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What a Bunch of Amateurs.

After a disastrous first budget, Joe Hockey looks to be a man without ideas. So too his dear leader Tony Abbott who, in what appears to be an act of desperation, has pleaded with the business community to help him.

In what could be interpreted as a cry for help, Abbott has called on business leaders and state governments to be the drivers of a new wave of economic reform. Speaking at a Business Council of Australia dinner, this week, the Prime Minister signalled out taxation as the most urgent of the nation’s woes. Really?

One can rightfully ask if this is analogous to waving the white flag. As well as the business community, Abbott has included the Labor party in this invitation and all state governments, “to join Team Australia and to think of our country and not just the next election.” Could it be the Prime Minister is telling us he doesn’t know how to govern the country?

What? These magicians of spin, these production wonder boys, these wealth creation gurus, these self-proclaimed ‘budget emergency’ busters who conned so many of the electorate into thinking they were our economic saviours, are they now giving up?

teamThese lying, deceitful cretins who supposedly had the answers to all our problems are now asking members of the former government who saved us from the GFC to come on board as partners in ‘Team Australia’?

What a pathetic way for a national leader to acknowledge that he and his treasurer are no longer up to the task. And if that is true, they should hide their heads in shame and go back to the people.

Abbott’s plaintive call to 400 of the country’s leading executives came after another week of management failures that covered a range of areas involving his own stupidity, his Defence Minister’s stupidity, and the Communication Minister’s stupidity.

It came after a week that included other ministers sending mixed signals about dumping the $7 GP co-payment, which itself came right on the heels of some disastrous fiscal projections from the Parliamentary Budget Office concerning the ever ballooning deficit.

Laura Tingle of the Australian Financial Review notes that “Prime Minister Tony Abbott finds himself defending the indefensible, or the already mortally-wounded, on three different fronts”. She is referring to a now dead budget strategy, the ABC broken promises parody and Defence Minister, David Johnston’s ‘rhetorical flourish’.

With the government’s Senate option’s now even harder to negotiate, little wonder Abbott is showing signs of desperation. How humiliating it must be for him to ask for Labor’s help. Particularly, as Laura Tingle explains, the markets and the business community now see the budget impasse as “a disaster of the Coalition’s own making.”

In a quite feeble defence, the government has also called on Labor to say what it would do to ‘fix the budget’. Once again, they seem to forget that they are no longer in Opposition.

budgetAnd, seen through their narrow-minded neo-liberal eyes, what a fix it needs. Just last May, Hockey projected a budget deficit of $29 billion for 2014-15. The report just released by the Canberra-based consultancy Macroeconomics suggests that on current trends the deficit will more likely be $47 billion. Worse still, they are projecting a deficit of $24 billion in 2016-17 against Hockey’s projected $2.8 billion.

How vindicated must Wayne Swan be feeling right now as he witnesses these incompetent amateurs stumbling around in the dark desperately trying to spin their way out of their own ineptness.

Meanwhile the Parliamentary Budget Office has released an analysis emphasising the “sensitivity” of the economy to the areas of productivity growth, the labour force participation rate, and the terms of trade and the likely outcome on revenues if the present targets are not met.

missingThere are some dark days ahead for Hockey, right up to the next election. But Abbott’s position is worse. He has all but lost credibility within his own party. As Laura Tingle puts it, “As Abbott’s credibility is under deadly assault, and the authority of his senior ministers is missing in action, the resolve of both Labor and cross benches to stand their ground only increases.”

They say what goes around, comes around. Surely that Sydney Daily Telegraph front page headline of the 5th August 2013, urging the electorate to “kick this mob out” must certainly be resonating around the country right now. If asking Labor to help get it out of its fiscal mess is any guide, perhaps it is also resonating from within the Coalition.

32 comments

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  1. Ron Barnes

    Their is no team Australia as this government only looks after their finical backers..
    This must be the worst ever Government in my life as a voter
    They were elected on a lie, fix Labor,s mess. It was a gigantic lie Who will Fix The mess the Liberal Nationals have created. No one can, as their mistakes are many.

