Gibo on fiscal issues:

  • Maintain current rate of consumption taxes, and simplify the system to expand the tax base. "You'll have to improve your tax collection efficiency. There's no choice right now. Given the shortfalls, it is realistic to presume that consumption taxes will stay. I would certainly want some lowering of rates, but it has to be well-studied and well-phased-in because there will be revenue shortfall once you introduce it. And you'll only reap the benefits if there is additional velocity in terms of business transactions to cover that shortfall."

  • Use debt instead of raising taxes to finance budget deficit, if credit market is favorable. "Sometimes debt is better than taxation, if there is an adequate prospect of repayment. It's really treasury management."

  • Increase infrastructure and social services spending. Court the private sector within first 100 days in office for joint ventures in upgrading public infrastructure.

  • Achieve balanced budget by 2014.

  • Corruption in government can only be minimized, not eradicated, through a carrot-and-stick approach.

    (Source: Reuters, January 27, 2010)

  • * * *
    Realistic, doable, and carefully considered statements like this indicate that a leader is sincere about fulfilling his promises. Beware of snake oil salesmen who will promise heaven, earth, and the destruction of all evil in the universe just to get elected. "Exaggeration is a blood relation to falsehood."