All Commentary
Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Welcome to Canada

Canada's Government Is Like a Dependent, Mildly Abusive Mother

Monte Solberg is a member of the Canadian Parliament and chief finance critic for the Reform Party.

People who are newcomers or visitors to Canada sometimes have trouble understanding how our government works so I have prepared the following short primer.

Taxes are the money forcibly taken from almost every man, woman, and child in Canada by the people in government. These taxes consume about half the average taxpayer’s income. The people in government keep a large portion of these taxes for themselves.

Some of the remainder is partially given back to the taxpayer as a kind of allowance. In many ways it’s just like the allowance you used to get from your mother when you were a child. The biggest difference is that this mother pays your allowance from the money she has stolen from your piggy bank. As a matter of fact, she also takes her pin money from your piggy bank. Don’t ever let your piggy bank run short or mother government will become very angry and abusive. I hope your real mother isn’t like mother government.

Some of your tax money is given to other people. When it is given to other people the government often calls it an investment. The recipients of these investments are often mil lionaires. They become millionaires by being connected to people in government and receiving investments from the government. Sometimes your taxes are given to people who have squandered their opportunities. In Canada this is called social justice.

Canadians are happy to pay taxes because this is how we get free health care. It’s good that it’s free because sometimes sick people are forced to stay in hospital closets or to wait months for treatment. We wouldn’t tolerate this if we actually had to pay for our health care, but because it is free Canadians don’t mind, and at least it’s not American-style health care. In America no one can afford health insurance, and everyone dies on the street.

Government takes the remainder of the money and gives it to other people who are poor. The poor are people who make less money than the people who aren’t poor. However, now that government takes half of people’s incomes almost everyone is poor. We do it this way because Canadians are more compassionate than Americans are. Being equally poor helps us eliminate our social deficit.

Canadians go along with this system because bureaucrats and politicians are more responsible with the taxpayers’ money than the taxpayers are themselves. If taxpayers were allowed to keep more of their money it would only be wasted on food, shelter, and clothing. Bureaucrats and politicians can be trusted because they are altruistic whereas taxpayers are selfish.

Bureaucrats sometimes invest the taxpayers’ money in culture to give us a sense of who we are as a country. Canadians pride ourselves on being tolerant, whereas Americans are intolerant. Sometimes we give hundreds of millions of dollars away to special-interest groups. These are called partnerships and they enrich the Canadian mosaic.

Imagine how terrible it would be to live in Canada if it weren’t for a government that suckles, guides, and watches over us for our entire lives, no matter where we go or what we do, just like a gigantic, doting, dependent, mildly abusive mother (sure, mom has her faults but who doesn’t?).

I trust this short primer will help visitors to my wonderful country understand the progressive nature of our government. Perhaps some visitors can take home valuable lessons on how to treat one another with real compassion. Hello, America, are you listening?