2021-08-01

“Tax Freedom” Day is bullshit.

Not relatively minor chickenshit — full-on full-size bullshit. If I could pitch the entire Fraser Institute off a cliff for even thinking up the term I would do it.

So, yes, the Fraser Institute is going on about how June 6 is “Tax Freedom Day” this year — the day after which “Canadians finally pay off their taxes for the year and can start working for themselves”. And CBC, shame on them, feels the need to pay attention to their pathetic bleating.

As if paying taxes wasn’t already “working for yourself”, your family, your neighbourhood, your country. As if there’s no value at all to the services provided by all our levels of government. As if we’d be better off without those services. As if civilization doesn’t depend on them. As if you could provide them cheaper by yourself instead of taking advantage of massive economies of scale. As if the people whining about them haven’t benefited massively from the services that have been provided to them; as if those taxes didn’t pay for the educational institutions and infrastructure that’s put them in such a privileged position that they’re now free to spend their time whining instead of doing something useful.

I’ll indulge in a lengthy but topical quote from Heather Mallick’s “Tax is not a dirty word” here:

Traffic lights, military graveyards, restaurant kitchen inspection, best-before dates on cheese, transport-truck safety, passports, immunization, filtration standards for urban cremation chimneys, crosswalk-painting, drainage, bank deposit insurance, child-support enforcement, prison guards, chiropractor regulation, bridges, tunnels, flag design, auditors-general, airwaves usage, census-taking, postal codes, organ donation, courts, clean water, weather history, alcoholism treatment, classrooms, assisted reproduction, at-risk species registration, forest-insect slaughter, fish conservation, Olympic training, vehicle registration, name change, international child abduction search and rescue.

Take a deep breath, class.

Building codes, nature trails, mental health treatment, Ontario cemetery finding, Toronto bike lockers, maps, vehicle sensors, P.A.T.H., apartment standards, First Nations statistics, land claims, bankruptcy, Polar Continental Shelf tracking, veterans, fence disputes, fraud and waste hotline, leaf pickup, snow removal, urban forestry, Hydro, pesticide regulation, Great Lakes pilotage, litter collection, committees of adjustment, army and navy, autism assessment, behavioural therapy, border guards, serial-killer tracking, copyright, Supreme Court appointments, governors-general, access to information, adoption records, critical infrastructure protection.

And another breath.

Air-bag safety, student loans, agricultural income stabilization, immigration, embassies and consulates, parole, postage stamps, streamlined customs clearance, the national do-not-call list, forest-fire mapping, petroleum and natural gas lands administration, canola dealer licensing, hunting and snaring licences, fisheries, elections, pensions, money-minting, aviation museums, polar ice-watching, police college, social assistance, unemployment insurance.

And that was just a taste, a smattering, of what Canadians do and have done for them, the stuff that makes you want to kiss the sweet Pearson tarmac when you get home from the bloody dust of Afghanistan and never leave this good-natured civilized paved place until whatever-awaits-us extends its bony hand and says “Follow me.”

Perhaps the Fraser Institute should relocate itself to, say, Somalia, if it feels taxes are so valueless. Fine. Go live somewhere without them. Work “for yourself”. (Here’s your AK-47, son. You’ll need it.)

Or perhaps Syria. A friend, posting the link to the blog of an out lesbian in Damascus who was just abducted off the street noted:

My friends blog about books and cycling and writing for TV, and then they go on with their lives. We are all extremely lucky.

Yes, we are lucky, extremely lucky. And in part we make our own luck by paying our damn taxes so that we can continue to live in a civilized country where people living peaceful lives don’t, as a rule, get snatched off the street.

/soapbox.