The greater the challenge of borrowing appears, the more likely voters are to stick with the Tories.
Rather than seeking to craft a new electoral coalition, the Tories are just managing decline.
For the sake of a day of good headlines and a few billion pounds of extra tax, the Chancellor has put years of painful progress at risk.
The Chancellor's cuts are likely to reverse the fall in inequality that he boasted of.
The Chancellor may have provided the Tories with the protective cover they need to limit universal pensioner benefits.
The Chancellor is forced to comment on the patronising image in every broadcast interview.
Osborne has failed to design the cap in a way that will advance structural reforms to housing and wages.
The UK is far more reliant than other European countries on social security spending to reduce child poverty.
The Chancellor's offer to the over-65s is rational but crude politics: they vote more than any other age group.