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Nostalgianomics and the ongoing rewriting of economic history

I suggested the other week that the Coalition had embarked on a course of nostalgianomics, an economic policy based on a magic reversion to the “golden age of reform and prosperity” under John Howard.

Yesterday Joe Hockey, responding to Wayne Swan’s statement on the economy, elaborated on the theme.

For a long while it’s been normal for the Coalition to play down the global financial crisis as a way of undermining Labor’s claims have to handled it well, and argue that subsequent deficits are not the result of efforts to save jobs, or the impact of the crisis on tax revenue, but because Labor has a pathological need to waste money.

In the Coalition’s version of recent economic history, certainly in the form relayed by Tony Abbott last week, there was no financial crisis at all. The key event of recent times was the election of the Rudd government, which singlehandedly brought the golden age to a juddering halt by spending too much. Moreover, they spent it so badly that somehow, defying all economic laws, the money completely vanished, because there hasn’t been any jobs growth in the past 12 months.

Almost as if Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and Swan heaped billions of dollars into a giant bonfire in the Prime Minister’s courtyard and burnt the lot.

I’d call such a rewriting of history “Orwellian”, or even “Stalinist” if I was tempted to risk a reverse Godwin’s Law (you know who else claimed there wasn’t a financial crisis?), but it’s actually fairly standard politics, particularly from an opposition that for a long time now has been trashing its own economic credibility.

Yesterday Hockey went further, not merely failing to mention the events of 2008-09 at all — the government’s stimulus programs were instead “the greatest waste of taxpayers’ money in modern Australian history” — but offering an alternative account in which it was the Howard government that had handled the real economic crises. Hockey dwelt at length on the Asian financial crisis, then threw in the tech wreck (“which led to a near-recession in the developed world”) and the drought as evidence that the Howard government was the real economic crisis manager. “We guided Australia through those difficult episodes with a sure hand and sound policies that were consistent.”

One hopes Hockey doesn’t seriously believe that the Asian financial crisis is comparable to the events of 2008-09, that financial crises in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Korea, and subsequent crises in Russia and Brazil, were equivalent to the systemic threats in the very heart of modern capitalism. Surely he doesn’t think, say, that the bailout of Long Term Capital Management was comparable to the bailouts of Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, AIG, Bank of America and the collapse of Lehman Brothers or the dispatch of Merrill Lynch. One hopes he doesn’t seriously think the “near recession” after the tech wreck was comparable to the recession across Europe and the United States that is still unfolding years later.

The Asian financial crisis did set in train events that demanded careful management from the Howard government, but they were foreign policy challenges: the collapse of the Soeharto government and the ensuing events in East Timor. The real economic achievement was Peter Costello’s efforts to sow the seeds of what later became the G20 — and his entirely justified criticisms of the IMF at the time.

Like Abbott last week, Hockey spent far longer detailing the economic achievements of the Howard government (it’s always the Howard government — Costello is never mentioned) than addressing contemporary economic challenges. He even claimed Fitch’s AAA rating in November for the Howard government — “the AAA rating … is built on our efforts, it is built on our surpluses, it is built on our Future Fund” — as a sort of belated economic gong, inconveniently awarded to the Coalition four years late, but their’s nonetheless.

If all this was a cover for a real economic agenda, you wouldn’t worry. But Hockey showed no interest in grappling with the most significant challenges facing the economy. What does the Coalition want to do about a persistently high dollar? The government has nailed its populist colours to the mast — it is now talking about intervening more and more to prop up dying manufacturing sectors such as the aluminium smelting industry, which employs a tiny number of Australians, sucks up hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies a year and spews out 6% of our entire greenhouse emissions. The opposition, until recently making all sorts of similar noises, now appears betwixt and between, willing to continue current levels of protection but silent on where to go beyond that. What would they do if a real disaster did unfold in Europe, sending world financial markets into a deep freeze? Are they content to let monetary policy do the heavy lifting of stimulus?

And then there’s the real question that faces Labor and the Coalition and which, reading Wayne Swan’s statement, is an emerging concern of the government: what happens if there isn’t a disaster in Europe, but it merely drags along the bottom for another two years or more, tortured by uncertainty and the impact of the Axis of Austerity’s fiscal hairshirt, subduing global growth, keeping the Aussie dollar high and putting significant pressure on government revenues here? What’s the Coalition’s fiscal plan in an environment where not merely can they not return to the easy years of the pre-GFC era, but they face much lower revenue growth for years to come? Where are those “aspirational” tax cuts and big spending health programs in such a world?

