It’s distressing that not one of the three parties fighting to form a government in Ontario has any interest in running a balanced budget. The Liberals, the New Democrats and the Progressive Conservatives are each preparing to run deficits for the foreseeable future.
Whether it’s Doug Ford or Andrea Horwath, you can almost hear the next premier of Ontario saying now that the financial situation they inherited from the Liberals was much worse than expected and will take a lot longer to fix. It’s so tempting for politicians to make promises without the money to pay for them that not even the Progressive Conservatives, the party that’s been criticizing the fiscal performance of the Liberals for years, has any inclination toward controlling the growth of the province’s extraordinary debt.
Even with interest rates at close to historic lows, we’re spending eight cents of every dollar on debt servicing. If we can’t do something about that when the economy is strong, what are we going to do during the next recession? But that’s too far in the future for a group of politicians who are incapable of thinking beyond next Thursday.