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It’s just such a cute assertion

From Spud’s comments:

You spend £28bn on infrastructure and you are £28bn wealthier.

No, you’re £28 billion wealthier if the infrastructure you build is worth the £28 billion you’ve just spent on building that infrastructure.

Spending £100 billion on HS2 hasn’t made us £100 billion wealthier. Not even when trying to include the wider societal benefits – for HS2 fails its cost benefit analysis even at the original price.

Which leads to this declaration from Spud in another post:

As example, investing £28 billion in the infrastructure required to manage climate change will clearly not do harm. But Labour believes it will.

But if the £28 billion gets pissed up against the wall then that will be the loss of £28 billion. We’re poorer, not wealthier, as a result.

Likewise, tax increases on those most able to pay them, matched by spending increases or reduced tax or increased benefits for those least well off would clearly do good.

That’s a contention that needs to be proven – Laffer Effects and all – not merely asserted.

21 thoughts on “It’s just such a cute assertion”

  1. Oh great Professor Potato, explain how me paying more tax to support less well off ethnic murderers, rapists and corrosive substance throwers clearly does good rather than harm?

  2. Wot, this sort of government ‘investment’:

    The taxpayer is still paying for the failed NHS patient IT programme, according to a Commons watchdog, which describes it as “one of the worst and most expensive contracting fiascos in the history of the public sector”.
    The MPs said that the full pricetag was still unclear but the department’s most recent forecast was now £9.8bn.

    Or this:
    “An estimated £4.5bn in Covid-19 support has been lost to error and fraud since 2020”, the tax authority has revealed.

    Or how about this:
    “In May last year (2020) NHS Test and Trace (NHST&T) was set up with a budget of £22 billion. Since then it has been allocated £15 billion more: totalling £37 billion over two years. – The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) justified the scale of investment, in part, on the basis that an effective test and trace system would help avoid a second national lockdown – but since its creation we have had two more lockdowns”.

    At some point, surely, the light goes on with these cunts and they realise that government is really, really good at spending taxpayers money, but is really, really bad at getting anything approximating a return on what they do spend it on. Why don’t they just cut out the middleman and just burn the fucking money?

  3. How can you be £28b wealthier by spending £28b? Unless you’re spending someone else’s money.
    Oh, it’s Spud isn’t it? SOP

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    Adolff,

    But next it will be different. ( Presumably because Spud will be the Fat Controller).

    And reference that £37Bn – they spent all that money the app didn’t even work ;). (That’s in joke for Chris Snowdon’s Twitter followers. )

  5. You spend £28bn and you are £28bn better off if the thing you have bought is worth *FIFTYSIX* bullion, not 28 billion.

    I have £28bn plus no railway, I have £28bn of assets.
    I spend £28bn on a railway.
    I have zero money plus £28bn of railway, I have £28bn of assets.
    ZERO CHANGE.

    Good god, can nobody do sums any more?

  6. “Likewise, tax increases on those most able to pay them, matched by spending increases or reduced tax or increased benefits for those least well off would clearly do good.”

    Wasn’t he arguing the other day that in order to reduce inflation the wealthy should be taxed, because they spend more than the poor, and thus taxing them would reduce demand more? But now taxing the rich to spend it on the poor (and other stuff) will increase economic activity not depress it?

    Who needs consistency when you have an economy to ruin?

  7. Maybe he’s discounting the cash flow of the income streams from the new assets. Isn’t he he big fan of that sort of thing?

  8. Ah yes jgh, true but what wipes the value quicker between cash and solid assets.
    Inflation or depreciation ?

    A race to thre bottom.

  9. He’s just plagiarising Keynes. That stuff about paying people to dig holes and fill them in again.
    Always was a waste of spades. Or spoons or whatever.

  10. I’d love to do some “infrastructure” work for him. Perhaps fitting a few lights or something similarly minor. My bill would be £28,000 (no point in charging him £28 billion for obvious reasons). Would he be £28,000 wealthier? No, but I would.

  11. Honest question. We buy & sell. The same money goes round & round. But every time it changes hands the government grab some in taxes. At which point has it had all of it?

  12. @jgh – February 4, 2024 at 12:29 pm

    Good god, can nobody do sums any more?

    I think it’s called “Economics”… 🙂

    Certainly isn’t arithmetic!

  13. Does the fool ever stop to consider his ridiculous proposals? Monkeys typing have a better chance of sensible suggestions.
    The man’s obviously insane, so perhaps it’s unfair to criticise his stupid utterances, but whilst some gullible folk ‘follow’ him, I suppose he must be corrected.

  14. Spud has declared that England won’t win the cricket tomorrow.
    Well obviously, i’ve had a bet on them at 9/2 on betfair to do just chance, based purely on his track record of making testable predictions where you can get a bet on.
    In 2016 he predicted Corbyn wouldn’t lead labour at the next election
    In 2018 he predicted that the UK would leave the EU on schedule
    In late 2023 he predicted a May general election this year.
    Can’t think of many others, ‘cos he keeps his fortune telling vague.

  15. Well quite. HS2 would actually only add about £25bn in wealth for the £100bn spent.
    The rest would hage been better used burning to keep us all warm.

  16. AndyF:

    I’d love to do some “infrastructure” work for him. Perhaps fitting a few lights or something similarly minor. My bill would be £28,000 (no point in charging him £28 billion for obvious reasons). Would he be £28,000 wealthier? No, but I would.

    No you wouldn’t…..
    Spud would take your profit, including future projects as “assets” and tax them at 120%, because you’re Rich now.
    And would find any fault, real or imagined, in the work to not have to pay to begin with, and still tax you 120% over your “potential gains”
    So you’d most likely end up with “owing him money”, with him whingeing about every little detail along the way.

    He’s that type of guy…

  17. Ritchie’s pronouncements will come as something of a relief in China, where all those ghost cities and millions of unoccupied, poorly-constructed apartments and houses have begun to cause a few nagging doubts I hear.

  18. Martin Near The M25

    If I spend £50 on beer then I’m £50 better off. So sayeth the Oracle of Ely. Back to the pub it is.

  19. That’s a contention that needs to be proven – Laffer Effects and all – not merely asserted.

    I don’t like this bit Tim. The Laffer effects are more about whether the tax is set at the correct rate to maximise revenue , than whether the net effects are positive or negative. And there are lots of taxes for which our rates are clearly below the peak of the Laffer curve (i.e. we would increase a rise in tax rate to produce more revenue, at least in the short term). But then, why do you want to be at the peak of the Laffer curve anyway? Besides, arguing about the Laffer curves just causes oh-so-clever bien pensant journalists to decry you for reiterating thoroughly disproved pseudoscience. Not that they’ve got econ degrees themselves, they just read it somewhere that Laffer was “debunked”.

    I wouldn’t bring Laffer into the game at all. You don’t need it. Absolutely uncontroversial assertion: taxes have deadweight costs. So your $X of spending doesn’t need to be compared just to your $X of taxes raised, but your $Y in deadweight costs you lost in extracting it. That’s a bloody tough counterargument to refute. Arguing about revenue-maximising tax rates, on the other hand, is arguing on the lefties’ own terms.

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