23 January 2015

The Fraser Institute and Laughably Flawed Analysis #nlpoli

The latest Fraser Institute assessment of the financial management prowess of premiers is to sound economic analysis what homeopathy to curing cancer.

The Fraser Institute issued a news release on the first anniversary of Kathy Dunderdale’s departure from politics that declared her the best fiscal manager of all the country’s premiers. 

That wasn’t sarcasm.

That’s what they said.

Of course, it’s not the first time the Fraser Institute has concluded a Premier whose administration produced record public debt in the province she ran is somehow the most brilliant financial manager in the country. They did it in 2012 based on a one year’s performance.  One year.

The Fraser Institute produced this latest result by looking at only three indicators and ignoring Dunderdale’s actual record.  In other words, the Fraser Institute report is an other example of a GIGO study:  garbage in, garbage out.

Without even getting into the report itself, you know they got it dead wrong because of one simple fact.  The current deficit of almost a billion dollars is the direct result of government spending plans set in place by the Conservatives when Kathy Dunderdale was Premier. Her hand-picked successor was her finance minister and he didn’t change the spending policy that Kathy and her predecessor have maintained since about 2006.

Sound fiscal managers don’t produce budget plans that produce that kind of a deficit.  It just doesn’t happen.  And for all those people who believe the fairy tale that it was all oil prices, let’s just remind you that Kathy Dunderdale and her colleagues knew that oil prices are volatile.  She could have budgeted to compensate for that.  She didn’t.  In fact, in one of the years covered by this report, Dunderdale and her colleagues took a wildly optimistic estimate for oil prices and budgeted to spend even more than the revenue they thought they’d get.

First politicians.

Now a think tank.

You really do have to feel sorry for the crowd who produce the annual review show. It’s hard to be in the parody business when the stuff the real people put out is more ridiculous than what the comedians dream up.