Christmas is a time for giving and that is what Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is asking of her citizenry. With almost $300 billion in debt, and almost 1 in 10 dollars of revenue going to pay interest, and already facing the highest tax rates in North America, The Star reports thatOntario officials are asking that ‘patriots’ voluntarily donate their tax refund or write a cheque to defray the province’s massive debtload.
As The Toronto Sun reports, Canada’s largest province has asked its taxpayers to donate their hard-earned money to the cause of bailing out the much indebted provincial government.
For a mere $21,000 for every man, woman and child in the province, Ontario could be debt free.
No, this is not some kind of holiday joke about the Grinch who stole Christmas.
On top of paying among the highest taxes in North America, and coping with skyrocketing hydro prices — hikes directly caused by the decisions made by this Liberal administration and the previous one — the Wynne government wants more.
Treasury Board Chair Deb Matthews made the bold request last week, and specifically asked folks to donate their tax return rebate to help pay off the provincial debt.
“It’s an unusual thing for someone to do, but I would encourage any Ontarian who wants to make a contribution to feel free to do so,” said Matthews.
A government asking for donations isn’t just unusual. It’s like a stranger taking your car and then coming back the next day to ask if you’ll chip in some money for the gas. Maybe you can pay for an oil change, too?
But the Wynne government is desperate for cash.
For the past decade, they’ve spent and borrowed like there’s no tomorrow and wasted public funds with little concern for taxpayers.
Thanks to all the government’s reckless spending, including a pile of billion-dollar scandals that have led to criminal charges, Ontario’s government is dealing with spiralling debt.
Nearly one in every ten dollars spent by the Ontario government goes towards paying interest on the provincial debt.
Ontario’s provincial government owes approximately $300 billion. That is $300,000,000,000 — with 11 zeros.
And so the government constantly looks for ways to get its hands on more cash.
Perhaps most surprisingly, the government’s plea for donations has not gone unanswered.
Ontario collected $135,289 in voluntary tax return donations last year. Around 36,000 people chose to donate an average of $3.75 to this bizarre cause.
At that rate, the government only needs another 80 billion donors and Ontario’s debt will be paid off.
Of course, there are only about 14 million people in Ontario, and we imagine most taxpayers would rather lose their wallets than enable this government with more resources.
As The Toronto Sun concludes, rather “cynically” and “unpatriotically”:
Tell the government to cut wasteful spending, and save your donations for those truly in need.