The Costs of our Big Governments

It has become annoying that our political leaders today take no notice of just how big and intrusive Government has become for Canadians. It is equally irritating that they do not recognize (and, in many instances, try to rationalize) just how much government costs its citizens.


Government has become too big, too costly. FACT: our Federal Government oversees the largest and most expensive federal bureaucracy Canada has ever known. What is most troubling is that the government has grown under a Conservative watch – and these “able fiscal managers” have done little to trim the rank and file, done little to curb government spending.


Another FACT: This past weekend, Ontarians were presented a new Liberal Premier whose answer to our Province’s ailments is to increase government activity. Kathleen Wynne is about to give us more of the same of Dalton McGuinty’s fiscal policies – the same policies that ballooned Ontario’s debt, sunk its credit rating and labeled the Province: “Have-Not”. Wynne is all about tax and spend; her agenda is greater dollars to health care and transportation projects, new universally delivered programs for both drugs and child care – and a balanced budget? Very Liberal-esque.


FACT: Increased government comes at a cost. Given our federal and provincial governments spend more than they tax, the governments are deferring the payments for today’s services and programs to future taxpayers: our children and grandchildren.  Simple question:  When will Canadians wake up to this fact?


As a splash of cold water to the face, By George Journal offers a few observations from Ronald Reagan’s January 1981 inauguration speech. Here’s a refreshing view on the role of government that should be heeded by our political leaders today. Reagan’s bons mots:

  • “…great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades, we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children’s future for the temporary convenience of the present…. to continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.”
  • “You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?”
  • “We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted to it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows no signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”
  • “It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government.”


Here’s a final observation about the exorbitant costs of government today – and the fact that nobody has their eyes on the till when it comes to spending taxpayers’ dollars. This is but one tangible example of the unfathomable costs of government taken from our headlines this week (there are so many similar examples of government expense that go unreported and unnoticed). Think about what you could do with a million dollars.  $1,000,000.   Now, take a look at the latest from Ottawa:  It cost taxpayers exactly $1,061,448 to ship armour-plated limousines to India last year for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s official visit, documents from the Department of National Defence have revealed. – National Post


4 thoughts on “The Costs of our Big Governments

  1. Chris

    Lead from a Fraser Institute study out today:

    Ontario’s debt load is higher than that of California, America’s most-indebted state, and could reach 66 per cent of GDP by 2019 unless the provincial government musters the courage to rein in spending, says a new report released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

    See report:

  2. Chris

    Every Ontarian should read the Fraser Institute’s “The State of Ontario’s Indebtedness”

    NOTE: To help put Ontario’s debt in context, a second chapter in the report compares Ontario to California, which in 2009 made international headlines as a “fiscal train wreck” and appeared headed for bankruptcy. Ontario and California are measured against one another using a slightly different indicator than is normal: bonded debt. The reason for the alternative measure is that California doesn’t publish data on net debt, which is the normally used measure in Canada and elsewhere.

    On any comparative measure of bonded debt, Ontario fares much worse than California. Ontario’s debt is almost two-thirds larger than California’s even though California is much larger in both the size of its economy and its population. As a share of the economy, Ontario’s debt (38.6 per cent) is more than five times larger than California’s (7.7 per cent). Ontario’s per-capita debt ($17,921) is more than four-and-a-half times that of California ($3,833) and Ontario spends more than three times the amount of revenues on interest costs as California.

  3. Pingback: Big Government = Big Costs (Taxes) | By George Journal

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