Talk is easy

May 15th, 2013 at 10:19 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The one thing alternative finance minister, ’s , won’t be criticising in tomorrow’s Budget is the Government’s confirmation that it is on track to return to in 2014-15.

“I always thought it would; I’ve always said it should, and we would have too,” Mr Parker says.

That is unadulterated crap. Nothing Labour have done in the last five years suggests they would have done the same. Quite the opposite.

Labour left the incoming Government with not just a decade of deficits, but actually a permanent structural . A that would never have been plugged without policy changes. One so large that you could not just rely on economic growth and increased tax revenue to get back into surplus.

National has both frozen and cut spending. On every single occasion they have done so, Labour has attacked them for it. Labour has also consistently come up with massive new spending proposals such as extending paid parental leave and attacked the Government for not agreeing to it.

They also relentlessly criticised the Government what what they said was austerity measures, and said it was the wrong policy.

So to turn around now, and say “Oh yeah we would have got the Government back into surplus also” is just crap. They’ve spent years opposing every single spending cut and even explicitly saying that there is no rush to get back to surplus (I don’t regard six years as a rush!).

If you want an idea of what would have happened if Labour had been in power, just look at Labor in Australia.

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42 Responses to “Talk is easy”

  1. flipper (3,843 comments) says:

    Thank you David.

    I read Parker’s garbage this morning and wondered whether he was on K(whichever version)2, or the real stuff.
    Sadly, the dumb MSM allow him to carry on with his lies and distortions..

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  2. Tom Jackson (2,519 comments) says:

    Well, Parker is an idiot too. Austerity is for the good times.

    Why wouldn’t the government borrow when interest rates are low?

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  3. Lance (2,561 comments) says:

    Labour would have borrowed and taxed their way to a cornucopia of success for all.
    Parker can see it all in his mind.

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  4. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    “Why wouldn’t the government borrow when interest rates are low?”

    lol so tom. i imagine you earn 50k a year or so. are you taking your own advice and living beyond your means? say 100k a year and just borrowing the shortfall cause “rates are low”

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  5. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    Dime would love to see what Labour had planned if they had won the election in 2008. Remember the “mini budget”? they refused to say what was in it.

    Dime is going to suggest that if labour had been in power the top tax rate would have been 39% again. PLUS rich pricks would be paying a 3% levy for the chch rebuild. Maybe 5%.

    Our country would be absolutely fucked.

    Of course, Dime would have still been ok. But poor people would have hurt bad. The left would be blaming capitalism as they inflicted pain on the people they pretend to support. so i guess, standard issue lefty garbage.

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  6. Longknives (4,686 comments) says:

    I thought Wussel Norman was Labour’s finance spokesman?

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  7. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    David, in this post of yours and in the next one, below, you are overlooking a fundamental truth. “And what, pray, is that?”, i hear you ask.

    Its this. All Politicians are basically dishonest.

    Oh, I know what you’ll come back with!. I’ve heard all the excuses for parties not following through on election promises. “We didn’t know the true dimensions of this issue when we were in opposition’; Or, “The outgoing government left the larder/exchequer empty’ Or, “You – (ie: the trusting electorate) – misunderstood our contentions when in opposition’ Or….Well,you pick one, there are many, many more of these excuses for changing tack when assuming power.

    What do I base this on, I hear you ask? Well I started taking an interest in politics with the UK general election of 1945 – when a grateful nation gave Winston Churchill (who had seen the UK safely to WW2 Victory) the bum’s rush into opposition.

    So my credentials for holding this dismissive and low opinion of politicians is based on a life-time of interest in politics and a degree in Political Science.

    You can believe whoever you like, my life’s experience and observation tells me politicians of integrity and good faith are rare birds indeed!!

    I base it on nearly seventy years of interrest in politics as a bystander – (some would say ‘Mug’) – in UK and NZ, with . .

