A little thinking on elections and universal health care and pitchforks

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. 🙂

7 thoughts on “A little thinking on elections and universal health care and pitchforks

  • Truthfully…

    We do have it good. Canadians like to complain, it’s our second national sport after Curling (ducks).

    On comparisons of the G8 nations, on average, Canadians and Americans pay almost the least tax, and on a detailed Can/US comparison, if you factor in the Health Care/Health Insurance figures, the difference in tax north and south of the 49th is with 5-10% overall.

    Currently in Alberta, I pay a $44.oo /mo premium for health care (which by law cannot be used to deny medically necessary procedures if one can’t pay), but next year those premiums will be phased out, leaving BC the only province that collects a premium.

  • Do you also pay GST on gas, or is that included in the total you gave?

    For comparison, in California we pay 39 cents/gallon plus 7.75% sales tax (=GST) (around 70 cents/gallon total at $4/gallon). My marginal tax rate on income here is around 42%. (I originally wrote 50% but that includes the taxes my employer pays).

    My health plan is $4-5k/year, but I’m lucky that my company pays for that.

    It sounds like you’re getting a good deal up there!

    • The 20.5c includes all taxes, I believe. That’s how I read the chart, at least! 🙂 There’s still a monthly fee for the universal health care plan, and anyone can buy optional coverage on top of it for things like dental, non-emergency work, etc.

      42%? Hmmm… that seems rather high for income tax. I just looked at my previous four years and compared the tax I paid to my gross earnings and got the 26%, which isn’t too shabby, I guess, compared to 40%. I’ll stop whining now. 🙂

      • How much is the healthcare fee?

        42% is my marginal rate, and includes federal income tax, state income tax, social security, and medicare. I believe my total tax rate (comparable to what you reported) is between 25-30%.

        • http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/msp/

          Monthly Premiums:
          $54 for one person
          $96 for a family of two
          $108 for a family of three or more

          But there is assistance if your income is low:
          The current adjusted net income (per person or per couple) thresholds are:
          $20,000 – 100 percent subsidy
          $22,000 – 80 percent subsidy
          $24,000 – 60 percent subsidy
          $26,000 – 40 percent subsidy
          $28,000 – 20 percent subsidy

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