Today marked the final payday of the year, which means that in addition to the digital payslip there is an official summary statement showing how much was earned and deducted this year. The numbers this year show that I've clearly gone above and beyond to get as much done as possible, but it has resulted in being pushed into a tax bracket that demands a larger portion of the earnings. As a result, I'm now paying close to 22.75%1 in taxes from each paycheque before paying for all the necessities to life and the taxes on those; a number that is getting incredibly close to the 26.4% I used to pay when living and working in Canada.
One of the many common complaints that people seem to enjoy venting is the poor use of our taxes by governments. Politicians are ineffective. Projects are unnecessarily expensive. Lightbulbs at the government buildings are 10-times more expensive than they should be. The roads are still marked with potholes from five years ago. The list goes on. However, waste aside, is the perceived ROI worth the noticeable amount of tax that is skimmed from the fruits of my labour?
Yes, I think so.
The air and water here are generally clean. The cops do not harass us. The schools are plentiful and working. The bulk of health care costs are generally covered by the government2. My family is quite safe. The roads, while frustrating at times, are well maintained. The electricity grid is incredibly resilient. We're not at war. Food is plentiful. I'm free to be myself … as imperfect as I may be.
There's a lot that the government can do better with regards to money but, if a person can have all this for just 22.75% of our taxable income, why wouldn't someone see it as a good deal?
Using the actual gross and net values on the document, this year saw 22.74390544368302% of earnings deducted for use by the federal, prefectural, and municipal governments.
A typical doctor's visit for me is about $3 with a prescription that rarely goes above $10 unless I have pneumonia or something equally unpleasant. Children under 16 are -- so far as I know -- completely covered. I cannot find any fault with this in the least. I'm employed, so I can afford a $13 visit. People on pensions pay substantially less.