I found these charts showing the differences in tax freedom day within both the U.S and Canada. The Tax Foundation has their charts showing the tax freedom day by state. As you know, tax freedom day is the day of the year when one stops working for the government and starts working for oneself. To put it another way, it shows the overall tax burden of a jurisdiction (including property, sales, excise taxes and what not) as a portion of one's working year. The Fraser Institute has one for Canada by province and by time. My current place of residence, Michigan, has a tax freedom day of April 15th (what a coincidence, the date personal income tax returns are due). My former place of residence, Ontario, has a tax freedom day of June 27th. Two things come to mind:
- I can't believe it is that big a differential. Over two months! In 1981, tax freedom day in Ontario was May 29th (per the Fraser Institute), while in Michigan in 1980 (per the Tax Foundation) it was April 22nd. No wonder Canadian real wages have stagnated. Their overall tax burden is up roughly 50% in terms of the incremental time/effort needed to pay "the man" his piece of the action. And that is in real terms, by measuring in terms of output (days of labour).
- Considering that most Canadians are paying half their total income to all levels of government, it is appalling how little value one gets for it (unless you own a Liberal friendly ad-firm in Montreal)
If you the biggest reason for the economic disparities between Canada and the U.S. Those two dates can explain a lot of it.