The Green Frog has started labelling as liars anyone who says they think people are better at spending their money than the Government is, because neither are National (nor ACT) proposing to eliminate all Government spending.
Frankly this sort of name calling and analysis is well below what one normally gets from what is generally an excellent blog.
New Zealanders are not stupid. They know that the difference between National and Labour is a matter of degrees, not absolutes. But it is not just a matter of degrees but of attitude.
Many left wing governments around the world have lowered taxes, when their level of surplus has been high enough to allow them to do so. It is a balanced approach to fiscal management. People like balance. They do not like extremes.
Why Labour is in so much trouble here is because they have gone extreme. NZers have looked at a massive $8 billion surplus and said well if that is not big enough for meaningful tax relief, then I reckon this Government will never give us any of our money back. They’ll just keep inventing ways to spend it. And they are 100% right.
NZers don’t want the Government to stop all government expenditure, but when there is a healthy surplus they do want a Government that will give them back some of their money, rather than spend it all for them.
Frog has missed the point totally. No-one in National is “threatening the fundamentals of what makes New Zealand a fair, decent society” as in publicly funded health and education. National simply believes that if you can meet your core expenditure and still have money left over, then rather than invent new ways to spend it all, one should take a balanced approach of giving some it back for people to spend, and spending some of it via the Government.
National’s approach to tax is philosophically different from Labour, because Labour have stepped so far outside the mainstream. This is not deceitful (a term Frog is in danger of using so often it will become meaningless) but very much the case. One does not have to be polar opposites to be philosophically different.