Debt is a Moral Issue Part IV: How much is your share of the debt?

Back in February, I began a series of articles expressing my concern over Liberal deficit spending and Canada’s growing national debt.

Given that the Liberals and New Democrats will both soon be holding their party’s policy conventions, this seemed an appropriate juncture to continue and conclude our discussion on the dangers of debt.

Many on the political left believe that, because interest rates are low, they can borrow indefinitely, and that when the debt load becomes too heavy for individuals, the government can (and should) simply step in and assume that debt.

But there is a key fallacy underlying this assumption. Government doesn’t have money of its own. Government only has the money they can raise through taxation. Therefore, it’s not the government’s money: it’s yours!

The cost of Canada’s debt is on the shoulders of each individual Canadian, and, sadly, on those of generations to come.

Moreover, the Liberals have made it clear they have no intention of returning to a balanced budget.

This is not a sustainable model.

As my Conservative colleague, the Hon. Pierre Poilievre put it recently, “No other G7 country has spent more to achieve less.”

Despite the record debt assumed by the Liberal government in the past year, both the Liberals and NDP want to take advantage of COVID-19 to spend even more.

Policy proposals from both parties include variations of a “green new deal” and both want to see some kind of Universal Basic Income (UBI).

While these types of proposals have some aspirational merits, neither is realistic.

While the estimates of what such programs might cost vary dramatically, what is certain is they would add exponentially to Canada’s deficit and overall debt.

At the time of writing, Canada’s debt sits at approximately $1, 108, 765, 300, 000 (or just over $1 trillion dollars). It increases by approximately $1 billion per day or $43 million every minute.

That adds up to just over $29,000 of federal debt per Canadian.

Provinces also have debt. Manitoba’s debt will rise $2.2 billion this year to $28.6 billion, or $21,000 per Manitoban.

According to Equifax, Canada’s credit rating agency, the average Canadian already owes $73,500 in personal debt (mortgages, car loans, student loans, credit cards etc.).

Put them all together and that adds up to (on average) approximately $123,500 per Canadian. Do the math for your own household. That’s what you owe, because the thing about debt that nobody wants to admit is at the end of the day somebody will need to pay.