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Day to Day Politics: After-Budget Hangover.

Wednesday 24 May 2017

I’m having one of those days where I’m going over all those things that I haven’t gotten around to reading since the budget. Catching up on things that friends have sent me. It occurs to me just how much information I take in on a daily basis. Some things hang around for a few days before giving way to whatever has hit the headlines.

And that’s how it is at the moment. The Budget has come and gone leaving a residue of problems, complications and Senate procrastination. And a hangover of sorts.

So what follows is a list of things that have caught my attention. You might like to discuss some of them.

1 Tuesdays Essential Poll shows Labor leading the Coalition 54/46 showing there has been no budget bounce. It also confirms my belief that when you are on the nose with the public its awfully difficult to move the numbers.

Turnbull says the Polls since the budget vindicate his Budget. Can someone point me to one that did?

A Budget can only really be judged when you define its purpose and that need not always be economics. This one was unashamedly political. Sean Kelly suggests that behind it were four aims 1. Too obliterate Turnbulls reputation as a do nothing politician. 2 Too establish some sort of competence. 3 Re present himself as a moderate. Kill off Labor attacks.

2 Making sense of the jobless figures. That’s if you can. In any case the way we measure them needs to be upgraded. And it puts a lie to the Governments constant attacks on those without work.

The figure of 19 applicants for every job available might be far worse than we think.

The Australian – Page 2: 22 May 2017

Original article by Adam Creighton

Roy Morgan Summary

“According to official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 per cent to 5.7 per cent in April 2017. However, analysis suggests that the real unemployment rate exceeds 20 per cent if all Australians of working age who are not currently in the labour market or are underemployed are included in the data. Roy Morgan Research executive director Gary Morgan argues that Australia’s political leaders should follow the example of US President Donald Trump in calling out “fake” unemployment figures. Morgan adds that the Reserve Bank sets interest rates too high on the basis of the “phony” jobs data.”

Be honest about unemployment – it’s above 15 per cent

The Australian – Page 12 : 22 May 2017

Original article by Adam Creighton

Roy Morgan Summary

“Official figures show that just 732,000 people in Australia are unemployed at present and the nation’s unemployment rate is 5.7 per cent. However, 6.9 million people of working age are classified as not in the labour force, and more than 20 per cent of them want a job. Likewise, the underemployment rate has risen to a record 9.2 per cent, which equates to 1.1 million people. The Australian Bureau of Statistics uses an internationally recognised definition of unemployment, but it should also publish the real unemployment rate, which would be at least 15 per cent.”

My apologies to whoever sent me the above piece. I cannot trace your name.

3 I was going to include a comment on this but Terry2 did so yesterday and I don’t think I could have said it better.

Just as an aside: I note that the Trump women didn’t wear a head covering when meeting with Saudi royalty as is conventional – something that Trump had previously criticised Michelle Obama for the same thing, he tweeted in 2015 :

Many people are saying it was wonderful that Mrs. Obama refused to wear a scarf in Saudi Arabia, but they were insulted. We have enuf enemies”

Then Trump wears a ‘Kippah’ [skull-cap] at the Israeli Western wall as is customary for men: no women allowed.

When Michelle Obama met the Pope she wore a black ‘mantilla’ on her head as is customary: the Trumps will meet the Pope in the next few days so it will be interesting to see what the Trump women wear: perhaps beanies all round (?)

The politics of head covering!

4 Tony Abbott continues to be a thorn in the side of the Government saying his budget of 2014 was the gilt-edged Rolls Royce one that would have solved Australia’s economic problems.

He also thinks Australia has become part of the weak government club because centre-right politicians can’t get their agenda through the Senate.

I wonder why these people ever in the quietness of their thoughts ever ask themselves the very simple question ”why?”

It still hasn’t occurred to him that it was one of the reasons he lost his job.

In his latest advice to the party he once led he said the budget, which was the best the government could do in the circumstances, underscored the urgency of Senate reform.

Didn’t he realise they had already done that?

5 The Federal Governments Black Economy Task force is due to release its findings in October. Originally they said it was worth around 25billion but now they reckon if you include money laundering, and drug trafficking it’s likely twice as much.

I used to be one of those who insisted on an invoice from a tradesman showing the GST. Then I found out how many of the rich and privileged didn’t pay tax. Then I ……..

6 Pauline Hanson seems to have really gotten caught with her pants down trying to make money from One Nations own candidates. And it’s all on tape.

The conversation went like this (as reported by the Australian Financial Review):

“There is an opportunity for us to make some money out of this, if we play it smart. Now I know they say you can’t make money out-of-state elections, but you can,” Mr Ashby is recorded as saying.

“And I’ll deny I ever said this, but, what stops us from getting a middle man, or gracing, I’m happy to grace in cash and double the price of whatever it is, and we say to the candidates, we will fund 50 per cent of this package.

“So the package might be five grand, ‘you’re gonna pay $2500’ and we’ll pay the other $2500 of the $5000. The other $2500 is profit, it’s the fat, and I wanna write it off. I don’t want the cash for it, I’ll make it a bloody tax deduction.”

