Saving Paul Ryan – or Mitt Romney

 

           Mitt Romney’s choice of running mate has galvanised Republican support for their candidate, and has ensured there will be a big debate in the USA over how to tackle the deficit and promote faster growth. Paul Ryan believes in cutting spending and cutting tax rates. He will give Democrats under Obama, and the so called “liberal” intelligentsia in the UK, a new hate figure.

           Some in the UK have sought to contrast the USA, growing a bit under current policies, with the UK, not growing at all. They have suggested this is because Obama has carried on spending whilst the UK has “cut too far too fast”. The  arrival of Mr Ryan on the scene provides a useful opportunity to remember the published  figures.

          Since 2010 UK total public spending has risen by 6.1%, with fast growth in current spending of 11.4%  more than offsetting the cuts in capital spending which the Coalition have continued from Labour’s plans. Meanwhile, in the USA Obama’s 9.8% increase in federal spending has been partially offset by  a 2.5% cash cut in State and local spending, meaning that US total public spending has risen a shade  less quickly than the UK’s.

         The big difference between US and UK policy has been on the tax side. The US has continued with lower tax rates. As   a result it has an economy which has grown faster, and done better at increasing tax collection. The US has also been quicker at fixing its main banks, which has helped.

 

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93 Comments

  1. Pete the Bike
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    It is absolutely pointless to contrast candidates in the US elections as there are no real differences. Obama made a huge campaign out of “change” and when he got in nothing changed, indeed the Bush regime policies were intensified (rather like here when DC arrived at No10). America has been a one party state for decades and it just carries on with the illusion that voters have a choice.
    Whoever gets in will continue the same ruinous policies and issuing grossly manipulated statistics to prove how well they are doing until one day it all falls apart. Then the fun will start in the most heavily armed country on earth.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Just like the candidates of the main parties in UK politics

    • uanime5
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Obamacare wasn’t a Bush regime policy, nor was preventing climate change. Though Mitt Romney did support taxing people to pay for healthcare so Obamacare could be considered a Republican policy.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Idiotic tosh. Wake up, the unarmed paradise of NHS serfs is due for devolution & full EU membership.

      • Bazman
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        How else do you propose to pay for the NHS or should there not be one? Each individual should just take their chances?

  2. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    You never hear your cabinet colleagues telling the truth about public spending. I was grateful and admired you for pointing out the truth of the government’s deficit reduction programme way back in 2010 – current spending was increasing and taxes were going up. Sadly, the lies from government and the opposition, who have a self-interest in propagating the myth, have continued unabated. Remember your slogan “All you need is truth”? Having tried to deceive us for so long your colleagues would find it difficult to speak the truth even if it wasn’t totally alien to them. Are you really happy being associated with such mendacity?

    • Bazman
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Are tax cuts counted as public spending? They should be.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        The reductio on the above pearl is that if we were starting from scratch (meaning zero tax) there wouldn’t, on that basis, be much public spending (not that that would bother me much). “User pays” should be the mantra, as in America.

        • Jerry
          Posted August 13, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

          “User Pays” is fine if the “User can afford to pay”, surely a better manta would be “Small is Beautiful” – government only provides the essentials needed for a well functioning and safe society, such as security and health etc.

      • Mr0a
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        What a bizarre notion, of course they shouldn’t.

        It would mean an economy which cut tax by £1000 and public spending by £1000 would have the same public spending!

      • zorro
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        There is no direct correlation between lowering taxes and lowering spending. You may get more income from lower taxes, and it is up to the government how it decides to dispose of this extra income. Who knows, it might decide to pay some debts it owes.

        zorro

        • Bazman
          Posted August 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          There is also no direct correlation of tax cuts producing benefits for the state and if a company has no benefit to the state or the population then why are they allowed to operate here?

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

        No. Free people don’t think like slaves: however “Poor” they might be. Chaps as obviously poor in Spirit as you are the sad men.

  3. Acorn
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    You have to feel sorry for Americans regarding the quality of candidates available for election. At least they have “Primaries” to weed out the chaff; er … well most of the time. Eventually, but only really after two or three decades, the disastrous decline in the public education system starts to show up at election time.

  4. Paul Danon
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    You’re obviously not following the media enough. The government has been implementing savage cuts, not increases.

