The 2012 federal budget:

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Fiscal lessons for a new budget era” (yesterday, item 1). A government suspended produces a like kind of budget, possibility reflecting an economy that stands suspended, so Australia remains, well, suspended.

We are a bit like a group with significant and disparate points of view needing a solution. And thus a consensus that none of us like but all can live with. So that’s politics and the budget is a perfect reflection of same.

The media, naturally, will continue their relentless campaign of exaggeration and derision, their proverbial shoulders aching from casting stones at the evil Gillard and her minions. The Herald Sun yesterday was frothing uncontrollably, spewing adjectives all over the budget.

Those of us who are not economists and not representing vested interests will turn off the TV, turn the radio to music and throw the paper in the bin.

In this interregnum between economic crisis woes clearly we need a “spend and tax” budget. One that increases taxation aimed at those who can pay, while spending all of this largesse on infrastructure investment; and aiming to come out a little ahead while we can.

Think about your investment strategy, whether it be buying shares or whatever — you invest in an asset that makes a profit, provides you with a reasonable return, invests in itself to be better positioned to make more of a profit and grow and puts a little away for a rainy day.

Do we have this in the nation’s budget?  No we do not.

Would our alternative government do this? No it would not.

Our current choice for good budgeting is between “not good and bad”.

Go figure that out.

Martin Gordon writes: Re. “Mayne: accounting rorts aplenty with Future Fund and NBN” (yesterday, item 11). The federal budget is full of astonishing spin but it has no surplus as the National Broadband Network is not included (something Stephen Mayne did not quite tease out yesterday).

Journos have picked up the obvious shuffling from one year to another, to “manufacture” a surplus. Few have picked up the obvious vote buying for an election, with the obvious education bribes arriving early in the year (March elections) and later in the year (August elections).

The economic commentators have failed to hit upon the incidence of taxes having being distracted by the nonsense “Robin Hood” rhetoric. Company revenue just like the carbon tax will come from the pockets of all consumers ultimately.

The divide-and-rule spin is cynical politics at its worst and complete rubbish as well.

Denise Marcos writes: Tony Abbott’s explanation of precisely how Wayne Swan’s school bonus and the Costello baby bonus are different, “Well, look, they just are …” brings to mind the sublimely vacuous Chauncey Gardner, in the film Being There.

Peter Fray

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