Monday, December 1, 2008

Israeli PM Hopefuls and Economic Policy

The Israeli business daily Calcalist (sorry but article in only in Hebrew) has a really interesting article today. The paper posted various economic questiopns to the 3 Israeli Prime Minister hopefuls, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu.

Barak spent most of his time pleading for a greater role for government in the economy. From raising taxes, to ending budget discipline by advocating more and more government spending. He spoke about "piggish capitalism" and the need to end it, and a new focus on social and economic justice (Code words for Socialism?) I guess he knows about the evils of capitalism, buying a multi-million dollar apartment and making millions in speaking fees and as a large investor in an Israeli satellite company that went public. Hypocrite?

Livni, as she is capable of doing, basically said nothing. She spoke about the status quo and continuing need to grow the economy. She did blame the pension mess on Netanyahu. Funny didn't she vote for his reforms? Sounds a lot like her Lebanon fiasco. Blame the other guy even though you had responsibility in it.

Netanyahu basically, reiterated his calls fro lower taxes as the foundation to any economic recovery. He also stressed the need for education reform and said that he is the most qualified to lead this type of reform as he already led the economic reform that basically saved Israel from economic collapse. He also called for investing in infrastructure, roads and highways.

It's no secret that I am a fan of tax cuts and that we need much less government intrusion into our lives. Based on those principles it would seem at first glance that Netanyahu has the strongest economic policy.

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