  5. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    That’s a smart move by Romney. He has to keep the Republican core vote onside while he (Romney) does the trimming. Apparently, the Democrats have a really strong lead among single women in the States, the reason being that they like social provision. Somehow, that has to be addressed. If the Republicans could keep Obamacare minus the compulsorary component, that would be popular.

    Romney’s strongest card is that Obama has not dealt with America’s fiscal deficit at all – he really hasn’t, John – and only the Republicans can. If he can somehow make it into the White House, Romney has the ability to cut US public expenditure intelligently.

    • Bazman
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      America successfully landed a robot device on another world with Romney visit to Britain. The core republican vote. I wonder who they are? Like here nutcases and fools insulated from their own fantasies no doubt by the secretive and subversive middle class social security and tax systems.

      • Richard
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        All the people I know, who work for the State in one form, or who earn their living from the State, are quite left wing in their politics rather than right wing as you seem to be suggesting.
        Perhaps they feel that supporting Labour gives them the best chance of future job security.

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

          Not quite all but certainly a very high proportion that is why Labour took so many on and created so many new pointless things for them to do and to inconvenience the wealth creators who have to pay for them all.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          The middle class social security system is operated and supported by both the left and right with neither of the supporters of each cause having to suffer any inconveniences of either ideology. The working population suffering the privatisation of profits and the socialisation of losses. Its interesting to, or rather not, to see many comments on this subject. A bit like my points on the blacklisting of tradesmen by large multinational companies that have been caught bang to rights. I can only conclude that if you pretend both do not exist then both will just not exist when they clearly do. This is coming from the same peole who claim that many points are just religious propaganda put forward by the BBC. Ram it.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        As Paul Johnson (a rare clear-minded Englishman concerning the wretched NHS) rightly noted the UK should be so fortunate as to have a Tea Party movement. Instead we have unarmed state slaves pleading for what they bloody well ought to be DEMANDING!

        • A different Simon
          Posted August 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

          The NHS has been there for me and my nearest and dearest .

          No private health insurance company would touch me with a 10 ft pole .

          Health insurance where the sick pay more for premiums or can’t even get cover doesn’t work .

          With all it’s faults the NHS still provides outstanding value for money .

          • Christopher Ekstrom
            Posted August 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Other peoples money, perhaps.

          • A different Simon
            Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            If you are seriously ill then yes , a fair chunk of other peoples money .

            You do understand that that is the principle behind insurance don’t you ?

    • declankenny
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      intelligently? This is a man who is outraged and somewhat dazed by the fact that foreign languages are taught in American schools. He also has worrying views on the potential conflict with Iran. And when visiting Israel, failed to mention the fact that the ‘cultural differences’ between them (Israel) and Palestine have been sought by brutal force and domination. Intelligent really isn’t the word. Ryan is not a good choice for an already shaky candidate. He’s a mockery as far as the Democrats are concerned and with such modern forms of campaigning and the reduction in unemployment Obama is sure to walk back into the White House.

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        The US is finally returning to Reaganism; unlike the foolish rejection of Thatcherism in the increasingly amoral & secular UK its Ted Cruz & the restoration of Liberty in the USA. Despair is Cast Irons legacy…

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Every time the focus is on what a nice couple Barack and Michelle are, the Democrats surge ahead in the polls. Every time the focus is on the state of the American economy, it’s back to even stevens.

      Look to the future: Barack and Michelle aren’t going to get any nicer but the American economy is going to get worse. Keep your eyes on the overall Federal debt; it’s not pretty.

    • wab
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      “If the Republicans could keep Obamacare minus the compulsorary component, that would be popular”.

      Yeah, well if the Republicans put the tax rate to zero and doubled spending they would also be popular. Meanwhile back on Planet Earth…

      The compulsory component of Obamacare is crucial, just ask Romney who implemented exactly the same thing in Massachusetts. And the Republicans supported the same policy at the federal level until Obama took it up, in which case it suddenly became a Marxist tyranny.

      “Obama has not dealt with America’s fiscal deficit at all … and only the Republicans can.”

      Seriously?? Do you think we all have the memory of a gnat? It was the Republicans who turned a Clinton surplus into the Bush nightmare deficit. Bush slashed taxes on the rich and this policy allegedly was going to pay for itself but did not. He also started two wars, the second one completely gratuitously, and both wars mostly unpaid for. And Bush vastly increased entitlement spending. Democrats don’t need pathetic lectures from Republicans about the deficit.

