The prime minister is in a rush to repeat an error that many of his predecessors made, without benefiting themselves, but instead exacting a heavy toll on the economy and on taxpayers. He is rushing to “give it all” in handouts, as a memorable political slogan from the 1980’s said.

Even worse, he does not have much to give. The “gifts” of his benefits rhetoric are crumbs at best, and little mirrors to fool the natives at worst.

Even if the handouts were more generous, and if the public coffers were opened and money spent right and left, the general rule would be confirmed. Handouts do not have an electoral impact for those distributing them.

There is a dual cost paid by the democratic form of government, as both citizens who have and who have not benefited understand the mockery. That results in greater suspicion and mistrust towards the political system. The economy is also paying a price, as the handouts create fiscal deficits that are hard to reverse, or are made up for through brutal taxation.

The prime minister insists on viewing as manna from heaven a failed prescription that has harmed the country in many ways. Bound by the panic caused by public opinion polls, he is resorting to practices that left a deeply negative stigma on the post-dictatorship period.

This confirms that the PM and his government have copied everything from the “old system” that they decry.