Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: John Key(nesian)

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    So, I guess the conclusion we can draw (and I know you're going to disagree with me on this, Russell) is that neither National or Labour have an excess of credibility to be claiming the fiscally conservative high ground -- but not that that's going to stop Key and English trying.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I don't actually disagree with you Craig, although it seems Labour would run tighter accounts than National. That's what Key says.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • elsketcho,

    Going completely off topic, was that, in fact, a younger Russell Brown in the Toto 'Africa' video I happened to catch yesterday during the C4 80's marathon. The people should know.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Jonty,

    It's an historical fact that the Nats let the good times roll by borrowing, meanwhile transferring the lion's share of tax cuts to their mates and leaving a bloody great debt for Labour to deal with before it can set about improving the lot of working people.
    I find it incredible, if there is any substance to the polls at all, that people want a change of government merely for the sake of change.
    The past eight+ years have been ones of low unemployment, low interest rates and strong purchasing power for most. Business has been booming and there are even more gin palaces in Westhaven. So why the desire for change when there has been steady hands at the helm? Surely the promise of a paltry tax cut isn't worth putting all that at risk?

    Katikati • Since Mar 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Sound like faith-based Bushonomics to me. Cut taxes, increase spending, borrow from overseas and hope God will save you.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    guess the conclusion we can draw is that neither National or Labour have an excess of credibility to be claiming the fiscally conservative high ground

    Could somebody please switch on the Keith-signal and aim it at the Wellington sky?

    (Ng, you bastard, you left us in our hour of need.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Smith,

    I don't think fiscal conservatism and 'liberalsim' (Keynesian?) have to be bad bed-fellows. I have a borrowed a large amount of money to upgrade my house. That's a sensible debt. The materials I bought 4 years ago to do this were much cheaper and I have spread the payments over a long period and am able to produce a rent from the asset. So National borrowing for infra-structure is not 'stupid' as Helen put it. It is for income producing assets. Anyway, Labour already borrow 2% of GDP for their programmes. Arguably a lot of that borrowing is wasted.

    Actually the reason I won't vote National, is their bringing in a carbon-emission trading scheme. Not that's stupid Helen and John!

    Since Jan 2007 • 150 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    We're taking a look at Sensing Murder

    Will I be able to watch this without being restrained first? This is a devil of a dilemma...

    why the desire for change

    Labour presided over the mortgage bubble, and now they are copping it for the bust.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Going completely off topic, was that, in fact, a younger Russell Brown in the Toto 'Africa' video I happened to catch yesterday during the C4 80's marathon. The people should know.

    I can confirm it is not. Although I did use to get mistaken for the bloke from Godley & Creme when I lived in London ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Labour presided over the mortgage bubble, and now they are copping it for the bust.

    Yep. Public debt was reigned in and and private debt went wild. I'm not sure what a government might have done about that though.

    PS: Wanna buy a Lexus? ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Labour presided over the mortgage bubble, and now they are copping it for the bust.

    Dunno, if you believe the opinion polls their fortunes started turning before the housing market did.

    The borrowing for the cost of infrastructure argument has been going on for a while, and I think Clark was out of line when she characterised it as mind boggingly stupid this morning. Okay, you could argue it's not a great time to borrow in the overseas markets, but the principle is not that unsound and is traditionally espoused by left-leaning governments (that on the whole are less fiscally conservative, although that trend is changing all over the place).

    I think Russell characterisation of the Key(nesian) platform is quite apt, apart from the not insignificant part where they cut taxes across the board. But at any rate this last weekend ought to have clarified the relative positions going into the campaign quite neatly, and who knows, we might even get to have a reasoned and reasonable debate on policy.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    we might even get to have a reasoned and reasonable debate on policy

    An optimist, I see!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I'm not sure what a government might have done about that though.

    Capital gains tax, stamp duty, enforcement of the current tax code on people trading property for income, steps to make shares relatively more attractive ...

    But it doesn't matter anyway. They were in charge, and so they will cop the blame, whether they deserve it or not.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    __we might even get to have a reasoned and reasonable debate on policy__

    An optimist, I see!

    Thanks for putting it politely. I do think that we had quite a good debate back in 1999, though, with clear cut policy differences and in a similar situation, opinion-polls wise. Perhaps I felt that way because it was my first exposure to a non-Italian political campaign.

    Then again, I should also point out that I'm the last person that has any use for debates on policy, honest or otherwise. I'm a hopelessly entrenched ideologue who will always vote for a party of the left, even if they promised to nationalise my own children.

