Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dear Canada,

Do you believe in government-provided social programs or in privately-funded programs? Pick one, because lately you've been doing neither and it stinks.

Successive governments, both federally and provincially, have cut taxes and programs, at your behest Canada. (Alberta, I'm looking right at you.) So you have more money in your pockets, and yet no less than the Fraser Institute is saying things like:
...the percentage of tax filers donating to charity fell in almost every Canadian province between 1997 and 2007...
You know what else they are saying?
If Canadians had given the same percentage of their aggregate income to charity as Americans had, Canada’s charities would have received an additional $10.1 billion in private donations.
Stop pretending to be the nicer version of our neighbours to the south, because baby it ain’t true. Wake up Canada you can’t have it both ways – low taxes and excellent services. It’s time to start showing some charity.

Other interesting facts:
  • A higher percentage of tax filers donated to charity in the United States (26.6%) than in Canada (24.0%) during the 2007 tax year. Similarly, Americans (at 1.60%) gave a higher percentage of their aggregate income to charity than did Canadians, (at 0.73%).
  • The Fraser Institute calls this a substantial generosity gap.
  • This generosity gap undoubtedly limits the power and potential of charities to improve the quality of life in Canada.
  • US numbers are actually larger than the stats above, because American tax law is such that some people may donate to registered charities but not be able to claim those donations on their taxes.
*All quotes are from here.

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