      The Romney / Ryan plan, when it can be nailed down in any specific way, would make the deficit worse, because they want to increase spending on the military and cut taxes on the rich even more. The Republicans only care about the deficit when it happens to involve spending on “those people” (young, poor, black).

      The Republicans stand mainly for two things: reducing taxes on the rich, and waging a war on women’s reproductive rights. They want to turn the clock back to the 1920s (some of them back to 1860). The US system is now such that a few billionaires can spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to buy the election, and so the Republicans might win, in spite of the fact that they are a big part of the problem and not at all part of the solution, to almost any policy question you happen to want to discuss.

  6. lifelogic
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Indeed the US also has far cheaper energy, the advantage of not being in the EU not having the BBC lefty lunacy drip feed, large economies of scale, better employment laws and less mad green religion. It also does not have the dreadful prospect of Milliband for five years to follow the current tax borrow and waste socialists.

    The BBC is much obsessed with the “legacy” of the jumped up sports day. Clearly this will be the £10Bn of debt to pay and all the interest on in. Also a few white elephant stadia and the opportunity cost of huge additional unemployment and lack of competitiveness thus hugely exacerbated. Perhaps a few more people of both genders want to punch each other’s heads or wear their bodies and joints out in some other way or other.

    I read that the life expectancy of American footballers is about 20 year lower than the average non sports person – and this seems to be the case with most sports too – perhaps to a lesser degree.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Not that the US is very well run – just far better run than the UK has been under Major, Bliar, Brown and Cameron.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic, the UK hasn’t been really well run since probably the 1950s, Mrs Thatcher was better than most but even she made some howlers, the nation was probably never so divided than in the 1980s and some of her governments decisions have since come back to bit us hard.

        • lifelogic
          Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          I agree Thatcher’s government made many mistakes but better than most.

          • lifelogic
            Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

            Letting John Major in for example.

      • prof
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 2:39 am | Permalink

        true

  7. Alex
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    … and of course the U.S. is exploiting shale gas, so is replacing expensive imported oil with cheap home-produced natural gas. We could do the same, but that would mean politicians from all major parties (and the Lib Dems) admitting that their ‘investment’ in wind and solar power has been an economic disaster. So it won’t happen.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Indeed it is clear that “investment” in PV and wind is nonsense outside a few special cases. With cheapish shale gas it becomes even more of a nonsense. But Cameron/Huhne/BBC types cannot now change direction without admitting they have wasted (or encouraged wasting) billions on this absurd nonsense. Also billions on pointless wars, the Olympics and the EURO but still no money to lend to real industry on sensible terms.

      It is interesting to read Tim Yeo’s (Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee) outside interests on Delingpole’s excellent blog. How on earth can he be allowed to have this huge (potential-ed)conflict of interest? It is rather difficult to believe that they are paying him such huge, hourly rates just for his engineering or business knowledge.

      Reply: Mr Yeo is not a member of the government and makes no decisions on energy matters.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        Reply to JR:

        Oh come on, whilst who takes the Chair of a select committee might not be a member of the government (they might not even be on the side of the government), any Chairperson of a select committee has great influence in parliament – otherwise just what is the point of select committees, they are more than mere talking-shops.

      • lifelogic
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        Clearly he has some influence.

        It is very clear from the legislation passed at EU and UK levels that much of it only benefits special interest groups and serves no wider purpose beyond these private commercial interests. One Austrian MEP is to be prosecuted over paid “lobbying” I note. The green racket is the perfect ruse for such distorted legislation intended just to transfer taxes, subsidy and fees to private companies and interests.

    • A different Simon
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      The idea of plebs having half price energy must seem abhorrent to our political masters .

      Energy poverty is part of a deliberate policy intended to cull the poor and sick and discourage them from breeding .

      Shale gas threatens the “carbon trading schemes” that the finance world is relying on to extract rent from the rest of us . It’s is all about controlling people in the end .

      How would energy traders make a profit if there was a transparently abundant and stable supply leading to stable prices ?

  8. alan jutson
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Yes an interesting choice indeed.

    Proves Romney is serious, if reports are to be believed

    John, just out of interest have you ever spoken/been in contact with Paul Ryan?

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Reason for the question.

      He seems a man to a degree, who seems to follow many of your own thoughts.

      So I suppose I really should be asking, has he been in contact with you.

