It’s time for an intervention.
(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
By: Candice Malcolm
It’s getting hard to watch.
Like being at a party and watching your frequently “tipsy” friend embarrass himself or herself in front of a crowded room.
Everyone knows your friend has had too many of these shameful nights. Someone should intervene.
But rather than sitting your friend down and saying enough is enough, everyone just politely enables the problem drinker.
No, this column isn’t about Rob Ford.
We’ve talked enough about his addiction to alcohol.
Now it’s time to talk about Kathleen Wynne’s political addiction to spending.
The Wynne government’s spending problem is dragging us all down. It’s time for an intervention.
Wynne needs to admit the problem and come to terms with her government’s serial spending addiction.
Rehab will be slow and painful, but it’s necessary.
In his memoir, The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx said that addition is when you can give up something any time, as long as it starts next Tuesday.
The Ontario Liberals have used this line of reasoning over and over again.
They will give up deficit spending when the economy recovers.
They will stop borrowing when revenues pick up again.
They will balance the budget next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, they continue to spend and borrow like there’s no tomorrow.
They make up excuses and blame others.
And they ignore advice and warnings coming from those trying to help.
Economist Don Drummond — who was hired by the Liberals to coach them back to fiscal sobriety – provided a roadmap to balance the budget by 2017.
But Drummond warned that if his 12 steps weren’t followed, Ontario’s deficit would balloon to $30 billion. The deficit was $9.2 billion when his report came out.
The following year, in 2013, it jumped to $10.5 billion.
Last year, Ontario’s deficit grew again, this time to $12.5 billion.
The spending addicts are relapsing.
They’ve fallen off the wagon and Ontario is headed in the wrong direction.
And yet, the Wynne government still insists they’re on track to balance the budget in two years.
They’re promising to be sober by next Tuesday.
Moody’s recent report on the state of Ontario’s books is just the latest to point out Ontario’s spending problem.
It follows the Bank of Canada, the Conference Board of Canada, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, who are all expressing deep concerns over the state of the books at Queen’s Park.
In December, Ontario’s auditor general Bonnie Lysyk crunched the numbers.
Using government figures, Lysyk found that by the time the Liberals balance the budget, Ontario will be left with $325 billion in debt.
That will break down to $24,000 for every man, woman, and child in the province.
That’s like a drunk leaving the bar tab to his or her kids to pay.
Ontario’s children will be stuck paying the tab for the Liberals decade-long spending binge.
Instead of paying for a college education, a new car, or putting a down payment on a starter home, our kids will be forced to pay for this government’s problem spending.
All because we were too polite to stop the Ontario Liberals.
Instead, we handed them our wallets and credit cards and enabled their reckless, humiliating and dangerous habits.