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U.S. and Canada Taxes Per Capita Close to OECD Average

An eager reader sends me this CNBC article comparing Canadian and American taxes. The article includes this great chart showing that total per capita taxation in our two countries has remained close to the OECD average (that’s the 35 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

Notice that, in 2015, we Americans actually paid more per person for government than our northern neighbors. And for all of those taxes, Canadians get, as CNBC notes, “the kind of perks Americans only get if they work for the most generous, prestigious corporations,” including “health care without deductibles as well as up to 18 months of subsidized parental leave when they have children,” while we Americans get a really big military that “accounts for about half of all discretionary spending.”


  1. jerry 2017-08-15 14:56

    trump/NOem/Thune/Rounds new plan to gut ACA/Obamacare subsidies would change those numbers drastically by adding several billion more in red ink. The CBO just scored this and found what we all knew was going to be the case, that is everyone except trump,NOem, Thune and Rounds.
    This incredible stupidity would lead to 5% of our total population having no access to non group health coverage. It would also kick in another 20 to 25% add on to the existing premium increases we are expecting.

    Maybe we should consider cutting some of the spending for defense like soon.
    Canada also has sports and many beautiful places to see. Get out that Curling broom and get set to work it man.

  2. Thomas 2017-08-15 15:16

    What is amazing to me is that many many people, are constantly telling me how great things are in Canada. In my job, I need a lot of Canadian truck drivers. And they constantly tell me how expensive things are to purchase in Canada because of their exorbitant sales tax. The sales tax that among other things, is used to cover the cost of healthcare. These drivers haul commodities using hopper trailers into the states and then turn around and haul another hopper load full of a different commodity back into Canada. These drivers often tell me about stopping at Walmart or Sam’s Club or similar place to buy things in the United States because they’re so much cheaper. They bury their purchases in the trailer covered by whenever they’re hauling and bring them back into Canada. So, are the taxes on this chart reporting the sales taxes and all other taxes besides an income tax? Are we comparing apples to oranges? In my opinion so, are the taxes on this chart reporting the sales taxes and all other taxis besides an income tax? Are we comparing apples to oranges? In my opinion my anecdotal evidence of high taxes in Canada carries more weight.

  3. Porter Lansing 2017-08-15 15:44

    After all the bills are paid, people in Canada have more spending money left. Buying things as a group is cheaper. Think SAM’s CLUB. PS … smuggling isn’t a valid component in comparisons.

  4. jerry 2017-08-15 16:31

    Thomas, Sales taxes in Canada

    One of the reasons we Americans continue on with the charade we have is that we’re number one and it is hard to see that we are not. The dollar trades more than the Canadian Dollar as well so there is that. In the case of this study though, this was was done with USD as indicated. “That total tax revenue figure includes not merely federal income taxes, but all taxes, including “taxes on income and profits, social security contributions, taxes levied on goods and services, payroll taxes, taxes on the ownership and transfer of property, and other taxes.”

  5. Porter Lansing 2017-08-15 16:44

    Canadian’s view USA the way Americans view Mexico. We can go down there and get good deals on Kahlua and tequila but our standards are higher than theirs. Once the majority of Americans realize things are better elsewhere we can realize things could be better here with changes and if we decide to make USA better then Canada or Europe we can do it. If people continue to be fooled that things here are better, we’ll never be as good as Canada and Europe or as good as we could be.

  6. OldSarg 2017-08-15 18:35

    While I personally think military spending needs to be changed from discretionary to mandatory spending, due to the fact it forces the military to blow money at the end of the year wastefully, defense spending in the USA only is actually 16% of our government spending and only 3.3% of our GDP while Mandatory spending, food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Unemployment Compensation Earned Income and Child Tax Credits Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income, Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Disability Insurance.

