This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
This article may or may not interest our American readers, as it deals with our Canadian government systems and their debts.
I get really angry sometimes at our various forms of government. In the fall, I wrote a letter to my local city councilor – asking how the city could be building large capital projects (city funded) while running consecutive deficit budgets (I still haven’t received a reply). I don’t really understand how our elected officials have decided that the best use of taxpayer money is building an ice rink in front of city hall when they are in this type of financial situation – this would be like my wife trying to tell me that it would be a really good idea to buy a second car after we found out I was being laid off.
Then, you look at our National Debt – which is now growing exponentially. My tax dollars are going to pay for interest on deficits that our governments (at various levels) have continued to rack up year after year. If I was to ask the departments of finance why they think this is a good idea, I’m sure I would get a response back that they have “no choice” – revenues are not coming in to support the necessary expenses in this down economy.
The problem I see, which is very similar to what a lot of households is that there is always going to be seemingly “necessary” expenses that are going to come up. As an individual, if I continuously racked up deficit after deficit, eventually someone (a bank or other creditor) is going to put a stop to my feverish spending. In the current climate, nobody is really telling the government to stop racking up the debt (well maybe other than me), something I don’t really understand.
I think that, much like an individual who is not willing to change their lifestyle to reflect their finances, our government is paying for stuff that we as a country can’t afford. There is really no incentive for the Government to cut spending, as the next party who wants to get elected is going to give back what was cut (and probably more). In Ontario this February, there was a massive report released stating exactly what the government needed to do to “right” the economic boat. The report basically boiled down to what I would tell any individual who was having money problems…stop spending and pay off your debt (It was promptly ignored).
I’m not sure what the solution to our country’s problems are. What I do know is that we’ve tried throwing money at it, and that doesn’t seem to be making life any easier – perhaps we should try something else? All I know is I am attempting to get out of debt as quickly as possible, with the incentive being that I will gain some additional control over my finances. I don’t know why our government doesn’t see it the same way.
So, that’s my rant. I realize that Canada has done alright in comparison to other countries, I would like them to do better though and to fix the financial problems that they don’t seem overly concerned with. Perhaps my argument is oversimplified – do you agree with our government’s current deficit spending? Would you do the same thing with your personal finances?