An Irish QS at the London construction company at which I once worked was a fabulously bullish negotiator from whom I picked up a few tips. "Always bullshit from the truth," was one of his pieces of wisdom, one which Michael Cullen should perhaps take to heart. Cullen is laying bullshit upon bullshit with his whiteboards, slides, graphs and charts all purporting to show "National's promises do not stack up."
But it was all bullshit, and he knows it, and you don't need to be a genius to do the numbers.
Crikey, even David Farrar can do the numbers (Hi David), and he has. Gareth Morgan this morning pointed out too that both National and Labour propose to use the surplus for their respective cuts and spending promises: Labour's promised spending package would cost 2% of GDP, National's cuts 2.5%. So whatever criticisms Cullen makes of the affordability of National's cuts he must also make of his own, says Morgan.
Fact is, much, much more than National's meagre tax cuts are affordable. However, as DPF concludes, "[Cullen is] trying to twist the facts in a way which lacks credibility, especially in view of [his] own spending pledges. You can not start drinking like an alcoholic in a brewery and then start issuing warnings against excessive alcohol consumption."