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Federal

Oct 23, 2012

Swan serves up exactly what we deserve

Wayne Swan's MYEFO surplus is a fiction -- which is entirely apt for an economic debate based mostly in fiction.

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Wayne Swan’s Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook has delivered the surplus Australia’s economic debate deserves.

It’s chock-full of fiddles, pea-and-thimble tricks, “rephasings” of spending, the full set of accounting tricks plus a few new ones: the grab for lost super accounts ($550 million, and right away please) will probably earn some Treasury officer a Public Service Medal. Like the switch to monthly company tax instalments, it’s a one-off, though of generous proportions (the company tax change won’t kick in for more than 12 months and won’t affect the surplus). Plus there’s the usual tax rises described as “savings”, a word that this government has twisted beyond all meaning. Not to mention yet another downward revision in revenue from the MRRT, a dog of a tax dictated to a wounded government by three multinational mining companies, one of which is one of the world’s great tax dodgers.

There are, admittedly, also some high-quality savings: new ways to curb the extravagant waste of taxpayer money that is the private health insurance rebate are always welcome, as are cuts to the Baby Bonus. Strangely, the usual hairshirt types like David Murray who rail against “welfare” and the poor quality of public policy are silent on this today. The opposition, though, is happy to bag the cuts; it seems that when the Coalition wants to target welfare, it refers to “the age of entitlement”; when Labor proposes welfare cuts, it’s because the government “lacks experience” in raising children.

Hint hint. Deliberately barren. Empty fruitbowl. You get the message.

Then there’s the third category, the dozens and dozens of small savings gathered from across the public service. These are, unfairly, deemed “rats and mice savings”. It was precisely “rats and mice” spending that got away from the Howard government in its last two terms as its fiscal discipline vanished in the face of constant upward revenue revisions: programs that should have been temporary were endlessly extended, money never spent was rolled over from year to year, grants programs were expanded on a whim. And all of them needed public servants to administer them, endlessly inflating the numbers of bureaucrats the Commonwealth needed even as the first stage of the mining boom drove unemployment down toward 4%.

But it’s the fiddles and and tricks that will get most of the attention, and that’s apt. The need for a surplus is a political fiction, one on which is the government is relying to maintain its economic credibility with voters and the commentariat. So the achievement of the surplus through an array of money shuffling measures is entirely appropriate, a political exercise for a political goal.

It’s also exactly what our economic debate deserves. The level of economic debate in Australia is rubbish. It’s dominated by two national newspapers editorially aligned against Labor and dedicated to acting as amplifiers for the business community and anyone with a barrow to push agains the government. The opposition has steadfastly refused to offer anything in most areas of economic policy except criticism, often self-contradictory criticism. Joe Hockey yesterday confirmed that the Coalition would not be offering any details of its economic policies until the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook, i.e. four weeks before election day. The Leader of the Opposition himself looks dangerously ignorant whenever he opens his mouth on economics.

And voters give the government little or no credit for its economic management. Labor’s chief economic challenges weren’t to find ways to spend all the extra money Treasury kept finding from the first mining boom and work out ways to reduce union power. They were to navigate through a huge financial crisis, a collapse in corporate tax revenue, a US recession, a European depression, the rise of our currency to safe haven status, the return to traditional savings levels by consumers and the extraordinarily disparate impacts of a second mining boom. In handling all these, Treasury, the RBA and the Labor leadership have turned the high-taxing, high interest rate, inflationary economy Labor inherited into a low interest-rate, low-inflation economy with significantly lower level of taxes to GDP than in the Howard years while maintaining employment growth.

You won’t find much discussion of that in Australia’s economic debate. Instead, that debate is a series of confected issues designed to bag the government — about labour productivity falling, about an almost trivial carbon price, about its mishandling of the relationship with China, about having too much debt, about how we’re an “expensive place to do business”.

Labor’s job is to keep on delivering economically what it has delivered so far. As long as it continues to do that, it can play surplus games as much as it likes. It’s never going to get an even break from its opponents anyway.

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75 thoughts on “Swan serves up exactly what we deserve

  1. The Pav

    At last Edawrd James reveals his true colours.

    Nothing but a Liberal party shill.

    All his prtestations about rooting our corruption was merely a blind to hide his anti Labor activity.

