Taxes are a way of life. And it isn’t just our income we pay tax on; rather just about everything in our lives is taxed. The Fraser Institute released its 2017 Canadian Consumer Tax Index and found that we spend more on taxes than household necessities. The average Canadian family gives 42.5% of its earnings to the taxman with 37.4% going for food, clothing and housing.
I sometimes wonder how much tax I’m really paying when you add it all up. I don’t know if I really want to know because what I do know is it’s a lot. The question would be, if we know we’re giving nearly 43% of the average family’s income to governments, are we receiving value for the money? We pay taxes in order to get government services but when taxes increase, do we get improved services? Often the answer is no because a good chunk of what we give in taxes goes to pay government debt and debt is really a deferred tax that someone has to pay for some time. I chuckle when I think that income tax was introduced in Canada 100 years ago in 1917 during the First World War as a ‘temporary measure’ to raise money for the war effort. I have high hopes that this ‘temporary’ measure will end someday because in one of the Star Trek movies it was stated they don’t use money any more in the 23rd century.