The evidence they’re doing any thinking about this is thin on the ground. Instead, they want us all to bathe in the warm glow of nostalgianomics.

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  • 1
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    John Howard wouldn’t have let wivenhoe flood.

  • 2
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Bernard, but Swan has wasted the largest amount of money in Australia’s history. Nothing else comes close?

  • 3
    Billy Blogs
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    They are not saying that the Asian collapse was bigger than the GFC, but we continued to pay off debt right through 11 years of history to a point where we had billions of cash in the bank. Rudd came to power and took those billions of savings and turned them into hundreds of billions of debt in record breaking time.

    You can argue how serious the threat was, but to spend billions on insulation that have now been burnt in Swannies back yard is hardly value for money. Schools that have a $1m building that cost them $2m is hardly good value.

    Now we have a second and potentially more dangerous round of the GFC coming and we are up to our eyeballs in debt with nowhere to go. China didn’t so-much as sneeze during GFC1 - don’t be so sure we’ll be this lucky again.

  • 4
    guytaur
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    The Coalition thinks it can still bask in the economic failure of the Whitlam Government proving them to be the credible economic managers.

    Some news for them. They re talking about a period that is essentially pre computer. To most voters the age of the Dinosaur. See Life on Mars” for an idea.

    In today’s world the Coalition have no Whitlam Figleaf to cover their economic shortcoming’s.

  • 5
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    One week in and Gillards strategy of making 2012 about the economy is paying big dividends, Hockey has been terrible all week, Abbott keeps changing his tune & Robb just seems to say the opposite of Hockey.

    I will again challenge anyone to defend the various economic policies of the coalition but I assume that I will get the usual guff that they are only “aspirations” and we should just vote them in and trust everything will be fine because they always manage the economy better!

    I will also say that I think the Libs seem to think we are all idiots who can’t see the difference between pre GFC & Post, it may work for a short time but sooner or later the public is bound to see through the charade, especially if the policies and messages are so confused.

  • 6
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Billy blogs - Don’t worry about facts there Billy, just keep up the Jones like rant.

    Up to our eyeballs, yeah if you keep your eyeballs in your sock.

    Schools that have a $1m building that cost them $2m is hardly good value.” The schools, parents and independent report seem to disagree there Billy.

  • 7
    jeebus
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Wasted, Suzanne? I thought conservatives like having their money handed back to them? Or does that only count if it’s conservative governments handing back the money?

    Wayne Swan and Kevin Rudd wrote 8 million Australians cheques for $900! How can you call that wasted money?

    Sure, it added a small amount to the public debt, but we avoided the global recession as a result, and during a time of global economic devastation it injected a much needed boost of demand and confidence into our economy.

    Labor needs to sell its record more effectively.

  • 8
    Filth Dimension
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    S.B that old cd is skipping. Don’t you have another one?

  • 9
    merlot64
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I think Abbott’s comment the other week that the coalition would “do less” is highly telling. The only reason that the Howard “government” managed to build a surplus is that they did nothing. The coalition let infrastructure and services wither. AND, for the record, introduced the biggest Great Big New Tax - the GST.

  • 10
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    @ Filth Dimension

    Its a big issue, we will be paying back Swans waste for a long time. Its not trivial.

  • 11
    tinman_au
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see the Libs admitting their best years economically are behind them…

  • 12
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    @ jeebus

    The $900 cheques was minor waste in the scheme of it. Yes some went to people overseas and dead people, but not big in the scheme of thing. A lot went into pokies (state govt tax) and flat screens (China).

    Its all the other waste.

  • 13
    Billy Blogs
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy - If someone buys a $1m house but pays $2m for it and gives it to you……for free, are you going to complain? Didn’t think so.

  • 14
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Could I ask everyone to ignore SB’s rantings in the hope we can have an intelligent discussion. We all know what she is going to say, many of us have provided numerous facts that prove she is completely wrong and she still just repeat’s it ad nauseum. Ignore her and she will disappear.

  • 15
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Talking about piling money up and setting fire to it, here is a splendid example of what the Libs did, not what they say they did.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/400000-sweetener-became-400m-20111028-1moa4.html

  • 16
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Billy - “If someone buys a $1m house but pays $2m for it and gives it to you……for free, are you going to complain?” And the independent report’s findings Billy, they just weren’t going to complain either?

  • 17
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    Good Labor man you are, ignore everyone except people with your own rusted on ideas. The part is always right.

    March on, solidarity. Wake up, your belly is being eaten by the extreme Greens.

