The Irony of Massive Government Borrowing


From Manager, March 26, 2013
Left: Red Shirt leader Thida Thavornseth: With Khun Poo’s ability, we gain victory over the ammat again. ["Poo" is the nickname of PM Yingluck.]
People cheering: Hey hey hey hey…
Right: Khun Poo can borrow more than the ammat government by 10 times!
People cheering: Hey hey hey hey…
Caption below: Totally defeated to the Phrai Government

The Red Shirts have emphasized the separation of the classes in Thailand by calling themselves “phrai” or “commoner” and their enemies as “ammat” meaning something like “aristocrats” or the “elite.” The cartoon refers to the 2.2 trillion-baht loan for the investment on the infrastructure approved by the cabinet.

The irony of the Pheu Thai-led government borrowing 2.2 trillion baht (as well as committing hundreds of billions of baht on its rice pledging scheme) is that a cornerstone of Thaksin and Red Shirt rhetoric has been the flaying their political enemies over issues of debt.

Thaksin’s initial success with his Thai Rak Thai Party was largely gained by attacking the then Democrat-led government over “selling out the country” by taking loans from the IMF and claiming it would take generations to pay them off.

Later, during the Democrat-led government in 2009, the Pheu Thai ridiculed as untenable the government plan to give loans to the average Somchai (Do not get drunk yet brother) before later promising their own rural credit schemes.

Red Shirt rhetoric also lamented that babies had to be born in Thailand since the Democrats were borrowing so much:


From Believe in Thailand with Prime Minister Abhisit – Northern Post Red, August 8, 2009
The caption reads: I am proud that we earn a hundred baht daily, but we are burdened with a government debt that reaches 100,000 per head. The child asks “Why they take loan? The man replies, “it is about benefit.” [meaning corrupt officials benefit from government borrowing]
This refers the large amount of borrowing that the Democrat government engaged in to stimulate the economy. The Pheu Thai Party opposed this, seeing in this the same sort of issue that brought Thaksin to power years ago–the feeling that the country is being burdened with debt.


From Believe in Thailand with Prime Minister Abhisit – Northern Post Red, August 8, 2009
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva: If you don’t want to owe more debt, do not give birth to a child as you will bear more debt burden–about 100,000 per head, ha, ha, ha.
The caption reads: Policy on poverty

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One Response to The Irony of Massive Government Borrowing

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