Politicians know the power of a snappy sound bite.

Budget 09 has provided them with a multitude of opportunities to insult each other, confuse themselves and make odd analogies. Ahead of Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull’s Budget response tonight, which will no doubt produce more, here’s a collection of Crikey’s favourites so far:

“Captain Confusion and Colonel Chaos” — Kevin Rudd names the Joe Hockey and Malcolm Turnbull duo. It’s a win for alliteration lovers everywhere.

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“I have a fundamentally conservative approach to these things, a little like my predecessor” — Rudd willingly compares himself to John Howard.

“We need less hysterical statements, we need less feigned indignation and we need more caution about our current situation” — Wayne “forged in the fire” Swan

“This budget of broken dreams is a budget that sends a loud and clear message to Australians that they are better off not having a dream for themselves or their families” — Family First Senator Steve Fielding

“I just hope that the green shoots that Treasury has forecast of an economic recovery don’t turn out to be weeds” —  gardening enthusiast, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon

“To use the language of Yes Minister … some of the assumptions could be very courageous” —  Xenophon again, proving again that all politicians see Yes Minister as their guide to life.

“This is a Harvey Norman budget, it’s buy now, pay later,” — the ever-quotable Xenophon (Harvey Norman was immensely grateful for even more free publicity.)

“You can’t be bluffed out of what you believe because of the threat of an early election. That is cowardice.” — Nationals Senator Ron Boswell talks tough.

“We are the infrastructure engineroom of the nation” —  NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal

Serial offender of the quirky sound bite, Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey didn’t disappoint in regards to the budget.

“We’re not the issue … They are the issue. We can’t deliver a budget today. They want us to create a storm over 1% of the budget. We’re not going to give it to them” — Hockey shows them who’s boss.

“Mr Rudd has declared many wars” — Hockey in an online video, confusing Rudd with the Chaser boys.

“We are so shocked at the size of the debt and the deficit and the massive ball and chain that is around the leg of every Australian” — Hockey, pushing for a return to Australia’s convict past?

“Isn’t it great we’ve only got 8.5% unemployment? Isn’t it fantastic we’ve done so well? It could have been 10%” — Hockey drips with sarcasm.

“It’s like Groundhog Day in this place…The Labor Party comes in and we reach record levels of deficit and debt”– film buff Hockey

But what’s Groundhog Day is him using this line.

“It is like Groundhog Day. If you let Labor have a go at the Treasury, they have to be involved in banking and commercial property to boot” said Hockey back in March.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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