This is a Budget for the future – and thinking about the future has got us in a philosophical frame of mind. And we’ve ended up asking ourselves: just how hard is it being a Treasurer these days?

The kids’ guinea pig could probably do it. Keating saw us out of the correction we had to had, we’ve had 14 years of uninterrupted economic growth, the GST revenue comes rolling in and an independent Reserve Bank and the international financial markets keep you on the straight and narrow. Simple.

So last night might have been Dollar Sweetie’s big night, but before he starts playing the diva and putting J-Lo style riders on this afternoon’s Press Club address, perhaps he should think of this scenario. Dollar Sweetie gets jack of the short man, challenges, loses and retreats to the backbench in a sulk. Some idiot gets the Treasurer’s job – and the GST revenue keeps rolling in, we keep selling raw materials to China and, yes, the Reserve and the international markets tweak the levers every now and then, but it’s business as usual.

Business as usual – but with one important difference. No one even ever bothers to ask: “Whatever happened to Peter Costello?”

Peter Fray

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