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article imageOp-Ed: Ontario Liberals should stay out of our retirement

By Andrew Moran     Dec 9, 2014 in Politics
Toronto - The Ontario Liberal government, led by Premier Kathleen Wynne, continues to purport the notion that the state knows better than you do about how to live your life.
The most recent example of this is the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), a Made-in-Ontario retirement plan for workers who do not have a workplace pension. Helmed by Member of Provincial Parliament Mitzie Hunter, who was elected rather disingenuously over her moniker of being a "subway champion" even though she advocated for LRTs, the latest coercive tax will take into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
Under the current proposal, employers and employees would each be mandated to contribute 1.9 percent of their salary to the ORPP, which would cost the average worker up to $1,643 annually, a large chunk of change for the average family that has to deal with higher taxes, fees and cost of living.
Business groups and officials from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce have already warned that this scheme will result in fewer jobs, something that Ontario knows all too well thanks to Wynne's predecessor, Dalton McGuinty, and his destructive policies.
Then-Premier Dalton McGuinty standing beside his future successor  Kathleen Wynne.
Then-Premier Dalton McGuinty standing beside his future successor, Kathleen Wynne.
"Employers worry that by making it more expensive to hire, the new pension plan will negatively impact job creation and hurt Ontario's competitiveness," said Chamber president and CEO Allan O'Dette in a statement. "We need to ensure that any changes to the pension system are made with a full understanding of the impact they will have on Ontario's business climate."
Although these are important concerns from the private sector, the more interesting comment came from Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa, who averred that people aren't saving enough, and therefore the government must save and invest for them.
"The reality is that a significant number of today's workers are simply not saving enough to maintain their standard of living when they retire," said Sousa, an official who continues to fight for more so-called revenue tools, has put forward budget deficits and has supported the Liberal government's enormous debt levels.
People aren't saving enough because there isn't really much of an incentive when interest rates are at record lows, bonds pay next to nothing, GICs become a waste of time and Money Market mutual funds aren't worth it. The Bank of Canada has discouraged people from saving, and with price inflation rising each year for everyday goods, households can't put a lot of money away, unfortunately.
Let's not forget the governments at all levels and the central bank encourage consumption instead of saving, since most of them are Keynesians and abide by the doctrine that debt-induced consumption produces prosperity and economic growth.
Furthermore, the provincial Grits maintain a deplorable record of financial mismanagement and political corruption. How could anyone trust Wynne's Liberal government — or any government for that matter — with maintaining a retirement fund?
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) already has a near $1 trillion unfunded liability. The same fiduciary troubles will eventually happen to the ORPP in a couple of decades when the Liberal brand will still reign supreme in the province of Ontario because voters are bribed with their own money.
Let's take a look at just a handful of scandals coming from Queen's Park in the last few years: eHealth, ORNGE, Ontario Health Premium Tax, power plant cancellations, ice storm gift cards, welfare payments and the list goes on and on...and on. And they want to control a retirement fund? Is this a joke?
What should irk Ontarians is the belief that the government has any right to impose its will on the general public. Everyone has different viewpoints, beliefs, values and ethics, and when it comes to retirement it's no different. Indeed, everyone should set aside at least 15 percent of their income for a rainy day, but if someone chooses not to then that's their problem.
It reminds me of a Milton Friedman quote: "The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem."
Why must the government incite force, coercion and mandates when it comes to something they disagree with? That's all this government — or any other public entity — knows is mandates. Premier Wynne enjoys pontificating on what's fair and just, but she should address her own government's enormous iniquities.
How are those criminal investigations going?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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