Sometimes a picture is the best rebuttal to a flawed argument — so hats off to the Grid, a weekly magazine in Toronto, for taking on the conservative movement's anti-tax campaign.
Their annotated picture of a Toronto intersection shows all the ways tax dollars are put to good use in the community. Those roads you drive on? Each lane costs $750 per metre. Manholes? $80,000 a pop. Overhead streetcar wire? $900 a metre. Street lights? $6,000 each. Fire hydrant? $7,000 each. And on and on it goes.
This isn't what right-wing think tanks like the Fraser Institute want people to imagine when they think of taxes. They want to sell a line about how Canadians are overtaxed so people get behind an aggressive tax-cutting agenda. The point is to starve the public treasury of resources needed to pay for public services.
The Fraser Institute even has a "Tax Freedom Day" every year to mark when families have paid off their tax bill (and start working for themselves). The message is simple: don't think about all those public investments paid for by taxes that benefit your family and community, just get mad at your tax bill.
And hope you never get sick and need surgery, or need paved roads for the ambulance to get you to the hospital fast, or... well, just take a look at the Grid's work (or click here for the full-size image):