How to spend a super-sized surplus

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Dear Tom Marshall,

Congrats on the $755 million surplus! That's a lot of smackers, and you appear bent on being responsible and paying down the debt with it.

But if you change your mind and want to spend frivolously, please call. People close to me say I'm a natural at wasting money. I don't know what they mean. Every light and electrical device in a house should be controlled by The Clapper.

OK, sadly I don't own a single Clapper, but I do possess a few ideas for the $755 million.

Buy Greece. This would allow us to boast a drastically improved climate on top of that drastically improved bank account. And don't worry about Greece being so far away. France has St-Pierre-Miquelon. Grand Falls has Windsor. ... Oh, and if you proceed, please stress to Transportation and Works that the Parthenon is not just a piece of crumbling infrastructure. No need to fix it through a federal-provincial program.

Quadruple the size of the Costco parking lot. Not because you should invest in a booming business, but because you should be trying to lower the population's collective stress level. Parking at the $500 Club brings out the worst in humanity. Drivers think nothing of the accidents they nearly cause by zooming in front of other motorists or whizzing past shoppers carrying water tower-sized bottles of Helman's. Like Julie Mitchell - oops, I meant like Joni Mitchell - sorta said: pave paradise, put up a (bigger) parking lot.

Run a zip line to Labrador. We'd finally be connected, the Big Land and we. Travel to and from wouldn't be as costly. And you could run some Muskrat Falls power through it. Then it would be a zap line. Think of the tourism potential! And if you ran it from Liberal Yvonne Jones' district across the Straits to New Democratic Chris Mitchelmore's, the opposition parties would say nada.

Bring AC/DC to the province for a huge outdoor concert. Seems government's revenue always comes in a little better than planned. So, even though you're forecasting a deficit next year, I fully expect you'll be back in the black. Who better to celebrate that with than AC/DC? And the province would make money from staging an AC/DC concert, trust me. It's win-win. So Tom, in your best AC/DC vocals, sing with me, "The claim is in you. The sights are on me. So what do you do? That's guaranteed ... Come on, come on, listen to the money talk."

Cut the tax on beer. You know, the levy on lager is so high I'm really surprised there hasn't been an Occupy George Street movement. It's tariff-ying, really. And if you axe the tax on ale, unlike the Trooper song says, you'll be here (in elected office) for a good time and a long time.

Speaking of beer, if you'd like to discuss these or any of my other ideas for the $755 million - like reinvesting in the canned fog industry - let's grab a pint. You're paying.

Steve Bartlett doesn't take care of the finances in his home. Email him at or follow him on Twitter at bartlett_steve.

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Recent comments

  • TM
    November 23, 2011 - 18:32

    Any surplus in any town city province state country these days should pay down all debt.