Did you know that the fastest growing line item in the Ontario Liberal budget is interest payments on debt? At $11.5 billion, interest on debt is the fourth biggest spending category in the Liberal budget. This might be good for bankers and bondholders. . But it's not good for you. It's not good for most people in Ontario.
Thank you for your letter. I have been writing you for a while now and was getting worried you were never going to write back. I'm getting involved in the Conservative leadership race because I can't stand watching incompetent politicians destroy my country. You and Justin Trudeau are two of them. Rachel Notley would be the third.
Every winter, the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance invites groups to make submissions about what they would like to see in the spring budget. Every year, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation does what no other group in Ontario does: they ask the government to spend less money, not more.
Ontario, the world’s most indebted sub-sovereign borrower, is ploughing ahead with Canada’s most ambitious infrastructure
Ontario, as with many governments, is lucky its debt interest payments are not substantially higher given its almost doubled debt. That has everything to do with historically low interest rates. But luck is not a long-term strategy for governments -- at least not ones that prefer prudence over accidental fiscal offerings.
Ontario has dug itself into a deep financial hole. The responsible thing to do is curb government spending to balance the books. But some analysts are suggesting that Ontario should raise taxes. McGill University's Dr. Christopher Ragan has even called for a carbon tax. This is a terrible idea. The last thing cash-strapped Ontario families can bear right now is a tax on everything.
We've seen this script before. Higher spending. Tax increases. Persistent deficits. Growing debt. Warnings from credit rating agencies. A government unwilling to make the tough choices to turn things around. That's the Ontario of the 1980s and early 1990s. It's also where the province finds itself today.
Bob Rae and Kathleen Wynne are hardly the only (former and current) politicians to engage in storytelling. Politicians of every partisan stripe do the same thing. But while stories are useful and guide us in a variety of beneficial ways, the rational side of human nature should revisit tales now and then, especially political ones. That leads to better, smarter government. Ontario is no exception.
The government already spends 9.2 per cent of its revenues to service its debt and, according to its own estimates, this will rise to nearly 11 per cent in the next four years. Put plainly, Ontario spends $1 out of every $10 sent to Queen's Park to pay for past debt. This is money not spent on health care, education, transportation, or other public priorities. The increase in rates and the expectation for further hikes means even more tax revenues will go to paying interest instead of key government services.
As the election heats up and politicians fall over themselves to promise the moon to voters, the single largest problem facing Ontario continues to be the province's pitiful finances. Hudak has been brutally honest with the people of Ontario about what his government will cut and the tough decisions they will make to get the province back on track.