The last time we left Our Intrepid Leader, he was in the Diet stating that he was definitely, positively sure that the 2 trillion yen cash handout plan in the second supplementary budget was a crucial, I say a CRUCIAL part of the economic stimulus package. When the folks receive their 12,000 or so from the government, they will spend, I tell you, spend that money. The jolt of consumption from the cash handout burning its way out of everyone's pockets will provide jobs, boost the stock market and stop climate change in its tracks.
OK, maybe not that last one.
The cash-from-the-government plan was so important to the economic well-being of the country that, even though over 70% of the so-called electorate hated the handout plan, the Prime Minister, nay his entire party, would choose to take a huge hit in popularity rather than trim the provision from the bill.
Which is precisely why Prime Minister Asō Tarō on February 2 told his fellow members of the Liberal Democratic Party central leadership that he will not take (ore wa morawane) the cash handout.
[Imagine a vast, black ocean of silence, lapping on a stony shore.]
The Prime Minister explained that it would be unseemly for a person as fabulously wealthy as himself to take the money--which, Amaterasu love him, is pure, unadulterated Asō Tarō: fabulously wealthy, sentimental, cognizant of how the world looks to the little man, obsessed with appearances and incapable of thinking through anything.
True to himself, he remains. The burdens of political office have not changed him a bit.
Too bad that both of the jobs he holds sort of require that he understand the point of a policy, particularly a policy has cost his party so dearly in terms of its credibility.
With this revelation, the search for his replacement has just been kicked up one gear.
How will Modi use his new political clout?
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