in Manitoba?), proponents of the lower tax argument are being to smart by half when they ask me to divide the world into ‘me’ and ‘them’ – the fictional, and presumably nefarious, strangers who populate that evil institution – government.
- I thought I was paying for the right to medical care without having to write a cheque for the basic services.
- I thought I was paying for a basic education for my children without having to haul out my wallet every morning as I drop my kid off at school.
- I thought I was paying for the fact that, when I get too old to work, if I am unlucky enough to have had my retirement income plan destroyed by the idiotic behaviour of bankers I can at least rely on a pittance from the evil government to help me stay alive.
- I thought I was paying for the ability of my children to borrow money for post secondary education, at low interest rates and comparably kind repayment terms, such that a Bachelors degree costs approximately $40,000 compared to $100,000-per-year in the US.
- I thought I was paying for the Canadian Military which, in addition to risking their lives overseas, step in to to help people like me if my home is threatened with flood, fire, earthquake or any number other natural disasters which regularly befall Canadians at home.
I am one of the first to scream bloody murder at evidence of government waste, political dishonesty, the sense of entitlement in the use of my tax dollars by many politicians …
Those are all legitimate concerns and everyone ought to be angered by the misuse of taxpayers’ money.
To argue that all of my taxes are somehow being spent on ‘them’ and that, as of Tax Freedom Day I can finally spend my money buying more Cheetos and porn is a simplistic, erroneous, intellectually bankrupt and dangerous bit of dogma designed to allow the rich to keep more of their embarrassment of riches in their own bank accounts as opposed to investing it in the country which provides them with the protection and the ability to stay rich and get richer.
Rail against government waste and political incompetence all you want but stop defining the things which make our way of life possible and distinct from that experienced by most people on the planet as though it were some sneaky trick being played on Canadians by ‘the government.’
If the business class would prefer to have us get rid of the government which provides them with the tax breaks, the educated workers, the health care, the roads, the police and the legal system which allows for their existence why not just come out and ask for it and we’ll discuss it.
But don’t try to tell me I’m now working for myself after Tax Freedom Day. I’m still working for you.