First the gain and then the pain
. The goodies were delivered in impressive fashion by Treasurer Wayne Swan. From the moment he accepted that gifts to voters were a more popular bet than tax reductions for businesses the pain of a promised budget surplus was not going to appear severe.
I say "appear" because the pain is yet to come. Compensation for the price rises for households from the carbon tax will be largely spent before the higher electricity bills arrive and producers pass on their increased costs. And the combination of increased taxes, fees and charges and spending cuts that state governments will have to make to compensate for falling GST revenue will take the gloss off things within a few months.
Wayne Swan has done his best to stop the rot of declining support for Labor. I very much doubt that it will be enough.
Back the dictator
. I'm kicking myself for not following my own advice earlier to always back the dictator. I should have supported Bashar al-Assad to still be running Syria at year's end when the probability about him being gone was being put at 60%.
Ah well, we can't win them all but my political speculation portfolio
is continuing to show a nice little profit.
Will Tim go back to real estate or hair dressing?
After years of putting her own career on hold while serving as her husband, Nicolas Sarkozy's "and friend", Carla Bruni is now returning to singing with the intention of repeating the success of Quelqu'un m'a dit
(Somebody Told Me
), which came out 10 years ago, and sold around 2 million copies.