If you often wonder why much of the time you don’t have enough money left over to get from payday to payday, the Fraser Institute may offer an answer.
The Vancouver think-tank released a report this week which shows the average Canadian family spends more on taxes than on food, shelter and clothing combined.
That means more of your paycheque goes in taxes to all levels of government than is invested in keeping your household running.
Some experts have since quibbled with some of the statistics included in the study, but it’s a stark reminder of how much of our money is spent by someone else.
They decide where it goes — not you.
The institute says it’s now up to Canadians to decide if they are happy with that amount?
Decide? Ordinary Canadians don’t decide much of anything about how much they pay in taxes.
We elect governments and they, in their great wisdom, decide for us how much we should shell out to keep the services we get running.
For that matter, who among us would decide we don’t want to have our tax dollars paying for universal health care, education, pensions, ferries, search and rescue services, highways or even weekly garbage collection from our municipality.
It comes down to how much is too much?
We all keep demanding more and more from our governments and that requires them to collect more and more taxes. But there must be a balance and that means more than a politician looking for your vote telling you they will cut your taxes when they get elected.
We, as Canadians, must decide what we want from governments of all levels and live with the cost.
Sadly, there are no free rides.