George Osborne has been lying to us. Let's point this out to the population at large.

George Osborne has been lying to us. Let’s point this out to the population at large.

Simon Wren-Lewis, Oxford professor and author of the Mainly Macro blog, is an excellent resource for the person-on-the-street struggling to cope with the waves of nonsense the Tories break over us every day.

In a recent article, he discussed how to challenge the Tory myth that Labour created the need for austerity (or, as George Osborne puts it, “We had to clear up Labour’s mess”). For the details on that, see these two posts.

The article also provided insight into how to handle a Tory, or someone who has been brainwashed by them, when they come out with their nonsense in conversation (or, in the forthcoming election campaign, on the doorstep and at hustings).

They’re great – here they are:

Tory: The recession was caused by inadequate financial regulation during Labour’s watch.
You: But you were constantly arguing for less regulation at the time.
Tory: IMF/OECD data show huge cyclically adjusted deficits in the pre-recession years
You: Extremely dubious (the OBR who use real data to cyclically adjust do not have this, and few signs of a huge boom at the time), and pure hindsight (both groups suggested otherwise at the time).
Tory: Everyone knows Gordon Brown bent the rules and missed his targets
You:  George Osborne has missed three of his own targets. Of course policy was not perfect under Labour, but that does not change the fact that the deficit more than tripled in size between 2007 and 2009, and that was all down to the recession.

 

Tory: Labour did nothing to tackle the deficit in their last two years in office, when George Osborne was saying they should.
You: You are right, and we make no apology for it. In 2009 the UK, along with the US, Germany and China, undertook a fiscal stimulus, which George Osborne argued against. Every serious economist agrees that helped prevent the recession being even worse than it was. Which means if Osborne had been Chancellor in 2009, UK unemployment would have risen by more and real wages would have fallen even more.

Terrific, aren’t they? Feel free to use them at every opportunity.

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