Well, it was the most leaked, most spun budget in history but Wayne Swan got through his first big test today.
And how couldn’t you with the rivers of yuan pouring into Canberra from the commodities boom, far out-weighing the impacts of the global credit crisis?
We saw several different shades of Labor today. Lindsay Tanner held the show together with some solid cuts, winding back the excesses of the final Howard years. But they were clever cuts, spread across plenty of small fry programs, while sparing key constituencies like carers and the aged, and targeting the wealthy with means-testing and the winding-back of executive tax expenditures.
But then there was Anthony Albanese channelling Rex Connor and dreaming of a $400 billion nation building infrastructure bonanza. Are we cutting or spending, fighting inflation or triggering a construction boom?
Today was a hotchpotch of Labor managerialism, ideology and pragmatic politics. All up, Labor got the job done but it won’t get much easier than Budget 2008.