Ontario in Perspective

When I read, the other day, that Ontario was in a far greater and deeper mess than California ever was – and then saw the numbers – that really put things into perspective for me.

Would you believe that California, at its very worst, was nowhere near where Ontario is right now?  ‘Tis true…..and it should be darned frightening for any of us who live here.  Ontario’s debit is nearly twice that of California and yet our population is less.  Each Californian is on the hook for $3,844 of debt.  Each Ontarian???  saddled with a debt of $20,166.

Do you want to calculate what the interest payments on a debt of $272 billion (nearly twice that of California)  are each month?  My calculator won’t even go to that many zeros.  I do know that paying this interest takes up over 9% of revenues (2.8% in California).    From 2012/13 to 2015/16, net interest payments will represent the fastest growing expense for our provincial government – more than twice the projected rate of health care expenditures.

California has managed to turn itself around by making painful decisions to contain their indebtedness.  The  Fraser Institute says that Ontario could back away from the precipice it is in danger of toppling over by simply limiting the rate of increase in spending……not by cuts but by simply not spending wildly.  The report goes on to say that Ontario could start to get its books in order and still allow a small (0.8%) increase in per-capita spending annually.  That sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Could we do this?  Not with the current government with its spending culture and its “need” to live up to union expectations!  Over the past 10 years, spending on health alone grew by 7% each year and education by 10%.  Other program spending increases averaged 6.2% annually.  Ontario Hydro bills are projected to rise 42% in 5 years.

We need to start living within our means.  Isn’t that what each and every one of us has to do with our own lives?  Aside from the nearly perfect weather, California is looking pretty darned good right now!!!



4 thoughts on “Ontario in Perspective

  1. Knowing you as well as I do, I am well aware that you NEVER make errors either in your generation of numbers or your overall understanding of stats. What you have written therefore must be the truth… Frightening. We need a Conservative government in power to deliver the nasty medicine necessary to get this province back on track… if indeed that is possible after all of the irresponsible decisions made over the years by Dalton McGinty and his Liberals. Because of the power of the Liberal press we have, not only in this province, but right across Canada, I am not convinced this will happen. I sincerely hope that I will be proven WRONG.

    • I subscribe to The Ottawa Sun – a much less liberal view – but I worry, as you do, that the outcome of the next election will simply be more of the same.

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