Thursday, May 15, 2008

Connecting the Debt

The numbers from this old article are impressive.

"The accumulated surplus over that time has been more than $60 billion. The actual surplus's for the last seven years have been:
  • 2003/04 $9.1B
  • 2002/03 $7B
  • 2001/02 $8.9B
  • 2000/01 $18.1B
  • 1999/00 $12.7B
  • 1998/99 $3.1B
  • 1997/98 $3.8B"
But what caused me to dredge it up was this article.

"A group of labour unions from Quebec, backed by the Canadian Labour Congress wants the high court to set things right by belatedly declaring the diversion unconstitutional - and ordering Ottawa to return $54 billion to the EI account.

The money represents the surplus accumulated by the EI program since 1986, when legislation brought in by Jean Chretien's government tightened the eligibility rules for jobless payments."

Some simple math exposes the suspicious thread my brain has traced, and puts the lie to Liberal debt reduction.

60 billion - 54 billion = 6 billion

In 7 years, while the Federal Liberal government claimed to have repaid that 60 billion, they had really just reallocated (stolen) 54 billion from the EI account.

Two things leap out at me.

  1. If 54 billion can be taken out and the program can still function at full capacity we are obviously paying way too much in EI premiums.
  2. That the government's unrestrained ability to steal our money in taxes, do with it whatever they please, and then lie to us about how it is used is a crock!


Cal said...

Ah! It seems that the Canadian government does what the U.S. one does... "borrows" money from a social-insurance program and spends it on other stuff.

In the U.S., the deficit is typically reported as if the money is owed to others. If Canada uses the same technique, the falling deficit may truly be a falling deficit.

The total government debt is reported two ways in the U.S.: how much is owed if one assumes the social-insurance program is a separate entity, and how much if one assumes it is part of the government.

Zip said...

Cal, isn't interest in the way the debt is calculated like wondering whether the thief that robs you at gunpoint uses a 9mm or 357 magnum?

I didn't get into it in the article but the mere fact that there is an EI scheme is ridiculous. Take all that money and put it back into the pockets of people and you would achieve much better employment statistics.

The employer would have more money to invest, and therefore create more jobs.

The employed would have more money to spend, with the same effect.

The individual would have more self-reliance and more money with which to look out for his self-interest by saving for a rainy day.

And idle and useless scavengers would know that if they refused to work, society would refuse to support them.