Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Sunday, 16 November 2008

As The Crisis Grows, Our Politicans Let Us Down

According to Gordon Brown’s analysis the economic situation is thus. We are just entering a prolonged and profound economic recession which has been fuelled by debt. Of everyone with a negative balance sheet the government is top of the pile; borrowing stands at nearly £38bn for the first half of the year, an increase of 75% on last year. The answer to this is for the government to start spending even more money than it has been doing, and at the same time to cut taxes. In other words, the answer to the debt crisis is…MORE DEBT !

So, all the leaders trot off to the G20 summit over the weekend, which is little more than a massive photo opportunity and a chance for each leader to spin that this is a global problem – i.e. not their fault. To call it an unedifying spectacle is to err on the decidedly generous side. The conclusion appears to have been is for everyone to spend money which they simply haven’t got in an effort to boost flagging economies.

I find all this profoundly depressing. Governments have never been any good at boosting economies or creating jobs. That is best left to the private sector. The cost per job created by government spending is huge, and whatever entity they build in the process is usually unwieldy and inefficient. Whatever the answers to our current economic travails, yet more government spending is not one of them. The government behaves like a compulsive shopper; it has borrowed more than it ever dreamt of on the plastic, and while the red bills pile up the only thing it can think of doing is to keep on spending.

At times like this, with a socialist government looking to spend money hand over fist, I look to the Opposition for common sense. But we’re not getting it. Whilst not (yet) resorting to the government’s discredited Keynesian theories, they too are in denial about the true size of the hole we’re in.

Owing to the government’s reckless spending of the last few years, the simple fact is that we, as a nation, are broke; penniless, bankrupt, absolutely borassic. We haven’t got a pot to piss in. At times like this more spending is the last thing we need, closely followed, though it pains me to say it, by unfunded tax cuts.

The problem is what we need now is an opposition party with guts, a party prepared to say the unpopular. But far from preaching the classical virtues of sound money, the Conservatives have allowed themselves to have get locked into a bidding war on tax cuts which we simply cannot afford. Anyone who seriously believes that the tax cuts put forward by Cameron and Osborne will not cost money, at least in the short term, is deluding themselves. The Tories’ claim for fiscal responsibility rings hollow.

What we need is for someone, somewhere to stand up and say this: “We are broke. We cannot cut taxes and we need to cut spending. The reason is that for the last ten years the government has been spending money it does not have”. And no one’s got the guts to say it.


Dick Puddlecote said...

Darling was on the Politics Show this morning and avoided this question three times:

"What is the threshold at which this Government will not borrow any more?"

He wibbled on about 'weighing up', 'taking into account' etc but stil couldn't answer a straight question to his electors.

So much for a democracy when the Chancellor can't answer a question about how he's going to handle our collective money!

(I'm blogging from tomorrow evening, added you to my blogroll already, hope you can reciprocate a fellow womble?) ;-)

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