Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dalton McGuinty’s Legacy: The Tax-and-Spend Liberal

Premier Dalton McGuinty announced his resignation yesterday, putting his 9-year record of contempt, frivolous spending, mismanaged projects, and incompetent government to bed.

The Liberals insist his legacy will be the “positive” changes McGuinty forced onto brought to health care and education.  And in a completely expected farewell salute, the Toronto Star praises McGuinty for leaving a “solid legacy” in education and health care.

Luckily, most Ontarians have a vivid memory of McGuinty’s actual record.  McGuinty’s legacy should be rightly be remembered as your typical tax-and-spend Liberal premier, drunkenly spending extreme amounts of money without a care for the consequences.  Here’s the record most Ontarians will and should remember:

  • Over $1 billion wasted on eHealth.  McGuinty favoured his buddies’ companies over others, and rewarded them with $100,000+ bonuses and cookies (paid for by you and me).
  • Strategically cancelling power plants in Oakville and Mississauga just days before the 2011 election.  This has cost us $733 million and the number is still growing.
  • Over $1 billion given to ORNGE over 5 years.  Health Minister Deb Matthews admits she simply can’t account for at least $25 million of money sent to ORNGE.
  • The largest deficits in Ontario’s history, including a $14.1 billion deficit for 2009-2010 alone (if you don’t remember, this record beat even Bob Rae’s socialist government in the 1990’s).  Projections indicate that Ontario may be bound to over $136 billion in deficit spending over the next 6 years.
  • Adding $133.4 billion to Ontario’s debt while paying down none of it.  Today’s debt stands at $272.2 billion, or $21,180 for every Ontario man, woman, and child.
  • Over $35 million in bonuses for public servants, after promising the public sector would face a wage freeze.  The Sunshine List – public servants making over $100,000 per year – is up 10% in just one year.
  • The “health premium:” a tax which costs up to $900 per person per year, which supposedly helps with lowering hospital wait times.  But wait, according to the Auditor General, only 10-15% of patients are actually seen within the recommended wait time.  In fact, the Auditor General acknowledged it was not uncommon to wait 10-26 hours before getting a bed for your urgent medical issue.
  • According to the Auditor General in 2009, “electricity prices for the average Ontario consumer …are projected to rise 46 per cent in the next five years.”
  • Ontarians are paying $4.4 billion more for our hydro to be produced with McGuinty’s friend’s solar and wind farms.  And while McGuinty has tried to claim these exorbitant amounts of money have created jobs, in reality most of the jobs created will be for short-term construction jobs.  In fact, the drunken throwing of money at green energy experiments has created some jobs.  And those jobs have been created due to $100,000-300,000 per job in government subsidies.
  • And finally, just to limit this to a relatively short list, McGuinty’s Samsung deal.  The same deal the Auditor General condemned McGuinty for, since it was done “with no formal economic analysis” and “neither the Ontario Energy Board nor the Ontario Power Authority was consulted” about the proposed deal.

But let’s not forget other “promises” by McGuinty which today can be best described as sick jokes.  “I won’t raise your taxes” McGuinty promised in 2003.  And 2007.  And 2011.  Yet, as we all well know, Ontarians saw their taxes raised time and time again: the HST, the health tax, increasing corporate and small business taxes, the eco tax.  And best of all, the surtax on high-income earners which was first proposed by NDP leader Andrea Horwath.

This is the true legacy of Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal government after 9 years in office.  Corruption, job-killing taxes, ridiculous spending, routine job losses, and horrible investments in green energy experiments.

This is indeed a “solid legacy” for McGuinty: no one will soon forget the last 9 years of Ontario Liberal governance.

Follow Daniel on Twitter at @DDickin