Again this year the McGuinty Liberals are going to run a massive deficit of nearly $17 billion.
When the opposition PC’s asked why ‘in seven years, the McGuinty government increased spending by 70% even though the provincial economy grew by less than 10%’, McGuinty’s response was to claim that the Liberal deficit was ‘rightfully acquired’ in response to the economic recession.
Instead of answering to their record of reckless spending, which has been condemned all along as unsustainable and damaging by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the CFIB, CD Howe Institute, Fraser Institute, Chamber of Commerce and every common-sense money-manager in the country, McGuinty just shrugs and blames the recession.
The Fraser Institute contradicted this excuse most effectively last October, 2010:
- Since being elected in 2003, McGuinty has been nothing short of a disaster at managing Ontario’s finances and pursuing sound long-term economic policies.
- For starters, McGuinty was completely unable to control government spending... Since 2003-04, McGuinty has increased spending by more than three times the rate of economic growth.
- Since government spending ultimately drives taxation, it’s no surprise that McGuinty has relied on a combination of tax increases and deficits (future taxes).
- While McGuinty and his colleagues are quick to blame the economy for the deficit, in reality Ontario’s current deficit woes primarily result from the Liberal government’s wild spending spree during its first term in office.
- Come next year’s election, Ontario voters should be looking for a leader willing to do a quick U-turn in managing the province’s finances.’ - Fraser Institute Study, Oct. 25, 2010.
There have been many such stern fiscal warnings over the years, and how have the liberals responded? By continuing to swell the public sector beyond all affordability, just like in Greece.
When the Conservatives complain that these deficits are on the backs of our children and our grandchildren, McGuinty’s response is invariably the usual hyperbole about the former government of 8 years ago ‘shutting hospitals and hacking and slashing services’.
With the McGuinty Liberals, the concept of ‘living within your means’ means nothing! Instead their motto should be ‘support the public sector and they will support us’. See the site www.workingfamilieswatch.ca for an excellent example of this. It is called corruption!
Incredibly, after delivering the budget yesterday, The McGuinty Liberals claimed they are making progress in curbing the growth of program spending and that Ontario’s battered economy is on the path to recovery.
It should be pretty obvious to anyone with a basic grasp of arithmetic that a $17B deficit is hardly ‘progress’ or a sign of ‘economic recovery’!
A deficit of $17B is fiscal incompetence of the highest magnitude. The liberals are never going to get back to balanced budgets! The public sector is using arbitration to get everything they want. The public sector is going to want wage increases again next year, especially when large portions of the service come up for contractual renewal after the next election.
And when you give some of the public sector wage increases, you have to give all of them wage increases, because the liberals support their collective bargaining.
Tomorrow March 31, 2011 should be interesting: the latest edition of the Sunshine List will be released. Last year there were 64,000 civil servants on the list earning $100K+ per year, while only 3% of Canadian filers earn that much. The public service is obviously out of control.
The same problem is occurring in Wisconsin and many other U.S. states, and in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, Romania, etc. The common denominator to all the debt-laden nations and states is an insatiable, bloated unionized public sector beyond any hope of reason.
There has been no recession for the public sector, and as stewards of our tax dollars, the McGuinty liberals have completely sold out to them. At least the former PC government stood up for taxpayers who have to foot the bills for the costs of the public sector! The liberal response has been instead to buy public sector support by giving them whatever they want and simply borrowing the money from our children.
McGuinty claims to be the ‘education premier’ and the champion of labour peace, noting many times that they have ‘increased funding to education by 40%’. But what have they done with that money? They’ve given the insatiable teachers union everything they ever wanted!
And how has that worked out for taxpayers in Ontario?
The CFIB said it best in 2009. This is how the McGuinty Liberals ‘buy labour peace’:
‘I would like to express our serious concern with your latest offer to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO). I was also surprised to see reports in the media today that the elementary teachers' union was ‘shocked’ and ‘angered’ by the offer. It is even more disquieting to learn that they were ‘offended’ by the fact that this offer was made public. Why shouldn't the public be aware of this development when it is taxpayers' money that will seal the deal with elementary teachers?
In terms of the offer, we believe it is still prohibitively generous. A $700-million deal, giving sizable increases in both salary and benefits to elementary teachers, is a hard pill to swallow for Ontario's taxpayers, both businesses and residents, especially at a time of growing economic instability and rising unemployment. In addition, hiring an additional 1,500 teachers, as the union demands, does not do anything to address the growing concern of lower enrollment rates in the province. Taking such extraordinary measures to satisfy unreasonable union demands sets your government on the treacherous path of maintaining the same level of ‘generosity’ when other public contracts come up for renewal.
It is unfair to all Ontarians to be held hostage to the selfish demands of a labour group. Unions should not be allowed to use public fear as a bargaining chip and this is precisely why CFIB has long advocated that strikes should not be allowed in the public sector
This is precisely why the McGuinty Liberals will never be able to return Ontario’s finances into the black. By selling out to the public sector unions they are now enslaved to them. Their support is contingent upon ongoing, ‘prohibitively generous’ funding that Ontario cannot nearly afford.
Wisconsin recognizes that this is the root of their financial problems, and has taken sensible measures to address it; namely the abolishment of collective bargaining in the public sector. Will the McGuinty Liberals show this same level of regard and respect for Ontario taxpayers? Not a chance! Here is where they stand:
Liberal MPP Jeff Leal: This morning my question is to the Minister of Education. Parents in my riding of Peterborough have been contacting me with their concerns. They’re concerned about the situation that is unfolding in Wisconsin. Teachers there are losing their collective bargaining rights and teachers are being portrayed as overpaid and underworked. Parents in my riding are very concerned that a similar sentiment could be making its way north of the border.
What can I tell my constituents to address their concerns? Do they need to be worried about the future of their child’s education?
Hon. Leona Dombrowsky: That’s a very important question, and I can say that it’s a question that I’ve heard from some of my constituents as well
What I can say to the honourable member is that our government, our party, is absolutely committed to the collective bargaining process for teachers, ECEs and all support workers in our schools. We are absolutely committed to labour peace (from the March 24, 2011 Hansard).
What many people rightfully call ‘selling out to the public sector unions’, the Liberals call ‘labour peace’ and ‘the future of education’. The way they spin it is: give the teachers everything they want or your ‘slashing education’
Ontario is in big, big trouble. There will never be any hope of balancing the budget let alone paying down the debt under a Liberal government. Those on the public payroll or dole will continue to have it easy while the public finances of the province will continue on the path towards becoming Greece. That is, unless we can change the government this October…
The Conservatives are the only hope we’ve got!