  • 18
    klewso
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    It’s simply “Mo’ Joe-nomics” - “Pea (brained) and thimple”?
    “Now you see it …… Hey! where’s that elephant gone?”

  • 19
    Owen Gary
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    @Suzanne

    You really are a diehard Liberal lemin, was this brainwashed into you from a child by mummy & daddy because their parents were as well.

    Abbott is a Rhodes scholar, perhaps it might be worth your while reading up & processing some knowledge about “Cecil Rhodes” & is ideology, it is obvious to see the Liberals were cloned from this.

    Zionist bankers who have brought the world economy to where it is now with the so called freemarket rationale. (This rationale is being used to take us backwards to the dark old days can you not see this??)
    The make up of the Liberals are mostly puppets to these multinational financial & corporate institutions.

    I see both major parties as mainly a farce maintaining the illusion there are great differences between them. Traditionally Labor represented the mainstream of the populace whilst the Liberal/Conservative represent the lord & master who ruled over them with an iron fist.

    Once we revisit these times as we ultimately will due to government not powerful enough to bring these institutions down, will you then still bleat on saying its all Labors fault????

    However the Libs hand out most of the taxpayers money to these corrupt giants wheras Labor give it back to the people.

    All the major reforms throughout history that matter through infrastructure, Health, Education, Public Transport etc, have been implemented by Labor.

    Liberals have been nothing more than dodgey bean counters who cut the public purse to put more in the pockets of these faceless & corrupt neanerthals & just enough left at the end of their term in office to say we have a surpus”.

    If the government is in surplus the community is in deficit”

    So please give your meaningless rants away!!

  • 20
    Jim Reiher
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I have not met a single Coalition voter who returned their $900 cheque.

    All talk and no action… like the party they support

    And there is hardly a school in the country that is complaining that they got a new building. (Oh … hang on… the liberal voting small businesmen and women who put in huge quotes to do the work … they ripped off the tax payers! … so let all the loud Coalition supporters call for more regulation of small businesses so that they cant make maximum profits!! What a joke! They dont want that. They usually want the opposite: less regulation and less government interference in their business activity!)

  • 21
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    SB - “ignore everyone except people with your own rusted on ideas” Just ignore people who are unable or unwilling to do anything other than repeat the same few catch phrases, back their statements up with facts or contribute to a meaningful debate of policy.

    I have repeatedly challenged anyone to defend the various economic policies of the coalition and you have not responded, I have repeatedly disproved your claims of “waste” and you have ignored the facts and no I have grown tired of your idiocy.

  • 22
    zut alors
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    As part of the Coalition’s nostalgianomics has Abbott/Robb/Hockey reminded us of the bit where the Howard/Costello cash rate was a couple percent higher than under Rudd/Gillard?

  • 23
    Billy Blogs
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    @Jim Reiher - nice to meet you Jim - I sent mine to a bushfire charity - all of it.

  • 24
    negativegearmiddleclasswelfarenow.com
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    The NBN will prove a useful wedge in rural and regional Australia for Labor.

    Better this wedge than more middleclass welfare Howard style.

  • 25
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Billy - Not exactly the same thing there is it, you increased govt debt to stimulate the economy. The money allowed you to donate generously and keep all the money you had previously.

  • 26
    klewso
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Turn Back the Clock”? It’s like watching FUX after eating chilli - everything’s repeated?
    Bring back Cousin Jethro, I say, as assistant Shadow Fine Ants Minister - have a family reunion with Mumbo, Jumbo & Dumbo - I’m tired of “The Three Stooges”.
    Let’s watch “The Farx! Brothers” in “Horse Feathers”.

  • 27
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    Blind Freddie knows of the Swan waste:

    - Roof insulation
    - Roof insulation fix up
    - BER
    - Solar
    - Massive increase in public service. How many people work in Plibasecks Health Department? over 5,000 and they dont control one bed, one doctor or one nurse.
    - Gillard PM & Cabinet Department, hundreds of people, more added at last budget.
    - Cash Spash 1 & 2
    - Border Security waste, Malaysia money and for what?
    - Rudds trips overeas to boost his own ego and job prospects at UN. What was the point of last weekend trip?
    - Emerson is off to Malaysia in a few weeks for a 3 hour photo shoot!!

    the list goes on.

  • 28
    Microseris
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Fires associated with installation of insulation were no more frequent than the background incidence, whilst I don’t know why any liability would attach to the government which simply encouraged the works with a subsidy. Fires also occurred as a result of solar panel installation when Howard offered a subsidy. Can’t see how this would be his governments fault either.

