George W. is going to do something very unusual for a big government conservative – he may, for the first time, veto a spending bill. The veto – to stop Congress tinkering with the new Medicare drug benefit which threatens to add even more to the US budget deficit by channeling taxpayers money into the pockets of big pharmaceutical companies.

In Australia Peter Costello is preparing a budget in a difficult environment in which Howard promises for billions more of middle class welfare will have to be honoured.

If he’s feeling at all guilty about ladling out the dollars he might recall Lord Clive of India’s words when questioned in Parliament about ladling out loot : “By God, Mr Chairman, at this moment I stand astonished at my own moderation.”

It’s time to book your next dose of Crikey.

Through the week, news comes at you fast. Every day there’s a new disaster, depressing numbers or a scandal to doom-scroll to. It’s exhausting, and not good for your health.

Book your next dose of Crikey to get on top of it all. Subscribe now and get your first 12 weeks for $12. And you’ll help us too, because every dollar we get helps us dig even deeper.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.