    Please go and stand in the corner with the other Liberal trolls, Geewhiz and Suzanne Blake.

    Just surmising but I woul;d guess that all those who said a $1B surplus was effectively not a surplus because it was so small would at the same time call a $1M deficit a HIGE “BLOW OUT”

    Not much chance of reason, logic & decency from trolls who call Abbott their leader

  2. Edward James

    Softly, softly, a slide into the red comes into view

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/softly-softly-a-slide-into-the-red-comes-into-view-20121025-286tr.html#ixzz2AHFyPSE2

    we are reaping what we sowed with a Labor vote.

  3. izatso?

    @the Pav, you’re on to it with this luscious logic ! …. “I’m looking forward to Tony Abbott telling the world that the Catholic Church shouldn’t give family advice as they’re all single & childless” …. This has legs ….

  4. The Pav

    Dear Suzanne Blake,

    Actually you and Geewhizz need the hel;p mots.

    Start with a lesson in manners, then move on to learning a bout about ethics, honesty and reason.

    On the bold assumption you can manage that then try getting an education in economics.

    Achive just half of that and you’ll be well ahead of any of your current employers at Liberal party central

  5. The Pav

    Jimmy,

    As the opposition is led by an Abbott & a Bishop maybe they should only comment on religious matters?

    Although Tony Abbot is well qualified to comment on running away

  6. Jimmy

    The Pav & Geomac – I really think the govt should but out of all foreign aid after all none of them are foreign and have never been starving or without access to an education or medical care.

  7. The Pav

    Fair point geomac62 @66

    I’m looking forward to Tony Abbott telling the world that the Catholic Church shouldn’t give family advice as they’re all single & childless

  8. geomac62

    How can a priest or a nun give advice regarding famil ie s seeing as they have no experience raising children ? Abusing children some of them have experience but that doesn,t enter into the topic of tax or budgets . Tax avoidance does though when it comes to wages etc in a non profit business .

  9. Suzanne Blake

    @ GeeWiz

    Thommo needs help in more ways that one

  10. Jimmy

    Geewizz – You really are delusional aren’t you, the Thompson and Williamson things aren’t going to change to many votes, they are a sideshow.

    Plus you were predicting 44-56 just from Gillards speech, since then we have had Essential at 47-53 with a good bounce for Gillard personall y, Neilsen at 48-52 (49-51 if you go with current voting intentions) with again a good bounce for Gillard personally but you still think based on a police raid about a matter people have already made up their minds about is going to translate into a massive drop? You wrere closer to being right when you thought it was coalition policy to just tow the boats back to international waters and leave them there.

  11. GeeWizz

    Jimmy with police raiding Gillards good mates Thomson and Williamson, a 56% TPP for Coalition looks like a good bet.

    Tommo was on the news just now saying that the raiding of his house by police was part of a “routine investigation” into the HSU branch and it has nothing to do with him.

    Gee, the police are just raiding peoples houses willy nilly eh Tommo?

  12. Jimmy

    Geomac – Yep as usual Geewizz sicks to the only thing he knows anything about scandal and avoids any serious discussion in case he embarrasses himself any further with his ignorance(as if it was possible).

    Geewizz – You haven’t answered me whether you are still confident of a 44-56 newspoll?

  13. geomac62

    Whizz aka Alf Garnett as usual has nothing to contribute to the topic . Is he/she Robin to Eds batman ?

  14. GeeWizz

    Craig Thomson is great value for the Liberal Party.

    This guy is class-A Labor and union party material… rorting the voters and low paid union members, while pretending to be a warrior of the working class.

    Hope this drags all the way out to the election.. Labor deserves everything they will get. The ol’ boys Labor/Union club is coming to an end.

  15. geomac62

    How can a priest or a nun give advice regarding families seeing as they have no experience raising children ? Abusing children some of them have experience but that doesn,t enter into the topic of tax or budgets . Tax avoidance does though when it comes to wages etc in a non profit business .

  16. Penny M

    A really good article – thanks Bernard.

    I also don’t care that a few fiddles and tricks were used to give the appearance of a small surplus, rather than a small deficit, because there appears to be some real and quite clever savings.

    You wrote: In handling all these, Treasury, the RBA and the Labor leadership have turned the…..economy Labor inherited into a low interest-rate, low-inflation economy with significantly lower level of taxes to GDP than in the Howard years while maintaining employment growth.

