Decades of federal failure

Brian Peckford’s scornful letter (PQB News, Feb. 14) about the B.C. NDP’s throne speech has missed some vital points.

His long list of the effects of inadequate or non-existent policies simply reflects decades of federal failure to deal with the basic, underlying questions of who should actually fund governments nowadays, and at what cost?

It’s a pertinent question, since our longstanding and successful self-funding system was radically changed in 1975 with little publicity and without Parliamentary consultation. But precisely from that year, huge interest charges suddenly sent all budgets into serial deficit for decades, all programs were crippled by pinch-penny cuts, and the now-unpayable debts have multiplied more than 30-fold in the 40-plus years since the change.

The name for unpayable debt with everlasting interest is usury, a classically forbidden but carefully unmentioned word in our predominantly Liberal/Conservative politics.

The enormous interest charges now ($60+ billion, federal and provincial) result in the dismally inadequate programs noted by Peckford; while the apparently unstoppable current inflation is a direct result of money borrowed to balance budgets distorted by all that nationally unproductive interest – it’s wonderful for the private banks, but deadly for the nation.

It was the Ottawa Liberals who imposed totally privatized public debt on us; the Conservatives who support and accept it without question; and the NDP who meekly follow along.

Only the solitary Green has petitioned Parliament to return to Bank of Canada loan funding for governments, and got nowhere. But if anyone thinks that self-funding is nuts, think about China rising from nothing to the No. 2 economy in the world in 70 years, while all our great social systems struggle under constant underfunding.

Russ Vinden


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