While taxes in Canada are generally higher than in the U.S., our tax system is a lot fairer. That means that the average working person pays less tax here than in the U.S. - even though we benefit from much better public programs, like Medicare.
Canada relies more on income taxes (which are based on ability
to pay) and less on sales taxes and payroll taxes (which are not)
than most other countries, including the U.S. As a result, the
average working person actually pays less in total tax in Canada
than in the U.S., even though our network of social programs is
Source: OECD, "Tax/Benefit Position of Employees." Includes income taxes, employee payroll taxes, and social security contributions, net of transfers, for worker with two children.