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  8. Barnsley Bill (982 comments) says:

    David, you are falling for the stupidity that is the Labour meme.
    Are our government spending more than they did last year? Yes.
    Are they spending more than they did 2 years ago? Yes.
    There have been no cuts, just reallocation of spending and in fact our govt has borrowed heavily.
    When we stop borrowing as a nation and make actual real cuts to spending then we will quite rightly be in a state of austerity.
    Stop agreeing with their attack lines and actually call it as it really is.
    The moral and actual redundancy of their argument is breathtaking. You validate it by eating their lines.

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  9. BeaB (2,082 comments) says:

    This week I cancelled my sub to the Herald and feel much the better for it. No more high blood pressure in the mornings when I read their semi-literate, ill-informed and superficial articles. No turning page after unread page because A I have already read the stories elsewhere or B I am just not interested. It was becoming an expensive way to do a Code Cracker every morning.

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  10. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    National has both frozen and cut spending.

    Of course they have, which might explain why police numbers have fallen, despite the government assuring the public that wouldn’t happen. Another empty government promise.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/135040/police-numbers-drop-as-more-officers-leave

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  11. anonymouse (708 comments) says:

    What Mr Parker says is pretty much irrelevant, as the cost of the Green party support in any future coalition is going to be Russell Norman being finance Minister

    “It’s one of the portfolios that will be on the table,” says Dr Norman. “It will be part of the negotiating mix.”

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/12/russel_wants_finance_and_seven_ministers.html

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  12. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    What you believe is not necessarily what you know to be true DPF.

    Stick to what you know or qualify it with an IMHO.

    And leave the prophecy predictions to the God botherers.

    IMHO :)

    I’ll believe the surplus when I see it and feel it’s effects in the economy and in society at large. And I won’t be measuring it by the size of my TV screen or the rantings of knuckleheads and shills!

    Talk is cheap and easy.

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  13. flipper (3,843 comments) says:

    Akaroa….

    That “degree in Political Science” is where you went wrong.

    As for your seventy years of interest in politics… my youngest grandson (8) will beat you. In 2011 he told John Key, face to face when JK accepted his personal invitation to visit his primary school, that he would one day have his job as Prime Minister. Now that is what I call a lifetime interest in politics. :)

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  14. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    To continue(!!) ……with some years spent in places such as Singapore under Lee Kwan Yu, Aden under whichever gangsters happened to be in power, and Malta under Dom Mintoff. All of them, (Sarcasm alert!!), political knights in shining armour. And i won’t even start on the grim and unholy gang of politicians of all stripes who have brought the UK to its knees.

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  15. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Labour has also consistently come up with massive new spending proposals such as extending paid parental leave and attacked the Government for not agreeing to it.

    Actually, Bill English supports extending paid parental leave, or so he claims.

    Labour has also come up with changes to superannuation and the introduction of a capital gains tax, necessary policies which this government is too cowardly to consider.

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  16. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    More like Mary English supports paid parental leave and Bill supports her…maybe?

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  17. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    “Of course they have, which might explain why police numbers have fallen”

    lucky crime has also fallen!

    but not to worry, eventually labour/greens will get in. they can start employing a bunch of lesbians to run the police :) it will be AWESOME!!!

    what the cops really need is a new level of “management”. 1 new manager for every 10 cops. the manager can make sure that they are dishing out enough hugs. letting enough brown people go so they dont look bad in the crime stats. making sure the cops arent to demotivated after being punched in the head and not being able to react. shit like that.

    1000 new police managers. annual salary of 100k. beat that national, 1000 new high paying jobs created!

    the world will be a much better place!

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  18. Tom Jackson (2,519 comments) says:

    lol so tom. i imagine you earn 50k a year or so. are you taking your own advice and living beyond your means? say 100k a year and just borrowing the shortfall cause “rates are low”

    Lesson one of 20th century economics = what’s rational for individuals =/= what’s rational for governments.

    I’m not the government. I don’t need to borrow any more money than I already have done (unlike governments, which have a continual duty to provide infrastructure), although it is a good time to take on debt because interest rates are low. Since we are in the fifth year of a sluggish economy, it would behoove the government to engage in public works stimulus. Growth will enable society to pay off the collective debt quicker. Austerity has never worked. Every single candidate case for it working has been shown to be misleading or outright fraudulent. How long does the world have to suffer because some people are incapable of letting go of crank economic theories like the Austrian rubbish?

