LIMITED GOVERNMENT

There is lots of talk about "less government" these days. But when you look at what some people are talking about, it is easy to understand why their schemes are just that: talk!

For example, many talk about eliminating one department or another or even a whole layer of government. What they do not talk about is doing away with the functions of that department or level of government. The net effect of their schemes is that the "programmes" are shuffled into another department or layer of government which then expands to do the job. There are few, if any real cost savings or reduction in red tape and bureaucratic interference in the economy or private lives.

One part of government that is often overlooked are the more than 630 Boards, Agencies, Commissions and tribunals that control just about everything in the province. There's lots of room here for less government!

When Libertarians talk about less government they they really mean "limited" government! Regional Government would disappear as would the Ministries of Citizenship; Culture, Tourism and Recreation; Housing; Francophone Affairs; Consumer and Commercial Relations; etc. Many others will be phased out or privatised.

The Provincial government would be cut back to basics in the first phases of the plan and limited to those basics. Similarly, municipal governments would meet the same fate with equally fixed limits on what they can do. This is the only way that government will be brought under control and taxes reduced. Libertarians have the plan based on principles that work. They are ready to start work!

REFERENCES:

It's never too late in the day to hide a $14 Billion liability. This article in The Waterloo Region Record explains how the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB, a government-monopoly) has created a huge deficit by reducing premiums paid by employers.  Guess who's going to pick up the difference.  It will also bias WSIB to fight as many claims as possible, making life difficult for injured workers. 

Infographic: Ontario's budget by the numbers: - These graphs by the Globe and Mail illustrate the situation for Ontario taxpayers, present and future.  Chart 2 shows how the provincial debt and the interest on it are increasing.

Ontario's Problem: Ontario's Government - An editorial (March 4, 2012) by Mark Milke of the Fraser Institute blames the McGuinty government policies for the poor performance of Ontario.  Ontario spent $2.7 billion on corporate welfare in 2009.  Mc Guinty's government has made energy much more expensive for consumers and businesses through it's expensive feed-in-tarrifs for "renewable energy."  

Ontario's debt threatens programs and tax cuts.  This commentary in the National Post by Lorne Gunter raises the alarm about government spending.  "Unless the Ontario government implements a plan to pay off its debt – and sticks with it – its debt will eventually consume everything in its path."

St. James Park gets post-Occupy Toronto makeover.  This article describes how the Ontario Sod Growers Association and Landscape Ontario stepped up to replace 11,000 square feet of sod destroyed by the Occupy Toronto Movement at no cost to the City.  Additional articles in The Globe and Mail and National Post.

Market Reform: Lessons from New Zealand - This article from the Hoover Institution presents an interesting case study of government reform in New Zealand. Started by Finance Minister Roger Douglas of the Labour Party and continued by Ruth Richardson, his counterpart in the National Party, the reforms to reduce the role of government resulted in substantial improvements in the economy. Unfortunately the reformation came to an end, in part because, "they ceded the political high ground by failing to articulate positions based on principle."  Be sure to read Note 2 at the end of the article for an example of the lethal consequences of import restrictions. 

Private Citizens Perform $4 Million Road Repair Job For Free in 8 Days - Their livelihood was being threatened, and they were tired of waiting for government help, so business owners and residents on Hawaii’s Kauai island pulled together and completed a $4 million repair job to a state park — for free. Just an example of possible libertarain solution to the question, "But who would build the roads?"

Economic Performance and Government Size  This empirical analysis by researchers at the European  Central Bank of 108 countries from 1970 to 2008 show a negative effect of the size of government on growth. 

Small is Best - According to this report from the Centre for Policy Studies, between 2003 and 2012, real GDP growth was 3.1% a year for small government countries (i.e. where both government outlays and receipts were on average below 40% of GDP for the years 1999 to 2009), compared to 2.0% for big government countries.  Canada is one of the advanced OECD countries included in the study and government spending amounts to about 48% of GDP.