(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

On Barnaby Joyce and the Nationals

John Hamer writes: I call bullshit on everything that comes out of Barnaby Joyce’s mouth. As the old saying goes: how do you know when Barnaby is lying? His lips are moving. I firmly believe he will cost the Coalition at the next election.

Neil Ewart writes: Seems Barney Rubble (so named because he is from The Flintstones‘ era) has been studying Donald Trump’s leadership playbook: promoting those who support you (primarily for their own survival) and getting rid of those who don’t; dividing the nation by pandering and lying to your support base.

If ever there was a time the Libs should ditch the Nationals, it would have to be now. But can anyone see it happening? That would mean the Libs would have to meet Labor on equal terms and not rely on their unprincipled cousins to keep them in power. Remember Joyce reminded Malcolm Turnbull that it was the Nats that gave him a one-seat majority.

I support the article encouraging the Labor Party to take on the Coalition and highlight the corruption and lies but think maybe it hasn’t recovered from losing the election — in part due to its policies of closing the double-dipping of wealthy retirees and negative gearing, both of which made perfect economic sense but frightened the folks of the north shore and Toorak.

On the Intergenerational report

Neil Halliday writes: Mainstream economists still ranting about “debt and deficits until 2060” need to be called out for their nonsense. Obviously the issue is the nation’s available resources and productivity, not any particular level of government debt; indeed the central banks of sovereign currency-issuing governments should be authorised to spend without taxing or borrowing, with the limit to such spending being the availability of goods and services on which government can spend the money (to avoid inflation).

A few mainstream journalists are waking up to the ruse foisted on to citizens by the current crop of central bankers:

Funding the budget by printing money is closer than you think. As for population size, it doesn’t matter; productivity matters … and that increases with advancing AI and IT. Meanwhile the federal government should be funding the required public housing, to avoid people reaching retirement age still dependent on the private rental market.

Ross Gittins in The Sydney Morning Herald

On rorts

Helen Hewitt writes: I have just finished reading Kishor Napier-Raman’s story about the continuing saga of rorting and pork-barrelling at a federal and state level. It occurred to me that as Australia is going to be hard up for money in the future (see the recent intergenerational report) the government should be considering a robodebt-style scheme for those companies that took money under JobKeeker but later reported profits. This seems logical to me since it is so concerned about getting our money back, but I’ve noticed that system seems to apply only in certain circumstances — particularly if you are poor and vulnerable.

John Bartle writes: It’s not the only period that might be called the “golden age” of pork-barrelling. Robert Hughes’ book Corruption tells of a period (pre-1850s) when a similar level of such corrupt public administration existed. It is distressing to see such a modern collapse in the ethical calibre of political leadership.

Dennis Pratt writes: Clearly these necessary items of expenditure can be covered by reducing the money wasted on conducting audits. The government has only nibbled at the edges of ANAO’s budget as yet. It should reduce it to zero and spend the savings on more schemes to shore up Coalition marginal seats.

Victor Ayers writes: It seems some ministers are only interested in getting reelected. So many have their nose in the trough it is unbelievable, but as some would note we are becoming more like the US every day where self-interest is above everything else … one can only hope that at election time enough people remember what they have done but I doubt it.

It is really a sad state of affairs that the country has come to this.

Jim Feehely writes: Of course I’m outraged. But I’m also outraged that this naked corruption does not matter to the mainstream media and thus the electorate. It depresses me that this government smirks it way through unscathed. And this is only one species of corruption in which this government openly engages.

Jenny Pearce writes: I’d love to have a full list of rorts and corruption like the ScoMo Lies series. Please?

Kathy Kelly writes: So tired of hearing of more and more rorts by this federal government and more tired of the absolute lack of accountability. Australians are becoming immune to it all and simply shrug and say all politicians are crooks! This is how low standards have become. What a sad and sorry state we find ourselves in. The dumbing down of the Australian public has worked superbly.

On Witness K

Roy Hopkins writes: Surely the Greens and independents can bash this abominable behaviour through to the next election? It should cost the Libs government at least.