The obsession of British politicians - and political journalists - with American politics is often mocked. But there's a clarity to American political messages that is often missing in this country. So it is good to see George Osborne borrowing a line from the Reagan playbook, and pointing out that people are now worse off than they were at the last election. The Tories desperately need to shift the focus of the campaign back onto Labour's failures and this is a start to that process.
Osborne is delivering the Mais lecture tonight, one of the prestige dates in the British economic calendar. He's the first shadow Chancellor to deliver it, a sign of how much the markets and everyone else are waiting to see what Osborne does. The speech is a tightly argued case for why dealing with the deficit is an essential part of any recovery strategy.
PS. Here's the video of Reagan asking the question: