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A Challenge

Entry 1430, on 2012-08-23 at 16:22:29 (Rating 3, Politics)

Here's a challenge to the right-wing nut jobs who keep repeating the mantra that Labour always spend too much and incur huge debt for the country.

This is a graph of government debt over the last 40 years. It also shows the major party in power at the time: blue for National and red for Labour. Can you see any reason from this data to say that one party is substantially better or worse than the other?

Debt

Yes, we all know there were global factors influencing debt which were difficult for our government to control but everyone was affected by these at one time or another. So really, if Labour are as bad as you make out would we not expect to see an obvious trend in this data? If anything National has done worse, and for what?

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Comment 4 (3327) by OJB on 2012-08-24 at 12:20:38: (view earlier comments)

Nice misrepresentation of the data! How do you explain the long term trend I showed above?

To answer you comment: From 84-87 it increased sharply (after 3 increases in previous National terms) but in the next term (87-90) it was back to where it started. Also remember that the 1984 Labour government did not have traditional left wing policies.

I'm not saying one or the other is better here (although a simple interpretation of the data indicates Labour is actually better). What I am saying is that the claim that Labour creates too much debt is not supported.

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Comment 5 (3328) by Anonymous on 2012-08-24 at 12:24:01:

It would appear that from 1999 to 2008 the labour government benefitted from the policies put in place from the previous government.

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Comment 6 (3329) by OJB on 2012-08-24 at 15:31:51:

We're trying to stick to facts here, not completely fabricated opinions. There's no evidence of that on the graph at all. Another possibility is that National and Labour from 1993 to 2008 both benefitted from favourable global economic conditions. Surely after 9 years Labour would have messed up National's good work (according to you theory anyway). You can't just make up ideas based on nothing except political bias - at least you can't if you want any credibility.

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Comment 7 (3330) by Anonymous on 2012-08-24 at 16:06:02:

I agree with the premise that global economic conditions have probably influenced the trend of debt over the period 1993 to 2008, and would suggest that in fact they have also been the main cause of all the trends shown in the graph irrespective of the government in power.

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Comment 8 (3331) by OJB on 2012-08-24 at 19:11:41:

Yes, in general I think global conditions have a greater influence than the party in power. My original claim was that the accusation many right-wingers have that Labour incurs too much debt when in power is wrong. I think this all supports that.

Here's what I said in the original post: "Can you see any reason from this data to say that one party is substantially better or worse than the other?" I think the answer is "no" so criticising Labour because they borrow too much is invalid.

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