Seasoned Duncan Smith-watchers are still left floundering as to why he is in his sixth year in the same cabinet job, and yet there he is. Labour must feel they can make serious headway against him on the new benefit cap when the arguments are so half-hearted, and Duncan Smith is doing his best to encourage them in this belief.
Those who still have a sentimental attachment to children shouldn't worry: Duncan Smith is in the process of redefining child poverty so you won't have to hear about the suffering his policies create as their experiences grow more miserable but they fit within a happier category. If NI and income tax are joined, expect to see the welfare state look radically different within a very short time.
This budget provides evidence not only of George Osborn's determination to transform the UK's high tax, high welfare economy into a more prosperous low tax, low welfare dependence one, but also of the real possibility that if we stick to a combination of push and pull policies, this once considered impossible outcome, can be achieved.
Today George Osborne squandered a huge opportunity. He could have learned the lessons that led to the economic crisis, started to build a fair and sustainable economy and given Britain the tools it needs to help in the fight against climate change. Instead his backwards priorities led him to sacrifice the poor and the planet in the name of a "long-term economic plan" that is failing to secure our future.
The child poverty figure was out this week, and it surprised many people by showing no overall rise. This wasn't the success the Conservatives tried to present it as; there is a target in place that commits the government to eradicating child poverty by 2020, the end of the current parliament, and this needs the figure to fall significantly every year with 2.3 million still below the breadline.
The continuing misuse of benefit is a human rights abuse where recipients are walled off from democracy and opportunity. But ministers, please reflect on where this culture arose; in the corridors of power itself. And the cure is to be found in work that finally gives this blighted sector of society the chance to catch up on lost time spent in the miasma of benefit.