Saturday, February 19, 2005

And my income tax refund is a bonus, too…

The City of London has announced a "golly gee, we're even better than we thought" surplus of $12 million.

Looks like city council is learning from their federal Liberal counterparts. Even the general manager of the Chamber of Commerce gushes: "You've already made your budget decisions based on good, prudent use of tax dollars."

Uh oh … does the willful destruction of the economy by deficit spending stimulate the economy? There's enough people who would like to think so — the activists should start soon oozing out of the woodwork demanding more loot from the so-called surplus for continuing that willful destruction to "to fight poverty, boost education and improve child care." (Makes sense … run-down economies and ensuing despair makes it easier for populations to lie down for the people who want to control things — happened in Germany a few decades back.) Londoners have been voting for extravagant social welfare programs and colossal capital projects for many years, and now by virtue of thes irrevocable follies we are burdened with debt and without the freedom to dispose of the rewards of our labours. So in the light of the fact that we have an excessive municipal debt, to say that London has a surplus seems to mock my efforts to provide for myself — we'll have a surplus the day that we are out of debt (not in my lifetime!).

While it is dishonest accounting to the taxpayers to whom that money actually belongs, it would seem that Canadians need reminding of this fact. And it is a cynical political ploy to mislead those same gullible taxpayers that the government is doing a better job of managing the economy each year — "gosh, we're so good, we made more money than we ever could have expected to." But that's the idiocy of this country's electorate — they fall for that trick every year, and the same city council and the Liberals keep getting elected.

But with that in mind, the activism of the social advocacy groups and the idiocy of the country's electorate makes it almost necessary that they be lied to. Fortunately, also like the Liberals, council is going to use the money to pay down debt. If each year the government gave an honest accounting and reported that they anticipated a much larger surplus than they do now, do you think that Londoners would demand that the money be used to pay down the debt? No, they would clamour for the money to be spent on further programs — the same irresponsible practices that gave us this debt in the first place. And it has the unfortunate effect of outraging civil servants with their wage demands, unelected special interest lobby groups seeking a greater share of public funds, and the usual list of social and environmentalist activist suspects that the media loves to lend an ear to.

Whether we like it or not, Canadians collectively have massive public debts, the servicing of which costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year just in interest. Just about the only thing I could unequivocally countenance as a valid use of taxes is that we pay down and get rid of this debt — where there is debt there is a contractual responsibility to pay off or at least acknowledge the debt and make interest payments. While I do not feel personally responsible for the debt mess, it is there like it or not, and the contractual responsibility must rest with the only people who can be held responsible — the voters. However, voters like to ignore the fact that we have a debt, and it is a very underreported fact. Most of the time that the debt is acknowledged in the media, it is from the viewpoint of the NDP or the labour unions or social activists who regard it as inhuman to service or pay off the debt when there are poor people out there. That is the height of irresponsibility — I hope I owe an NDPer some money some day so I can use the same kind of argument!

One of the only valid uses of my tax money is to pay off the debt so we don't have to pay taxes again in the future. But that is precisely the one use of tax dollars that would not happen if our governments gave an honest accounting of revenues at budget time. I suspect some clever dicks in government know this as well, and have at least some recognition of the cost of the debt and the need to pay it off. So they resort to chicanery to pay it off.

In other words, in this perverse country it is necessary for a government to lie so that it can actually get down to something it is supposed to do. So if I consider the repayment of debt to be a prime moral responsibility of the government, then I am almost forced to support this pulling of the wool over my eyes. It is a terrible situation to be placed in, and it leads me into a position of supporting (on this issue) the only party in this country that is cynical enough to pull off this trick, the Liberals. That makes me a hypocrite — but then again it IS a perverse country.

Damn the Liberals for promoting this "have your cake and eat it too" mentality and being corrupt and cynical enough to manage it. But damn the Canadian voters for buying into this mentality and making dishonesty a necessary political tool!

I still think we ought to try out Gord Hume's sales tax thingy