    That’s pretty impressive – what were the key changes or strategies of the Labour leadership that lead to this?

  17. Jimmy

    Geewizz – “So 6 months ago Swan was going to give us a $1.5 Billion dollar surplus.Then yesterday he promised a $1.1 Billion Dollar surplus.Swan is like a bad magician… smoke… mirrors and the incredible disappearing surplus” Is it your contention that nothing has changed in the global or domestic economy in the last 6 months?

    Scott – Since when did someone have to have children to value family, I am pretty sure Gillard grew up in one and as others have said 20 out of 30 ministers have Children.

    Also “When there are a lot of cuts coming the way of family benefits, isn’t it a legitimate question for the opposition (and media) to ask?” Name the cuts and then compare them to the increases in FTB and the increase in the tax free thrsehold etc.

  18. pritu

    Does Crikey have a “Troll Control” policy or mechanism? Seems to me it may be needed judging by the nature and frequency of some of the junk in this “conversation”.

  19. Malcolm Street

    Abbott once again shows what a misogynist sh*t he is. Having another child while the first one is in the crib? Who in their right mind with contraception does that these days? Unless they’re good Catholics with the little wife at home, barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen…

  20. Zodzt TMTR

    @cairns50 – abbott hockey pyne and all the other dropkicks in the coalition have no creditbility whatsoever.

    Nothing surer, but they are n’t in govt. Anyway, it would visa versa if the shoe was on the other foot.

    They all dance to the dischord tune of the same piper.

  21. eric

    If you are foolish enough to pay to read the lies and anti ALP /GIllard spewed out by the Australian (sic) more the Sydney gutter rag – more the fool you.
    I believe Murdoch and his rags are in panic mode as they see the ALP/Gillard govt clawing their way slowly back in the polls even after two years of one of the most blatant and dirty campaigns seen in decades to install phoney Tony in the Lodge.

    Abbotts latest nasty dig at Gillard is just again showing that this low class political thug has no place as a leader of our nation

  22. Bobalot

    According to Joe Hockey giving parents a mere $3000 for their second child is like the One Child of China (with its forced abortions and all).

  23. geomac62

    Zodzt TMTR
    Reminds one of similar tactics Costello used in 2001 ? The non surplus surplus.

  24. Zodzt TMTR

    “.. the grab for lost super accounts ($550 million, and right away please) will probably earn some Treasury officer a Public Service Medal. Like the switch to monthly company tax instalments, it’s a one-off, though of generous proportions (the company tax change won’t kick in for more than 12 months and won’t affect the surplus)…”

    Well, I hope someone mounts a legal challenge to the big swipe on the lost super money. Not sure on behalf of who though.

    This particular budget surplus is somewhat psychopathic. A little would-be king determined to raise a surplus at the expense of his suffering subjects. And at the end of the day it’s all smoke and mirrors and nothing gained but a few juggled figures and coloumns.

    I know the opposition goaded you wayne, but you showed em wayne!

  25. geomac62

    Hockey raises the spectre of a one child policy like china . Kevin Andrews of Haneef infamy suggests people may defer having another baby because they get 3k instead of 5k . Pyne as usual says something over the top but he is now a permanent peter crying wolf . Any parent relying on an extra 2k to raise a child or not shouldn,t be allowed to breed at all . Not mature enough . Hockey is off with the fairies having departed the clown circuit . Ed is mouthing off how he is a near super hero but nobody will call . Super heroes are for comics Ed and your just too silly to see your bias . SB and wizz seldom offer anything of merit and never reply to a question they would prefer to ignore . Abbott clones ? Scrap the baby bonus altogether as its poor policy .

  26. cairns50

    what do you expect wayne swan to do ? buffoon joe hockey continually accuses him of lying and fiddling the books and in doing that he is accusing the people working for treasury of exactly the same things

    what would happen if the projected surplus turned into a small deficit ?

    the buffoon would accuse him of fiddling the books and lying still

    abbott hockey pyne and all the other dropkicks in the coalition have no creditbility whatsoever

  27. Loot On CTable

    “..While I completely agree with this article I find it’s structure and tone a bit strange…”Jimmy said:

    Yeah, but it’s good init! hehe

  28. GeeWizz

    So 6 months ago Swan was going to give us a $1.5 Billion dollar surplus.

