National debt to hit $600B Saturday; taxpayers federation urges restraint -

National debt to hit $600B Saturday; taxpayers federation urges restraint


OTTAWA – The country is about to pass a red-ink milestone that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says is completely unnecessary.

The national debt is set to reach $600 billion just seconds before 11:19 p.m. ET Saturday, says the federation, which has set up a “debt clock” to let everyone view the event online.

That works out to nearly $17,200 for each person in the country.

It should never have reached that level, said federation director Gregory Thomas, who blamed the Harper government’s economic stimulus and other spending for the historic debt level.

The stimulus spending was unnecessary, Thomas told a Friday news conference.

“The economy bounced back and … we’re going to be paying those stimulus dollars 20, 30 years from now if we don’t get our act together.”

At the current rate, Canada’s national debt is rising by $74.6 million a day, or $863.27 every second.

The government says the spending under its so-called economic action plan was necessary to maintain and create jobs during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

But much of it was wasteful, said Thomas, who took particular aim at the government’s advertising spending.

“You can’t sit through a football game without seeing all this propaganda about what a terrific job the government’s doing,” he said.

“They’re borrowing money to sell Canadians on themselves.”

And the debt will keep climbing as long as the Harper government keeps spending beyond its means, the federation said.

The federation did applaud Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s commitment to balance the budget before the next election.

Still, Flaherty acknowledged last month that the fallout from the recession will prevent Ottawa from erasing the debt by 2021.

The minister said the government continues to search for ways to cut spending as he prepares a 2013 budget.

But as with previous budgets, Flaherty has ruled out both tax increases and cuts to provincial transfers.

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National debt to hit $600B Saturday; taxpayers federation urges restraint

  1. And the tax cuts!

    • Don’t worry. Harper will cook the books and make a $20B structural deficit appear like a balanced budget; then he can run on his useless tax cut schemes: a) social con income splitting; b) double TFSA tax haven for the rich; c) other boutique tax cutting nonsense that bankrupted America.

  2. Flaherty already proposed cutting the Canada Health Transfer in half. So it’s a little late to “rule out” cuts to provincial transfers.

    But what these ignoramuses don’t mention is the Harper has cut taxes by $44.4B/yr (according to his 2009 budget.) So that’s the reason why he has a $30B deficit after starting off with a $14B surplus.

    The stimulus spending was $40B over two years. So it’s nonsensical to suggest that put a big dent in the debt or we will be paying it off 20 years from now. Harper’s reckless tax cuts, however, that’s a different story.

    According to Stephen Gordon, Harper is “starving the beast” with these careless tax cuts. Here’s the process he mentions: 1) cut taxes; 2) create a budget crisis; 3) justify deep spending cuts; 4) go to step 1.

  3. The Federation of Profressional Whiners.

    In 5 years time this guy will probably be Prime Minster. If he is anything like the one we have now, we can expect, lower taxes, more spending and more debt.