The Ontario provincial election is in its first week and Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne is campaigning on her 2014 budget, which includes the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, a 1.9 percent mandatory payroll tax. This is one of the most debated policy issues in the province today and Wynne is hoping to garner support from Ontarians.
Speaking with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a private meeting on Dec. 5, Wynne said the PM “smirked” and informed her that Canadians need to save for their own retirement because it’s not the government’s job to look after them.
Wynne is describing this as a negative, but Harper is absolutely correct in his comments. The role of the federal and provincial/state governments is not to care for citizens when they hit their winter years. That is their own job.
Harper, who is certainly not inclusive in the liberty movement because of his big government ways, attempted to save the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) in a budget a couple of years ago by lowering benefits if people opt to take it early, the number of drop-out years increased and old age security (OAS) eligibility had been expanded to 67 years of age.
Although it isn’t much talked about on media panels and in the House of Commons, the CPP faces a near $1 trillion unfunded liability, while the OAS will triple in cost by 2030 when it reaches $108 billion. These numbers are increasing each election cycle and political leaders are ignoring the issue.
In addition, today’s benefits are being paid for by today’s workforce – shouldn’t a retirement plan be funded through previous year’s investments? This has dramatically changed over the years because of the growing life expectancy age and governments using pension reserves for general spending, something that Prime Minister Jean Chretien and United States President Bill Clinton did to balance the budget and pay down the national debt.
With that being said, Canadians, Americans, Europeans and others need to be saving and investing for their own retirement rather than depending on government benefits. Indeed, even if people oppose the retirement pension plans in their respective countries and they still contributed to it through coercive means, they have every right to tap into these funds. However, no one should be expecting to live on any government-run retirement fund.
A prudent policy for federal governments to adopt is to slowly eliminate public retirement plans and allow the citizenry to opt out as time goes by. It is the responsibility of each person to plan for their golden years by saving at an early age. If they irresponsibly refuse to do so then it is their own fault.
It’s about time for Canadians and Ontarians to stop expecting to be parented by bureaucrats from cradle to grave. It’s about time that citizens in the Great White North start demanding the governments to stop using force to steal their money. It’s about time Ontarians kick out the governing Liberal Party after several billion-dollar scandals. Just imagine if the Ontario Liberals had access to even more revenues from taxpayers!