Canada’s federal election last fall marked a much-needed time of change. We needed to get rid of Harper and his brand of lite fascism, and Justin Trudeau seemed like a ray of sunshine, despite the fact I’ve long been a critic of his father’s legacy. I clearly remember Trudeau mania the first time around and its resulting fiscal spiral downward. We’re still paying for all that increasing debt to buy votes in the sixties, seventies and eighties. It’s like making the minimum payment on your Visa every month—you can’t actually remember what you went into debit for in the first place and you’ve accepted you’ll never get your head above water again. And it’s not just the Liberals; take a look at the recent Conservative Senate scandals.
My Dad was allowed to vote at the age of eighteen during WW2 because he was in the army. When discussing with his grandmother how to cast his first vote, he indicated a leaning toward the Liberals. She gently suggested he reconsider for a number of reasons, the main one being the Liberals’ propensity for overspending and incurring debt. That brief discussion permanently affected his voting perspective for more than seventy years. My great-grandmother was right and her words still resonate today.
Now that the Liberals are in power provincially and with a federal majority, the taxpayer is nothing more than a serf to be duped, deceived and taxed to death. Imagine if we ran our household budgets like the government manages our country’s budget? While I appreciate that governments have a benevolent responsibility to ensure we are taken care of, I don’t agree that it has to be done on a platinum credit card. I’ve always maintained that money earned is infinitely more valuable than hand-outs. We appreciate things more when we’ve worked hard to earn the money to buy them.
Justin Trudeau, like his father grew up with a silver spoon. The family never had to worry about making the rent or mortgage payment, having their phone cut off or dealing with collection agencies. I doubt they ever had to choose between buying groceries and paying the hydro bill. For them, the money was always there and always would be. It’s like Monopoly money, play money that magically materializes when you want something or when bills come in. Not a problem. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
And now we hear that our federal deficit is going to be more than five times what was promised during the election campaign. Top that off with Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario government being deemed one of the worst managed (from a fiscal standpoint) in the world. Ontario taxpayers shell out $11.7 billion annually in interest payments alone. Imagine the good work we could do with that money if it wasn’t being wasted in interest payments.
Looks like Justin and Kathleen could use a little pre-emptive dressing-down from their employers—the taxpayers. So I’ve drafted a little letter of warning to be included in their hiring documents:
Dear Justin and Kathleen:
We hired you to make things better, not worse. You’re failing miserably so take this as a warning that your employment will be terminated unless you get a handle on responsible financial management of our government services/household budget. Imagine you’re a lowly taxpayer on a limited fixed income and you’re facing unemployment. Which of these options would you chose?
- Create and stick to a financial plan that includes socking away ten percent of your income off the top in a special automatic deduction account for emergencies?
- Sell the McMansion in the city and buy a modest townhouse in the burbs? Use the resulting net profit to pay off the credit cards?
- Watch the old movie Dave starring Kevin Kline about how a stand-in U.S. President injected some common sense into government spending.
- Buy a copy of The Wealthy Barber and put the advice into practice?
- Start paying cash from your savings account for all purchases and show us the receipts?
- Apply for an extension to your line of credit and go on a spending spree?
If you picked Item 6 (which you obviously have), then you’re wrong, wrong, wrong.
Here’s what we want you to do.
- Stop throwing money at chronic losers like Bombardier. With a captive market and an increasing demand for their product, why are they consistently losing money and now being sued by the City of Toronto for non-delivery of transit vehicles? Because they’re a poorly managed, coddled and over-fed bad investment. And don’t even get me started on Ontario Power Corporation and the gas plants.
- Redirect funds to areas of genuine need like public transit (excluding the hair-brained Union-Pearson diesel express train), health care, elder care, affordable education that focuses on market requirements, and industry-training programmes.
- Stop posing for photo ops with Vogue magazine and the Toronto Star, get back to your desks and do some real work. Get out that pocket calculator and start figuring out how to stick to a budget in line with your income. Money in/money out. No debt or deficit allowed. It’s not that complicated. And you’re not getting a raise, so deal with it.
- Stop lying about your quarterly statements and ‘fess up. You owe a lot of money and it’s high time you developed a plan for paying it off. Our children and grandchildren don’t deserve to pay for that new Lexus you really couldn’t afford but bought to impress the relatives.
- Show me your books. If you can’t figure out how to live within your means, then I’ll do it for you and I guarantee it will hurt.
- If you fail to listen to our mandate, then we’re going to send you to a third world country and reacquaint you with living hand to mouth, before we become a third-world country.
If you fail in our expectations, then all hell and damnation will rain down on you and our future generations. Oh! That’s happening already. Merci beaucoup M. Trudeau et vos amis. C’est un faît accomplis? If you don’t start doing to job you were hired to do, consider this your last warning. We’re not stupid and we’ve had enough of your empty promises and boondoggling. The next letter will be to advise you that you’re fired—and your little Ontario lady friend too!
The Canadian Taxpayer
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