You know those ads to raise awareness of the government's new and various tax credits? "You've earned it. Claim it!" - as though you hadn't earned every last penny of the taxes you'd paid instead of just the ones the Ottawa plans to toss back your way.
With this year's deficit forecast to be $16 billion higher than planned, clocking in at over $50 billion, it's becoming obvious that Canadians are not getting their money's worth from this stimulus. It seems that the government's real slogan, says Terence Corcoran, is "We've borrowed it. Now you pay for it."
There are roughly 18 million income-tax filers in Canada, which means Mr. Flaherty's new deficit will put the average Canadian taxpayer about $2,700 deeper in hock by the end of this fiscal year. Add in the deficits running up in places like Ontario, and the total average debt load per income-tax filer could run to $5,000.
That's a lot to pay for the thrill of "stimulating" the economy.
How many Canadians will get $5,000 worth of benefit out of what is quickly becoming a major national extravaganza of spending and borrowing? Canadians who spent $1,350 on home reno materials this year will be in debt for three times that amount.
Oh well. I guess at least we're not $2 trillion (and counting) in the hole like the land of the free is this year, but their deficit will surely come back to bite us, too.
Cross posted to the Shotgun.