    (I could have so used my daughter being nationalised at breakfast time this morning.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    From the English transcript:

    ENGLISH: So later on we’re gonna have to have a bit of a sort out. Yeah, we’re gonna do something, but we can’t do it now.

    /me wonders what "a bit of a sort out" will entail...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "Because right now New Zealand doesn’t have a debt problem, it has a growth problem."

    We use to have a debt problem until labour solved it? Is this what he is implying?

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'm not sure what a government might have done about that though.

    Fiscal measures:
    - removal of negative gearing
    - capital gains tax on house sales
    - tax on mortgage interest
    - tax on house sales (like UK stamp duty)
    - GST on house sales

    Non-fiscal measures:
    - controls on non-bank deposit takers (Hanover finance et al)
    - increased limits on bank lending
    - death penalty for estate agents (what do you mean, for what offence?)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I don't actually disagree with you Craig, although it seems Labour would run tighter accounts than National. That's what Key says.

    Bugger, Brown, you're not playing! :) Now I've got to go refresh my ice pack.

    Yep. Public debt was reigned in and and private debt went wild. I'm not sure what a government might have done about that though.

    It might have been helpful not to have quite such a mixed-message being put around. Hey, our savings record is dismal but heavens forbid anyone suggest that leaving the credit card to gather a little dust would be a good idea.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    To adapt Brad Delong.

    You all remember the plan of the Underpants Gnomes from South Park:

    1. Collect underpants.
    2. ?
    3. Profit!

    That's the perfect analogy for John [Key]'s budget policy:

    1. Cut taxes and spend more on [infrastructure].
    2. ?
    3. Balanced budget!!

    Stranger things have happened.

    I still maintain that if National come into power, it's quite likely they'll claim within the first week that having seen the books (which are hardly secret), things are much much worse than Labour claimed, and regretful cuts will have to be made.

    It's the only way that (for me) it all makes sense. I'm open to other explanations of how and why. Perhaps they're just going to saddle yet another generation with large Government debts.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    "Hey, our savings record is dismal but heavens forbid anyone suggest that leaving the credit card to gather a little dust would be a good idea."

    We can see the prize we just can't pay for it. Damn our salaries.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    A couple of questions for Key: 1) Why do we need to spend an extra $5b on infrastructure (roads?) where most economists agree NZ's problem is productivity growth? 2) NZ does have a debt problem, it is called the current account deficit - so how can you be sure any NZ govt additions to this debt mountain won't degrade NZ's current ranking with the world's financiers?
    I don't buy the line of 'borrowing just for infrastructure' is really just spin, debt is debt.
    NZ has struggled to get rid the debt noose we have had over the last 30 years, and I certainly do not want to go back there. Why can't our govt to set an example to the population of living within one's means, but it does show you the corner National are now painted into, where they have to borrow to exercise their program.

    I'm not sure what a government might have done about that though.

    Capital gains tax, stamp duty, enforcement of the current tax code on people trading property for income, steps to make shares relatively more attractive

    Add in there, Kiwisaver being established in their first term.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Re: Key infrastructure. Anyone else worried that this is a recipe for a crapload more roads no one will be able to afford to drive on in the near future?

    And I thought Labour's road-building had become a bit over-zealous.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    We use to have a debt problem until labour solved it? Is this what he is implying?

    Key expanded on this on Morning Report. He indicated that Muldoon created a debt problem (circa 83% of GDP, IIRC) and that now it was approx 17%, with Labour saying their upper limit is 20% and he reckons National will take that up to 22%.

    So, no return to Think Big.

    However, the things he's talking about doing are still very concerning. Building more roads when we are staring down the barrel of peak oil is an irrational waste of taxpayer's money (not to mention the opportunity to build public transport infrastructure before costs really start to get out of hand). Reshaping the RMA as a way to ram through large-scale projects in the face of public opposition is short-sighted and backward-looking.

    I just don't get the impression Key-led government has many ideas or any use.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Why oh why oh why are we borrowing money to spend on roads? The current Government is spending more on these white elephants than any previous, and the National Party wants to top this?

    What a bunch of cargo cultists. Like tribes who built airstrips, the current set of MPs believe you build roads, and the economy will grow.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Roads?! Roads?! Seriously that is what is holding us back? Our roads?
    I have no problem with an investment in enabling infrastructure that has clear benefits for driving the economy forward, but ROADS as the big priority?!
    My disappointment continues.

    Clark et al, I'm looking at you now for a plan - you don't seem to have one yet but Christ it can't be too hard to trump that...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

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