    Then yesterday he promised a $1.1 Billion Dollar surplus.

    Swan is like a bad magician… smoke… mirrors and the incredible disappearing surplus

  29. The Pav

    Dear Edward James @ 45

    So what. I don’t need them.

    What would be nice is if you actually respond to the matter I raised. That is that the only corruption you see is in the ALP when there must be corruption in the L/NP that you seem quite happily turn a blind eye to.

    From this i deduce that you are party political and thus must discount you opinion accordingly.

    I don’t need to wast time on the ‘phone for that

  30. Edward James

    Well you have my name Edward James and phone number Pav.

  31. Malcolm Street

    Scott –

    “some of the recent policies appear detrimental to the family unit?”

    Care to elaborate?

  32. izatso?

    ….. sounds of tinkling in the background …. d’you think our Ed should divert his # to the Bottlo ?

  33. The Pav

    Dear Edward James @ 40

    Obviously that’s why I said it was a “saying”

    @ 39 Yup why else would you want to put me to sleep

  34. The Pav

    Dear Edward James @ 38

    well that’s cleared that up. You admit that now you don’t even pretnd to be evenhanded. That explains the bias and proves that I was right all along

    As to fighting a war on more than one front. Ignoring the rather colourful terminology I thought you were fighting a war against political corruption. That’s one front by my maths so I don’t think you can use that as an excuse for not being even handed.

    Not quite sure where I got your address wrong but I’ll take your word for it. I’m not the best at typing and we all make mistakes and I don’t like to point out others. Glass house and stones typ thing but I suspect your post#38 wouldn’t be fault free if proof read but I’m not one to be finickety

    Futrhermore a typo doesn’t cast doubt on my credibility (unless its about typing) so in the absence of a reasoned rebuttal I think it remains intact whilst you seem to be quite happy to shred yours

  35. Edward James

    Are you quoting someone pav?

  36. Edward James

    The Pav
    Posted Tuesday, 23 October 2012 at 5:54 pm | PERMALINK
    Dear Edawrd James @ 36
    You cant be serious? 0243419140

  37. Edward James

    (@31) While I do not pretend! It appears you do pav! It cost money to wage a war in the free press and as I am not Germany. I wont be fighting a war on more then one front. Do you grasp that Pav? You cane even get my address right your credibility is worthless Pav have a rest and then use the phone number ! edward james

  38. The Pav

    Dear Edawrd James @ 36

    Why?

    Do you want to silence me?

    Are you unable to debate?

    I remind you of the saying ( that goes roughly)

    ” For evil to triumph all that needs happen is for good men ( and women) to remain silent”

    You will not silence me no matter how embarrasing and inconvenient you find my challenges

  39. The Pav

    Dear Edward James @31

    First , you never ever answer the question why corruption is soleyly the preserve of the ALP yet you pretend to be even handed. If you are truely out to root out corruption then you would be waging your war against both sides yet you don’t.

    Secondly, Just because you buy adverts doesn’ty make you right just that you have money.

    Thirdly, Just because you print your name & number doesn’t make you right just that you are not concerned about retaliation. Conversely my using a pen name doesn’t make me wronmg or fearful.
    Fourth, If the mainstream media isn’t interested then maybe you’re wrong unless you think News Corp is an arm pf the ALP and I don’t thk anybody would suggest it. If they could find a stick to beat the ALP with they would so if they don’t touch it the circumstancial evidence is you’re off the mark to put it politely

  40. Edward James

    The Pav have a sleep ! Edward James

  41. The Pav

    Dear Scott @ 32

    Has Gillard ever said or indicated she doesn’t fully support family values?

    No, yet because her circumstance does not fit your agenda you assume it gives you the right to question her on this withput basis and the only discernable reason is innate sexism.

    It is not taboo to question the govt but do it on fact & reason not prejudice

    If you don’t want to have your sexism highlighted don’t be,say,act sexist

  42. Edward James

    scott try another string? this one is political

  43. Scott

    Can we get beyond the “to criticise Gillard on anything to do with her personal circumstances is a sexist attack”

    The reality is that some people do not place the same importance on family that others do. Some men and women favour career or business, some value education and work ethic, some like to travel etc. Some people want nothing to do with kids.