    That being said: move to Canada. The door is open. Ask the Haitian’s that are fleeing the United States. There you can have all the free health care and vacation you desire, if you can get in. I saw Canada called in their military to stop the influx of illegal aliens. . . Canada actually fits your modus operandi of hiding behind others while expecting the rest of the US citizens to carry your water.

  7. Porter Lansing 2017-08-15 18:45

    OlSargie … I don’t run from my problems. I work to make things better. You however tell yourself lies and believe them.

  8. jerry 2017-08-15 18:54

    Canada served in Afghanistan for 12 long years starting in 2001. 158 Canadian soldiers were killed in action there. Canada is always first in United Nations needs for peacekeepers, trainers and mentors.
    If you had ever been in the military, you would have known this or at least to have kept up on world events.

  9. OldSarg 2017-08-15 18:57

    Porter, if yo were working to make things better you would move back to South Dakota as opposed to hiding behind the smoke filled haze of Colorado. . .

  10. OldSarg 2017-08-15 18:59

    Jerry, you’re an idiot. You are not Canadian, a veteran or the spouse of a veteran. You just drool crap. You are nothing.

  11. Porter Lansing 2017-08-15 19:05

    You’re full of ideas about moving. Psychology says that’s because you’re unsettled about your identity. Like was said … there’re lots of transgendered Sergeants and lots of women Sergeants. Got anything to tell the world, who ever you are today?

  12. jerry 2017-08-15 19:05

    BTW, Canada has all those things mentioned and as noted, single payer healthcare and yes, family leave. What??? Family leave, yepper, all included. Indeed, Haitians are fleeing to Canada. You probably are not aware that Haiti has deep ties to French speakers, like..well Montreal.

    We here in the United States will miss these hard working immigrants. We have an excess of 5.7 million jobs here that are unfilled. Demand for workers has grown so much that airlines have cancelled flights, home building has slowed, farmers are sweating bullets that the crop will rot. Yet the wages remain crappy and stagnant.

  13. jerry 2017-08-15 19:26

    If I were to move to Canada, I would consider British Columbia as it has a wonderful climate. When I was training in Fort Lewis (in the same barracks as my father trained in prior to World War II) I had the opportunity to go with relatives there. We drove the couple hundred miles to Vancouver for a day of it. I have followed the weather there since and see that the coast is warmed by the current so it stays pretty nice there. My first trip of many out of the country.

    Maybe to Montreal or Quebec, both beautiful old cities that I have a connection to from my ancestors when he came to the new world as a soldier for the king.

  14. Rorschach 2017-08-16 00:13

    I like your story, Thomas. The rest of the story is that there are 2 things truckers are good at:

    1. Driving truck; and
    2. Complaining

    Truck drivers are world-class complainers. A truck driver who’s not complaining is sleeping. Complaining is what they do. If you deal with them regularly you know this. I have been around truck drivers my whole life, and I have been a truck driver. Still have a CDL.

    Here’s the telling part about your anecdotal story. The truck drivers you deal with work both sides of the border. They see both countries all the time. There is a big shortage of truck drivers in the US, and I personally know of numerous US trucking companies that sponsor Russians, Australians, Africans, for visas to come to the US and drive trucks. Those Canadian drivers you see regularly know both countries and could easily get jobs in the US if they wanted to, but they choose to stay in Canada where their tax money is used for things that they wouldn’t get in the US – like healthcare. But you know what they would do if they took jobs here? Complain. And move back to Canada.

  15. Porter Lansing 2017-08-16 00:54

    Excellent, Schach. I was going to say,”Notice they don’t move to USA, Thomas.”

  16. Richard Schriever 2017-08-16 09:25

    Thomas – That’s an interesting spin, Compare it to the stories my mom told me about her experiences in ND where she ran a nursing home for a couple years. Seems that around there, BUS LOADS of local NDn’s would go up to Canada to go shopping – on a pretty regular basis – because it was so much cheaper to shopping in the US. Hmmm, who sould I believe – a 2nd hand story from some guy on the Internet – or my Mom? Hmmm.

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