BY THE NUMBERS?

16/08/2016

Our lives are inundated by numbers before our first breath and left to those remaining after we pass on. So much so, our eyes glaze over and only a few manage to stay lucid during certain periods of onslaught and have recall to make connections in their coming and going. Below are a selection of numbers that affect our lives and, of this I’m certain, pass unnoticed and disconnected on their passage through our experiences. Consider…

 

 

10. New Toronto '15

 

HENNESSY’S INDEX   ~   A number is never just a number

Summer 2015 ~ The Long Shadow of Mike Harris

 

$19 billion: Estimated annual cumulated impact of the Harris era tax cuts on Ontario’s fiscal capacity by 2013-14.

$14 billion: Estimated amount of cumulated provincial debt by the end of 2000-2001 that resulted from the Harris Government’s decision to borrow money to fund its mid-1990s tax cuts.

$3.5 billion: Estimated spending cuts to public programs, services, and public works during the first three years of the Harris Government.

$1.2 billion: Amount of real, per capita spending on elementary and secondary education that got cut by 1999.

-$2 billion: How much the Harris government cut spending on health care in its first term (when inflation and population growth are taken into account).

20%: How much public sector spending shrunk as a share of the total Ontario economy between 1995-96 and 1999-2000.

48%: Percentage of provincial grants to Ontario municipalities that the Harris government cut – $658 million in spending cuts in the first two years of its time in office.

$395 million: How much additional annual transit cuts that municipal governments faced by 1999 after the Harris government downloaded public transit.

$890 million: That’s how much additional annual social housing costs that municipal governments faced by 1999 after the Harris download.

Research provided by the Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives

(www.policyalternatives.ca/ontario)

 

Now, these numbers may mean something to you who’re reading this, if you’re able to reference where we are as a society in our fiscal challenges as they relate to what was believed to be a Common Sense Revolution 20 years ago.

Of course, with a slight case of memory-loss, it was re-branded as the call for Stopping the Gravy Train and was received unanimously by those with self-centred belief in tax-cuts, once again!

It appears catering to individual greed still commands mindlessness and blindness to the bigger societal picture where long-term needs are concerned. ‘Where have all the flowers gone?’

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