Where Does Your Tax Dollar Go? (U.S. and Canada)

We watched “Stranger Than Fiction” a few weeks ago, I really liked it and keep coming back to it. I give it 10/10 and will buy it on DVD. End of movie review.

Here’s a sort of funny dialog from “Stranger Than Fiction” that resonated with me:

Harold Crick: It says, in the file, that you only paid part of your taxes for last year.
Ana Pascal: That’s right.
Harold Crick: Looks like only 78 percent.
Ana Pascal: Yep.
Harold Crick: So you did it on purpose?
Ana Pascal: Yep.
Harold Crick: So you must’ve been expecting an audit.
Ana Pascal: Um, I was expecting a fine, or a sharp reprimand.
Harold Crick: A reprimand? This isn’t boarding school, Miss Pascal. You stole from the government.
Ana Pascal: No I didn’t steal from the government. I just didn’t pay you *entirely*.
Harold Crick: Miss Pascal, you can’t just not pay your taxes.
Ana Pascal: Yes, I can.
Harold Crick: You can if you want to get audited.
Ana Pascal: Only if I recognize your right to audit me, Mr. Crick.
Harold Crick: Miss Pascal, I’m right here auditing you.
Ana Pascal: Listen, I’m a big supporter of fixing potholes and erecting swing sets and building shelters. I am *more* than happy to pay those taxes. I’m just not such a big fan of the percentage that the government uses for national defense, corporate bailouts, and campaign discretionary funds. So, I didn’t pay those taxes. I think I sent a letter to that effect with my return.
Harold Crick: Would it be the letter that begins “Dear Imperialist Swine”?

I find myself thinking more and more that I don’t want to pay taxes, or rather not “entirely” 🙂 As most people who give it a thought, I at least partially disagree with how the tax money is spent.

Here’s where the Canadian tax dollar goes

Category descriptions in the chart are kind of vague, but they’re explained in detail here: http://www.fin.gc.ca/TaxDollar/text/html/pamphlet_e.html

My web search skills may suck but it was a lot harder to find a clear picture of where the American money goes. Canadian government websites seem to be more straight-forward, like they have less to hide 🙂

Here’s where the American tax dollar goes

Note: I put this chart together, therefore the way it’s colored is obviously biased. The big bright blocks comprise 75% of the budget.

The budget should be a reflection of the people’s priorities, whether that’s true or not is a separate question. The major differences are in Defense and Health care allocations. Even if the Healthcare diff. may be due to how federal and state/provincial governments handle things (maybe individual provinces take on more than the states do, for example), but the Defense is clearly a federal expense.

Canadians get offended when people say “they’re just like Americans”, and rightly so, at least our budget is a reflection of the peaceful nation that we are. With this, I end my very much delayed bash of the American-Iraqi war.

Tax spending is a topic for another time, when I start breaking my New Year’s resolutions and go back to my complaining self.

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