  9. Pericles
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    As Alex above says, Mr. Redwood, in (by implication) ascribing the limited growth of America’s economy to lower tax rates you completely ignore the fact that her energy prices right across the board are significantly lower than those in the U.K.

    The banking crisis is not the greatest threat to the British or any other economy ;  nor are the deficit and accumulated debt :  the entire World’s economy has been and continues to be drained by the anthropogenic-climate-change fraud.  If the politicians, ‘scientists’ and other hangers-on milking this fraud for all its worth are ever brought to book and the whole ugly edifice dismantled — and it’s a big if — energy can once again be economically produced and industry restarted, thereby restoring global demand.

    Only global demand will revive the economy — now matter how low tax rates or how much devalued money the banks be forced to lend to no-one actually wanting to borrow any, without demand you have no economy.  This is Economics 101.

    ΠΞ

    • Pericles
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      For «now matter» read «no matter». Sorry. ΠΞ

  10. The Prangwizard
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    The are large numbers of ordinary people in Britain, and many politicians mostly of the Left but others too, and large parts of the media – the BBC of course – who react to anyone from the Republican side of US politics in the way of Pavlov’s dog. They don’t think, they are instinctively hostile. They hated Reagan, they portrayed him as dumb, ignorant, just a washed-up ex-actor, both before and after he was elected and even after he engineered the end of the totalitarian State which was the Soviet Union and an enemy of the West, although I’ll try not to think they regretted that. They portray all Republicans in the same way, basically dumb. They will alway hate the Right publicly, but there are many hypocrites among them. What none of should do is think that the US is on our side come what may. It is not and never has been. It is always US above all come what may.

    • rose
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      And Seb Coe sank without trace when they found out what his politics were, whereas Glenda Jackson and Vanessa Redgrave were continually promoted on the air. A bit difficult to sink Lord Coe at the moment though. So they’ve done it to Jeremy Hunt to make up for it.

  11. forthurst
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    “Meanwhile, in the USA Obama’s 9.8% increase in federal spending has been partially offset by a 2.5% cash cut in State and local spending”

    Yep. Take cash away from infrastructure for where the elites don’t live. Give money to the military to defend ‘our’ oil and the petrodollar against usurpers and in support of everyone’s favourite country. Heavily arm and expand the department of homeland security to prepare for turning the USA into a fully fledged terror state in which “We, the People” become enemy No 1 without the safeguards of the 1st or 2nd amendments. Ensure that the Wall street casino remains fully funded so that the operatives can continue to syphon money from the people to their offshore bank accounts and to buying politicians, the law, and a new world order controlled by themselves.

    • zorro
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, expect more ‘shootings’ from drugged up neuro science students who happen to be experts at laying complicated booby traps in their flat with no prior military training…..continually putting pressure on 2nd amendment rights….

      zorro

  12. Neil Craig
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    “Some in the UK have sought to contrast the USA, growing a bit under current policies, with the UK, not growing at all. They have suggested this is because Obama has carried on spending whilst the UK has “cut too far too fast”.

    A conclusion only possible if one ignores the rest of the world where government spendinmg is under control. The humanity ouitwith the US &C Europe (HOUSE) countries are achieving 7% growth.

    In fact the USA’s marginal growth is because Obama has not been able to stifle the shale gas revolution to the extent that the anti-market government in Britain has. If Zimbabwe can achieve 9.3% by, now, accepting the advice of economic liberals it is obvious we could too.

  13. Derek Emery
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    The Bank of International Settlements working paper in 2010 “The future of public debt: prospects and implications” analyses the fiscal prospects for a dozen or so countries.
    to quote one sentence from the report
    The authors report that in order for these countries to pay off all their financial liabilities, they would require an average improvement in their budget balance excluding interest payments of 4.5% of GDP. For the United States and Japan, the estimate is 6.9% and 6.2%, respectively.

    The big advantage the US has is its aging demographics are not as bad as most of the EU and it is far more pro business and smaller government that the EU could ever be in a million years. Far more world beating businesses originate in the US than in the EU.
    If markets ever decide they do not like the US public debt profile it will be in trouble but this is more likely to happen to the EU first.

  14. uanime5
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    John how long as you going to promote the lie that the US has lower tax rates. When you factor in federal, state, and city taxes there’s very little difference in income tax. Let’s not forget about Obamacare (a tax according to the supreme court), sales tax, property tax, and the fact that non dom status doesn’t exist.

