On that front, the main argument seems to be similar to that made by Nick Clegg in Liverpool: that the longer it takes us to pay down our debts, the more money we waste thanks to interest payments and the like. Or as Osborne will put it, "Delay now means pay more later. Everyone knows it's the most basic rule of debt. So Labour's cuts would not be smaller – they would be bigger and last longer." By way of a flourish, he will frown that Ed Miliband's approach would yield only a "decade lost to debt".
As for the cuts to counter that debt, Osborne will likely prepare us for some of the worst that the spending review has to offer. Speaking to the Beeb this morning, he has already confirmed one new cut: higher rate taxpayers will lose child benefit by 2013, saving the Treasury beancounters some £1 billion a year. I'd be suprised if we don't hear more about a squeeze on universal benefits later, whether it is general rhetoric about "tough choices," or specifics about what will be axed and when.
The problem with all this remains keeping the middle classes on side. Even if – like me – you believe that universal benefits are an unworkable proposition during a time of economy, the toxic potential of the coalition's benefit cuts and tax hikes is still hard to deny. Part of Osborne's task today, then, will be to grasp a straw and suck some of that poison out – perhaps by emphasising the all-round gains from raising the income tax threshhold. There will no doubt be other baubles and gilded offerings as well.
So, an explanation of why the cuts are necessary, an attack on Labour's new leader, some general softening-up ahead of the spending review, a few details of individual cuts, and a couple of sunny interludes. Osborne's is no straightforward task today – but, then, "the view from the summit," and all that.