He needed to add – or certainly we do now – that the people should be heavily indebted too.
When you can persuade the indebted that not only are they indebted but, just like their household, the government is too, then you’re doing even better. Ram it home by ignoring that what the government owes is not actually its population’s national savings and call it again and again the national debt.
So Sunak says:
We have a sacred responsibility to future generations to leave the public finances strong, and through careful management of our economy, this Conservative government will always balance the books,”
Sacred responsibility indeed. Sacred for his party to preserve the status quo, improve the wealth of their donors and in so doing, treat the economy just like a household and not one that owns its own bank.
His real – indeed ‘sacred’ responsibility to future generations is actually high quality education, healthcare, and infrastructure and even pensions. Government for humanity – not for an abstract, human, allegedly complicated, fiscal invention.
If instead we argue there is no limit on what we can spend, that we can simply borrow our way out of any hole, what is the point in us? I have never pretended there is some easy cost-free answer.
He wouldn’t dream of arguing that there is no limit on what we can spend – though in saying so he admits there is an argument. He then asks what is the point in us? He’s blown Tory cover….the ‘point in them’ is to control people by bearing down on spending, make the victims frightened of the impoverishment of losing their jobs and ensure there is – at best – a patchy system of safety for those fallen on hard times, and keep them working or thinking they must (though Sunak himself, of course grows ‘rich in his sleep’, and doesn’t have to).
The irony (or mismessaging would perhaps be a better word) is that the more government fails to subsidise – say cinema for example – the more people will also draw their horns in. If government cannot afford it then people are not likely to consider that either as individuals or families that they can – or even ought to.
So not only are Tories denying the mainstream and straightforward (Keynsian) idea that governments need to spend when the private sector cannot or will not, even objectively from their own Tory standards they will not succeed in getting additional tax revenue from an economy that is in recession.
So they seem to be coming for the less well-off and the downright poor yet again. Nonetheless, of one thing we can be sure – that that will absolutely not help them to balance the books.
It will however, probably help them to control the populace – just so long as they do not actually over-reach themselves…
Brexit, I suggest, leaves that very much in doubt.