The Throne Speech yesterday stated the Canadian Federal Government will be getting serious about curbing its out-of-control spending habits. (That’s good. It’s about time!)
It is a fact that, today, we have the largest federal bureaucracy that we have ever had. And to maintain the bulging size of government and its programs, the government overspends at an alarming rate – the worst that it has ever spent. The federal government’s annual deficit spending is digging us deeper down into a hole that many of us will not live long enough to climb out of. Here are the numbers: Canada’s federal debt is growing at a rate of $863 per second – $52,000 per minute – $3.1 million per hour.
Between 1997 and 2008 the federal government under the guidance of PM Jean Chretien and Finance Minister Paul Martin was running surplus budgets and paying down our debt. However, I find it unfathomable (as a fiscal conservative) that the Conservative Government of Stephen Harper has raised Canada’s federal debt from $457 billion in 2008 to over $600 billion. Since 2008, the Conservative government has borrowed $161 billion, bringing the federal government’s debt burden to $618 billion.
Recently released figures from the federal government reveal that the total debt outstanding in Canada at the end of June 2013 was $5.408 trillion. The numbers for last fiscal year tell us that, from July 1, 2012 to the end of June 2013, the total debt outstanding in Canada increased by $306 Billion. For that 365 day period the total debt outstanding in Canada increased at a rate of $838 Million per day.
Need we worry when we hear these facts? These bald numbers mean little to the average “I’m-living-paycheque-to-paycheque” Canadian. However, we should realize this: that the mounting figures signal a sorry fiscal state. The average Canadian couldn’t rack his credit cards this high! Yet, Canadians are now strapped with huge hangover costs of a Big Government that has spent for years (and decades previous) like a drunken sailor.
So, there is reason to be hopeful with what Stephen Harper shared with us in the Throne Speech. Just perhaps our chief economist PM and his much-celebrated Finance Minister have come to realize their spending spree must end.
More in the By George Journal on the ugly truths of Big Government