So, 16 months after fighting an election on a tax-cutting manifesto, David Cameron has turned against "pie in the sky" tax cuts. He is doing that because his pollsters and focus groups tell him that voters are terrified, above all, of NHS cuts, and suspect that any tax cuts will benefit people either richer or poorer than themselves.
Don't blame the man. His job is to win an election. In any case, his seemingly clever shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, will have warned him that Gordon Brown's borrowing spree has gained a momentum that will leave any Chancellor after a 2008 election with no option but to stand on the brakes.
The pity is we have had this Tory about-turn without any proper debate about what tax cuts might achieve - except make the grateful beneficiaries vote for you next time. Only the Liberal Democrats have thought seriously about tax, ingeniously opting to scrap their totemic 50 per cent rate for high earners and replace it with an array of "green" taxes.
It will be no great surprise if the Cameronian eco-Conservatives quietly steal that one - remember it was a Conservative Chancellor, Geoffrey Howe, who cut income tax and clawed all the money back in a higher rate of VAT.
It was Nigel Lawson who took the knife to top rate income tax and revived the middle class work ethic. Friday afternoon crept back into the working week. In the City, greedy young chancers - and some grey ones too - were at their desks by 7.30 in the morning.
Nobody talked about the work/life balance then, but it lurched steeply in the direction of work. Suddenly Brits were working harder than Germans. They worked so hard that the Treasury pulled in more money from a top rate of 40 per cent than it ever did when it was 80 per cent and dodging it was a national sport.
Yet there is no reason to think this would happen again. Indeed, from the tone of this week's conference Came-ronian Tories are more keen on "life" than work.
Plainly there are all sorts of things to put right in the tax system, starting with the plight of the two million low-paid people the Institute for Fiscal Studies says stand to lose 50p benefits, credits and tax for every extra pound they earn.
At the opposite extreme, a wise would-be Chancellor should get someone to find out why an estimated 20 per cent of Britain's fund management industry has migrated to Dublin and Luxembourg in recent years, while Bermuda will soon rival Lloyd's as an insurance centre.
Both inheritance tax and higher rate income tax, catching police inspectors and middle-ranking teachers now, start too low.
There is masses for a reforming Chancellor to do ironing out the follies, anomalies and injustices created by Gordon Brown's mania for complication for complication's sake, without claiming to make "cuts" that nervous voters see as a threat to the NHS.
Then, without saying too much about it, make it some nasty person's job to see that the billions assigned to the blessed NHS don't vanish down a black hole.