    Howard made no secret that he valued family and the policies of his government reflected that. Why is it taboo (or sexist) to question a Gillard lead government’s committment to family, especially when the some of the recent policies appear detrimental to the family unit?

  44. Edward James

    Credibility and balance. You cant be serious Pav. I buy pages in my local papers and publish the same allegations which Crikey and main stream media will not touch. People like yourself Pav are not game to engage with me yet you continue to snipe from behind your hidden identity. I wonder what Crikey and other subscribers may think of people like you who are to cowardly to step up and identify yourselves and engage when publishing allegations! Where is the so called community support ? Am I surrounded by cowards ?Edward James 0243419140

  45. Hunt Ian

    Chess C should keep up with the more than somewhat biased Australian Financial Review which has been forced to report that Australia has just been ranked 10 th easiest place to do business in, which is up from previous years. So being #75 in a regulation survey might not be such bad news.
    Economic literacy is desperately needed but not likely to be supplied to the public by MSM,as the public must still be fed pap about national debt and risible claims that we are in the position of Greece, with its national debt of over 160% of GDP. Economic literacy should say that such claims are nonsense and also that “small government” is not dictated by the finding that in general equilibrium with perfect competition, perfect information and complete markets, welfare cannot be bigger than it would be with the smallest government required to supply unmarketable goods like national security and law enforcement. Australia’s economy does not have perfect competition, perfect information or complete markets and does not behave like it has them. Yet the nonsense goes on, even up to the point of threatening to make Australia like Hong Kong. It seems too much to ask MSM to save us from the faux economic literacy that we have been plagued with for twenty or more years. So what new media forms can save us?

  46. Edward James

    suzanne blake have you read any of the ducks crossing publications ? Edward James 0243419140

  47. Edward James

    Pav I am questioning your ability to understand politics . As you said just now Gillard is not the only person in government the whole Labor party crew is rotting from her head on down. Edward James 0243419140

  48. Edward James

    Pav catch up ! Edward James

  49. The Pav

    Dear Scott

    Unless you questioned Howard’s ability to understand women’s issues you inference that Gillard does not understand family issue is little more than a veiled sexist attack.

    It is also stupd as Gillard is not the only person in the Govt. As has been pointed out by oithers the treasurer. finance minister et al are all “family” people.

    Irrespective of Gillard’s status there is more than enough family experience in the govt.

  50. The Pav

    Dear Suzanne Blake

    I refer you to Kristians comments.

    Try the truth

  51. Edward James

    I have been exposing systemic corruption and abuse of due process in the Gosford Local Area for almost fifteen years. Could it be that so many supporters of good governance, and due process who are subscribers to Crikey have IQs which are lower than their shoe sizes? Edward James 0243419140
    I make this assertion because so many of you appear to be too frightened to make the phone call ! what about you Bill Hilliger

  52. The Pav

    Dear Edward James

    I would refer you to Kristian’s comments. They are an accurate and succincy summary.

    I remains puzzled that your crusade against corruption seems only to be against the ALP. Whilst I am sure there is corruption there I am equally sure that the Liberal & Nationals are not free of corruption yet you seem happy top ignore that. To have credibility you should have some balance

  53. Edward James

    Well D day Bill Hilliger ! I am not just on this undersubscribed electronic soap box ! I pay good money to name names and promulgate my allegations of systemic corruption and abuse of due process in other public forums. what do you do Bill? Edward James

  54. Edward James

    Wayne Swan is a Labor team player gerard. Labor is rotting from the head like a fish. Labor has become politically inbred because of diminished party members, this is evident by the number of politicians local state and federal who keep the maiden names. That said my dislike of political allsorts is driven by my first hand experience with these spineless political grubs and their supporters. Edward James

  55. Bill Hilliger

    Edward, maybe Joe, Tony or even Jesus, can do better. What say you?

  56. gerard

    So, when the world judged Swan to be the best treasurer, they were wrong and you are right?
    Me think not.
    I think you might be getting a bit over-excited.

  57. Edward James

    What Pav? Dead beat Labor treasurer Wayne Swan served us up crap! What do you expect when from the top Gillard on down Labor are just no dam good ! Edward James

  58. The Pav

    Dear Edward James

    What was CRAP?..The statement “Swan serves up exactly what we deserve” or what Swan served up.

    Please elaborate.

    If the latter then I agree in as much Swan has played the political cards that has compromised his position but that he has palyed them as well as they could be played.

