“PENZANCE, England — For 40 days, Prime Minister Liz Truss of Britain has ridden a roller coaster of ridicule.
Her “mini budget,” on which she hung her free-market credentials, was a disaster: Bond yields rocketed, the pound tanked, and the markets, far from gratified, were distinctly upset. To mitigate the damage, she reversed a tax cut for high earners — and was rewarded with more mockery. At the Conservative Party conference, protesters played loud clown music, and the police refused to intervene, as sure a sign of a failing administration in Britain as the storming of the Winter Palace in Russia.
Embattled, Ms. Truss raged against the “anti-growth” coalition, opponents of her supposed revitalization of the British economy through tax cuts. It is a remarkably capacious coalition, with room for King Charles III (who last week greeted her with the chilling words “Back again. Dear, oh, dear”), the BBC and most of the Conservative Party. To judge from the polls, which put Labour 33 points ahead of the Conservatives and Ms. Truss’s approval rating at minus 47, the country is in that camp, too.
On Friday, things got worse still. Ms. Truss fired Kwasi Kwarteng, her chancellor and friend, and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt, a Tory moderate who has torn up the rest of her economic platform with the performative solemnity of a disappointed teacher. The dreaded letters of no confidence are flooding in, and Conservative lawmakers are talking about changing the leadership rules — she is supposed to have a year’s grace — to dethrone her. Ms. Truss may limp on, but she is without power. For all intents and purposes, her prime ministership is finished.”
David Lindsay: Excellent essay and comments. Here is one of my favorite comments:’
For almost 40 years, since the days of Thatcher and Reagan, tax cuts have been the Tory/Republican cure-all for every ill. All of this in spite of the fact that data has shown they do not drive the massive growth promised. How about a new economic idea from that side of the aisle? The only new other idea out of the Tories over the past few decades has been Brexit. How’s that working out? Where’s the massive growth that was supposed to generate? But at least that is some semblance of an idea with a theory behind it (however flawed). Over the past few years, in the absence of any coherent policy on virtually any topic, Republicans here have pretty much only touted three proposals other than tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations: Repealing the ACA to, in effect, cancel heath care subsidies for tens of millions; eliminating a woman’s right to privacy over her own body; and the notion that every election they don’t win must have been fraudulently rigged. despite no evidence, simply because they say so. It’s hard to be optimistic right now, for either country.