Passing on government debt

Today’s younger Canadians inherit 3 times more government debt than young adults in the late 1970s (even before adding pandemic spending). Larger debts are the predictable result of increasing spending faster than revenue – and failing to be transparent about the risks of this approach. New spending has largely funded increases in medical care and income supports for those age 65+. But political leaders are unwilling to ask older Canadians to contribute a fair share to the cost of these programs – despite the greater capacity many have to pay, thanks to growing housing wealth.  Instead, governments have adapted by increasing debt loads and cutting spending elsewhere, notably on programs and services for younger Canadians.

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