The foul-smelling and destructive elephant in the room is the gigantic recession we've all been enduring for the last Christ knows how long, and the horiffic levels of debt caused by Broon's big bust.
So far, two of the three main parties would like us to believe that everything will be OK, and there won't be any need for anything nasty like - ewww - 'cuts', at least not during 2010. Only CallMeDave's Tories are talking about immediate, deep cuts, and naturally, the media and the other parties are jumping all over them.
But do we need cuts? Do we need increase taxation? How bad is it really? From Wat Tyler (via the Devil) comes chilling information. He got his hands on some advice to clients from eevil Bankers Citi Global Markets.
The pointy heads have calculated - here comes the science bit - the 'fiscal tightening' needed by each of the major economies in order to get government debt back to the maximum safe sustainable level relative to national income.
And guess what? Apart from poor old been-fucked-forever Japan:
"..we in the UK have a bigger mountain to climb than anyone else. According to Citi's analysis we need to tighten fiscal policy by a whopping 12% of GDP. In plain English, that means the next government needs to cut spending or increase taxes by £180bn pa (in today's money)"
Oh, these big numbers do yer fuckin' 'ead in, don't they? What does that mean? Tyler helpfully explains some of the things the next Government could do to get us back on an even keel:
£7000 pa extra taxes or lower spending per household;
increase in the basic rate of income tax to 65p; or
increase in the standard rate of VAT to 57%; or
25% off total public spending;
Ouch. Ouch. As Tyler points out
"..there is no room for hesitation. And no time either. The longer we leave it the worse it's going to get, as mounting debt interest compounds the problem"
And what have we got? We've got two parties pretending we shouldn't fiddle with the situation at all for fear of somehow making things worse, and one party that can't be open about what needs to be done, for fear of being hammered by the Mirror and the Financial Times, losing crucial votes in the process.
We are, are we not, fucked?