Economics 101

George Macvicar
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Hey, I had a good stroke of luck. I checked my bank account yesterday and I’ve got $12,000 more than I thought I had.

Or Canada Revenue sent me out a refund on my income taxes and it was $12,000 more than I thought.

Or I just got paid and when I checked I found I had $12,000 more for the hours I worked last week.

In all cases, I know I will be able to keep my windfall because that’s not my mistake, but someone else’s. It has to be a mistake, but it’s not mine!

Sure, I get to keep all this good fortune. Unfortunately, life usually doesn’t treat individuals this well for the mistakes of others. In the majority of cases, mistakes have to be rectified.

Last week, NDP provincial leader Lorraine Michael made a plea to the House of Assembly Management Committee to have the House, and in effect taxpayers, absorb a $12,000 accounting mistake the party benefitted from last spring. The party took the extra money with no questions asked, smiled and hired an office researcher.

Now she thinks since the party did not make the mistake, then it should be forgiven.

It’s rather naïve thinking for a political party leader and party advisors to suggest they should benefit from a mistake involving taxpayers’ monies.

The ‘orange crush’ of the NDP in the last federal election and surge in the Newfoundland provincial election was unexpected and exhilarating for party members. However, a poll this month claims voters are now resuming traditional voting patterns and returning to hard line parties.

It’s difficult to put faith in a party to handle government finances when they make requests such as this, and get miffed when they’re denied, as Ms. Michael did.

The Bob Rae NDP experiment in Ontario three decades ago, when his party formed the government for four years, ended up surrendering to the demands of unions – the party’s biggest financial backers – and with that province $9 billion in the hole.

The NDP offers a social agenda attractive to voters but its economic policies leave a lot to be desired.

George Macvicar, Editor/Manager

Organizations: NDP, Assembly Management Committee

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Bill woodsworth
    September 26, 2012 - 07:17

    I'm far from an NDP supporter, but, I'm sorry, you're wrong here. The NDP did not accept the $12,000 knowingly and then hire a researcher. They were given the money from the get go as a budget. It was after the money was committed that the house committee recognized their own error. I agree that they shouldn't have asked to keep the money, no one is entitled to free money, but, for you to suggest that this has something to do with NDP economics is simply stupid. The economics from the Muskrat Falls Project leaves a lot to be desired, that is for sure. Stats Canada has actually confirmed that NDP governments have the best fiscal records in history, followed by conservatives and then Liberals. But, you have neglected to mention this in your extremely biased editorial here this week.

  • Katherine
    September 26, 2012 - 06:47

    And how much money did Stephen Harper and the Conservatives mismanage in the In-and-Out scheme? 1.3 million or thereabouts? How long did it take the conservatives to admit to that mistake? 6 years! Thanks, I'll take the people who made the 12 thousand dollar mistake. Unless of course you recall Stephen Harper standing in front of a bunch of camera's owning up to his party cheating during the election when it happened? No, that never happened. Mr. Harper walks on water, and the media instead of holding his feet to the fire publishes this total crap.

  • John
    September 25, 2012 - 19:32

    I cannot agree with your assessment George, even if a CRA employee makes a mistake they now how to honour it. I would like to think this mistake doesn't happen very often and would be just as concerned about how a mistake could have happened in the first place. I am sure if you did get that refund you would not have been too happy to have to give it back if you had spent it. Lets keep the blame where it belongs and that is with the people who made it in the first place and is hardly a reflection of NDP economic policy.