    Jimmy, I trust you saw the Guardian article this week reporting on a Canadian study which found those with a low IQ were attracted to the conservative side of politics. That is not to say all conservative voters are stupid. Plenty of conservative policies are self serving. But rather a statistically high percentage of those from the shallow end of the intelligence pool are attracted to “rightwing ideologies that promote coherence and order” and “emphasise the maintenance of the status quo”. The article noted - Conservative ideology is the “critical pathway” from low intelligence to racism.

    May explain why all that dog whistling paid off for Howard and why the hate mongers of the Murdoch Media and Sydney radio get so many from the lower socio-economic demographic to support causes like those of the billionaire miners, often to their own detriment (MSPT).

  • 29
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Of course Hockey seriously believes that the Asian financial crisis is comparable to the events of 2008-09, that financial crises. Only a fool would, and as we all know when applied to Suzanne Blake and Billy Blogs; it takes a fool to know a fool, eh Suzanne and Billy! And of course fools seldom differ, hence the unquestioned support for “Mo Joe-nomics”.

  • 30
    Meski
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Abbott & co may be making a big mistake reminding people of Howard. Many do not remember him fondly, and their hate for him and his henchmen far exceeds the mere dislike swinging voters have for Gillard. And that’s what it’s all about, those voters who change who they vote for, from election to election. Rusted on voters like SB don’t count. :^)

  • 31
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Microseris - Didn’t see the article but it does reconcile with personal experiences.

    SB - Keep going you are just proving my point.

  • 32
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    @ Jimmy

    LOL.

    So common Jimmy, you work in Gillard’s spin office or your on the Craig Thompson Fairwork delay crew or both.

  • 33
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    SB, give us a rest.

  • 34
    Filth Dimension
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    SB - the sad thing about your posts is by the time I’ve deciphered your grammar, I realise you’re not really saying anything anyway. BAM!

  • 35
    Mr Freak
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    SB, like most conservatives, your grasp of economics is woeful. You seem to label deficit as bad, yet when it is used for growth, you get quicker returns. Howard / Costello did not have any idea how to handle a struggling economy (2006-2007 structural deficit paints that picture clearly) and thought middle class welfare was the answer. Zero investment and infrastructure left the country ill-prepared for the GFC. Labor had to fix it and quick.

    Now, go away. You are playing in the big kids sandbox.

  • 36
    Observation
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    The Howard and Costello era was the biggest missed opportunity to develop some major incentives and infrastructure programs since the fifties!

    Just hoarded the cash in government treasury and sat on their hands. Oh but that’s right, now I remember, at one stage they gave us a massive tax cut of about $5 per week. Damn, how is Hockey forgetting that one!

  • 37
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    @ Freak

    Amazing how many left wing zealots we have on Cri ckey now. I guess the other boards moderate you before posting.

    If Labor was so good, why is their polling low 30’s and 2PP mid 40’s?

    Going on your zealots, it should be 20% higher on both counts.

    Again Z Freak, I assume you live in a safe seat, go and smell the rosed in a seat where the majority is a few percent. This you will be freaking.

  • 38
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Observation - I completely agree regarding the lost opportunity, Howard Achieved some things in his first 2 terms (eg GST & Firearms laws) but after that just created a structural deficit, where were the big reforms? Imagine if he had of brought in a MRRT in 2003, how much better off would the country have been?

    I also agree that Abbott constantly recalling the “Howard years” will get people thinking “workchoices” and asking what exactly they got out of the first mining boom.

  • 39
    The Pav
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Dear SB

    In the unlikely event you do have a rational brain cell read what Gittens writes about Howards’Health Insurance policy. I assume not even you would consider him left wing

    Gittins writes:

    “Howard’s subsidy of health fund premiums was really a vote-buying election promise and a gift to the well-insured Liberal heartland. He tried to justify it by claiming that getting more people into private insurance would relieve the pressure on public hospitals.

    As all the experts predicted at the time, it didn’t work.”

    If you want to talk about waste Swan and the ALP are complete amateurs compared to Howrad & Costello.

    Here is bad policy that needs to be fixed and yet your pin up boy Abbott obstructs and you accept this uncomplainingly vecause it doesn’t fit your distotred view.

    I still have a faint hope that eventually the weight of evidence will break through into your conscience and overcome your irrational posturing

  • 40
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    The PAv - You are the eternal optimist!! Note also Abbott will fight it but not necessarily repeal it.