    You folks are just going to have to accept, sooner rather than later, that Maynard Keynes was right about countercyclical spending. It’s also worth noting, that even if that is the case, it doesn’t change day to day politics that much.

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  19. s.russell (1,580 comments) says:

    Easy, just raise taxes to cover the deficit. Then raise them some more to cover all the new spending.

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  20. dime (9,664 comments) says:

    Ok Tom, seeing as though you actually answered in a half decent tone I shall reply as such :)

    The government has been borrowing while rates are low.

    There is a tipping point however. Look at greece! hell, look at aussie who are nailing the middle class as we speak.

    This government hasn’t been practicing austerity. Hence the right wing ideologues are going ape shit. This govt has hardly made any spending cuts.

    I agree that the govt should borrow money at certain times to keeps things going. However the level you lefties want is just batshit crazy.

    Look at the US. Dime is making a killing in the stock market. But it wont last. Bernie is getting ready to turn off his 85 billion a month. The market will take a big hit.

    The other issue I have with the left is they use national debt as an excuse to punish the rich. “our debt is high, we need to increase taxes on the rich”. its not like youre subtle about enjoying it either.

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  21. burt (8,025 comments) says:

    ross69

    Labour has also come up with changes to superannuation and the introduction of a capital gains tax, necessary policies which this government is too cowardly to consider.

    This government… And the last one… Talk is cheap in opposition – and you are dumb enough to support an ideology that has always failed … no wonder you believe the talk….

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  22. KiwiGreg (3,218 comments) says:

    As dime has pointed out there has been non”austerity” in NZ. The government is still spending like a drunk in a brewery.

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  23. backster (2,123 comments) says:

    How any party would like a failed property developer as finance Minister beats me. Parker is making the same sort of promises SWAN in Australia was, promising a surplus by the end of the last financial year and reporting a $19billion deficit.
    I agree though the increased Social Welfare policies being outlined by National fill me with despair. Why should anyone get a five bedroom state house at a heavily subsidised pennyfarthing rent, a luxury 95% of taxpayers can never aspire to.

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  24. KiwiGreg (3,218 comments) says:

    “National has both frozen and cut spending. ”

    Comedy gold

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  25. Viking2 (11,275 comments) says:

    A deficit that would never have been plugged without policy changes.

    Um which changes were they?

    WWF, Interest free loans to students and home owners, cutting the Maori handouts, all of those and more.

    Its just been more of the same and don’t even mention the tax cuts nor the prioritizing of all this money.

    Just humbug and frankly they are saved by individuals entrepreneurship and the up side of the financial cycle. And of course the fact that it is worse in many other countries.

    i.e. people will do what they do regardless of the Govt.

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  26. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    Reminds me of the cryogenic decaptitating and freezing of heads.

    http://io9.com/5537575/creepy-portraits-of-where-all-those-frozen-heads-go/

    Hold tight for the cloning resurrection.

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  27. Tom Jackson (2,519 comments) says:

    Ok Tom, seeing as though you actually answered in a half decent tone I shall reply as such

    There is a tipping point however. Look at greece! hell, look at aussie who are nailing the middle class as we speak.

    Read the news lately? This claim has been exquisitely demolished. Turns out that expansionary austerity was based on bad and manipulated stats and a basic Excel error. Krugman has an article in today’s NYRB with the details. Laughably, one of the papers was exposed by a grad student who had been asked to replicate the results by his professor. He asked the original researchers for their data and discovered the errors. Hmmm.

    So forget about that argument. It’s been fairly smashed to bits. The standard view appears to have been correct: government spend in a slump and save in a boom.

    I’m honestly not fit to talk about the Australian situation, although it seems obvious that the Gillard government has real problems.

    This government hasn’t been practicing austerity. Hence the right wing ideologues are going ape shit. This govt has hardly made any spending cuts.

