Tuesday, November 15, 2005

They Called Him IQ Tang For a Reason

Hong Kong's Financial Secretary Henry Tang has long been ridiculed by the media for his apparent lack of intellectual firepower. The media has a nickname for him, IQ Tang.

Here is the latest example of why he deserves to be ribbed.

According to a story in today's South China Morning Post, "just days after two government allies in the Legislative Council called for salaries tax to be cut to 2002-03 levels, Mr. Tang said he would not hand out tax relief just to buy people "short-term" joy".

My reading of his message is this:

1) People in HK are stupid, they do not know what policies are in their best interests. So they may want a tax cut even if it runs against their long term interest.

2) The government is in a better position in making policies that will bring "long-term" joy to the HK people.

Needless to say neither of these claims hold water.

After denying people the right to indulge themselves in "short-term joy", he expressed in the next breath his confidence in winning people's support for a new sales tax, because -- now get this -- he believed that "the people of Hong Kong are rational and cleaver."

If people are rational and cleaver enough to welcome a sales tax, then why would they be so stupid as to indulge in the short-term joys of a tax cut? His intellect boggles the mind.

I think I have finally figured it out why our Financial Secretary has IQ for a nickname, have you?

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