    You could also ask SB to discuss how the inefficient “direct action” policy will not lead to massive waste. Or why companies should pay increased taxes so the wealthy can get paid maternity leave butjust don’t expect a rational response any time soon.

  • 41
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    @ The Pav

    What the Health Insurance Rebate that Rudd promised to keep?

    The ALP MP’s don’t care they get so much money in allowances, extra and salary that the extra $1300 a year is nothing to them. They probably get taxpayer subsided free health anyway

  • 42
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    The Pav - I rest my case!!!!!

  • 43
    The Pav
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jimmy, I can but try.

    As the saying goes “Not all conservatives are stupid but all stupid people are conservative” Guess that sums up dear old SB. Poor old logic & values deprived SB. Pls note I never chide her on her spelling/grammar errors as people in glasshouses…

    For example in a previous post she has a rant about staff numbers in the Public Service as ALP wast but as is usual the facts don’t support her

    When Howard was elected in 1996 the PS was 66,641 excluding Telstra. In 2007 it was 155,421. This is an increase of 88,780 or 133% over 11 years or 12% per year.

    Under Rudd / Gillard from 2007 to June 2010 an incerease of 9175 or 5.9% in total or less than 2% per year.

    This means Howard/Costello grew the PS at SIX times the rate of the current administration.

    Now I don’t accept that this is necessarily waste but for fools like SB to say that this governement is worse then I go back to my previous statement that compared to Howard/Costello/Abbott the current govt is rank amateur.

    BTW if you go to any other measure this is still the truth. The amazing thing is that the lie that the Liberals are better manager somehow survives against all the evidence.

    Oh well I can only hope the recent mental health initiatives bear some fruit and SB gets treatment.

    She will now probably post. that she doesn’t think Abbott isn’t the answer yet curiously enough never hold him to account

  • 44
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    The Pav - Yeah those facts can get tricky, best to ignore them and rant on!!

    It is also interesting that when challenged on how they will find the $70b the coalition point to cutting 12,000 public servants (strange how a few hundred manufacturing workers is a national disaster but 12,000 public servants is to be praised) but even if the sack all these workers on their first day (instead of the planned natural attrition) and don’t have to pay out any redundancies (which as discussed here previously doesn’t happen and in fact the PS actually like job cuts as they take their payout wait a few months and rejoin the service) it would only save about $5b over 4 years, where does the other $65b come from!

  • 45
    Observation
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I think the cracks in the Abbotts camp armour is beginning to appear. What have they all been doing over Christmas break. I know we all need a holiday but it seems they are all wandering around like stunned mullets. No economic policies from Hockey Bear, Bishop looks as though she is in some sort of limbo and Abbott has gone into playing the repeat button on all his one liners!

    Where are they? Have they actually had enough of the Tony show? Has the complete idiocies of the man finally starting to wear thin? The only voice I hear from this camp is the yapping of a poodle, and he is too silly to look around and smell the coffee!

  • 46
    Schnappi
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Under the 3 stooges,abbott,hockey robb,the taxpayer will pay billions under the direct action plan,to give to high polluting companies.
    Would like for liberal voters to say how they would be better of under a backflipping abbott.
    The parental leave scheme is only for the rich as we already have a parental scheme.

    So intrested in anything that will change my life,enrich my life ,give me a better standard of living?under a shallow opportunist that has nothing but personal gain or himself,the rest of the hasbeens just want power,wyatt roy will save us.

  • 47
    Observation
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Come on guys…give us real alternative…invest in some smarts rather than head kickers!

  • 48
    Holden Back
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Back to Foresnia wi’ye, Nessie!

  • 49
    David Allen
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes Pav,

    The present health premium rebate scheme is like having the poor subsidise pheasant on the basis that it will stop the rich competing for gruel.

    Heard Dutton on ‘The World Today’. What a complete and absolute gormless twit he is. Listen online if you missed it.

    SB. If the government paid you to do a job, say auditing the coalition’s donations electoral return, would that be wasted money?

    If not, why not?

    Explain how paying you to do a job is different from paying, say, a carpenter to do a job.

  • 50
    The Pav
    Posted Friday, 10 February 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Hey Jimmy,

    One of dear ole SBs hobbyhorses is Gillard is untrustworthy.

    Abbott was/ is a journalist (this is why he’s so good at three word slogans and nothing else) and we all know where they rate on the trustworthy polls.

    One other thing if Abbott is so good then why didn’t he rise further in the talent deprived enviroment of the Howard govt?

    I think even JWH knew he was a crock of ………!

    No wonder he has Sloppy Joe as his shadow treasurer

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