have you ever been to Canada? everything up here costs on average 50% more (or more), we pay more taxes, and have higher income tax. i find it funny that our dollar on paper is worth about the same as yours, yet in reality its worth practically nothing. before my injury (had to quit work) i had about $400 a week taken off my paychecks, then another 13% added onto everything i buy. so much for our "booming" economy...
Things cost more, but 50%? I live very near the border and we go down to the US all the time. Now that the $ is at or near par, the difference isn't that high. And most of that is simply the 10:1 population ratio. Nothing to do with taxes, everything to do with product movement and inventory costs.
As far as income taxes, our tax slope is certainly steeper than the US, i.e. we hit any particular percentage tax on a lower income. But the actual percentages again are not that different. And BTW, if you had to pay for health insurance at US rates, you'd more than make up the difference until you're up around $140K/yr.
As far as sales taxes, it depends what province/state you're in. California is at, what, 11 or 12 % right now? And at the other end, Alberta is at 5% (GST only).
In the end, a very large part of the problem is population density. We have 1/10 the population of the US, and although some costs are proportional to population, many are not. Just to use a trivial ferinstance, to run power lines from whichever dam is supplying Vancouver with power wouldn't cost twice as much if we had twice the population, it would only cost maybe 10% more. Similar problems with sewer, water, and any other kind of infrastructure. There's a basic cost that you can't get around even if your population is 12.
This is not to say that I like
taxes. I'm not some drooling NDPer. But I think you have to understand the problem rather than just rant about it.