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Canada's Quiet Bargain: The benefits of public spending

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Abstract

This study adds a dimension that has been missing to the public debate over taxes and public spending in Canada. It weighs the benefits of public services pro¬vided by federal, provincial, and municipal governments against the benefits of re¬cent tax cuts. Using a sophisticated array of data sets and analytical tools from Statistics Canada, this study concludes that Canadians depend to a significant extent on public services such as education, health care, child care, public pensions, employment insurance, and family benefits for their living standard. In fact, this study puts a number on it: Canadians enjoy an average $17,000 benefit from the public services which our taxes fund — about the same amount a Canadian working full-time, full-year at the minimum wage would earn. The results of this study show the vast majority of Canadians are getting a quiet bargain by investing in taxes that produce enormous public benefits.

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2009-04-01

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economics; economic; economy; labor market; earnings; employment; employ; employing; work; policy; policies; procedures; public policy; public programs; regulation; rules; statute; poverty; dependence; income; lack of income; welfare; need; poor; statistics; charts; data; estimates; figures; graphs; information; numbers; statistic; stats; Tax; taxes; dues; expense; tithe; tariff; toll; public spending; public services; civil service; civil services; public life; works; education; instruction; learn; learning; schooling; teaching; tutor; health care; medical care; health; child care; day care; family service; infant care; babysitting; daycare; preschool; playschool; pension; allowance; annuity; payment; retirement account; social security; employment insurance; benefits

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