Guest Column: How Many Zeros In A Trillion Dollars?

As of March 31, 2019 reporting, our National Debt was 685 billion ($685,000,000,000) dollars. We will not see the March 31, 2020 balance sheets for some time. Estimates from the Government put it somewhere just over 700 billion. ($700,000,000,000)

We all understand the governments’ decisions to help Canadians struggling during the National Isolation. Historians and analysts will debate the necessity for the course taken, the borders, the preparations, the prioritizations of spending, over the years ahead.

Any way you speculate, with the reduced income projections from the closures, and the expenditures of the programs, (although there have been no announcements for expense reduction in any areas) we as a nation will probably exceed 1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) dollars in national debt as of March 31, 2021.

At our current interest rates, that will exceed 3 billion per year in interest alone. (At 1% interest, that will be 10 billion per year) This is just our national debt, not inclusive of provincial debts cumulative across the country.

We have all taken time to think through our own decisions in our past, and assessing where we are today in our personal lives. One of those assessments is projecting our own financial balance sheets for when we get back to work. We are making plans and decisions on cuts to non-essential expenses, selling off non-appreciating assets, analyzing closely needs versus wants.

I certainly would appreciate the government speaking about this now, to give us a sense of confidence that while taking care of the crisis now, they are planning for the future.
Whether or not they, or we, learn from the past is something we will see.

Alan Otway

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