Advice for deficit avoidance

The next time a politician casually mentions borrowing a billion dollars – or $50 billion for that matter – ask yourself this question: what would my family do?

The next time a politician casually mentions borrowing a billion dollars – or $50 billion for that matter – ask yourself this question: what would my family do?

The Harper government has just announced that their deficit for this year alone will exceed $50 billion. As if this isn’t bad enough, none of the opposition leaders seem to be concerned that this deficit figure is too much. When it comes to requests to spend, all of these politicians should heed the same advice they give their children: ‘just say no.’

The federal budget was tabled in January with a $34-billion deficit. Yet Jim Flaherty has already announced the deficit will be over $50 billion. This is a 47 per cent increase in the projected deficit in only two months. This change is a doozy – and one that will not only impact the taxpayers of today, but also those of tomorrow. It is they who will have to pay-off this huge and growing debt burden.

So, how much is $50 billion? Well, it could buy roughly 211 NHL teams, or build 100 state of the art sports stadiums, or buy 26 space shuttles. If divided up and given to each Canadian, it would be $1,492 each.

While it is difficult to wrap your brain around such a large number, one can see how fast Canada’s debt is climbing at, a website launched by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. The federal government is borrowing money at a rate of $1,585 every second, $95,129 every minute, $5.7 million per hour, or just under $137 million every day of every week of every month for the whole of this year.

The government says it can afford this amount of debt. It argues that Canada is better positioned than any other Western country to borrow this much money. Technically, this may be true, but it misses the point. Just because the bank may give your family a higher mortgage doesn’t mean you should take it. Driving up the federal debt amounts to fiscal child abuse, because every child will be born already owing roughly $14,000 in debt.

The only way to reverse the debt spiral is for politicians to do what every family does when it hits rough times – limit spending. They must learn to say no to things like; calls for more hikes to employment insurance, requests for corporate welfare like auto bailouts, and lucrative bonuses for government officials, just to name a few. Saying no may be tough but it is important.

Kevin Gaudet is the federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Just Posted

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

Former Red Deer lawyer sentenced

Charges included possession of stolen property

Man causes mischief with axe in Ponoka

Arson and attempted break and enter charges laid

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Oilpatch fears delays as U.S. judge orders further review of KXL pipeline route

CALGARY — Potential delays in the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang… Continue reading

Arrests in Burnaby, B.C., as order against Kinder Morgan protest camp enforced

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters Thursday as officers enforced a… Continue reading

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

BRITT, Ont. — From a helicopter flying over a smouldering swath of… Continue reading

Calgary Fire Department logs record opioid overdose calls in July

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says there were a record number… Continue reading

RCMP in Burnaby, B.C., say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters when officers enforced a court… Continue reading

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month