Terence Corcoran, of the Financial Post, has a must-read column today on what he calls the balanced budget “hoax” provincial governments are pulling on taxpayers.
“If we needed conclusive evidence that the national fixation on balanced budgets and debt reduction has served no purpose except to lead Canadians into a government-spending free-for-all, this year's budget season should do the trick. Canadians have been hoodwinked by empty economic and political slogans about balanced budgets into a national spending extravaganza”.
Corcoran’s point is that governments across the country are awash in tax revenues and that makes it pretty easy for them to look fiscally responsible. In fact, they have so much money it takes some doing for them not to balance their budget. See Ontario for example.
And the problem is that all this news about balanced budgets and surpluses masks one important point: government are going on massive spending sprees.
Or as Corcoran puts it, “Fiscal responsibility acts and balanced-budget legislation are all the rage in political circles, a sort of joke on voters. Behind the facade of responsibility are spending rampages funded by rapidly rising government revenues.”
Sooner or later we are all going to have to pay for today’s reckless spending.