Posted by ampontan on Monday, May 21, 2012
DURING the global financial crisis of 2008, then-Prime Minister Aso Taro was one of many leaders around the world who chose to further damage their economies by urging budget-busting stimulus expenditures.
Current Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko was a relatively unknown backbencher in those days. Straining to be clever, he referred to Mr. Aso on his website in December that year as Baramaki Obaka, in reference to the government’s contributions to the IMF. Roughly translated, baramaki is pork-barrel spending, and obaka is big dummy. The similiarity in the pronunciation to the name of Barack Obama, who had been elected president the month before, was intentional, though it was not a reference to Mr. Obama personally.
In the Diet today, Mr. Noda said, “That was not an appropriate expression. I must apologize.”
The prime minister was answering a question put by LDP Secretary-General Ishihara Nobuteru. Mr. Ishihara noted the substantial contributions the Noda administration has made to the EU bailout, and asked, “How are you any different from the Aso administration?”
Ordinarily, that would have been the last laugh, but the amount of money of the mind Japan has firehosed other countries with during both administrations isn’t a laughing matter — particularly for Japanese taxpayers.
The Noda administration wants to raise the consumption tax AND the income tax AND the inheritance tax AND the gasoline tax AND the capital gains tax AND eliminate business tax breaks, while being extraordinarily generous with foreign aid of various kinds, from forgiving Myanmar debt to bailing out European banks.
Fiduciary responsibility? It is to laugh.
Further, Mr. Ishihara is threatening to introduce a no-confidence motion in the lower house unless the government submits its consumption tax increase legislation. That seems strange, until one remembers that Mr. Noda is talking about delaying the bill so he can patch up the differences with Ozawa Ichiro and the anti-tax faction within his own party AND the loud rumors of discussions between the DPJ and the LDP to create a grand coalition for a tax increase. That would give them enough time to screw the public before they both get neutered in the upper and lower house elections that must be held by next summer, resulting in their electile dysfunction.
No one will be laughing at that pratfall.