Comment 75714

By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted April 04, 2012 at 15:10:50 in reply to Comment 75696

Total government spending in Canada, from 1961-1981, increased at an average rate of 13.65%.

In contrast, from 1993 (fight the government debt era) to 2008, total government spending averaged only 3.34%.

From 2008-11, when Canada went "crazy" on stimulus spending, the average increase at the federal level was 5.12%. For Ontario, the average increase was 5.39%.

If the feds decided to build Hamilton a 15km line from Mac to Eastgate, the cost would be approximately $8,571/person (~$300M/km, TTC Sheppard line cost $1B for 5.5km). If they promised the same dollars across the country, it would cost $297.9B, or $59.6B/year (assuming a 5 year timeline to build).

For example...

Year 0 (2010-11) $279.5B
Year 1 (2011-12) $279.5B (austerity budget)+ $59.6B = $339.1B
Year 2 $279.5B * 1.04 = $290.7 + $59.6 = $350.3B
Year 3 $303.3B + $59.6 = $362.9B
Year 4 $314.4B + $59.6 = $374B
Year 5 $327B + $59.6 = $386.6B
Year 6 $340.1B + $59.6 = $399.7B

So, even if the feds built subway lines (or equivalent) across Canada, the increase in total federal spending would average 6.14%/year, rather than the hypothetical 4% seen in recent decades.
Compare that to the 13.65% seen in the sixties and seventies and you can see that there is no reason why Canada couldn't build out its infrastructure if it wanted to.

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