  15. Matthew
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    If Gordon Brown had won the last election I don’t think that there would have been much recognisable difference in policy from what we are experiencing now. Bank of England policy would be the same.

    I just hope that Mr Cameron, in what will probably and hopefully, be the last year of the coalition sets out a course that Conservative back benchers will get behind. The Lib Dems should be shown who’s the boss.

    • lifelogic
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      It might have been better – Brown would have commanded less confidence in the money markets and so might have been forced to cut expenditure more – unlike borrow and waste cast iron has done.

  16. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, please keep saying it.

  17. Nina Andreena
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    In the words of Dick Cheney “deficits do not matter”. You really think American voters are going to vote away their Medicare, Social Security, Bush tax cuts? Romney showed he was out of his depth during his recent European tour. If he had a brain he would have went for Rep Allen West, an ex military, hardline African American conservative. Instead Romney choses an ex hotdog salesman and graduate from Miami University and no it is not in Florida either.

    • Jerry
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      I suspect that going for any ex military person would have alienated even some on the right, other than on a certain right wing media outlet, the USA seems to be very war-weary, they seem to be retreating back from the Bush era of wanting to be/being the worlds police force.

      Romney has basically done a Clinton, “It’s the economy stupid”, in that respect he is correct, without a strong economy one can have ‘Obama-Care’ even if it is wanted… That said, I still have my doubts about Romney, indeed you are correct when you point out that (for someone who over two years in Europe during the mid 1960s) he seemed completely out of touch during his recent tour.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        This is far too cynical. The Labour Party:
        (1) Left an annual deficit of £160 billion in 2010 prices (add 7% for 2012 prices)
        (2) Has no proposals to cut public expenditure
        (3) Has no propoals to increase taxation

        The only person on the Left who proposed increased taxes was Caroline Lucas, who said that she would be happy for taxes to rise to 45% of GDP to finance the Green Party’s programme. She still got elected. Perhaps honesty is the best policy.

        Whatever the coalition’s faults, we shouldn’t let Labour come within barge pole length of power.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          This is in the wrong place. It is intended as a reply to Matthew and lifelogic.

  18. Simon
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Paul Ryan… he’s the chap that wants to cut food stamps & medicare to pay for tax cuts isn’t he?

    He believes in some magic-bean economics about letting the rich keep more of their income allowing them to generate more jobs, too, I think.

    • A different Simon
      Posted August 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

      Romney is so dire that you have to ask yourself how he could possibly become a candidate for the President of the United States .

      – Santorum has issues of his own he needs to work through. (etc)

      – Gingrich , duplicitous , untrustworthy , uncaring

      I actually liked Ron Paul . Didn’t agree with everything he said and his foreign policy scared me but he was the only one Republican or Democrat offering anything new . As close to an American Farage as there was .

      • zorro
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:04 am | Permalink

        Ron Paul has some eminently sensjble views and promotes a truly American sense of freedom, responsibility, and liberty…….I am afraid that the current US foreign policy worries me a lot more than that proposed by Ron Paul……

        zorro

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          Agreed! Pity he’s so old.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

      It was called “Vodoo Economics” by GHW Bush. Unlike Bushism & mumbo jumbo “compassionate conservatism”; supply side works.

  19. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    The U.S. may have been quicker at “Fixing it’s main Banks” but whether Americans as a whole, are benefiting is in some doubt.

    One surprising statistic is that 44 million Americans are on Food Stamps (or Food Assistance).

    In 2010, 360,000 of 22 million Americans with graduate degrees, received some kind of public assistance.

    This does not quite seem like a success story quite yet.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

      Right. Nobama is “The Food Stamp Prez”. His abominable reign is ending soon!

  20. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    “The big difference between US and UK policy has been on the tax side.”

    Umm… Don’t know about that.

    Wouldn’t you say that the biggest Financial Difference between the U.S. and the UK is that the United States has the sole right of being able to print the World’s Reserve Currency?

    Despite this advantage, there are still 44 million Americans on Food Stamps.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

      And the US lacks a socialist monstrosity like the NHS; yet. Since 1988 the US has been in a slow & now rapidly escalating nose-dive.