At one point, he suggests “we buy the corflutes for $5, we sell it to them at $11” and claims “that’s what the Liberal Party do”.

“Because when you lodge the receipt at the full price with the Electoral Commission of Queensland you get back the full amount that’s been issued to you as an invoice.”

At one point, Senator Hanson appears open to the idea, saying: “just look at it, what is the best financial outlook for us?”

Together with the ATO revelation last week they reinforce the need for a form of federal ICAC.

Bill Shorten said:

“But clearly here, down the track there will have to be questions of competence for the government to answer. And I also think it makes Labor’s support for having a Senate committee investigating the merit of a National Integrity Commission seem quite on the money.”

7 The Washington Post is reporting that President Trump registered eight companies in Saudi Arabia. The names appeared to be of a “hotels nature.”

Trump registered the companies in August 2015, shortly after launching his presidential bid, according to The Post.

Note. It is illegal for a President to gain economically from overseas companies.

My thought for the day.

“Life is an experience of random often unidentifiable patterns and indiscriminate consequences that don’t always have order nor require explanation. The more we relate to others the more we get to know ourselves.”


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  1. Don A Kelly

    “The Australian Bureau of Statistics uses an internationally recognised definition of unemployment, but it should also publish the real unemployment rate, which would be at least 15 per cent.”
    The media reports the unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 points to 5.7 per cent – sounds good. The actual aggregate hours worked, which I believe paints a truer picture, decreased by 4.3 million hours (0.26 per cent) – sounds bad and it is. Australia has become a part time employment nation.

  2. Terry2

    Hanson and Ashby were not only planning to scam their candidates, they were also planning to scam the taxpayer by submitting dummy invoices to the Qld Electoral Commission which would be doctored to show that they had paid $5000 [$2500 by the hapless candidates and a fictional $2500 for election materials supplied by One Nation].

    As ashby has noted, the Liberal Party is also engaged in this scam through their front company Parakelia, set up to launder money so that it appears legitimate and claim it back from the AEC.

    if you followed the Godfather trilogy you will remember that the Corleone family shrouded their criminal activities under a legitimate front company – Genco Olive Oil – well, it’s the same with the Liberal Party and now One Nation. So, really there’s nothing new here, we just need to bring in the family enforcer to, Luca Brasi, to cover the whole thing up.


    the reserve bank is required to consider employment levels when performing its functions in relation to setting monetry policy and full employment is one of its legislative objectives but i do not think it acts according to that objective and instead is narrowly focused upon inflation to the detriment of employment.

  4. Matters Not

    Just a reminder:

    The Uluru First Nations summit is being held ahead of the 50-year anniversary of the groundbreaking 1967 referendum

    Perhaps the first question in Parliament might be directed to Peter Dutton. A ‘surprise’ question.

    Minister, do you regret walking out of Parliament when Kevin Rudd was delivering the Apology to the Stolen Generation on Feb 13, 2008

    Of course it will be ruled out of order because it doesn’t relate to his current responsibilities. But the damage should be done by that time. A stark reminder of his past and besides it will enliven question time.

    Might set a pattern. Introduce a different strategy into the Parliament. Then there’s Bishops trips to the AFL. Joyce’s destruction of the Toyota in a flooded creek. And so on. A reign of fear.

  5. Michael Taylor

    We need to bring the “three strikes and you’re out” rule in to Australian politics.

    Three budgets in a row without them being passed … you’re out.

  6. Roscoe

    Only three MPs voted today to establish a National Commission Against Corruption. Liberal and Labor opposed. Nothing to hide?

  7. Ross

    The 2017 budget is a new low for a government that sets the competency bar extremely low.
    Both Joe hockey and Scott Morrison were/are federal treasurers who would not know an economy if it painted itself purple and danced naked on a harpsichord screaming ”look at me I’m an economy”.
    At least Mr Hockey was up front and non apologetic about the bastardry of his 2014 budget. Mr Morrison on the other hand has added low rat cunning to the basdardry of his 2017 budget.
    That the big 4 banks will pass on any levy/tax to whoever they can is a given. Even a drovers dog knows that. Not content to go after the old, the sick, the unemployed, students and pensioners this treasurer goes after the large juicy soft target of the big banks. Everybody, including said drovers dog, hates the banks so no problem letting them take any flak from the governments point of view. The quid pro quo of not having a Banking Royal Commission. The way it is supposed to work, the banks slug whoever they can plus a bit more to fatten the bottom line, the upper echelon banksters trouser a few extra million in bonuses and the government gets a much needed boost in the polls plus something or other to do with the budget bottom line.
    Well that appeared to be the plan, it may have worked if anybody was still listening. Maybe a gigantic tax cut for the great unwashed and a Snowy Mountain mark 3 will do the trick in the 2018 budget, if Malcolm and Scott last that long.

