A Pipeline Flowing With Red Ink
Tue, June 05, 2018 | Author: Rod Taylor | Volume 25 Issue 23
“The trouble with socialism,” Margaret Thatcher once said, “is that eventually you run out of other peoples’ money.”
Canada’s governments began depending on other peoples’ money a long time ago when they first passed through deficit into an ever-swirling vortex of permanent debt. We now owe over $650 billion in direct deficit-generated debt, accumulated under years of socialist-style governments both of the left and the right. As recently pointed out by former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page, that’s only part of our total market debt.
When including money borrowed against assets by Crown Corporations, Canada is actually paying interest on over ONE TRILLION dollars. Yes, that’s right—a thousand billion. In fact, since 1990, Canadians have paid out over ONE TRILLION dollars in interest on that debt.
The money has been spent on many things; but really, the main reason governments have spent YOUR money on things they couldn’t afford has been to buy votes. That’s it quite simply.
Promises on the campaign trail and the expansion of government have all been designed to entice voters—using economic incentives—to vote for one party or the other.
We have reached a critical level of deficit spending, which already threatens future generations of taxpayers with unsustainable interest payments. Now our Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill Morneau have decided to play poker with an additional $4.5 billion of borrowed money to enter into the high-stakes game of building pipelines.
Instead of using their legislative and executive authority to ensure that Kinder Morgan’s already-approved Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would enter the construction phase, the Liberal government has decided to take over the project on the public purse.
Your kids will be paying for it. It’s a terrible plan.
First, the purchase of Kinder Morgan’s existing pipeline and this expansion project does nothing to resolve the challenges and hostile opposition, which the pipeline company has faced for years and which have made progress both painful and slow.
The same protesters—many of whom are funded by foreign interests—are opposed to the pipeline itself and the transport of Canadian energy resources to any markets. They’d rather continue to buy Mid-East conflict oil than create wealth for Canadians by extracting and processing Canada’s rich energy resources.
This next item will come as a shock to some, but is not surprising given the level of arrogance of this government: while Canada Summer Jobs funding has been denied to conscientious, hard-working charities that feed the poor, Summer Jobs funding is still going to protest organizations employing student-activists to fight against job-creating oil pipelines!
The hypocrisy of denying funds to pro-lifers while paying for protests against this government-approved project is mind-numbing.
Second, governments are notoriously bad managers of business. What can be accomplished—with difficulty—by highly trained and experienced industry experts will either fail utterly when undertaken by government bureaucrats or will take longer, cost more, and create one more costly and self-serving branch of government.
One needn’t look far in the dustbins of history to discover other failed socialist projects. The various 5-year plans of the USSR, China and the many so-called “Peoples’ Republics” come to mind.
Socialism does not work. Leave business to self-motivated entrepreneurs and willing investors, not appointed bureaucrats and struggling taxpayers.
Third, Canadian taxpayers will now, as public shareholders, be on the hook for all the risk, with no opportunity—other than at the ballot box—to influence decision-making. The risks of market collapse, rising interest rates, court challenges, natural disasters, environmental accommodation, unforeseen technical challenges, and billions of dollars of cost overruns will rest on the backs of every Canadian taxpayer. And there will be cost overruns.
$4.5 billion is just the start, just the beginning of sorrows.
There have been misguided government initiatives before . . . many of them. This venture, however, promises to be one of the worst in Canadian history.
Other Commentary by Rod Taylor:
- A Pipeline Flowing With Red Ink
- What’s In Your Pipeline?
- When Governments Kill Their Citizens, God Removes His Blessing
- Gunsmoke and Mirrors
- Generation Xi
- All Things Being Equal . . . They’re Not
- A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian . . . Really?
- The Role of Conscience and the Rule of Law
- Bullies in the Classroom
- Distracted Driving on the Road of Life
- Hapless, Hopeless and Helpless
- The UN: It’s Not Working