      • Bazman
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        The NHS is one of the few benefits enjoyed in this country by everyone and not just those in receipt of middle class social security. Your no doubt laughable alternative would be rejected by almost all of the population and quite rightly so. Have think why Chris and it’s not because they are all more stupid than you.

  21. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted August 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    There’s one other Presidential Candidate – who hardly get’s a mention; that I believe you would have some empathy with – Dr Ron Paul.

    He – like you; believes in Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability. Well – who doesn’t? Barack Obama for one, and Mitt Romney certainly doesn’t believe in cutting welfare benefits to Bankers. Mitt Romney would also be reluctant to tighten up on allowing Offshore Accounts, such as in the Caymans or Switzerland.

    There is a whole other argument concerning whether productive work should be Taxed and what constitutes “Productive Work”. Nevertheless, Taxation is supposed to be incurred on everyone, not just the working masses allowing the super wealthy to pay virtually no tax.

    Ron Paul has been Campaigning for years (decades) for a more transparent and accountable Financial Sector (especially with regards to the Federal Reserve – which is a Private Company unlike the Bank of England). He has also criticised the excessive spendinig of Government (sound familiar) and points the finger at Publicly funded Healthcare and especially, at the number of U.S bases around the planet.

    “There are 761 US Military Bases across the planet. 156 Countries with US bases. 46 Countries with no US presence. 63 countries with US Military Bases and Troops. 7 Countries with 13 New Military Bases since 09/11/2001. In 2001 the US had 255,065 Troops Posted Abroad.” – How many Foreign Bases are there in the U.S.?

    Perhaps this explains what the American Government (whoever they might be) have done with the advantage of being able to Print into Infinity, the World’s Reserve Currency. It’s useful to remember that the reason why the U.S. was forced off the Gold Standard was because of the Military Spending in the Vietnam War, amongst other Military expenditure.

    • zorro
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Oh yes, but remember Iran is so dangerous, and could conquer the whole world….not forgetting North Korea, China, and Russia and all their bases abroad….LOL….Why do people fall for this nonsense?

      zorro

      • zorro
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Oh and don’t forget all the (questionable activities-ed) that Russia and China undertake……

        zorro

        • zorro
          Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          Sorry John, in the comment above I was being ironic in that those countries weren’t really undertaking the ‘questionable activities’……I is rather the other country forever preaching about human rights and democracy which carries out those ‘questionable activities’…..

          zorro

  22. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Ryan was a good choice; if we cut spending & eliminate nobamacare it will be a great start!

    • Jerry
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Well yes, if one simply allow people to die then the problems go away, naturally so to speak…

      • Christopher Ekstrom
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        The US pioneered treatments like hip replacements. Initially only wealthy patients could afford such treatments. Today a hip or knee replacement is a normal. It was not overnight but eventually the market model works. But in Jerry’s fantasy world things remain JB Priestly zero-sum & he knows best because Jerry is good & nice.

        • Bazman
          Posted August 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Tell that to the millions in America without health care or staying in worthless employment just to receive health insurance that is notorious for not paying out. Rich enough to afford private medicine for yourself and your family Chris or just another fantasist?

          • Christopher Ekstrom
            Posted August 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            Oh right it’s better to have no job & live off the State with “dignity”. Can you imagine how warped & Clockwork Orange this world has become? 275 million with the best health care on planet Earth; EVER! 25 million, at least half under 30, the others subject to charity & Government providers: solution? Destroy the whole thing. TOTALLY UNAMERICAN

          • Bazman
            Posted August 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            We’ll assume you are seriously loaded or (foolish-ed) Chris until you come up with some better arguments. GOT THAT!!!

        • Jerry
          Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          Chris, the only people who are disparaging of universal -free at the point of need- health care are either those with a vestige interest in providing health insurance, those who profit from private health insurance or simply have more money that they know what to do with and thus forget that some people worry about were their own or kids next meal, of course there is another explanation, they simply subscribe to the notion of a I’m all right Jack, s…. world. I fear that it is not me who is living in the “fantasy world”.

          For your information, as you asked Chris, I’m all for the free market, user pays, small state/government than the next (and often in a many more ways than would likely by on-topic here) – but above any of that I was brought up to have compassion for the less fortunate and those in more need than I.