  2. Terry2

    The Murdoch press , particularly the Australian, have closed their eyes to the reality of this bumbling, incompetent Prime Minister and in their enthusiasm to blindly support this ideologically driven administration have massively let down all Australians.

    The strategy of trying to blackmail the people of Victoria into voting Liberal over the $3 billion infrastructure funding will be seen for what it is and will not be tolerated in our democracy.

    PS: not really fussed with that nail fungus ad !

  3. Richard

    John, Another piece of excellent commentary. Thank you.
    I cannot understand why the voting population are not screaming in the streets to remove these incompetent fascists. All the LNP are doing is following the will of their backers and those who fund them.

    I’m concerned that those elected to replace the LNP at the next election [or sooner] will have a massive up hill battle to repair all the damage done to Australia both at home and internationally.

    What this [lower case] government have done to Australia will take many years to repair.

  4. Graeme Rust

    It’s not just lately they have been asking Labor for suggestions on how to repair the mess that abbortt and sloppy joe have created, they have been almost begging for help, oh yes, and what would you do, or, tell us what we’re doing wrong, they were given ideas, but didn’t want them, so now
    labor is keeping stum, now abbortt is asking everybody for ideas how to dig his way out of a bloody big hole? doesn’t roop have any ideas? like, phone tapping, or just maybe throw in the towel dum dum, your finished, get out while your down, and losing more and more every day.

  5. Keith

    Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten gave a speech at the Press Club earlier in the week where he indicated Labor was developing a focus on the future. The impression given was that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has a vision for the future.

    In Parliament the progressive side of politics have been openly saying that Abbott is a liar. Abbott repeatedly stated that PM Julia Gillard was a liar,in the end it stuck. With Abbott there is no need to keep pushing that view as it is not a concept that needs to be pushed hard…Abbott is recognized widely as being a liar.
    The Labor leadership issues were also pushed hard by the abbott gang; and so, the Liberals cannot now have a leadership spill as their spin against Labor will come back and bite them.

    It is interesting that the abbott gang are trying to portray themselves as a cohesive group; yet, till so far they have been shambolic in trying to “govern” Australia. The Rudd/Gillard governments had their leadership issues but left behind a fine legislative record. Naturally, there were some issues of governance; but, nothing like the sheer incompetence being displayed at present.

    I have frequently asked the question “what has the abbott gang achieved”,?. There have been virtually no answers except for in earlier months “stopping the boats”. However, an answer earlier in the week said a genuinely good decision was made when the bully sex offender had his visa revoked. The respondent went on to say “But that’s one rose growing in a very, very large pile of poo.” It is interesting that he used a “rose” in his analogy as they bite sometimes.

  6. June M Bullivant OAM

    I have never seen the decisions made by the people in Governments today that are so out of touch with community needs, both state and federal all seem to be big spenders, but at the same time telling the most vulnerable to tighten their belts (I am old enough to remember being told that by Fraser) I was then struggling to keep food on the table for a young family and working 60 hours per week out side the home, we find ourselves in the same position now attacked on all sides, they want to sell all the countries assets (which I might add belong to the people), they want to privatise all Crown Land, they decide we can have CSG under our water tables, and make decisions that drought proof the big miners, but do not worry about the people) they accommodate big business and will mine up to your side fence and home, they destroy the environment, they destroy small business and we are losing jobs at a rapid rate, they say they are creating them but we never see them. They do not know a common sense approach if they saw it, they do not act transparently and even a bigger problem the lie to cover the truth. Where has all the truthful, transparent people that were supposed to have been elected to represent the people, where have they gone. They are certainly not where I can see them.

  7. mars08

    Quoting His Excellency, Major-General Douchebag in the BCA speech:

    “…no reasonable person thinks that our current tax system is the best we can do.”

    And again… right there… are some more weasel words. A vague, harmless statement that really means nothing. The sort of throwaway line that can be twisted as needed. Slimy Abbott doesn’t publicly define HIS ideal tax system… he just winks….

