Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Role In Public Debt

The welcoming attitude towards government - offered freebies turns out to be quite costly:
In Canada and throughout the world, people are demanding that their leaders provide more and more services even in the midst of tough financial times. But this kind of spending has consequences. Public debt is fast-becoming the number one problem facing many countries in the world today. Consider these figures:
  • Canadian household debt is over $1.4 trillion (averaging $41,740 for every person)
  • Our federal government debt climbed over $500 billion this year.
  • In the past year alone, our federal government had a budget deficit of $47 Billion
  • Canada (you and I) pays $84 million per day on interest payments for our debt.
When numbers are in the billions and trillions it is hard to put it in perspective. It helps to stop looking at the big figure and instead look at how much a public expense will cost you personally. For example, Ontario’s plan to fund full day and junior kindergarten is projected to cost about $1.8 billion. If that money were given directly to parents instead, it would work out to about $10,000 per child.
That's also the approximate cost of public school education per child per year. Private schools tend to do better jobs at lower price. Switching to voucher system, (instead of allowing all-pervasive public sector to expand further,) could save taxpayers billions of dollars. And that's just one of the examples.


gitardood said...

I agree wholeheartedly Leonard. That's why I was both annoyed and amazed at the stupidity of Ontarians in re electing McGinty because they couldn't grasp the whole concept the Tories were trying to implement - where your school tax portion could go to the educational institution/system of your choice. He used the bugaboo of destroying public ed system (which may not be a bad thing) but he's a hypocrite - his wife teaches in the RC school and his kids attend RC. Their taxes are designated to the RC system not the public. So, why can't the average person choose to do so too? (ie support the school of choice with either vouchers or designating his tax money)?

Leonard said...

The problem with what John Tory proposed was that he actually proposed to incorporate faith-based schools into the existing public system. He proposed a funding structure where schools would have to give up their identity and value system and adopt the government-mandated curriculum (including evolution and sex ed) if they wanted to qualify for public funds. Judging from what I read back then - such options had already existed long before John Tory, and those schools that took the bait of public funds, were struggling to retain their right to teach Christian subjects as optional after-class studies.

The closest the Ontario PCs have ever come to encouraging alternative schooling was during the last couple years of Mike Harris, when they introduced a small provincial tax credit for parents choosing to opt-out of the government schooling. As for the voucher system - the only party that actually support that is the Family Coalition Party.