GOLDBERG: Ontario reckons with a 15-year spending binge
Ontario Premier Doug Ford needs to end the province’s 15-year-long spending bonanza.
Ford continues to rule out spending cuts to help balance the budget, but he shouldn’t.
To contextualize Ontario’s history of reckless spending, take yourself back to 2007. The first-ever iPhone was just released. U.S. President George W. Bush in the White House. And the Ottawa Senators made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
That’s the last time the province of Ontario balanced its budget. Since then, Ontario’s politicians have been spending like drunken sailors.
Instead, they’re in shambles.
Why have Ontario’s finances gotten so out of control?
Three premiers in a row have hiked spending at unprecedented levels. While revenue growth averaged 5.4% over the span of the past fifteen years, spending growth averaged at a shocking 8.5%.
Over 15 years, that’s a growth rate of 127%.
This is not living within our means.
If Ontario’s leaders had only increased spending at the rate of inflation plus population growth over the same fifteen-year period, government spending this year would be $128 billion rather than the present $190 billion.