    Some fictional cuts to meet a fictional surplus that was promised to allay some fictional fear raised by an opposition with fictional economic credibility

  59. Edward James

    Swan serves up exactly what we deserve. CRAP! Edward James

  60. tinman_au

    I don’t get the angst everyone has about the “lost super”.

    From MYEFO Appendix C: “The Government announced changes to the lost member account provisions in the 2012‑13 Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook which will significantly increase the number and value of lost member accounts being transferred to the ATO. At any point an individual can claim back unclaimed money from the ATO.”

    It’s not like they are just taking the money and spending it, it’s to be held by the ATO until someone steps up to claim it.

    Better the ATO hold it rather than the retail super funds, cause the super funds will just nickle and dime it to death with fees and charges which will just go to executive bonuses and shareholder profits anyway (like they need more :/).

  61. Kristian

    [Labor’s challenges] were to navigate through a huge financial crisis, a collapse in corporate tax revenue, a US recession, a European depression, the rise of our currency to safe haven status, the return to traditional savings levels by consumers and the extraordinarily disparate impacts of a second mining boom. In handling all these, Treasury, the RBA and the Labor leadership have turned the high-taxing, high interest rate, inflationary economy Labor inherited into a low interest-rate, low-inflation economy with significantly lower level of taxes to GDP than in the Howard years while maintaining employment growth.

    Holy crap, Bernard, you’ve nailed it!

    Any way you can compress that to a short, punchy sentence, like “Stop the boats”? Then, Labor might have a chance!

  62. Suzanne Blake

    Hi Bernard

    You are right “chock-full of fiddles, pea-and-thimble tricks, “rephasings” of spending, the full set of accounting tricks plus a few new ones: the grab for lost super accounts ($550 million, and right away please) will probably earn some Treasury officer a Public Service Medal”

    For an incompetent Treasurer, full of spin and lack of substance, whose ego and job prospects after the election are bleak.

  63. Scott

    “Hint hint. Deliberately barren. Empty fruitbowl. You get the message.”

    I guess the question is whether it legitimate for the opposition to question Gillard’s belief in family? (a belief shared by a large portion of the electorate after all)

    Sure, she talks up the “working families” line, but besides her relationship with her Dad, is there a lot of evidence to support a celebration of family in the Gillard personal belief system? Actions speak louder than words and all that.

    When there are a lot of cuts coming the way of family benefits, isn’t it a legitimate question for the opposition (and media) to ask?

  64. gerard

    To introduce a fat tax would give benefits that are ‘win win’. The domino effect of Denmark’s first in introducing a fat tax is taking place as we speak. Hungary, Romania, Switserland, Finland (where else?)France, England and others all have introduced a form of tax on unhealthy drinks or foods. Even New York with Bloomberg introducing a cap on their gallon/beaker size containers of sugar drinks has been introduced. Japan is now also doing something about their increase of waist and girths sizes.
    Australia either at the top or near the top of the most obese is paying dearly for this plight.
    Swan ought to be commended for keeping expenditure less than income. A few weeks ago, Holland introduced an increase in GST from 19 to 21% without as much as a murmur.
    If the money has to come from somewhere, why not a fat tax, rather than cutting on health and education? If people ( mainly the poor) buy less unhealthy food, they will get healthier with less demand on hospitals. If people continue with the bad dietery habits, an increase of revenue would result. So, a ‘Win Win’ in keeping to the budget.
    Of course, Abbott as the previous health minister thought that ‘free choice’ ought to prevail. Just look what that has done, we just about doubled in size! Free choice is only part of the solution. Making unhealthy life styles more expensive does work; just ask the slim Danes.

  65. Jimmy

    Chess C – “Australia was ranked #75 for having the least burden of government regulation (Singpaore is ranked #1.)” And where did Australia land on standard of living, median income/wealth, spread of wealth, deaths/injuries at work, unemployment levels, economic growth, inflation etc.

    If the price of all these positives is government regulation then it is a small price.

    And look deeper into those productivity figures, I think you will see they are a little misleading.

  66. zut alors

    ‘ Joe Hockey yesterday confirmed that the Coalition would not be offering any details of its economic policies until… four weeks before election day.’