  8. John Fraser

    <

    Every time "eleventy" Hockey sticks his head up it gets kicked ……. and its his "good mate" Abbott doing it.

    Perhaps Hockey should renew his wedding vows and invite Abbott to be the "best man" …. that would complete the Slipper nightmare that Hockey appears to find himself in.

    Worst government in the 40,000 years that Australia has been inhabited.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Every time Abbott and Hockey say to Labor “So what would YOU do?” they should hold up a copy of the 2013 budget.

    A carbon price, a mining tax, close the rorting of fraudulent claims of car business usage, tax superannuation annual income over $100,000, invest in renewable energy, invest in research and needs based funding for education, invest in a world class NBN, invest in a National Disability Insurance Scheme, contribute to the world fight against climate change.

    I would add increase Newstart by $50 a week. Increase the humanitarian intake and close offshore detention camps. Do as Fraser did and open processing centres in transit countries and fly refugees here. Cut defence spending, cancel the order for 58 new fighter jets and forget about 12 new submarines. Tighten up the rorting of MP’s entitlements that allow unscrupulous people to claim money for going to private parties, charity and sporting events and stop paying people like the odious Mark Textor and the hundreds of advertising people employed to sell the lies.

  10. Rob031

    Could it be that Joe Hockey is now Australia’s own version of ‘Chemical Ally’?

  11. lawrencewinder

    Bereft of policy in opposition, and incapable of implementing the “Ugly American’s” IPA thought-bubbles now they’re in power, this shambles of a government is looking like it’s disintegrating. With “Rabid-the-Hun” able only to mis-quote mumbles from “Little Johnnie’s” lexicon no wonder “Asbestos” Julie looks good!
    Poor fella, my country.

  12. Florence nee Fedup

    Abbott has vision, that if the USA Tea party. Trouble is his vision is disastrous for Australia, or any other country for that matter.,

    This mob cannot understand why they are failing. Still have faith in their beliefs.

    Yes, we do now have a budget crisis, along with a crisis in government.

    No one seems to be leading this mob. Definitely not Abbott.

    One threatening to cross the floor. Must be more tempted to follow.

    Misnamed GP tax legislation has not been sighted.

  13. Lee

    What a relief the adults are now in charge!

  14. Ian Joyner

    Following Johnson’s remarks about canoes, I quipped that I would not trust the government to paddle a canoe since they’d throw out the paddle as an efficiency cut. Someone replied that they have already thrown out the paddle.

    What is a government’s paddle? It is taxation. Money coming into government funds allow it to paddle the economy, to make sure that infrastructure is built and services provided. Howard cut taxation, so threw out the paddle. This government continuously denies that they need to get the paddle back and so this aimless drifting continues. Labor made some attempts to regain the paddle with carbon and mining taxes.

    In order to get the paddle back, you must reach out to where the paddle is – where the money is in the economy. So far this government has only managed to grab at places where the paddle isn’t with petrol excise and GP co-payments.

    They should get this message loud and clear that this is what people are so upset about.

    To the G20, Abbott said “No country has ever taxed or subsidised its way to prosperity. You don’t address debt and deficit with yet more debt and deficit.”

    He is absolutely wrong. Government deficit results from the failure of government to collect enough revenue. Some would say, it’s spending too much. However, taxes the government collects are put back into the economy making the economy healthy so that more tax is raised thus perpetuating the feedback cycle. That’s why we have elections so those who fail to do this are booted out.

    This government’s tactic is to choke the economy. Blaming Labor’s spending – which stimulated the economy at the right time – while ignoring Howard’s tax cuts is not correctly identifying the problem. Tax reform is not reducing taxes – tax reform is collecting the right amount of tax from the right sources.

  15. stephentardrew

    Great article John.

    Hope this will quieten down the doom seekers and nay sayers who do not seem to have faith in the validity of progressive ideas.

    Owning the media is not going to save the LNP from a death by a thousand cuts.

    Me I wanna fight these bastards and am sick of left wing sniveling that they may have a secret weapon.

    These fools?

