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Friday, 19 June 2009

Public spending

So, public spending then eh?
Martin Wolf has never been my favourite academic, but this piece is interesting.
I've always quite liked Ed Balls. But his going on about keeping high spending on education strikes me as a bit misguided at best. I know he's not (yet) chancellor, but he does know a thing or two about money and that.
I know the public finances are tight and there may be some very tough decisions to make after the election/recovery, and i'm no economist. So why is Balls going on like he's just struck oil? Well, it's politics i suppose. It would certainly be nice to raise spending left, right and centre. But the problem is that there is not enough to go round. Ever. That's the nature of politics, economics, life etc. etc. So unless he can pay for it, he shouldn't spend it.

The whole thing at the moment is very interesting regarding the finances because the debt draws the question of how to pay it off. The usual arguements about tax and spend tend towards the moral, whether the rich should pay more etc. Now we have the situation where the priority is to shrink the debt so i'm a lot more willing to listen to (note not agree with) those who would argue about lower taxes funding growth. I certainly think the rich should pay higher taxes and leave quietly if they wish to. I would like to see big, high, HUGE taxes for the rich. If they leave then we have a more equal society if not world (hopefully world too). But because of the (possible) need for their money, it may be more important to rake the money in than to string up the rich

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