Government finances ‘a zero-sum game’

Visiting Kelowna on Labour Day weekend I read the Capital News with interest.

To the editor:

Visiting Kelowna on Labour Day weekend I read the Capital News with interest.

Kudos to letter writer John O. Powell for the kind of insights about the fallout from the HST loss, er, “win”—insights that often are absent from Lower Mainland media.

Fundamentally government finances are a zero-sum game: More outgo than income spells nasty results for us beleaguered taxpayers due to politicians who would rather spend than save. The fiscal crises across the Eurozone and in the USA herald ugly times ahead if B.C.’s profligate MLAs don’t grind down our public debt aggressively.

Meanwhile, the $65,000 personal debt each B.C. household carries—much of it at credit card rates between 20 and 27 per cent or more—signals another “underwater” exercise about to happen here, not unlike the sub-prime mortgage farrago south of the 49th. Public sector employees should rejoice they have jobs and comfy pensions and eagerly accept another few years of net-zero compensation increases.

W. Baird Blackstone,



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