Friday, May 29, 2009

What would Liarbour have done?

There is a delicious irony in seeing Liarbour slam National for cancelling taxcuts.
And the embarrassment applies to both parties too.
As I noted yesterday, the dire state of the economy and the debts left by Liarbour meant National had to renege on a promise.
The issue was, which promise? The promise on taxcuts, its central electoral plank, or promises on spending or ‘selling the family silver.’
Sadly, Bill English chose to break the main promise that separated the party from Liarbour, taxcuts. So no wonder righties like me are a little upset, much as we might be happy with other aspects of the budget.
And all this comes as government spending continues to rise, as National promises; hardly the talk of ‘cuts’ the media seems to focus on. There is no slash and burn as English freely admits.
Instead, as other blogs have noted, we have seen a strange development in government language- the use of the word ‘entitlements’ as if the claims of the beneficiary class to other people’s money counts more than the entitlements of those who actually make the money to keep a little bit more of it for themselves.
This presents an interesting debate for the country and for National to decide what kind of party it is. Is it the party of enterprise, the party of the workers, the workers that actually work, or it is the party of bludgers and beneficiaries?
Looking at the budget like this, and the language Bill English used, you can now see why Whale Oil and Not PC are not happy. This is a debate the party as well as the country needs to have, to decide who is more important, the worker, or the shirker, the productive or the non-productive.
Now, National apparently chose pragmatism, believing cancelling taxcuts was the less harmful policy. Well, today’s Stuff poll shows a majority saying the government should have lived up to its promise of taxcuts!
Of course, we should look at the underlying cause of National’s broken promise. The dire state of public finances under Liarbour, how Liarbour’s spending binge created the deficit, how their policies brought New Zealand into recession 18 long months ago, long before other countries. Imagine, as Homepaddock said yesterday, how New Zealand might have fared over the past decade without Cullenomics.
So it does seem strange that Liarbour should be attacking National as they are. Yes, there is an irony in seeing Liarbour berate National for dishonesty and lies over tax. But what would Liarbour do?
There’s David Cunliffee shouting away, but what would he have done as Finance Minister? Might we have seen actual tax increases? Might Liarbour have deepened the deficit even further, thus removing the credit upgrade from Standard and Poors that looks set to benefit businesses and mortgage holders.
Or would Labour have delivered the very same policies it is now so loudly condemning?
No wonder it is staying silent now it has been challenged by National.
It certainly seems rich for Liarbour to capitalise from a crisis largely of their own making. It certainly is rich to see Cunliffe and Goff having their political cake and eating it.
Instead, we have all to look at Liarbour’s role in creating the mess National inherited. The high spending of Liarbour, Cullen and the budget busting initiatives like WFF, Kiwisaver, interest-free students loans, etc, etc. These were policies the country could ill afford in the long run, but Liarbour delivered them all the same, putting National into a dilemma over whether to dismantle them.
Thus National is effectively locked into Liarbour’s policies thanks to the spendthrift scorched Earth policies of Cullen, deliberately leaving a financial black hole for National to grapple with. Clever politics from Liarbour to hamstrung its successor.
Which brings us back to the taxcuts. How else can National create a difference with the opposition? How else can it get the country on a new track if it effectively mirrors Liarbour in practice, having swallowed so many dead rats.
Remember, National had a mandate, it remains well ahead in the polls. And as the polls show today, the party staying honest over taxcuts might have earned it more support, as well as deliver the policies that would generate more economic growth in the long run!
hat tip: Not PC, Whale Oil


Anonymous said...

Politicians are all the same in the end, Natinal deserve the term Labour lite. At least Labour never promised tax cuts, but National lied out right, and as you say, seem to back the shirker, not the hard pressed worker. My vote goes to Act next time, who would have given tax cuts, and I believe them.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Fairfacts, this post has finally convinced me you are a brain damaged dipshit.

I'm sick to death of seeing this tired old so last year use of the term Liarbore. Are you so locked in the past? For God's sake move on, man.

Are you so brainless that you can't see the real value to New Zealanders of a sovereign credit UPGRADE compared with the value of tax cuts?

Do you simply not understand that when times are tough you have to change tack?

Why can you not understand the difference between politics and ideology?

For a while there, I thought you had finally cottoned on to the value of paragraphs but apparently that was but an aberration.

Maybe it's time for you to move along to your own blog.

Brian S said...

Adolf - Obviously you don't understand that when times are tough you have to cut taxes. The Hong Kong government understands this. The only way to get out of this recession quickly is to for the productive to be allowed to keep more of their own money. National, like Labour, sucks.

mawm said...

I can accept the loss of a promised tax cut, and by and large I don't have much to quibble about concerning the budget.

The elephant in the room is that labour governments create entitlements which drain economies and that Tory governments are hamstrung by these legacies in trying to advance an economy. It is also plain to see that rescinding any benefit will create voter outrage, and as we have so many people sucking on the state tit, this would be political suicide.

The challenge remains for National to find a way to get rid of or pin back WFF, interest free student loans, 20 hrs free care, DPB, etc; whilst advancing our economy and cutting taxes. And for that they need a lot more than 3 years in office.

Lou Taylor said...

Can we please never again see that photoshopped image blighting the pages of our good blog.

Anonymous said...

"The only way to get out of this recession quickly is to for the productive to be allowed to keep more of their own money."

Dimwit middle management types moaning about losing an extra $18 a week tax cut are not 'the productive'.

Heine said...

Who really believed that the Nats would fix things and put the economy on the right track?

Get off the grass. National were against all the Labour policies for 9 years until they needed to get back into power. It worked and it's business as usual for them, as per usual. I kinda feel a little big headed being an ACT party member!

ZenTiger said...

Adolf, if tough times mean the only solution is to effectively increase taxes (National or Labour) - then welcome to the dark side.

What about double entry book keeping? Give a small tax cut on the right, and reduce a small government department on the left.

An astute political move would have been to continue adjusting the tax thresholds to account for inflation. Maybe they are saving that new promise for the next election?

FFM: There is no doubt in my mind Labour would have cancelled their tax cuts AND increased taxes.

I like your comment on the use of the word "entitlement". If the recession hits harder, we will all be needing "entitlements", but my sympathy will be less for those that have relied on negative gearing to repay debt only to find that tax offsets still do not meet losses - they rarely do.