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Friday, October 31, 2008

Toronto's budget to increase city debt

Mayor Miller has decided that now is not the time to cut back spending nor is it time to pay down any debt.  What do these hard times call for you ask?  Well increasing spending and the size of government of course!  Mr. Miller is asking for a capital budget of $1.6 billion, which would add $367 million to the debt making it $2.7billion.
This is what Mr. Miller told the Toronto Sun;

When I studied economics, I studied Keynesian economics, and it's very clear that at a time of uncertainty like this, governments should be investing, particularly in infrastructure that helps build a strong economy," he said. "That's what this budget is all about.

How long ago did he go to school?  Because I really think that he has to take a refresher course.  Deficit spending does not work.  Government spending does not generate real productivity and large debt hinders long term growth.  But whatever, what infrastructure are you improving?

$38 million to renovate Nathan Phillip Square (City Hall).

$80 million to make new bike paths.

$100 million to demolish the eastern part of the Gardiner.

Right because I can see why bike paths and fixing the council chambers is vital to the economy.  Also the best way to 'invest' into infrastructure is to rip a vital piece of it down?  Is this man insane?

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on October 31, 2008 | Permalink


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Posted by: Steve | 2008-10-31 8:35:46 AM

Has this guy ever heard of Bob Rae? He may want to chat with him about the effects of Keynesian economics. I doubt that he would listen, however.

Posted by: Dennis | 2008-10-31 8:49:11 AM

Eighty million would fix a fair number of hundred year old watermains and sewers, but then bike ppaths are pretty important for silk stocking socialists.

And Miller is another silk stocking socialist just like Bob Rae.
Oh yeah, does anyone remember Bob Rae,a former Premier of Ontario?

Barbara Amiel years ago in the Toronto Sun had Rae's number - "crypto communist".
Sort of fits the Mayor Miller description as well.

Posted by: Joe Molnar | 2008-10-31 9:20:08 AM

...i'm continually amazed how this Toronto still can function.

Must be God's grace and internal inertia from a solid moral foundation back in the early years.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-10-31 9:50:31 AM

Yes he is apparently either insane or incredibly stupid.

And Toronto has the mayor they richly deserve.

Posted by: John V | 2008-10-31 10:17:03 AM

Miller is not insane. The people of Toronto are. They have no one to blame but themselves for their situation.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-10-31 10:31:01 AM

I fear Toronto is slowly adopting the Montreal model. Does anyone still believe in liberal capitalism in this country?

Posted by: Charles | 2008-10-31 11:19:13 AM

Miller is not insane. The people of Toronto are. They have no one to blame but themselves for their situation.
Posted by: Zebulon Punk | 31-Oct-08 10:31:01 AM

So running a deficit is insane. Ronald Reagan when president ran a deficit every year he was in office. Was he insane? Were the Americans that voted for him insane?

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-10-31 11:19:28 AM

The only way government spending (there is no such thing as government investment) can stimulate the economy is if it results in the people having more confidence in the economy. In which case it is ONLY psycological.

Bastiat, in his parable about the broken window, talks about this kind of thinking. If you extract more money from the unwilling (the citizens), and give it to a small group of people (the contractors), the only people happy are the contactors. True, they will spend their profits and good will come of that. But the the citizens are less wealthy overall.


Posted by: TM | 2008-10-31 11:25:21 AM

$100 million to demolish the eastern part of the Gardiner.
Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on October 31, 2008

Better to spend it demolishing Jane Finch.

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-10-31 11:30:38 AM

Hugh, if a government runs a deficit, but decreases spending, or at least does not increase it, then it would be because revenue was down. I am wondering if this is aceptable, for a short period of time. What do you think?

Zeb, the reason he is insane, is because he is increasing spending during a time of economic uncertainty, specifically to stimulate the economy. The exact opposite of what he should do. Increasing wealth is what would stimulate the economy, and that only happens when the citizens spend their money where they want to. Extracting money from the people to give it to a few is just is increasing the wealth of a few at the expense of the many. This is a net decrease in wealth. Period.

Posted by: TM | 2008-10-31 12:00:49 PM

TM, that is acceptable as long as the government makes plans to pay down the debt. Short term pitfalls like that don't hurt the economy in the long term. It is the systemic problems such as those in Toronto and the United States.

