Author Topic: A Confluence of Budgets Highlights the problem of the Day  (Read 1413 times)

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Offline PPCLI Guy

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A Confluence of Budgets Highlights the problem of the Day
« on: February 21, 2005, 16:01:29 »
Living in Toronto, I am experiencing a confluence of budgets, with a federal budget on Wed, the Ontario provincial budegt due at the end of the month, and the ongoing wrangles over the Toronto budget.   Over the last few weeks I have seen all three levels of government jockeying for position, as well as various stakeholders (Toronto Fire Service, Ontario doctors etc etc) try to shape the upcoming budgets with doomsday reports of varying kinds. indicating that if the money doesn't come their way, it will be the end of civilization as we know it.  

More importantly, there has been an increasing amount of rhetoric with respect to the so called fiscal imbalance, with the Feds running a surplus, and both Ontario and TO running rather large deficits.  

Here is the rub- although they are all arguing over differing pots of money, and have differing mandates (although that lines has been blurred, with the Feds delving into education, daycare, resources etc - definitely not in their mandate as stated in the BNA - amajoor has much to say on this one in another thread) they seem to have failed to realise a ground truth: all of their efforts are ostensibly made on behalf of the citizens of Canada (corporate and individual), who are also their only source of revenue.

I have little sympathy for a provincial government that cuts taxes, then runs a deficit.   I am not convinced that a federal governement should be running such a large surplus - surely their job is to figure out a) how much they need) and b) collect that much +/- a small fudge factor.   I have some sympathy for a large city that is precluded by law from setting taxation levels in their own jurisdictions (commercial, not residential), but by the same token have no time for a city that has a bureaucracy big enough to run a small country.

Within this context, I am becoming convinced that governing at all levels is becoming almost impossible, and the governments themselves are certainly becoming less and less effective.   It strikes me that we need to reassert everyone's lane, and allow them to collect the revenues necessary to fulfill their mandates.   Is there anyway to accomplish this without opening up the constitution again?   Is the answer in the equalization formula?   Any ideas?

Dave



"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: A Confluence of Budgets Highlights the problem of the Day
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2005, 20:53:55 »
Canadians have become accustomed to having things at the expense of some undefinable "other".  What is needed is something to focus the minds and efforts of voters and politicians.  I think a prolonged period - say, 10 or 15 years - of return to 1980's interest rates would do it.  I can think of nothing less that would serve to force governments to concentrate on what their jurisdictions and scopes of interference should be.
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Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: A Confluence of Budgets Highlights the problem of the Day
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2005, 21:25:24 »
Brad, be careful of what you ask for. :(

What about this perspective --- there are currently multiple levels of government pursuing a multitude of priorities few of which have any connection to each other other than one nexus: the overburdened and disrespected middle class taxpayer.

What about a single, unitary system of representative government with a system of direct escalating taxation, and funding priorities set by a system of direct democracy?     
« Last Edit: February 21, 2005, 21:29:15 by whiskey 601 »
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