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Re: point #5, Ontario's accrual accounting already does amortize capital projects over the life of the asset. The amortization incurred for each consolidated capital project, in each fiscal year, is therefore included as part of the government's total expense for the year. In other words, to use your example of $12 billion, if all of those assets were amortized over 25 years, the government would, in fact, record an expense of $480 million per year; and this $480 million WOULD count towards the net surplus/deficit position.

So, basically, take the public out of public policy?

Stephen:
My understanding is that the accounting approach currently used is not an amortization over the life of the asset with an aim to paying off the "borrowing plus interest" but a capital depreciation or user cost of capital charge applied as an expense in the spending of the applicable government ministry. This is indeed counted towards the net surplus/defcit position but I do not believe it is the same as a sinking fund concept which aims to pay off the amount borrowed. However, I am open to further explanation on this point.
CCabb91:
I do not understand where the comment is directed.

"Establishing an independent project review panel consisting of an arms-length expert panel (accountants, economists, engineers, business people) to do economic evaluations as to whether a project is needed or not would be a good step in the direction of more responsible provincial fiscal management and reduce the impact of political pressure on which projects are selected."

In effect, you're advocating for the removal of fiscal discretion from normal political debate. Does this not depoliticize economic policy and reduce the scope to practice democratic politics?
I have problems with each of your points, but #4 seems to be blatantly undemocratic.

CCabb91:
Any panel would make recommendations to the government in power based on their expertise. The ultimate decision would always rest with the politicians.

Uhhmmm... equity financing anyone?

The problem with debt is that governments lack the forethought to properly plan ahead as clearly indicated in your bullet list (expenditure growth targets, expenditure review process, surplus disposition strategy, capital expenditure review process, sinking funds, etc.).

That lack of forethought is in part politically driven, why as an elected official should I plan ahead for 10 to 30 years from now when I am unlikely to be in office.
Over time the debt builds upon itself (rolls over) until it becomes unsustainable and is defaulted upon.

Instead, let the buyer of the securities bear some portion of the risk involved in the investment.

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