The Father of all budgets in drag
John Key floats around in his multi millionaire bubble world safely insulated from the real issues he is supposedly responsible for. Whether it's using the Air Force as his personal taxi service to rush to exclusive black tie Golf resort events or blaming poor people for receiving food aid parcels, dear old Mr Vacant Optimism always has a hollow smirk and quick self-depreciating quip for the local sleepy hobbit media at home to add more smile and wave political capital to quell any real accountability for policy.
(As an aside: Wasn't it embarrassing watching John Key getting beaten up so badly on Hard Talk with the BBC? Key's handlers have to understand that Key is actually pretty crap when interviewed and he only gets away with it in NZ because the domestic mainstream media are so weak. Keep John on Lettermen Kevin, he can do Top 10's, but don't ever put him on the BB bloody C! NZ can't afford to look as bad as he made us on the global media scene again).
No where was John's empty optimism more on display than his comments last year to Church leaders over poverty when John Key rhetorically asked how many beneficiaries would die if he cut all benefits tomorrow? "Bugger all" was his answer to his own question.
This medicated optimism seems to have spread from John Key's bubble world into the Treasury. Currently right wing corporate media pundit after right wing corporate media pundit is out selling to everyone who will listen that this zero budget won't be harsh and it will in fact be a moderate event full of rainbows and fluffy marshmallow hugs.
To get all warm and fuzzy over our predicted growth over the next couple of years, you would need to believe the Treasury predictions that GDP will jump over 4% by the end of 2013. Really?
As Bernard Hickey counter punches...
In May 2008, Treasury forecast growth rates for the next three years of 1.5 per cent, 2.3 per cent and 3.2 per cent. Instead, we got -1.1 per cent, -0.4 per cent and -0.1 per cent.
...Treasury have been off as massively as they have because the very dynamics of our consumer led economy have changed in a unique way because of the size and speed of the 2008 collapse. NZers have clicked that things have changed, have understood that momentous events have transpired and are in survival mode, for the first time in their lives, many middle class NZers do not feel middle class and they have shut the wallet to consumer culture as normal and are adapting at a faster rate away from consumption than the Government bean counters have been able to map.
Raising GST to subsidize a tax cut for the well off was supposed to 'turbo charge the economy', it in fact led to a billion dollar deficit. While the Government claims the Christchurch Earthquake is what has thrown the economy into a tailspin, the reality is this do nothing Government with the same tired old ideas of cutting public spending while increasing corporate welfare had failed NZ well before the second earthquake struck.
We are not going to get the type of growth Treasury are proclaiming, it is an illusion. If the mainstream media were to pick up a lesson from Hard Talk, they may actually force answers out of John Key rather than accepting his flippant comments that keep the sleepy hobbits from waking.
This is the Father of all Budgets in drag, and Dad looks like he's an angry drunk with a penchant for grievous bodily harm. Remember if you think this is bad, it's nothing compared to what Brash will force Key to do if he becomes Finance Minister.
A vote for John is a vote for Don.