    Wake up everyone and get ready for a fight we are going to win.

    Doubt is a disease that eats at confidence and active doing.

    Its time to go for the jugular of Team un-Australian.

  16. stephentardrew

    Kaye absolutely.

    Its time to shove Swan and Labor’s final Budget in the face of the LNP day after day pointing out the difference in deficit projections.

    No discussion, no rationalizations, just keep bashing on how the LNP destroyed a well formulated economic plan that has been shredded by a bunch of economic illiterates.

    Wish we could give you some media time to let fly with incontestable facts.

    Bloody hell when are Labor going to do it.

  17. Möbius Ecko

    Riley you do know what independent means? If you do, can you tell us in what way is this site not independent?

  18. joffa230

    Riley If you don’t like this site I suggest you get your news from the MSM, some great unbiased info can be obtained from the likes of Andrew Bolt, Piers Ackerman, Neil Mitchell and all News Corpse media. Oops I almost forgot the GREAT Alan (the public toilet guard) Jones and his cohorts at 2GB.

  19. John Kelly

    Riley, you don’t have to look too far to find a definition of Independent, : not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself: an independent thinker. I think that pretty well sums up this website.

  20. w ch

    I am doing some research on the political scene in 1975. Fraser was criticising the Whitlam Govt on all fronts. The Whitlam Govt’s response was to call on Fraser to say what he would do. Fraser replied it was not the role of the Opposition to release its policies and programs until an election had been called. The Opposition was there to make the Govt accountable and answerable for its policies. It was not required to say what it would do. A primary reason for this was that the Opposition does not have access to all the information necessary that a Govt does. Nor does it have access to the Public Service departments for advice. The role of the public service is to advise the Govt, not advise the Opposition. Shorten would do well to repeat this in modern times when the desperate and flaying Abbott Govt repeatedly calls on the Opposition to say what it would do.

  21. Ian Berry

    I thought I was being too negative when I suggested that Rabbott an Co were the worst Gov’t ever elected but finally a lot of other people are coming out and expressing the same view. In the words of the mighty Gough ” It’s time” time for “one term Tony” to go. We have had enough.

  22. Lee

    “What is a government’s paddle? It is taxation. Money coming into government funds allow it to paddle the economy, to make sure that infrastructure is built and services provided. Howard cut taxation, so threw out the paddle. This government continuously denies that they need to get the paddle back and so this aimless drifting continues. Labor made some attempts to regain the paddle with carbon and mining taxes.

    In order to get the paddle back, you must reach out to where the paddle is – where the money is in the economy. So far this government has only managed to grab at places where the paddle isn’t with petrol excise and GP co-payments.”……

    “Government deficit results from the failure of government to collect enough revenue. Some would say, it’s spending too much. However, taxes the government collects are put back into the economy making the economy healthy so that more tax is raised thus perpetuating the feedback cycle. ”

    The federal government doesn’t need to get the paddle back, per se. It needs to create the paddle. Australia has a fiat currency system. It is sovereign to its own currency and all of its debts are issued in its own currency. Therefore the federal government creates money by spending. It cannot tax us until we’ve earned some money, which means the money has to be in existence before the tax is paid. Our income taxes don’t pay for anything. They are used to regulate the economy. If we have unemployment, the federal government needs to be spending (creating) money to create employment. If we suddenly have lots of people with lots of money to spend, thus creating demand for products and services that exceeds the rate at which it can be supplied, then inflation is the result. Income tax is used to control the rate of inflation so that hyperinflation does not occur.

    The LNP government is obsessed with returning the federal budget to a surplus. If the federal budget is in surplus, then private sector savings are down. When our budget has shown a surplus, it has usually been followed by a recession. The private sector needs to be able to pay its debts otherwise bankruptcy is the result. The LNP government is also obsessed with painting taxation as evil and promising tax relief, so they have backed themselves into a corner. If they spend the money they should be spending, then they would have to increase the level of taxation to control the inflation rate and get rid of the loopholes that allow our wealthiest citizens to avoid paying any or little income tax. They have created a very negative attitude to tax and their backing comes from those wealthy (and extremely powerful) tax dodgers.

