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English Confident Voters Gullible

Written By: - Date published: 1:05 pm, January 10th, 2011 - 34 comments
Categories: bill english, Economy, labour - Tags:

Blinglish is confident that voters understand the economy and back the government’s (lack of) direction.  In fact he better hope that voters don’t understand the economy, or notice National’s lack of help to an economy shedding jobs and headed into double-dip recession, or he won’t get voted back in.

At the moment the public is still dazzled by John Key’s smile, but I’ve noticed a strong undercurrent of 2008 National voters who are starting to blame things on Bill.  That Nice Man Mr Key couldn’t possibly be responsible for the terrible state things are in, but they remember they never liked Bill (see 2002), and he’s in charge of the economy, so…

But Bill’s confident that he’s conjured up enough fear of the big international debt bogeyman, and the public will somehow think the big $300 million/week hole in the budget from his tax cuts for the rich and the likes of bailing out SCF were not only not his fault, but justify him cutting public services ever more in the next term.  He reckons the public won’t want lollies this year as they understand he’s already given them all to his rich mates.

Arrogant about all that, he’s certainly “confident” enough to give Labour some advice too.

They shouldn’t be holding him and his NAct buddies to account –

Labour, he said, was trying too hard.

“It should have gone to the beach, acquired a reputation for being lazy but remorseful.

“The punters would have accepted that. They would have said you know you are irrelevant and you’ve figured out why I chucked you out.”

Got that punters in Punter-land? You like lazy oppositions that let governments do what they like.  Got that Labour?  Irrelevancy is the way to win elections.  He obviously understands the job of opposition about as well as his mate John “I don’t like to be negative” Key (who seemed to love being negative in 2008 so much he hasn’t stopped his negativity in the House).

English somehow thinks that Labour organise industrial disruption – or is keen to implant that into the public mind:

Mr English said Labour had misjudged the public mood. It had not achieved the industrial disruption over Government policy it had wanted, the cost of living issues had not taken off with the strength Labour had expected.

Cost of living is where English is the one out of touch, not Labour.  A lot of people – not least the 6.4% unemployed – are doing it hard out there.  He may have enjoyed his Double-Dipping of housing expenses to make his life easy; he may have enjoyed a big tax cut on his ~$300k salary + perks; but most didn’t get a pay rise in this year of 4+% inflation, and their tax-cut didn’t measure up to their increased GST costs.

Note not worth a post in itself: Fran O’Sullivan in her Brickbats and Bouquets for 2010, reckons Brownlee is to be applauded for trying to open up high value conservation estate to mining, but doesn’t say why that’s a good thing when most of the public are against it…  Seems odd.

34 comments on “English Confident Voters Gullible ”

  1. The 2011 budget is what needs to be understood by every voter.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Wait until voters get that Economic thinking is actually about putting into action a moral philosophy.

    A philosophy on how to best further the interests and values of citizens.

    In National’s case, its a moral philosophy on how to best further the interests and values of the top 5% of income earners, regardless of the cost to everyone else.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      “In National’s case, its a moral philosophy on how to best further the interests and values of the top 5% of income earners, regardless of the cost to everyone else.”

      If that were the case, they’d be cutting the top tax rate to 0%. Surely this needs to be amended with “but tempered enough so that everyone else still votes for them”.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        If that were the case, they’d be cutting the top tax rate to 0%. Surely this needs to be amended with “but tempered enough so that everyone else still votes for them”.

        Indeed. Well, you may find that cutting the top tax rate to zero does not further the interests of that entire group. The very elite for instance don’t actually have taxable income so it makes no difference to them.

        • Lanthanide

          Yeah, but that’s probably because they hide it all in trusts and property so as to get a lower tax rate. But if the lowest tax rate in town was now 0% for having personal income, expect to see all of that avoidance disappear quick-smart.

  3. higherstandard 3

    Bloody hell I’d suggest the continued return of the bunch of reprobates we’ve had over the last several decades is proof positive that are large section of the voting public is gullible or at the very least disinterested.

  4. Blighty 4

    What was that Herald article actually about? It was just 500 odd words of ‘english says this, english says that’ – no balance, no analysis.

    why not just have him publish an op-ed and be open about it?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Because then people would realise that pretty much everything in The NZ Herald is a press release from National.

  5. tc 5

    Don’t worry Blighty you’ll see plenty of those types of pieces in the granny’s op-ed section this year.

    As for “no balance, no analysis.” that’s granny herald’s default setting as that takes intelligence/research and maybe even asking a few questions and other stuff that amounts to work so move along people.

    About time for a 4th Estate memorial service isn’t it ? If Blinglish can get some free space without any counterpoint maybe we could get Gattung on to chat about her vision for broadband and the bang up job Joycee’s doing.

  6. ianmac 6

    Two things spring to mind.
    1. Most people care about their jobs but know little and care little about the economic situation. (Posters here excepted.)

    2. Bill will sell the idea this year that because times are so tough, we will all have to suffer together, jobs will go, and benefits (sorry beneficiaries) will have to be cut. That is why the Nacts were elected and will be “decisive and strong” to protect us all from ourselves. The bad news will be just what Bill needs to save New Zealand. Rah for Billy Boy.

  7. Tanz 7

    Well, what is the alternative? More spending and less tax cuts? If English was PM I’d vote National, but as he’s not, but vote is going elsewhere…to a Tea Party party.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Raise taxes, cut waste, increase public sector efficiency, invest big money in productive real economy initiatives and projects to reduce bottom of the cliff social needs.

      End corporate welfare and ensure private sector costs are borne by the private sector, not by the general community.

      • Tanz 7.1.1

        That sounds famaliar, CV. Please, not more of the same. National voters are not gullable, but there’s nowhere else to go, except to the fringes. The fringes will have my vote, not that’ll make any difference!

        • Colonial Viper

          “Not more of the same”

          Not sure what you mean as no NZ Government in recent memory has implemented anything like this. This is an end to Chicago School free market neoliberalism.

        • Draco T Bastard

          National voters are not gullable,

          Yes they are.

  8. Tanz 8

    The socialistic policies of the last twenty years have not worked, high unemployment, low wages, welfare, crime, a poor economy, etc. Something different is needed, but who can offer it? Rodders? English? Winston? Roll the dice, it’s a lottery. Election year is good fun, but not much ever changes.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      The socialistic policies of the last twenty years have not worked, high unemployment, low wages

      Which country are you talking about here? You do know that the social democracies of Europe have the highest living standards and lowest unemployment rates in the OECD don’t you?

      You also realise that high unemployment, wage suppression and the disempowerment of labour are desired objectives of a capitalist free market agenda, right?

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      We haven’t had socialistic policies over the last 20 years – we’ve had far-right policies since 1984. But you’re right in that they haven’t worked and have made most people worse off.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.3

      Like creating SOE’s, removing currency controls and foreign owned banks. is that what you are complaining about?

  9. Jim Nald 9

    The ‘Frozen Fullback’? That is, at best, being charitable.


    How about just call Double Dipton .. ineffectual.

  10. NX 10

    Before you lay into English over the state of the economy I suggest you consider this:

    Number of years as Finance Minister; English = 2. Cullen = 9.

    English has kept and maintained all of Labour’s entitlement policies.

    The tax rates set by English are broadly inline with Cullen’s 2008 budget (http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2008/taxpayers/01.htm#personal)!!!!

    The Herald reports today that NZ will narrowly miss a ‘double-dip’ recession.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The Herald reports today that NZ will narrowly miss a ‘double-dip’ recession.

      That is the funniest irrelevancy I have read today.

      Also your suggestion that Bill English is somehow channeling Michael Cullen.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 10.2

      Did Cullen have a $15 bill deficit? Did he ever have a deficit? Would Cullen have been so stupid as to cut tax rates when the government was borrowing over $200 mill a day?

      • NX 10.2.1

        Yes, and yes.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox

          Wasn’t he lampooned because of the size of his surpluses. Dr Scrooge as I recall.

