Peter Costello’s Press Club speech
yesterday once again perpetuated a complete myth when he listed one of
his achievements as “establishing a Future Fund to invest for the
future to give the young people of today a chance to meet their
liabilities and fund their future”.

What garbage! The Future Fund is actually a Past Fund and is simply plugging the black hole
of unfunded superannuation liabilities for federal public servants,
primarily the military, which Costello recklessly allowed to blow out
from $75 billion to $90 billion while claiming exaggerated
budget surpluses and playing down Federal debt.

Since when has playing catch up on past liabilities for largely retired
federal employees got anything to do with helping the young people of
today fund their future? The Federal Government is still worth negative
$30 billion so there is literally nothing in place to fund young people
in the future.

The Australian‘s Paul Kelly was also spouting rubbish on Insiders last Sunday when he declared:

Consider what’s happened since John Howard’s been Prime Minister. We’ve had a
long recession in Japan. We’ve had the convulsion of the Asian financial crisis,
the recession inside the United States, war on terror, high global oil prices
and, of course, the bursting of the housing asset price bubble in this country.

That’s all correct except for the last line about this fictional housing bust. Howard’s policies have
helped create the unsustainable housing bubble which is still close to
100% inflated in most markets except Kelly’s home town of Sydney. After
all, average housing prices in Melbourne have soared from $130,000 to
$318,000 over the Howard years.

All those first home owners grants, the halving of capital gains tax
for investors and excessively low interest rates have arguably created
and then perpetuated a dangerous housing bubble which has then
facilitated an unsustainable debt-funded consumption binge. None of
that is good policy.

Our third example of political bulldust
was Foreign Minister Alexander
Downer in Parliament yesterday declaring that Labor’s
underwhelming Pacific Islands spokesman and ousted member for
Maribyrnong, Bob Sercombe, had “put more effort
into policy in his short period as shadow minister than the Leader of the
Opposition has put into policy in his endless years as Leader of the Opposition.”

Downer claimed that Sercombe “worked tirelessly” developing policies
and during a 2004 trip together, “he showed interest, enthusiasm and decency. I was very
impressed with him and got on very well with him”.

Now this is just political mischief-making but let’s be honest here,
Bob Sercombe is one of Labor’s most utterly uninspiring performers and
despite all Bill Shorten’s overblown hype about himself, he will be
five times as good as Downer’s new best friend.

Peter Fray

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