Michael Taft is a frequent poster and commentator. He’s apparently associated with TASC, a so-called think tank.
TASC, and Taft, are fervent proponents of the idea that higher taxes and more borrowing are the solution to Ireland’s problems.
I wish it were so.
If we weren’t already so far in the hole more borrowing might help, even if higher income taxes than we already have would be a bad idea almost all of the time. However, we are in that hole. Bertie and co spent the bubble on benchmarked public sector pay, pensions, and welfare. Then they spent money we didn’t have on the banks and the current govt is finding it difficult to borrow enough to keep paying that pay, those pensions, and that welfare without selling our sovereignty and our children down the river. Yet Mr. Taft wants to keep borrowing and selling.
I’m afraid my comment on his article isn’t the most concise and is tinged with sarcasm and anger. Forgive me.
I hope he’ll let my comment stay on his article, but in case he doesn’t it’s reproduced here below. I should probably expand some of the comments to explain them fully, but I confess I don’t see the point. His mind is made up.
Oh dear…more lunacy.
On the 1st point, investments in education and physical infrastructure are long term investments and will have no impact on our extreme short term problem. More spending now just means more debt now. Similarly, many of our struggling or dying domestic companies are residential construction or home/retail related, and those business are NOT going to recover any time soon.
On the 2nd point, while it’s slipped in their very quietly, Taft argues that the way to have a “growth friendly fiscal consolidation” is to increase taxes…..which is counter to pretty much every experience in the world. He also ignores the vast consensus that Ireland’s tax base is too narrow already, and that Ireland already has some of the highest marginal income tax rates around.
On the 3rd point, Taft invents a whole bunch of makey-uppey sources of investment, up to and including incentivized private pension funds (aren’t those the ones being levied) and “public enterprise development”….ignoring that the pension funds need to make a commercial return and our “public enterprises” are already screwing the country’s businesses with high costs – plus they’re all going to be on the slate since they make up some of the “assets” that Taft wants the govt to spend on his magical investment programme.
Strike three. He’s out.