Stig, Reagan inherited his problem he didn't create it as both Bush and Miller have done. Reagan made structural changes to government financing and the economy to fix the problem, or rather make it possible for Clinton and the Republican Congress to fix it. So the situations weren't the same.

Pike, how can you blame everyone in Toronto? Shouldn't you at least exclude those that didn't vote for Miller?

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2008-10-31 12:31:34 PM

...while Hugh is right, don't paint all TO's the same, the problem lies in the fact the majority do fit into that profile, or at least enough to vote in the party who is ruling them now.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-10-31 12:46:22 PM

The problem really is with the quality of our more free market politicians. The best chance we had was with John Tory in 2003. I'll forever be sad that he lost that race.

Posted by: Hugh MacIntyre | 2008-10-31 12:51:56 PM

...while Hugh is right, don't paint all TO's the same,
Posted by: tomax7 | 31-Oct-08 12:46:22 PM

Is Zebulon Punk typical of Albertans?

Posted by: The Stig | 2008-10-31 1:00:39 PM

Is Zebulon Punk typical of Albertans?

Posted by: The Stig | 31-Oct-08 1:00:39 PM

I hope so.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-10-31 2:53:45 PM

...hey Zeb, did ya drain your pick up truck for winter?

Ya know, da ol swimmn pool in the back.


Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-10-31 5:04:15 PM

Tomax: How original! It looks like all that money spent on the CBC and "Canadian culture" sure has paid off in Ontario. Hey a white person killed another white person in Toronto the other day - what is your city coming to?

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-10-31 5:40:13 PM

I thought Mayor Miller banned murder in Toronto... along with common sense.

Posted by: Sean | 2008-10-31 11:58:04 PM

No he signed a petition to get Harper to do it, so it's all Harper's fault. Typical Toronto attitude.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-11-01 7:04:48 AM

tomax7: "...i'm continually amazed how this Toronto still can function."

Guess what, tomax7? It hardly is functioning. I LIVE here, in the downtown area of TO, and the place is falling apart. I often have to drive to work and every major artery pretty well is chewed up and/or under construction--which never seems to be completed.

The feeling in TO is that no one's in charge--and with Moro...er Mayor Miller "in charge," it's the same thing.

I just got my licence renewal (b'day coming up) in the mail with an added "bonus." I owe $60.00 (new charge) to the City of Toronto in the form of a "Personal Vehicle Tax." "All revenues ... go to the City."

No mention of where these revenues will be spent. On new roads? On improving Toronto's badly crumbling infrastructure? Or to service Toronto's deficit? I kind of suspect to service the deficit run up by a badly managed, socialist municipal government.

Posted by: batb | 2008-11-01 8:50:32 AM

Finally, I can appreciate the perfection of Nelson Muntz from "The Simpsons."

HA HA! to Toronto.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-11-01 9:11:20 AM

Zeb: "what is your city coming to?"

Pssst, check my link and see what flag is flying in the top left corner.

I was poking you for a joke, lighten up eh.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-11-01 11:39:18 AM

batb, it is the same in Cowtown. Roads being torn up all over the place for construction, so in one sense, at least here we know it will become better.

But the same drugs are being ingested or smoked here.

We got homeless and lack of cops issue, but want to spend 15B on new pedestrian bridges (aka like your bike paths issue).

They are putting a deposit on milk jugs now and the city will now charge for recycling pickup, even though there is a company doing it.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-11-01 11:42:48 AM

...maybe it was 15M. Either way what a waste.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2008-11-01 11:43:25 AM

Well let's see...from a government point of view, deficit spending works just fine. It lets them spend whatever they want to and keeps the taxpayers...paying taxes. Neat trick eh?
That way we never ever start to think that taxes might come down...or God Forbid!...go away.

Posted by: JC | 2008-11-02 2:41:56 PM

Ontarians as a species believe that money grows on trees and that the good times will never end. If something goes wrong, it's someone else's problem. I say time to cut them off and make them fend for themselves. What will they do, not vote for Mr. Harper? They're pwned.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-11-02 2:44:56 PM

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