May
30

Refund the Refund?

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Someone has well said, “If America’s Founding Fathers thought that taxation without representation was bad, they should see how bad it is with representation!”

Every year I have the same experience when my taxes are done – at the end I burst out laughing.  That’s because I always forget that there’s a little joke at the conclusion of the tax return.  Just before the box where you sign your name is another little one, headlined with the Province of Ontario logo.  It says:

“You can help reduce Ontario’s debt by completing this area to donate some or all of your 2015 refund to the Ontario Opportunities Fund.”

Then there’s a place to the side where you fill in how much of your refund you’d like to hand over to the province – the money going directly to reducing the deficit and debt.  I have a good chuckle, skip over the section, and go on to sign my return, thinking as I do:

“Opportunity?  Yeah, an opportunity for you bureaucrats and politicians to burn through even more of my money!”

I’m sure most of you are like me.  Not in a million years would I do this as long as government continues to grow unchecked and public sector bosses rake in the dollars, and all the time our pocketbooks get lighter.

But apparently, not everyone thinks like us.  Since the Ontario Opportunities Fund inception in 1996, 30,000 Ontarians have contributed a combined total of $2,500,000. Of course this is a paltry sum compared to the province’s $300,000,000 debt.  And even though you do get a non-refundable tax credit, I have to think to myself – are these folks town heros or village idiots?  Then the auditor general came out with his annual report of government waste being as bad as it ever was, so I must conclude the latter of those refund refunders.  I know this much, until there is a drastic change in Toronto, I won’t be signing on that dotted line.
Federal Debt – In 1970, Canada’s national debt was $31 billion dollars, even after fighting two world wars.  In 2016, Canada’s national debt is $623 billion, a staggering 95% increase over the last 40 years.  And the current political party in power plans on taking that debt total a lot higher.  Here’s what Ottawa currently borrows because it spends more than it receives: every hour ($3,356,164.38) and every day ($80,547,945.21).

Provincial Debt – Of the nine provinces, Ontario has the second highest debt per person.  Alberta is the only one in the black and Quebec is most in the red. Here’s the breakdown from least in debt to greatest in debt: Alberta (+$3,122), Saskatchewan (-$3,542), British Columbia (-$8,249), Prince Edward Island (-$12,700), Manitoba (-$12,722), Nova Scotia (-$14,708), Newfoundland (-$16,743), Ontario (-$18,717), and Quebec (-$21.922).

The Bible says a good man will not depart this world in debt, but will so sacrifice that he not only leaves enough money for all his children, but his grandchildren as well.

Proverbs 13:22 – A good man leaveth an   inheritance to his children’s children.