    Another problem they have at the moment is that they are obsessed with obtaining this surplus so they aren’t spending money where it needs to be spent. They want the private sector to invest in infrastructure projects that the federal government should be funding. Since they are applying austerity measures and unemployment is growing, many people have ceased spending unnecessarily whilst others have insufficient money to spend on necessities. This is in turn hurting businesses. With a downturn in business, they are then reluctant to invest. Unlike the federal government, businesses ultimately need money coming in first before they can spend it, or some assurance that the money will come in the near future. The Australian government can never go bankrupt.

  23. my say

    It really really makes me furious,that the MSM shock jocks, and murdich, got this deranged and dangerous government elected,and to make matters worse they still can’t bring themselves to admit how wrong they are,how were so many so stupid.
    what is more frightening is we have to put up with them all for another two years,
    Some one from the australian was saying Abbott should call a DD because his policies are being blocked in the senate,We have been asking him to do that for months ,but he will never do that ,he hasn’t got the guts

  24. DanDark

    It takes a lot of energy and focus to keep a turd floating, and that’s what the 3 amigos have been doing but their dog paddling days are over it seems, it looks like Abbotts up shit creek without a paddle, but it had to happen how long could they keep Tones afloat with their bullshit…..

  25. Florence nee Fedup

    Riley what does independent mean to you. The owner of this site is not affiliated to any political party or union. He receives no money from any individual organisation.or company. I belongs to NO MSN. Has no connection with any.

    yes, he has had support of people over the years with similar beliefs and views. Most of these have met through the blogs over a number of years.

    This site is independent because it is beholden to no one.

    Yes, it is proud left leaning site but I would be surprised if many belong to Labor, or even vote that way.

    I would love to hear what your explanation of independence is.

  26. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes, there was much good un the 2013 budget. One could say, this is what we want to do. Yes, but also emphasise that adjustments needs to be made for changes in the global economy. That is what we will be working on for the next year and half.

    There is no need for Labor to re-invent the wheel. Gillard was great at knowing what was needed, and good at delivering. Yes a wonderful and efficient manager Maybe she failed at politics. lies do not come naturally to her.

    Gillard, as far as governing went, run a tight efficient ship. Great agt getting things done.

  27. Pingback: What a bunch of Amateurs. | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

  28. Michael Taylor

    Riley is welcome to submit an article for publication with his own views. If it’s good enough, we will publish it.

  29. Trevor Vivian

    Great Article John. Thank you. Ah the life of Riley, all hat no cattle. Finally the worm turned and Abbott returns to his nasty critical negative carping deciet, and demands that those who have surfaced from the poo deposited on them from team Abbott get asked to supply the answers. Sack Abbott, there’s an answer. All the comments and no one speaks of the deleterious situation of Aboriginal Australia as Abbott cuts to beyond the bone sending the first Australians back to 1906 acts of Parliaments to control the dying race. Well stuff you Abbott. What’s coming for you , you deserve. Pity about Australia.

  30. Terry2

    I get the impression there has been a sea change at NEWS CORP – perhaps a directive from New York – all of a sudden the editorial picture in the Australian lurches towards the centre :

    Paul Kelly – ‘This week the accumulating defects of the Abbott government were on graphic display….’

    Dennis Shanahan : ‘ there’s little to celebrate as the Abbott government ends its first year on a mediocre note ….’

    Peter Van Onselen : ‘the PM needs to lift himself out of a quagmire of his own making : wheels are falling off as Abbott careers to year’s end…’

    Judith Sloan : ‘ Some proposals put up by the government are daft, muddle headed or unworkable…’

    Editorial : Stop the silly slogans, start fixing a damaged budget……..’

    But good old Gerard Henderson didn’t get the memo : ‘labor is to blame for the upper house system that is causing legislative delay…’

    And the little boy cried out “but father the Emperor has no clothes………… and so it was and the people, as one, called out ‘the Emperor is naked’…………..”

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