A reminder of why the Tories are evil and wrong

Quoth The Guardian:

The government's £20bn tax giveaway will hit middle Britain and leave a tax bomb ticking under the public purse, George Osborne said today.

Responding to Alistair Darling's pre-budget report, the shadow chancellor warned it would create a £1tn national debt and he branded a 0.5% increase in national insurance a "tax on jobs".

Laying into the proposals, Osborne said that Gordon Brown's promise to end boom and bust had proved "one of the greatest deceits ever told to the British public".

"The chancellor has just announced the largest amount of borrowing ever undertaken by a British government in the entire history of this country," he said.

"To pay for it he has placed a huge unexploded tax bombshell timed to go off underneath the future economic recovery."

I'm not sure what is worse, when it comes to the judgement of the shadow chancellor: that he genuinely believes that this type of Keynesian stimulus is "boom and bust", or that he had nothing better to say in response to Alistair Darling's weak-tea stimulus proposal than boilerplate Conservative pablum.

Look: boom and bust is the practice of saying "Hey, the economy's doing great, let's spend a whole bunch of money, and we'll cut taxes as well, because everyone likes tax cuts and ponies, right?" when things are doing fine, and when the economic downturn happens it suddenly becomes "Holy fucking shit, we've got to cut spending on everything, and hey, give me that tax money back", yes?

In which case, what Labour are proposing is the exact opposite of boom and bust. They're saying "we'll spend our way out of trouble, and when the economy has recovered, we'll raise taxes to pay for it". (Note that Osborne randomly conflates tax cuts and other stimuli that will happen in 2008/2009, and tax rises that are scheduled for 2011 if Labour win a further term.) You can argue that it won't be good enough, but at least Labour look like they're trying.