    You can do this by omission, due to inflation, etc.

    I agree that the govt should borrow money at certain times to keeps things going. However the level you lefties want is just batshit crazy. Look at the US. Dime is making a killing in the stock market. But it wont last. Bernie is getting ready to turn off his 85 billion a month. The market will take a big hit.

    Doesn’t that support my position? The market will crash if state action is curtailed? Perhaps Bernanke thinks that the worst is over. He may be right, in which case it won’t crash.

    The other issue I have with the left is they use national debt as an excuse to punish the rich. “our debt is high, we need to increase taxes on the rich”. its not like youre subtle about enjoying it either.

    Well, there are many reasons for this. One is that you can’t really cut the net incomes of poorer people without creating real social problems. Diminishing marginal utility means that it’s better to take money off the wealthy than the poor in such cases. If I needed to tax in a hurry and I had no choice, that’s what I’d do, and it has nothing to do with wanting to punish anyone (I’m not sure what “crime” the rich have committed in this case).

    My real point is that conservative parties, like National, are just going to have to toe the Keynesian line. TINA and all that. But just because we accept Keynes’ argument doesn’t mean that we have to go the whole hog and have a massively interventionist state during boom times. You would think it would be the job of a prudent and reasonable conservative party to stand up for that view, and the job of the leftish parties to advocate for a larger return to interventionism.

    Instead, the conservative movement seems to have largely adopted a radical anti-statism, which is fairly well represented on this blog. I’m not sure why, or even if there is a reason, but it seems silly to me to assume that letting the liberals win on countercyclical spending means letting them win on massive state interventions in the economy all the time and forever.

    If I were John Key, I would be borrowing money, investing massively in infrastructure and putting people back to work, especially young people. No doubt enough of them would be grateful that they would chuck me a vote. Once I’d got things back to normal, I could then cut back on state spending (again, people won’t be so pissed about this when the economy is humming along).

    Of course, if you let Labour be the party to do this, then they will use the opportunity to entrench the social democratic model.

    In a nutshell, my view is that Keynesian stimulus is a necessity, whereas social democracy and it’s right wing alternative are matters of politics. We can live under political differences, we can’t really avoid necessities.

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  28. KiwiGreg (3,218 comments) says:

    Lol Krugman. R&R have been shown to be right. Even the counter article says excess debt hurts growth. The ONLY academic argument is the extent.

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  29. OneTrack (2,818 comments) says:

    “backster (1,770) Says:
    May 15th, 2013 at 11:42 am
    How any party would like a failed property developer as finance Minister beats me

    I didn’t know that Russel Norman had been a property developer.

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  30. Tom Jackson (2,519 comments) says:

    Lol Krugman. R&R have been shown to be right. Even the counter article says excess debt hurts growth. The ONLY academic argument is the extent.

    Doesn’t say that at all. The article says that the causes may be inverted (low growth causes excess debt). It would not be unreasonable to state that excess debt would hurt growth at some level, but they have not shown that we have reached that level or anywhere near it (considering historical precedents the answer is most likely “no”). The 90% figure appears in the end to have been obtained by rectal extraction.

    There’s just no evidence that austerity does anything other than make things worse.

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  31. Tauhei Notts (1,650 comments) says:

    Hey Viking2
    Is WWF
    (a) World Wildlife Fund
    (b) World Wrestling Federation
    (c) Wobbly Wanking Fuckwits.
    Or, do you mean WFF?

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  32. gravedodger (1,528 comments) says:

    The socialists hang great store on a CGT. Our economy has developed in an environment sans CGT and if the numpties think its introduction will cease our love affair with property, bringing a solution they only prove their wet dream is everlasting.

    Introducing a CGT that exempts the primary family home will take years to change investment habits and will have a myriad of unintended consequences as thinking investors calculate ways to take advantage of the new environment.
    Cripes it will end marriage, shacking up and civil unions with most property being owned by a single person as a primary family home and an army of ‘crats’ spending hours and days trying to ascertain who is living where.

