"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Meet Mr. Moneybags

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, Loyola Sullivan set a new low bar for utter cluelessness by Finance Ministers.

His press conference in which he revealed to an eager world the shocking, SHOCKING, fact, that as a province’s own-source revenues go up, its equalization entitlement goes down, still cause sniggers among people who can add.

Tom Marshall, come on down!You’re the new contestant on OMG! You’re In Charge Of A $5.5-Billion Budget!?

Tonight on VOCM Nightline, Minister Marshall said:
“As you will recall, we were getting equalization since 1957, and then when the oil and gas revenues came, unfortunately we were not getting any further ahead, because as the oil and gas revenue came in, equalization went down”
Very good, Tom.

Sun: rises in east. Sets in west.
“so there was no net fiscal benefit to the province. And then Premier Williams came along, and negotiated the Atlantic Accord”
Weren’t there a few, kinda important, steps in between 1957 and Danny Williams’ election in 2003?
“which enabled us to get an offset payment, outside the equalization formula… And that payment was an offset payment which enabled us essentially to have our equalization and keep the oil and gas money.
No, it did not.

It enabled us essentially to have our oil and gas money and keep the equalization.

Don’t believe it? Then take Saint Danny Williams’ word for it. This is what he signed in 2005:

2. This document reflects an understanding between the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador that:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador already receives and will continue to receive 100 per cent of offshore resource revenues as if these resources were on land;
Tom Marshall – who, again, is in charge of a $5.5-billion budget – continues:

    “Premier Williams is negotiating this for our province, he’s been elected by the people to do this. He negotiated the Atlantic Accord. That’s what’s enabling this province to grow and prosper.”
    Wow. What an odd theory of economics. Not only are “growth and prosperity” achieved by maximizing government revenues, they are achieved by maximizing transfer payments from another government altogether!

    Soon there’ll be enough federal money coming in not just for the Throne Speech “autonomy”, but for outright separation!

    “That’s what’s enabling us to keep the benefits of the offshore resources, the mineral resources, these revenues, we had them before, but we couldn’t keep them before, we lost them on the equalization side. What Premier Williams accomplished is allowing us to keep those revenues, is allowing us to grow and prosper…”
    Mineral resources?

    Perhaps Tom Marshall – who, for the third time, it must be recalled, is in charge of a $5.5-billion budget – can explain how the Atlantic Accord, 1985 or 2005, in any way intersects with “mineral resources” other than petroleum.

    And, again, it must be re-stated, over and over and over again, Danny Williams’ signature is at the bottom of a document which states, in black and white, in the English language, that “Newfoundland and Labrador already receives and will continue to receive 100 per cent of offshore resource revenues…”

    It receives them.

    It keeps them.

    Always has.

    Tom Marshall.

    Economic growth and prosperity through government revenues.

    $5.5-billion of your money.



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