Idiot is idiot

The Guardian has reported this morning:

The government is on course to impose steep cuts in public spending from April and increase taxes by the end of the decade to their highest level as a share of national income since 1986-87 to combat the UK’s persistent budget deficit.

But slower economic growth following the Brexit vote will still leave the UK with one of the largest black holes in public spending in the developed world, meaning the next government must find £40bn to eliminate the budget deficit in the next parliament, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

I will be honest: I have not read their full report. But let’s also be clear the premise of their report is nonsensical because there is no need for any government to balance a budget. What is more, technically it is simply not possible for a government to choose to do so. In that case the IFS are just peddling fear whilst recycling government propaganda that a balanced budget is necessary.

No, the IFS is saying that because the government has declared closing the budget deficit to be their target therefore they will have to…..

28 comments on “Idiot is idiot

  1. He hasn’t read the report, and he didn’t attend the IFS’s press conference, but he’s ready to pontificate on it all and get combative with anyone who tries to correct him. Welcome to Spud’s crab-bucket world.

  2. “I will be honest: I have not read their full report”

    “the premise of their report is nonsensical”

    Right back at ya Ritchie.

  3. …technically not possible for a government to balance a budget?

    I have never bothered to read Ritchie’s lunacy. I leave it to you, Tim. But what the hell does he mean it is impossible for a government to balance a budget?!

  4. What he means is that if government cuts spending then this shrinks the economy and so that reduces taxes and so they don’t in fact reduce the deficit.

    Or, you can have a deficit or a surplus but it’s not actually in the power of the government to decide.

    He’s wrong, but that’s what he believes.

  5. And how is the gubmint going to pay its colossal debts never mind the deficit?

    It can’t be by tax without setting levels that will create a real mass exodus of the useful and productive rather than the bogus one predicted by the Remainiancs.

    The British state–like the Western poli-scum in general–has debts that it cannot pay over any credible timescale.

    That is what matters and the deficit is a sideshow. But of course Dress-Up is too dumb to know or care about any of that.

  6. So when Gordon Brown ran a budget surplus, because he followed Tory spending plans (unlike the Tories, who promise cuts but never deliver), he thinks that was just co-incidence?

  7. “I have not read their full report” but that won’t stop me producing 288 words of ill-thought out sententious balls anyway…

  8. The Guardian have already corrected that 40bn to the accurate figure of 34bn.

    And there is something weird about the whole piece – they have an indeterminate “Total Receipts” vs “Total Spending” graph which shows a “surplus” throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

    There is some statistical cockup reporting involved, but I cannot put a finger on it.

  9. @Matt Wardman

    I think the cock up you are looking for is that they got some famously innumerate guardian journos to write the article

  10. He’s a real pro:

    I am happy to do it
    And I can take the flack – and know I can handle it – having been up against many of the main interviewers in the media in my time
    It takes three things to succeed. One is knowledge. The second is willing. The third is a thick skin
    The need is finding enough people with all three.

  11. “It takes three things to succeed. One is knowledge. The second is willing. The third is a thick skin”

    Well, I suppose Murphy’s got two out of three.

  12. But let’s also be clear the premise of their report is nonsensical because there is no need for any government to balance a budget. What is more, technically it is simply not possible for a government to choose to do so.

    Historically illiterate. The U.S. ran a few budget surpluses back in the 1990s. Or where those a product of neoliberal sophistry?

  13. Richard, the final word in his three things is not needed. Can we see him fitting a requirement to be thick?

  14. …because there is no need for any government to balance a budget. What is more, technically it is simply not possible for a government to choose to do so.

    Whilst this should be self evident bollocks to pretty much anyone who has learned how to count, there is nonetheless a small element of truth to it.

    In that – in your average modern western democracy – there is a tendency for the oiks to vote for whoever will promise to give them more than it will take from them.

    It’s the “technically” word he’s wrongly added.

  15. “slower economic growth following the Brexit vote will still leave the UK with one of the largest black holes in public spending in the developed world”

    All down to Brexit is it? Nothing to do with deranged spending and borrowing?

    #fakenews

  16. I’m sure his students will be OK with: “I will be honest: I have not read your full exam answers, but I’ve marked them anyway.”

  17. It takes three things to succeed. One is knowledge. The second is willing. The third is a thick skin

    I love it when he comes out with stuff like this. It is a revealing insight into how he sees himself.

  18. Andrew K

    That’s one of the funniest things I have ever read. He can’t seriously be that stupid, can he?

  19. “He can’t seriously be that stupid, can he?”

    VP, I think you know the answer to your own question…

  20. Ecks is right. It’s going to be debt service that causes the crunch. Pretty soon the US is going to be spending more on interest payments than on defence or social security. The boat’s caught in the current, and even if everyone starts furiously rowing backwards, it’s still going over the falls.

  21. As an OAP, I just got a state pension rise of fuck all that isn’t even all of fuck all because of the tax I have to pay on it. On the other hand, given to millions of old bastards who won’t feel the difference, it amounts to a lot of dosh. So why do it?

    Some voters are bought for £10 a month, are they? That’s cheap.

  22. @Bloke in North Dorset, February 8, 2017 at 4:14 pm
    “I’m sure his students will be OK with: “I will be honest: I have not read your full exam answers, but I’ve marked them anyway.””

    Ritchie probably uses the stairs marking method with equality & disadvantaged adaptations (aka nobody fails).

  23. ‘What is more, technically it is simply not possible for a government to choose to do so.’

    The Government can choose to do whatever it likes although the projected outcomes and the actual outcomes are invariably opposed.
    That Governments have run surpluses in the past is not disputed, what I do dispute is whether specific Government targets on surpluses had any direct impact, in my experience, any favourable result a Government claims as its own is usually the result of a different and unrelated policy failing miserably.

  24. Pcar,

    Perhaps Ritchie has offered his students a ‘Fair Exam Mark’ under which he gives them top marks if they agree with him and give him money………

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