Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Second Leaders Debate

I smiled at watching John Key trying to get one over Phil Goff during the second leaders debate, with his shrill taunts, of, “show me the money, son!” He came across as an out of touch school bully who had lost the intellectual argument and reverted to shouting 'son' and 'show us the money'. Let us not forget that Key largely gained his experience at the now defunct Merrill Lynch, an investment business that went under through dodgy management from which fold Key was recruited into National. His so-called skill can be seen from his adding up in the Christchurch debate. $1.3 billion a year for 4 years is $5.2 billion not $6 billion (as claimed by Key) and over the previous three days his claims that Labour will increase debt have gone from $17 to $16 and last night $14 billion and all of this is done with double counting. Key adds in the projected short-term gain from asset sales to the cost of tax cuts. This is artifice they are two different things.

Key is claiming that not selling off assets will run up debt, this is a myth. Keeping the assets and the dividend they bring will help pay off debt and in the long run generate greater returns. Goff and Labour seem to have costed their policies to me, increase tax on those in the best position to pay more and introduce a Capital Gains Tax, which will over a period of time bring in billions.

I would rather have a long-term vision for New Zealand rather than short-termism from Key whose theory that tax cuts for the wealthy and cutting Government spending encourages growth has been rubbished by top experts. When President Obama uttered this mantra, the comments drew a rebuke from Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who said in a Web posting that Obama was embracing “the myth of expansionary austerity and the confidence fairy.” So here we go with Key, a brighter future consisting of shonky maths, and optimism sustained by myths and manipulation.

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