  23. Neil Craig
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Wit Romney having chosen Ryan he has nailed his colours firmly to the masts of fiscal interity, low regulatation, promoting cheap energy (shale, oil & nuclear) rather than windmillery, ending “environmentalist” restrictions, opposing the catastrophic warming fraud & economic freedom generally. Since Obama is on the opposite side on all of these & since both Republicans are so squeaky clean there is no place for Obama’s traditional smear campaigns we are going to see an election fought on genuine political issues.

    Since none of these policies of Romney are things accepted by any party in Britain apart from UKIP & of which any discussion is usually censored by our media , it is going to be interesting to see how that media can report the election here.

    Even more interesting, after they get in and the American economy takes off, will be seeing how our media will explain this when discussion of the facts, including the fact that the rest of the world economy is growing at 6% and has never been in recession, is already censored.

    • uanime5
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan didn’t grow 6%. Funny how your “rest of the world” doesn’t include any developed countries.

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Great point. The BBC will take to collective fainting spells, no doubt.

  24. rose
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    For me the two most striking differences between us and our American cousins are:

    1) The USA doesn’t indulge in the competitive sport of boastful binge drinking.

    2) The USA doesn’t immerse itself in the punishing and impoverishing sport of envy.

  25. Richard Jenkins
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I have great respect for Paul Ryan and his lucid exposition of the effect of government debt on an economy. However, he should remember that when Lyndon Johnson reassured supporters, on his acceptance of the nomination for the vice-presidency, by saying “Power is where power goes”, this was one of the rare miscalculations of that political master. The scale of the miscalculation is graphically spelled out in the latest volume of Robert Caro’s outstanding biography of Johnson.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted August 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Lyndon Johnson? Political master? The dependency creating Great Society program? The disasterous Vietnam policy, steadily increasing ground troops and offering bombing pauses to an enemy who were never going to negotiate and told him so. “Will somebody tell me how to get of Vietnam?” quoth LBJ. “By plane and by boat, Mr President.”

      Richard Nixon’s way was at least more logical. Continuous bombing, attacks on the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and Cambodia, and a steady withdrawal of American troops.

      Lyndon Johnson was most emphatically not a political master, he was a complete and utter prat.

      One term of Barry Goldwater would have been more interesting but the Democrats successfully painted him as a war monger. Barry’s acceptance of the nomination included this breathtaking combination of lines:
      “Moderation in the persuit of justice is no virtue.
      Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice.”

  26. Mike Wilson
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Any chance of some tax cuts – particularly for business – here?

    How about doing away with Employer’s NI? Even I might think of taking someone on then. I could expand my business but won’t when the costs and hassle of employment are so high.

    • Bazman
      Posted August 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      We are going to need some concrete evidence of business growth and more job creation before just cutting taxes for the sake of it. We need proof not dogma.

      • Jerry
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Bazman, you do understand what employer NI contributions are, you are not getting confused with employee NI contributions by any chance? Employer NI contributions is often refereed to as a tax on jobs….

        • Bazman
          Posted August 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          My boss is shall we say a bit greedy and employs and over employs whoever he needs as it kills him not to make money by turning down work. Taxes on jobs are often by the employer on themselves.

      • A different Simon
        Posted August 13, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

        Agree dogma is a hindrance .

        We need some radical thinking , visionary leadership and compassion .
        Fiddling with blunt instruments like taxation won’t do the trick this time .

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted August 16, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        No, Bazman, we are going to need some very heavy public expenditure cuts – current expenditure, not capital expenditure – before cutting taxes. It’s called making room and resources for private sector growth.

  27. Christopher Ekstrom
    Posted August 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps you require proof that oxygen is essential to breathing?

    • Bazman
      Posted August 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Chris. The problem is for people like you is that the only thing I have to do is breathe…

  28. Gary
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    There is only one thing that I agree with Krugman on, Paul Ryan is a fraud. He is a Big Govt, neoconservative warmonger. So what does that make his fawning admirers ? Here is how he votes :

    2002, Ryan voted in favor of the Iraq War resolution, authorizing President George W. Bush to use military force in Iraq.[29]

    2003, Ryan voted in favor of the Medicare Part D prescription drug expansion.[30]

    2008, Ryan voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Wall Street bailout that precipitated the Tea Party movement, and the bailout of GM and Chrysler.[32]

    Ryan has also voted “Yea” for the PATRIOT Act, and EVERY SINGLE subsequent extension and expansion.

    He also voted “Yea” for NDAA 2012.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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