Being a business person, accountant, father and pragmatist, I must say that I have become very concerned for my children’s future in this province. I truly try not to be dramatic, I simply look at facts and human nature to see where trend lines extrapolate to and then come to a conclusion and my conclusion is Ontario is a fiscal mess. Under the last 12 years of liberal party rule, Ontario is now the number one province in Canada – for accumulated debt! Not only that but the Fraser Institute reports that Ontario’s debt is growing faster than any other province in Canada! A friend sent me an article published in Pinterest (author unknown) with the following facts:
Since 2003, the Liberals have added $160 billion to Ontario’s debt, more than doubling it to almost $300 billion – That’s more debt accumulation than Canada’s nine other provinces combined, which added $126 billion in total to their debt loads.
When the Liberals took power in 2003, Ontario was the seventh most indebted province with a net debt-to-GDP ratio of 27.3%, a key indicator of economic health.
After 12 years of Liberal rule, Ontario is now the second most indebted province, surpassed only by Quebec, with a net debt-to-GDP ratio of 39.6%.
This represents a 45% increase in Ontario’s net debt-to-GDP ratio, the largest increase among all the provinces.
In 2003, Ontario held 45.1% of all provincial net debt in Canada. In 2015, it was 50.3%.
Between 2003 and 2015, Ontario’s net debt rose by $10,292 per person, the largest provincial per capita increase.
The Fraser Institute predicts Ontario’s net debt per person will surpass Quebec’s in 2017/18 reaching $22,659 — about $175 more than Quebec’s.
As the Fraser Institute notes, “this rapid run-up in government debt in Ontario has created significant costs for taxpayers … approximately nine cents out of every dollar collected by the provincial government in revenue (is) spent on interest payments servicing the province’s nearly $300 billion debt.”
This year, according to the Wynne government’s own projections, interest on debt payments will cost Ontario taxpayers $11.2 billion, rising to $11.75 billion next year.
If debt was a government ministry, it would be the fourth largest this year after health care, education and community and social services.
Next year, it will be the third largest, with Ontarians spending $11.75 billion paying interest on debt, more than on all welfare and social service programs combined at $11.46 billion.
How can we convince Ontarians that this is simply bad and scary economics? It took Ontario approximately 100 years to become the wondrous society that was envied around the world. However, in only 12 years we have stopped being envied and are now being pitied. This is what the tax-and-spend philosophy has done to Ontario. Our society must start considering the “unintended consequences” of current policy and plan accordingly. Our children and their children will be saddled with huge debts resulting in tremendously unfair taxes to pay for both their societal needs of their future and for our sins of today. It gets even scarier when one thinks it through a little further. Progressive taxation puts an unreasonable, way over-proportionate share of tax on the top 10 percent of the population. Does anyone really believe that those few future taxpayers will be willing to pay more and more only to receive less and less without upheaval? Many taxpayers are already revolting by joining the underground economy. In the near future, our children will be living in a much challenged society with predictable tax revolts, diminishing health and education services, deteriorating infrastructure and a fading industrial economic base. They deserve better yet we keep drinking the same Kook Aid from Ms. Wynne and her Liberal cronies. Will Ontario become a Detroit??? The thought sends shivers up my spine but I just cannot get rid of the thought because it is far too possible.