    The smiling liar Swan told Australians 12 months ago that his budget surplus would be a one billion plus surplus in 2013Much of that BS hyperbole was predicated on taxing many Australians further, including carbon and mining.
    The 2 billion proposed mining tax yielded just 200 million.
    The Carbon tax is shredded as the “world carbon price” hovers around $2.50
    Swans 2012/13 surplus turned out 21 billion in error as he found the big hole with no minerals in it, was over 19 billion deep.
    However he was still smiling last night as he admitted the massive gap, blamed it on his treasury and proudly announced an 18 billion deficit next year, a 10 billion shortfall the following year and after the two scheduled federal elections his husbandry would show a miniscule surplus. Tui anyone, his credibility is in tatters.

    If David Parker is the answer, the question was monumentally stupid.

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  33. Fisiani (993 comments) says:

    Labour will always lie like this and know that some people will believe them.
    The evidence of their lies have to be exposed to the public over and over.
    We cannot rely on the media to do a professional job.
    We know where their loyalties lie.
    This blog and others needs to produce factual information that can be cut and pasted and disseminated legally during the election period.

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  34. tvb (4,254 comments) says:

    Except Labour in Australia started with a surplus. The Australian Labour Government has increased spending by $75billion and run up a huge deficit. They spent the mining tax but failed to get the money. They spent the carbon tax and didn’t get the revenue.

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  35. Paulus (2,562 comments) says:

    I thought the former not very successful Dunedin lawyer would have to consult Greenpeace activist Wussel before he tries to make any prognosis about what the next left wing Government might do.

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  36. MT_Tinman (3,044 comments) says:

    KiwiGreg (2,796) Says:
    May 15th, 2013 at 11:25 am
    As dime has pointed out there has been non”austerity” in NZ. The government is still spending like a drunk in a brewery.

    Having been a drunk in a brewery I can assure you I spent nothing – stole everything.

    Wrong government.

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  37. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    As someone else said a few days ago on here… the Minister of Finance deserves a friggen KNIGHTHOOD imho!

    The Key/English Govt have got us through the GFC in pretty good shape compared to the rest of the world WITHOUT raising huge taxes, getting into “austerity” measures or even really cutting much of the welfare state at all. And DESPITE not enjoying any sort of mining boom to smooth our path…

    So the way the political left continues to piss and moan about what they have done, only goes to show that most of them are little more than robots, programmed from manufacture to bleat LABOUR GOOD NATIONAL BAAAD over and over…

    (Does anyone really miss their free basket weaving night classes? IIRC that was the first of the supposedly inhuman travesties foisted upon us by the #toryscum… )

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  38. RightNow (6,841 comments) says:

    “Does anyone really miss their free basket weaving night classes?”

    Haha, yeah you don’t hear much about that any more. Or the 90 day trial period.

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  39. Steve (North Shore) (4,522 comments) says:

    In the leadup to the 2008 Election I said ‘If Labour win I am fucking off to OZ” I did not know where in OZ, I just would not put up with the lying sleazy scumbag Labour Party Govt any more.
    Now they are in opposition and long may they stay there. They are still lying sleazy scumbags

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  40. Viking2 (11,275 comments) says:

    Well that would have a good move steve. Look at the theiving lying scumbags they have there. Even worse as it turns out.

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  41. UpandComer (523 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson, that rationale justifies borrowing in excelsis, because if spending = growth, why would you ever stop? It has to keep being said, that’s what the Greeks believed, and what the Japanese believed, have a look at their economies.

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  42. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,568 comments) says:

    Don’t forget, this is the very same Labour Party that when seeing they were behind in the polls by double digits, they went ahead and renationalised the rail. Knowing full well that it would cost shitloads to maintain over the following years and electorally nearly impossible to sell again. This was deliberate economic sabotage – scorched earth policy even.

    Clark, Cullen and whoever else was behind that should have been strung up for this. Instead National rewarded them both by helping them with their current careers.

    And lets not forget the ACC shitstorm.

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