The Problem with Government Budgets
Below is a table of the budget for Ontario.
The raw data is here:
I had a hard time navigating all the tables, but I think this is the best summary I could find.
If I'm missing some spending like capital spending or something like that, please look at the big picture.
Healthcare and Education
If there's one thing to see here is just how much healthcare and education dominate spending.
I don't know how this became the norm in Canada, but it simply is the case. Transit, energy, law enforcement, R&D and anything else simply pales in comparison.
It really is a perverse mentality. Consider the big issue right now, which is transit. Let's remember that transit is something people use each and every day. I use it daily. Yet infrastructure is general is something everyone uses every single day. Yet, spending on it pales in comparison to healthcare and education.
Even mega-big announcements on transit seem petty.
Here, Wynn is promising a mega 29 BILLION dollars in transit spending, over 10 years.
So basically 2.9 billion dollars a year.
Look at the table above. That is peanuts compared to healthcare and education.
I think this is the biggest reason why transit in Canada compared to Europe or Asia. It is generally so poor even though we have pretty good levels of taxation. It's just not spent on transit.
Holistic GovernmentWhat we really need is a more holistic view of government. I don't know why Healthcare and Education became such sacred cows. Quite frankly, I'd much rather have people have excellent transit, homes, and food on their table. Just ponder that for a minute.
Government needs to start thinking holistically about making life better for its citizens. The people in Ontario should have a much bigger say in what they really need. Yes, put the hard choices to voters. Would you like transit to get an extra 2 billion a year (300% increase) at the expense of healthcare (4% decrease) ?
The same goes for every other function of government be it law, R&D, parks, sports, housing, social support...