Cross-posted from USxCanada InfoShop
Canada take note: America’s tax system is messy but good
HuffPost (4 Jan 2013)
Dual citizen Francis uses her “expensive perch” to claim a “unique perspective” that the U.S. system of “checks and balances” has just now become operational — despite “a big fiscal mess, due to panic over 9/11, the 2008 debacle and unjustifiable tax cuts and wars paid for with a national credit card.” Meanwhile, Canadians are judged to “pay higher taxes because there are no checks and balances.” Comment: It is a pleasure to think that a person with this narrow tax-focused mindset will continue to be subjected to the highest taxation going in either of the two systems, together with the costs and uncertainties and risks of compliance with U.S. filing requirements.
She appears to be an American who came to Canada before she was old enough to have participated much in the system as a an adult and is now one of those duals who likes (makes a living actually) poking at the flaws of Canada while setting up the US (where she doesn’t live really) as a utopia.
This is interesting because many of my liberal American journalist and blogger pals like to look north to Canada and see a land of rainbows where unicorns run free.
Francis is a USA-shipper but not so much that she will live there.
What she has to say about the limits on states borrowing is correct. States aren’t allowed to borrow as they please and aren’t supposed to carry debt. Most states have laws about balancing their budgets every year. However, what she doesn’t point out (maybe doesn’t know b/c she’s never really lived there) is that states balance their budgets on the backs of Medicaid programs, public education and shorting municipalities and counties, which forces them to raise taxes and/or cut local services. Kinda like what happens in provinces here.
It’s the same system except that Canadians seem more interested in the common good whereas Americans are more strictly interested in individual material welfare first an believe that things like education and healthcare are things people should take care of themselves – mostly.
She doesn’t mention anything but taxes. Doesn’t talk about pointless compliance or the shanghi tactics of roping in ppl who really shouldn’t be classified as citizens b/c they didn’t seek/ask/want it. (Nothing wrong with allowing the children of citizens to gain citizenship but it should be something they do on their own and as adults who understand the pros/cons).
She’s supposedly a financial expert, so I find it odd that she skips over FATCA and as a Canadian financial “expert”, she should know full well about the multitude of unintended consequences it will impose.
Whenever someone takes about how awesome the US is compared to Canada, I am fairly certain he/she never really lived in both places. Not that there aren’t some nice material perks associated with living in the US … if you are of means … but the mindset is different. Maybe it is because she lives in Toronto? My husband says there is a different east/west difference and that those who live close to the border out east are even more like Americans than Albertans are (though aside from the need to acquire stuff, I don’t think Albertans are much like the Americans I grew up with at all.)
“Maybe it is because she lives in Toronto?”
Yep, most likely. In the four years I lived there I witnessed plenty of that ridiculous Toronto vs. New York penis-envy mentality. I could never understand why Torontonians couldn’t just be happy and proud of their own city instead of worrying all the time about measuring-up to the Big Apple. A lot of really insecure people in Canada’s largest metropolis, I’m afraid.
I think what Diane Francis really wants us to know is that she can afford to pay taxes in two countries, so she must really be a playa. Plus, she takes pains to remind us that she still has her Costco membership card to The Greatest Country on Earth™, so even more self-aggrandizement points. Quite frankly, I really see no other motivation for her to have written this otherwise extremely misleading and pointless article. Here’s just one example:
Francis claims that, “American governments pay half of all medical costs in U.S. or 7 per cent of GDP, the same 7 per cent as Canada and the others spend on healthcare for their citizens.” This might lead one to believe that the per-capita cost of health-care is the same in the two countries, but nothing could be further from the truth. Who pays the other half of medical costs then, if it’s not the governments – the American people do, out of pocket! Francis conveniently forgets to mention that the other, completely wasted half of ordinary Americans’ health-care dollars goes directly to feed gigantic, vampiric health insurance companies that add zero value to the health care delivery equation, thus resulting in an actual GDP expenditure of 17.6% in 2009 and expected to surpass 20% by 2021! Americans, on average, pay more than double what the citizens do of most industrialized nations who have publicly-funded health care. That Francis would deliberately obfuscate such a simple and well-known fact should cast doubt on the veracity of all her other facts and figures.
It’s really sad, but someone who should know better and who could potentially have been a sympathetic ally to our cause is instead just another brainwashed neo-con lite who can’t see the financial tsunami about to wash up from her beloved south.