Magazine article The Spectator

George W. Has Learned It, Gordon Brown Is Learning: Governments Can Always Get through Money

Magazine article The Spectator

George W. Has Learned It, Gordon Brown Is Learning: Governments Can Always Get through Money

Article excerpt

CITY AND SUBURBAN

New York

The age of prosperity, so Al Gore promised, was only just starting: `You ain't seen nothin' yet!' In a sense, he was right: we hadn't. Two years ago the two runners in the presidential stakes were neck and neck in the last furlong, with a crock of gold at the winning post. The United States Treasury was overflowing with money, and the candidates vied with each other to devise appropriate ways of getting through it. Mr Gore thought that his voters might prefer to see a welfare label on it, but George W. Bush thought that his voters would rather have tax cuts. In the end, and with brotherly help from some chads, Mr Bush got his chance, but by then the problem was well on the way towards solving itself. Governments can always shrug off surpluses, as Gordon Brown is learning. …

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