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A study done by a group called the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives finds that the benefits of public spending far outweigh the effects that come from various tax cutting measures.

From the Press Release:

The majority of Canadian households enjoy a higher quality of life because the public services their taxes fund come at a solid bargain, according to a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

Canada’s Quiet Bargain: The Benefits of Public Spending responds to incessant calls for tax cuts and concludes public services make a significant contribution to the majority of Canadians’ standard of living – worth at least 50% of their income.

“What passes for a tax cut debate in Canada is really only half a debate,” says economist Hugh Mackenzie, the study’s co-author and CCPA research associate.

“Our taxes pay for services that are extremely valuable to Canadians. The suggestion we often hear, that taxes are a burden, hides the reality that our taxes fund public services that make Canada’s standard of living among the very best.”

The study shows middle-income Canadian families enjoy public services worth about $41,000 – or 63% of their income. Even households earning $80,000-$90,000 a year enjoy public services benefits equivalent to about half of their income.

The study also shows 80% of Canadians would be better off if the federal government hadn’t cut the GST; 75% would be better off if their provincial governments invested in public services instead of broad-based income tax cuts; and 88% would be better off without federal cuts to capital gains taxes.

“Tax cuts are always made to sound like they’re free money to middle-income Canadians – they are anything but,” says Mackenzie. “We’re far better off with the public services our taxes fund than we are with tax cuts.”

While this study focuses solely on the benefits reaped by Canadians, it is not unrealistic to believe that similar results would be found here in the United States. I can understand the views of individualists wanting to just be able to do all of this themselves. However, here in the world of reality we need to work together and help each other succeed because it is simply unrealistic to live in a purely individualist society. There must be a balance in all things...
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