Ontario would do well to note the ominous news out of Europe this week. International lenders told Greece it must shrink its public sector to avoid running out of money within weeks. Greece is promising as much austerity as necessary to win a vital aid installment of 8 billion Euros it needs to pay salaries and pensions next month.
These measures include firing another 20,000 state workers, cutting state salaries and pensions, increasing the heating oil tax, shutting down red-ink state organizations, slashing health spending, more privatization and a consortium of new and increased taxes, including an additional one-time property tax.
Take a good look at Greece, Ontario electorate. Any fool can see that this is exactly where we are headed under our current leadership.
Mr. McGuinty, what did you think would happen when you increased spending 80% while the economy has grown only 10%?
You swelled government 70% and tripled the Sunshine List. The public payroll is now impossibly high; you have us borrowing $2.4 million per hour to cover it. How on earth are we supposed to sustain all those indexed pensions and salaries?
You doubled the debt and your public sector wage freeze has meant about as much as one of your campaign promises. Instead of freezing wages you have given them secret wage hikes on top of their arbitrated wage hikes. There is no end in sight to your deficits; next year is projected to be higher than this year!
You now have us paying $10 billion per year in debt interest even though rates are at historic lows. You have added $7,000 in new debt for every man, woman and child in the province, despite vastly higher revenues than any former government.
Mr. McGuinty, you have already announced that when you retire Ontario will still be in deficit. This is not going to be YOUR problem; this is going to be OUR KIDS problem! If only they could vote.
And here is the kicker: The average per capita debt in Ontario is now higher than in Greece!
It seems to me we have some pretty lousy choices this election but without a doubt, it is time to cut our losses. Ontarians should pressure whoever takes office to do a quick U-turn in managing our finances.