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Like it or not, cuts have to be made

Ford government just cleaning up Liberals’ mess

Toronto Sun

5 May 2019

The recent protests at Queen’s Park by teachers and health care workers highlights just how noisy the next three years is going to be for the Ford government.

I think most people understand the concept of limited resources when it relates to our personal finances. Most of us also realize that if your credit cards are maxed out, you need to make cuts in your own family spending. You don’t get another credit card so you can take your family to Disney World.  We all have to make choices between needs and wants.

I understand how awful it is to not get needed health and educational services, but think of how much more autism therapy or life enhancing medical treatments could be provided if the previous government hadn’t wasted $2 billion moving two gas plants out of Liberal-friendly ridings. That may be a partisan swipe, but it’s the truth.

I was disappointed to hear recently about cuts to library services, like inter-library loans, but could a volunteer or corporate entity pick up the slack?  While the “Toronto Public Library presented by ABC Widgets” is not my ideal option, if it helps preserve or expand library services, is that not the better choice?

Governments at all levels and of all political stripes have been living beyond our means for too long and we are going to have to reconcile with the fact that we are going to have to cut back on expenditures and start paying down the ever growing debt.

Currently, Ontario is the most indebted sub-sovereign borrower. Just the interest on the provincial debt is over $13 billion a year. It’s the fourth largest budget line for the provincial government behind healthcare, education and social services.

I still shake my head that legendary Canadian socialist politician Tommy Douglas believed that government debt was bad because the interest uses up money that could be used to pay for the social programs that we all love.  Does anyone else see the irony?

We have seen this over and over over the past three decades: left-wing parties spend and spend with no limits, then Conservatives have to come in and look like the bad guy by cutting up the card.

Bottom line, Ontarians are going to have to accept the idea that eventually cuts are going to have to be made in provincial government spending.

It should be noted that job cuts can easily be made through the natural attrition or voluntary buy-outs.  Non-essential programs and services could be cut (the government can’t provide everything), along with relying on the private sector for some services (those with employer-paid benefits don’t need “free” prescriptions from the government); more utilization of secure on-line services, or simply by getting better value for money spent, like not paying $650, 000 designing a logo for the Ontario Cannabis Store, a logo that my daughter could have done with her crayons from the Dollar Store.

Our politicians could also lead by example by cutting their budgets and expense accounts too.

Bruce Forsyth is a freelance writer and the webmaster for www.militarybruce.com.

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The unedited version:

The recent protests at Queen’s Park by teachers and health care workers highlights the monetary version of NIMBY (not in my backyard) and just how noisy the next three years is going to be for the Ford government..

I think most people understand the concept of limited resources when it relates to our personal finances. We know that we can’t keep maxing out our credit cards forever and that we will have to pay the money back some day if we wish to avoid bankruptcy.

I think most people understand the concept of limited resources when it relates to our personal finances. Most of us also realize that if your credit cards are maxed out, you need to make cuts in your own family spending. You don’t get another credit card so you can take your family to Disney World. We all have to make choices between needs and wants.

I understand how awful it is to not get needed health and educational services, but think of how much more autism therapy or life enhancing medical treatments could be provided if the previous government hadn’t wasted $2 billion moving two gas plants out of Liberal-friendly ridings. That may be a partisan swipe, but it’s the truth.

I was disappointed to hear recently about cuts to library services, like inter-library loans, but could a volunteer or corporate entity pick up the slack? While the “Toronto Public Library presented by ABC Widgets” is not my ideal option, if it helps preserve or expand library services, is that not the better choice?

The protesters just don’t want the funding from their ministries cut to any degree.

Governments at all levels and of all political stripes have been living beyond our means for too long and one day we are going to have to reconcile with the fact that we are going to have to cut back on expenditures and start paying down the ever growing debt.

Currently, Ontario is the most indebted sub-sovereign borrower. Just the interest on the provincial debt is over $13 billion a year. It’s the fourth largest budget line for the provincial government behind healthcare, education and social services.

I still shake my head that legendary Canadian socialist politician Tommy Douglas believed that government debt was bad because the interest that must be paid on those debts uses up money that could be used to pay for the social programs that we all love.

Tommy got it, so why don’t we?  Does anyone else see the irony?

We have seen this over and over over the past three decades: left-wing parties spend and spend with no limits, then Conservatives have to come in and look like the bad guy by cutting up the card.

I do have to give a bit of credit to Bob Rae’s NDP government, who apparently channeled a bit of Tommy and realized cuts had to be made (his “Rae Days” infuriated his traditional union base), but his spendthrift ways prior to that awakening led to the necessary cuts Mike Harris had to make.

Bottom line, Ontarians are going to have to accept the idea that eventually cuts are going to have to be made in provincial government spending if we are ever going to return to a balanced budget and start paying off the accumulated debt.

It should be noted that job cuts can easily be made through the natural attrition or voluntary buy-outs. Non-essential programs and services could be cut (the government can’t provide everything), along with privatizing services better handled by the private sector (those with employer-paid benefits don’t need “free” prescriptions from the government); more utilization of secure on-line services, or simply by getting better value for money spent, like not paying $650, 000 the Kathleen Wynne Liberals spent designing a logo for the Ontario Cannabis Store, a logo that my daughter could have done with her crayons from the Dollar Store.

By the way, privatization doesn’t necessarily mean reduced service because of profit motive. Profit motive can force efficiencies because money is simply not wasted like governments are known to do regularly.

For the protesters out there I ask, what things would you cut?   It’s pretty easy to say don’t cut, but we all know expenses that could be cut. I was a government worker for over 30 years and both saw and took part in waste. I could name a few things.

Our politicians could also lead by example by cutting their budgets and expense accounts too.

Sources: https://globalnews.ca/news/5220835/thousands-protest-ontario-health-care-changes, https://www.fraserinstitute.org/blogs/ontario-taxpayers-must-pay-212-billion-in-government-debt-interest-this-year,

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/like-it-or-not-cuts-have-to-be-made/

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