I’d prefer to leave John Howard in the dustbin of history, but when he comes out of his promised political exile to impart another of his pearls of wisdom I just can’t help but notice.
John Howard, as we know too well, likes to be noticed.
Do you remember him scary the living wits out of us during the 2004 election campaign about interest rates, in particular, how a vote for Labor in essence would be a vote for higher interest rates? He pushed the message hard, and won an election on it.
He famously said:
“It is an historic fact that interest rates have always gone up under Labor governments over the last 30 years, because Labor governments spend more than they collect and drive budgets into deficit . . . So it will be with a Latham Labor government . . . I will guarantee that interest rates are always going to be lower under a Coalition government.”
Yesterday he confirmed what many people have long suspected: that it was a great big lie. He was only fooling us. Yesterday he said:
“For anybody to run around between now and election day and say that a cut in interest rates means that the government has got the economy well in hand, they’re deluding themselves.”
I’m no economist so don’t know either way if falling interest rates are good for the economy, bad for the economy, or indifferent. This was argued yesterday. But I do know when lies are being told and I’m pleased that John Howard has finally – in an indirect way – admitted to his dishonesty.
As Kaye Lee pointed out at The AIMN, now Tony Abbott has abandoned the Liberal Party’s mantra that interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition government, yet, according to the Coalition itself:
The Coalition will protect the Australian economy from economic shocks and create the conditions which keep interest rates as low as possible . . .
I get the feeling that someone’s lying again.