    Lumpy Lardclacker and his leader would be well advised to keep quiet on all economic matters until AFTER the election. They should be mindful of the old saying about it being better to stay silent and have people suspect you’re stupid than to open your mouth and have it confirmed.

  67. Mark out West

    The Libs have to stay the course because their unfunded policies can’t add up so they need to be able say the economy was ruined by Labor if they get in.

    The EU did a world happiness survey and found that although Australians are the 2nd wealthiest people in the world at the moment, they are by far and away the Biggest whingers. The Right is destroying this economy whing by whing.

  68. Chess C

    BK – with respect to two of the issues you raise dismissively at the end, these are something Australia does have to think about (nothing to do with bagging the government, it’s just a fact.) Productivity is falling and Australia *is* an expensive place to do business. Thanks to the exchange rate and high overheads, there would be very few places in the world that are more expensive to employ people and run a business than in Australia. And finally, in last’s year’s survey by the WEF, Australia was ranked #75 for having the least burden of government regulation (Singpaore is ranked #1.)

  69. drmick

    Thats the first time someone has acknowledged that no one will give them and even break anyway.
    If their achievements could get even a little exposure it would help. The frustration is compounded by the scripted stupidity offered by supposedly responsible (male) adults and the sheer bastardry & ignorance of the press gallery to report the stupidity as sheer brilliance by Abbott.

  70. Jimmy

    Klewso – I know you are joking but I am also afraid that it will be tomorrow’s headline.

    The Pav – Hockey’s response to the MYEFO has been a joke, this is someone who thinks they can find billions upon billions in savings in the budget and as BK says wants to end the age of entitlement but then postures about the harshness of these cuts while simultaneously saying the govt needs to cut more (becuase they won’t have a surplus with these measures) and will then vote for them in the parliament anyway.

  71. klewso

    Abbott – for such a little man he sure has a big mouth? Something to do with that dog-whistle of his?
    This is all Gillard’s fault as much as his though, isn’t it (if the tabloid media – run as it is editing our view at reality – runs true to form)?
    “If she’d had kids and been born a bloke, none of this would happen”?

  72. The Pav

    Jimmy

    That Geewhiz & Suzanne Blake lack any economic literacy is only to be expected.This is why they work for the opposition.

    Afterall Jovial Joe Hockey can’t even add up and their shining star “Costello” has effectively perpetrated a fraud with the “debt cris’ in Qld

  73. Jimmy

    While I completel y agree with this article I find it’s structure and tone a bit strange.

    I would also say that the most telling l ines of this article are “The need for a surplus is a political fiction, one on which is the government is rel ying to maintain its economic credibility with voters and the commentariat” and “And voters give the government little or no credit for its economic management” plus “In handling all these, Treasury, the RBA and the Labor leadership have turned the high-taxing, high interest rate, inflationary economy Labor inherited into a low interest-rate, low-inflation economy with significantly lower level of taxes to GDP than in the Howard years while maintaining employment growth.”

    The ALP have battled pretty strong head winds all through their reign and have done paritcularl y well while also cutting back many of Howards middle class welfare policies that left his budget in a structural deficit yet all we get from the MSM is Geewizz and Suzanne Blake still commentary devoid of any economic literacy.

  74. Jimmy

    While I completely agree with this article I find it’s structure and tone a bit strange.

    I would also say that the most telling lines of this srtticle are “The need for a surplus is a political fiction, one on which is the government is relying to maintain its economic credibility with voters and the commentariat” and “And voters give the government little or no credit for its economic management” plus “In handling all these, Treasury, the RBA and the Labor leadership have turned the high-taxing, high interest rate, inflationary economy Labor inherited into a low interest-rate, low-inflation economy with significantly lower level of taxes to GDP than in the Howard years while maintaining employment growth.”

    The ALP have battled pretty strong head winds all thjrough their reign and have done paritcularly well while also cutting back many of Howards middle class welfare policies that left his budget in a structural deficit yet all we get from the MSM is Geewizz and Suzanne Blake still commentary devoid of any economic literacy.

  75. izatso?

    Baaaahahaa ….. Swanny stands all the sharp shooters, thieves, divers and dodgers, fiddlers, scammers, the highly-paid disemblers, Wayne lines ’em all up and shoots them down again with their own words and directions ! Not what they were expectin’, just what they deserve ! Give ’em nothing Swanny ! What a HOOT !

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