Tuesday 6 February 2018
1 At the end of it I felt a sense of nothingness. I couldn’t think of anything in particular that offended me, although I wasn’t exactly feeling offended. They had covered all of the bases, joined all the dots, so to speak. Bland, that was it, that’s the word to best describe the program.
In a year when it’s highly possible that an election might be called, both the journalists and the presenter all seemed to have not shaken off the lethargy associated with this time of the year.
The interview with the Prime Minister looked pre-recorded, rather rushed, and the questions a little insipid. Turnbull made a poor fist of defending his tax cuts against a 20% increase in company profits, and wages being held down. He refused to say where the money (what services would be cut) would come from to pay for these cuts. 259 of 350 comments on the interview on Facebook were negative.
The program didn’t seem to capture or reflect the intensity of the political atmosphere that is permeating the community.
Perhaps I should be using the word “stale”. As I said, they joined all the dots covering the missing Cabinet papers that the Cabinet had passed onto another cabinet. Then came Medicare, Citizenship, the Batman by-election, the cost of living and the economics that go with it.
The three journalists all agreed that trickle-down economics had not worked and was being debated within the major economies. I wondered at one stage if Labor’s formal acceptance of a national ICAC as policy might get a mention given that 83% of the population want it.
At the same time, in the back of my mind was how the media, prior to Christmas, had changed the dynamics, or the mood of our politics to show that Turnbull was now in with a show.
Everything has changed. Being the worst Government in Australia’s history has been forgiven because the media don’t want an election without scandal, without controversy. They want all of that together with a close contest.
I’m not for one minute suggesting that Insiders was unprofessional, biased or unbalanced. The conversations were well covered, although the environment seems to have gone out of fashion. They agreed and disagreed with each other.
It’s just that they had little vibrancy, no willingness to say it as it is, as if they were not willing to offend. