Monday, June 28, 2004

Election Day in Canada

Well, what will it be -- Liberal or Conservative? A minority or majority government? Will it really matter? We'll find out tonight.

Since we won't be having a Libertarian government anytime soon, it would be nice to see what would happen if we had a Conservative majority government in Canada again. The Liberals are such a bunch of screw-ups (or worse) that many Canadians want to see them disappear from government for a long time. The Conservatives can hardly be worse.

I'm really concerned about the economic future of Canada. We have had an enormous national debt, for so long, that I wonder if we will ever be able to put a real dent in it. The Liberals, to their credit, did try to put a lid on deficit spending during their current mandate. Canadians should appreciate that. The Liberals have done little, however, to pay down the outstanding national debt and the annual interest cost to Canadian taxpayers is enoromous.

The debt problem has been with us for a long time. When my son was just a little guy in 1993, I wrote a letter in his name to Canadian federal politicians asking them to do something about their profligate spending. The text of the letter appears below. Has anything really changed since 1993? You be the judge.

This letter was sent to members of the Canadian Parliament in 1993.

Dear Politician:

Hi! My name is Zachary. My Daddy says that I should talk to you directly because you help control the purse strings for Canada. My Mommy takes that responsibility in our family, so I know that you must be very special and very powerful.

Daddy says that you are spending more money every year than is generated in tax revenues. I'm just a little kid, but I don't understand how it is possible to do that. If Daddy tried to spend more money than he earned, Mommy would certainly have a word or two to say on the subject!

I'm eight months old. The national debt at this very second is $501,144,203,519.92, but it will be a lot higher by the time my little fingers finish typing this letter. You see, based on the latest deficit forecast of $46,500,000,000.00, the debt increases by $,1474.50 per second. What will the national debt be by the time I become a taxpayer? If I start paying taxes full-time when I am twenty-two in the year 2014, and assuming that the annual deficit will still average $46,500,000,000,000.00 per year, the national debt will be $1,442,792,998,841.19. That's one trillion, four hundred and forty-two billion, seven hundred and ninety-two million, nine hundred and ninety-eight thousand, eight hundred and forty-one dollars and nineteen cents. In reality, of course, the national debt is likely to be much, much higher because Daddy says that politicians excel at spending money quicker than anyone. My Daddy says that if I start counting today, and manage to count one number per second (highly unlikely -- try saying the number used above in one second), it will take me forty-five thousand, seven hundred and fifty years to count that high. I'm not sure, but I don't think that I will live that long.

My share as a taxpayer in 2014 will be at least $97,973.98, and the per capita debt will be at least $50,178.89. My Mommy and Daddy have taught me not to whine, so I am asking you very nicely -- won't you please stop spending so much money? When I become prime minister some day, I want to help govern a country with a healthy economy and a population of happy taxpayers. I'm counting on you to start the process that will make that possible.

Yours truly,


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