LETTER: Leaving future generations to pay the bills

The Abbotsford News (Aug. 5) reported that the average family cannot afford a mortgage for a typical detached home.

The Abbotsford News (Aug. 5) reported that the average family cannot afford a mortgage for a typical detached home.

A mortgage of $400,000 requires $1,700 monthly payments which few families can afford.

A Fraser report shows that the average earning Canadian family is taxed almost $5,000 annually to pay the interest on Canada’s national debt. Since B.C.’s debt per person almost equals our national debt per person, the average earning family is paying around $9,000 annually for interest associated with national and provincial debt.

We bought our first home in a different era, when governments acted responsibly and debt was virtually non-existent. Our good fortune was that income taxes then were a minor expense and buying a new home on a beginning teacher’s salary was relatively easy.

Globescan surveys indicate that public trust in governments back in the 1960s hovered around 70 per cent but, with burgeoning debt, people’s trust hovers below 30 per cent. Modern-day societies deplore their politicians who cannot live within budgets and rob future generations by wracking up debt which they must fund.

Pierre Trudeau’s legacy gave Canadians an inflated lifestyle but increased each Canadian’s portion of the national debt by 650 per cent.

Subsequent prime ministers, with one exception, kept increasing each person’s share: Mulroney at 203 per cent, Chretien at 3 per cent and Harper at 15 per cent. Martin actually reduced it by 6 per cent.

Yesteryear’s irresponsible governments now negate many of today’s families from qualifying for a mortgage.

Imagine how much easier it would be for average families having an additional $9,000 per year of disposable income.

Unfortunately, our current prime minister’s public commitment to increase debt not only increases the annual taxes we have to shell out, but it promises our children an even more bleak future. The desire to be in political power supersedes the hopes of too many young families to enjoy their own home.

Government debt is a killer for future generations. It’s like placing our children and grandchildren several miles behind the marathon’s starting line.  Governments need to live within their means, and stop expecting future generations to pay their bills.

Jim Dueck