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FG pleased as punch.. but it could go wrong.

Byline: COMMENT BY FERGHAL BLANEY

THE party is back on.

That seems to have been the message we all got at the launch of the Government's Project Ireland 2040 spending splurge yesterday.

Fine Gael boy after Fine Gael boy, with a token representation from an Independent Shane Ross took to the stage to tell us how great things are going to get again.

We'll have motorways everywhere - even for the culchies - trains and trams all over the place in Dublin, and 10 new state-ofthe-art hospitals - sure we'll never get sick.

What could make us sick again however, is the hangover we'll all have if it all goes bust again.

The argument could be made this is not the time for extravagance.

However, Fine Gael are telling us the party is back on again, and they're inviting us all to come and drink from the punch bowl.

The sage advice of American Chairman of the Federal Reserve in the 1950s and 1960s, William McChesney Martin, and his punch bowl metaphor could do with a mention here.

He was criticised for his prudent approach that many argue prevented the US economy overheating.

It wasn't a popular decision and he said he felt like he was "in the position of the chaperone who has ordered the punch bowl removed when the party was warming up".

It means those at the economic wheel should sometimes prudently put the brakes on when it looks like we could afford to go flaithuileach all over again.

Unfortunately, this means the Government would have to tell us a host of the fancy transport projects they've announced would hear the squeal of brakes being applied.

But as it stands, it seems this Government is intent on pressing on, full steam ahead, regardless of the possibility of another devastating crash.

Perhaps it's best to lay off the punch when you're at the wheel.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 17, 2018
Words:313
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