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Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Economist's take on the budget

I was sitting on the bus last night reading an old copy of the economist I found in my bag. It was dated 25th April and was reflecting on the budget. To be fair, it was a rant. It was a rant about how rubbish Gordon Brown and his useless Labour lot are.
There was one bit about how cutting spending in a recession is counterproductive and problematic. Not politically, but that it stifles the economy just when it needs a boost. I agree with that. What I didn’t like was that alongside that the leader slated Brown for borrowing and raising taxes. What is interesting here is that there are three real options in this situation, most likely mixed together to find a strategy. But the leader article just criticised Brown and Darling for even thinking about any of the three, which leads me to wonder what the alternative would be. It is widely accepted that there is no way to magic money out of thin air to fund all the things that need funding. At least if they had taken a principled, fiscally-conservative stance there would have been some consistency, but instead it was just a rant about how crap Brown and Darling are.
Now, criticism of Darling’s projected growth figures, fair enough. I think they were certainly too optimistic in the past, and maybe so again. That I can take, but the aimless abusive ranting was nothing more, even dressed up as respectable in the leader.
At least they agree with me (or I with them) about spending cuts being a disaster in the recession.

The other dimension to this is whether it matter. Rather than offering critique of Labour’s economic policy, they just don’t like them. That’s the thing about politics, if people don’t like someone then that’s all that matters. There’s still a chance things could change and Labour win again, but at the moment they just attract criticism and negativity like flies to jam. Shame really. This in one problem with politics where I blame the people, not the politicians.

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