Bil English today is talking gloomy. He has done for some time.
Is he shaping the country up for a cancellation of further taxcuts, as Not PC notes today.
He could be. If National stood for one thing, it was tax cuts and the party owes it to New Zealand to be faithful to its pre-election promise.
We already knew things were gloomy last October, so saying the situation is worse than expected will not wash either.
I can picture all the cries from Labour about National u-turning, being weak, betraying the voters, not to be trusated, even if cancelling taxcuts is what Labour would have delivered too.
However, Bill English rightly raised the cost of government debt and the burdens being passed on to future generations.
People are waking up to the costs of government debt the world over.
In the UK, figures like STG 20,000 or $50,000 per person have been bandied about.
The US also has a huge black hole of debt, being quadrupled by you-know-who.
Australia has blown off its government suplusses it inherited from Peter Costello and massive debts will follow.
We also need to look at the economic consequences too, the messages being sent.
Bailouts and big spending as shown by Obama and Brown have actualy weakened confidence and are fuelling the recession. There have been the Tea Party Protests across America as people see the debt burden being generated.
After two stimulus packages, which have failed, in Australia Kevin Rudd now talks of a third package. The economic forecasts for Australia today have just worsened.
And as Cactus Kate rightly notes, Britain's new 50% tax rate at the top will drive away the wealth creators.
So here's my advice to Bill English as he contemplates his budget.
Play it steady. Keep your promises on tax, you are rightly wary of debt, but if anything has to go, it has to be government spending.
The left paint this government as a slash and spend monster anyway. However, most normal people realise we face hard times. They have experienced a growing tax burden and seen little extra for all that extra government spending.
You will have to weild the axe and blame the previous government for it. After all, Clark, Culen and co were never afraid to blame National when it suited them. So get the knife out Bill.
Here is a time when New Zealand can set itself apart from the tax and spend debt monsters of overseas. We can be wise and prudent with low tax, an island of enterprise amid a sea of socialism! Just the thing to bring the jobs and economic growth we need.