        • Bunji

          Err, no.
          9 years of National deficits were followed by 9 years of Labour surpluses, and now we’re straight back into National deficits again. Cullen got us to $0 net crown debt, English has us headed to $30billion+ debt

          Cullen’s tax cuts by moving the thresholds were effectively capped for rich folk who can afford to pay tax. Those earning over $80,000 get $2,870 more per year according to the figures you cite, so Paul Reynolds would have got that rather than English’s several grand/week tax cut. The tax cuts would have focussed on making ordinary New Zealanders wealthier, rather than the top 10% as English’s did. Labour doesn’t believe in trickle down like English – they know the only trickling that happens is the rich pissing on you.

          More than likely the last couple of years of tax cuts would have been dropped anyway, to pay for Labour’s proposed stimulus, which would have the country roaring out of recession, instead of crawling back into it.

          English and Cullen have very little in common and I doubt either would thank you for the comparison; much as English acknowledged what excellent shape Cullen had left the economy in.

          • NX

            You know the Nats have only been in office for two years & there’s a lag time before budgets take effect. I.e. 2008 & 2009 the Nats were running on Cullen’s numbers.

            So your spiel above is really quite absurd. If you’re angry about the deficits, then you’re angry with the guy who ran the govt’s book for nine year – Dr Cullen. Can’t you see that… !!! I suspect you’re seeing what you want to see… which makes you an idiot.

            • Zaphod Beeblebrox

              Man, what a put down of the 2009 and 2010 budgets. You really think English is that ineffectual?

  11. NX 11

    Funny eh. Obviously you’re hoping for a double dip.

    Also your suggestion that Bill English is somehow channeling Michael Cullen.

    In terms of tax rates, and policies yeah. English is Cullen mk II. I would suggest it is impossible to bemoan the current state of the economy without also criticising Cullen.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Gimme a break that’s ridiculous.

      English gave $9.1B in tax breaks to the top 10% of earners for doing zip.

      Funny eh. Obviously you’re hoping for a double dip.

      Yeah it increases the chances of this damn neocon Govt being thrown out before they do more real damage. What of it.

  12. NX 12

    Okay, lets compare English’s rate vs Cullens.

    Oct 2010 National
    $0 to $14k 10.50%
    $14k to $48k 17.50%
    $48k to $70k 30%
    $70+ 33%

    April 2010 Labour
    $0 to $17.5k 15%
    $17.5 to $40k 21%
    $40k to $75k 33%
    $75+ 39%

    It would be interesting to compare the revenue each would set of rates would generate. It is well known that when Cullen increased the top tax rate in 1999 there was little increase in tax revenues.

    But as you can see the Nats rates are better for everyone – particularly those on lower incomes. Of course the rates don’t take into account the increase in GST from 12.5% to 15%.

    All in all, English’s rates are broadly similar to Cullens.

    Also, don’t forget National changed the trust laws to prevent wealthy NZLers from hiding income (a major reason Cullen’s 1999 tax increase failed to produce gains in revenue). Labour should’ve done this.

    English’s tax rate changes are pretty modest because the Nats have agreed to maintain Labour’s policies of entitlement.

    So, given the cost of Labour policies & Cullen’s April 2010 tax rates – there is every indication the govt books would not be any better off if Labour were still in power. On the contrary, they’d probably be worse off given the rate Labour grew government spending.

    My point to criticise English is to criticise Cullen stands (especially when you consider Cullen ran the show for nine years).

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Meh, English is on track for 3 strikes out on the deficit, all the while forcing down the median income of NZ’ers.

      With especially big hits in the backpocket if you are Maori, Pasifika or female.

      You keep on defending English’s fiscal performance and you are going to be fraking busy this year.

      All in all, English’s rates are broadly similar to Cullens.

      All in all, English helped create a $300M/week unfunded deficit whereas Cullen was running surpluses.

      Maybe some of that $9.1B tax cut English gave to the wealthy might have been of use in the Government’s books?

      Bill English, National spendthrift, pushing our country deeper and deeper into the red with every passing week.

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