The problem with democracy, as I see it, is that people always want more stuff provided by the government like health care, education, subsidies, military defense, etc. But people don’t want to pay for it. So every politician who wants to get into power has to promise to give the citizens stuff while promising never to raise taxes. It’s stupid and obviously can’t ever become reality, but the people buy into the idea. Maybe they like one politician because he agrees to lower a specific tax or increase tax for a smaller segment of the population.
Getting stuff for free like I do in Canada is expensive. In Vancouver we pay 20.5c in taxes for every litre of gas we buy. 6 cents of that goes straight to our uber transit system, which includes busses and light rail. Despite this, a bus ticket across town during peak hours still costs about $4. That works out to 77c a gallon in taxes. My own average income tax rate is 26%. There’s also a federal goods & services tax, which is 5% and BC has a provincial goods & services tax, which is 7%.
Sure, we get lots of stuff provided to every citizen, regardless of their ability to pay in full, but the money comes from everybody. And voters have to realize that. You can’t vote for universal health care and then complain when taxes go up. If taxes go up and you DON’T get stuff, then you have full right to take up your pickaxes and pitchforks and march on Capitol Hill. 🙂