South Dundas - January 23, 2012 - It is budget season across the country and government at every level is deciding what they are going to spend your money on for this year. Both the Federal and Provincial governments are
struggling with high-deficits due to declining revenues and the spat
of infrastructure spending to "stimulate the economy". Meanwhile
municipal governments are eying increases to property tax, and
savoring the automatic increase on everyone's tax bill due to rising
MPAC assessment values of properties. Locally a citizen's group in
Cornwall has called for a tax rate decrease, or at least a freeze, in
part because of the rising assessment revenue. Instead, Cornwall
City Council is planning on a tax increase above and beyond the
assessment increase. In the end there is only one taxpayer and it
comes down to this, what do you really want from government?
What I want, is the least amount of government involved with my life
as possible. I am a firm believer that government should only do the
jobs that we as individuals or families cannot feasibly do on their
own. Can I build a road, maintain that road and clean that road of
snow? I could but it would not be feasible, so I pay taxes for that to
be done for me. Can I put out (large) fires, or enforce the laws of
the country on my own? Can I defend the country from threats from
terrorists and foreign powers? Can I be a doctor, and heal my family?
The answer to all of those is no.
Boil all those points down and you have a pretty short list of things
I think government should do. Anything above and beyond those basic
necessities and functions are entitlements and I disagree with funding
entitlements to any groups that it does not benefit everyone as a
Every year, many groups come cap-in-hand to municipal councils across
the counties and in Cornwall, akin to Oliver Twist asking "please sir,
may I have some more". Some groups have good ideas or goals such as
literacy, improving health, or preserving our heritage. Others I feel
are not worthy at all. Arts, culture, sports programs and the like.
All are sacred-cows of funding programs and all should have zero
funding from government. If the users of said programs are willing to
pay to use them, then they should be around. If people are not willing
to pay to use a program or service, those items should not exist. If
someone is unable to pay then there can be mechanisms in place for
It is time that government uses common sense when dealing with
financial matters and remember who ultimately pays the bill. Us.