Why is it that Canadians are apathetic when it comes to responding to the ills of big government? We accept the unbridled increases in government spending, increases in programs and services, and the unexplainable antics of our politicians and bureaucrats. Without question, we accept taxes; we accept increased taxation and the imposition of new taxes. All of this “big government getting bigger” is greeted by Canadians will nothing more than a shrug.
Yet, should we not expect more if we are providing the tacit approval for our government’s habitual overspending? We are a Nation living beyond its means with every fiscal deficit, satisfied to have our politicians make decisions on our country’s financial and economic fate with no thought as to how the taxpayers’ will pay for their promises.
This siren cry comes on the day when the federal government delivers its annual budget. As a Canadian who does care for our current standard of living and that of our children’s, I would like to expect the government be more accountable and responsible with our country’s books. The federal Conservatives have done an adequate job managing our economy through a series of serious, rough patches with the world markets. However, they are responsible for raising our federal debt as a result of continuous deficit financing. They are also responsible for growing our Ottawa bureaucratic corps to an unprecedented size.
So, from this frustrated Canadian’s vantage point, here are three principles that our governments would do well to adopt. Think about this no-nonsense approach when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivers his statement today.
- Commit to no more than what can be paid for. When you finds yourself in a hole, you should stop digging… no more deficit spending… no more living on credit… balance the numbers and begin to pay our own way. We must stop spending the next generation of Canadians’ money.
- Right size our government. Cut unnecessary programs and services and resist all urges to further government intrusions into public and business affairs. Also, make an earnest attempt to cut the paper-pushing, middle-management of the federal bureaucracy. (“Ottawa fat-cats” need to be put on leash and put on a diet.) Right-sizing our government in the year 2014, means cutting the bureaucracy, and cutting programming and services.
- Practice full public accountability. The public has a right to know where public money is spent. So, open the books of MPs, DMs, government agencies, everyone (the misappropriation of funds isn’t restricted to the Senate of Canada). Also, report the real costs of government promises – from the next tax credit to woo suburban voters, to the next ice breaker or jet fighter. And give Parliament the time and resources to properly review government expenditures, line-by-line.
Read more like-minded rants as I grind my axe in By George posts tagged “big government.”