This “Summer Seconds” series gives you a second chance to read classic posts from the NOT PC archives. This time, a piece from 2009 made more topical by a flatulent piece of back slapping penned over the summer break by alleged political commentator Tracy Watkins claiming “no one had an inkling” before the November 2008 election that a global financial disaster “lay in wait”—that it was a wholly “unexpected” crisis John Boy had to “stare down,” while letting his big tax cuts promises unravel.
“We didn’t see it coming” said John Boy & Billy Bob at the time.
* * * *
But you think Bill and John might have noticed some of this, right? You know, like John might have wondered about things when, you know, his former employers went to the wall?
“Tax cuts!”...Yeah right.
“We didn’t see it coming.”...Yeah right.
Here’s a brief timeline of the economic collapse that John Key and Bill English now say they “never saw coming” . . .
· Housing collapse begins to hit US economy.
· Dow Jones tops out at 14,164, and begins a year-long long downward slide.
· New Zealand economy officially enters recession, about twelve months before the rest of the world.
· UK bank Northern Rock collapses
· Bear Sterns collapses.
· US Treasury and – for the first time since the Great Depression – the US Federal Reserve both quietly begin directing US$800 billion in “bailout loans” to banks and finance companies.
· US and NZ housing markets fall into a bottomless hole.
· On the back of six years of promoting tax cuts, John Key reaffirms after the delivery of Michael Cullen’s budget that “We believe in tax cuts. We believe in the power of tax cuts. And we will deliver them.”
· As the US and local housing markets show no sign of recovery, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are completely nationalised, putting around 75% of the US mortage market into government hands.
· Lehman Brothers collapses.
· John Key’s former employer Merrill Lynch collapses.
· US$85 billion bailout of AIG insurance (with another $40bn to follow in November).
· Washington Mutual liquidated.
· US$700 billion Toxic Assets Relief Program (TARP) promoted.
· Will all this blood on the floor, on September 30 Bill English promises voters “a credible economic package to take account of the changing economic climate.” “Our tax cut programme will not require any additional borrowing,” he said, comparing Michael Cullen’s record with Bill’s own promise to deliver “an ongoing programme of personal tax cuts.”
· On October 2nd, the US$700 billion TARP programme is passed into law in the US.
· One week later, the Dow Jones plunges around ten percent to a new low below 9000.
· Panicky governments announce a ban on short selling of stocks.
· The FDIC announces it will raise its guarantee on banks. Kevin Rudd and Helen Clark announce their own bank guarantee programmes.
· NZ’s Treasury Department releases its Pre-Election Economic Update predicting “a decade of deficits.”
· The American Treasury bails out nine large US banks, including Citibank, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.
· Watching all this happen, John Key reconfirms to voters that “the pledge to deliver about $50 a week to workers on the average age remained on track.”
· The National Party wins an election conducted in an air of complete economic unreality on a platform of tax cuts promised and “dead rats” swallowed.
DECEMBER 16, 2008:
· New Finance Minister Bill English stands up in Parliament and says, “National will not be going back on any of these promises, as we fully costed and funded them.”
· New Finance Minister Bill English stands up in Parliament and reneges on their fully-promised and “fully costed” tax cut package (which in the first tranche in 2010 would have cost just $100 million dollars).
· At the same time he announces up to a billion dollars of extra spending on preparations for an emissions trading scheme and subsidised home insulation (which was not even a National Party policy, but a Green Party policy); and nearly six billion dollars of extra spending on the health, education and welfare sectors. . .
§ National kept their promises to the moochers.
§ National kept a promise to the Green Party.
§ National broke their promises to you, and to every other every taxpayer in the country.
Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?