  8. Don A Kelly

    This is a copy of a letter that I recently sent to my local newspaper (Fairfax). I doubt that they will print it.
    Awkward truth.
    True or false?
    • Just like a household, the government has to finance its spending out of its income or through borrowing.
    • The role of taxes is to provide finance for government spending.
    • The Federal Government borrows money from the private sector to finance the budget deficit.
    • By running budget surpluses the government takes pressure off interest rates because more funds are then available for private sector investment projects.
    • Persistent budget deficits will burden future generations with inflation and higher taxes.
    • Running budget surpluses now will help build up the funds necessary to cope with the ageing population in the future.
    All of the above neo-liberal comments are false and all non-ideologically driven economists know this.
    This is not an opinion or a theory. It is simply a fact.
    Reference; L.Randall Wray, Professor of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City. Michael Hudson, University of Missouri-Kansas. Professor Stephanie Kelton, Ph.D. University of Missouri-Kansas. Warren Mosler, Economist, broker, engineer and the author of Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy. Bill Mitchell, Professor of Economics, Newcastle (NSW) University. Phillip Lawn, Professor of Economics, Adelaide University.
    Why is the awkward truth hidden from us?

  9. The AIM Network

    We’ve added a few features that give you much more ease and flexibility when writing comments that include bold, italics, links, images, quotes etc. We’ve looked for a cheat sheet/s that is/are the most simple to read – a task in itself! – and these two should do it:

    Markdown Quick Reference Cheat Sheet

    Some examples of how easy they are:

    For italics, you now simply put an * before and after the word.

    For bold words, you now simply put two ** before and after the word.

    For quotes you now simply put an < before the section you want to quote and leave a space where you want it to end.

  10. LOVO

    before and after word
    before and after word
    Where the f&*€# is the backward facing arrow doovey on my tablet keyboard, ??? ?

  11. Möbius Ecko


    Ah I get it, the markdown for a swear word.

  12. Steve M ( ausgronk)

    Having read as much as I can about the budget and the claims being made by the relevant Coalition mouth pieces I keep coming back to the thoughts of if this was a budget announced by Labor when in government not in opposition of how the howling headlines in the saturated Murdoch media would be relentless and would take any twist or turn on a daily basis to keep their version or more accurately their total bs would last for at least a month. While I acknowledge that there is still some chatter about the place on the budget it is already becoming something that the government is not talking about so much except for parliament where of course they revert to the roll of being loud mouthed bullies with no actual discussion of policy but instead they try to puff themselves up as they are reaching around to pat themselves on their backs as if just by creating a collection of words on a document titled * Budget* that they have answered all issues and that they have once again shown what wonderful economic managers they are and everyone else including the citizens should not dare to ask questions or say anything other than what they want hear when in fact all they have done is the same as nearly everyday since being in power spouted weasel words and with answers on the go that should make them odds on favourites for Olympic gold medals. They have not progressed our country’s prospects or any real ideas for our collective futures other than their own survival and alleging who is to blame and that we should just trust that they now how to do everything & anything and we and anyone else are irrelevant and not to be trusted.

  13. Michael Taylor

    LOVO, you click on the ‘.?123’ symbol twice.

  14. jimhaz

    @ Don A Kelly

    Because they are all true except the last one. MMT is only OK in a closed system – not a globalised one.

    Lefties ranting about MMT do more harm to their purpose than good – it will not happen. It’s a dead parrot. The monetary system is not the problem – the rich controlling government policy is.

  15. Terry2

    What is it about the Right-Wing in this country that they can come out with statements like this after the Manchester terror bombing :

    “if there had been a shred of justice that blast would have detonated in an Ultimo TV studio’ on Monday”

    in Quadrant magazine.

    They were referring to ABC’s Q&A which was devoted to the Sydney Writers’ Festival and Quadrant wanted to see the panel balanced with some conservatives : helloo, we are talking about writers, creative people not politicians ; apart from which Niki Savva from The Australian was on the panel (as a writer).

    The Right got their knickers in a knot after Yassmin abdel magied made comments about asylum seekers on Anzac day and they wanted her sacked or even deported yet they feel that it is within their freedom of speech parameters to make statements like that : the full article is here :

  16. Don A Kelly

    jihaz…..Modern Monetary Principals apply to all Governments that are Monetary Sovereigns as Australia, USA, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, England and all other countries which have a currency issuing Central Government. Any restrictions placed on the spending of a monetary sovereign are self imposed.
    In Australia we have one of the worlds greatest economists, often referred to as a neglected profit, Bill Mitchell at Newcastle University. In recent years there have been many academic papers published and many books published by very famous international academics; Randall Wray is a famous American economist, Warren Mosler, a multi-millionaire Fund Manager is hardly a lefty, he was a Central Banker insider, Frank Newman was Deputy Treasurer Secretary in the USA in the 1990’s, an insider. All of these people and many more convey the same message, that all of the points that I listed in my previous post are FALSE.

  17. Greg

    well one of the more sickening but not unexpected moves within the budget that relates to the DSS is that from 1st July this year about another 11,000 people will be put on to income management aka the cashless welfare card using back door antics , by the 1st of January next year that number will rise by another 10,000 or so because of the new amendments to the social security act . If other information given to me is also true then this government is about to go to a whole new lever of big brother

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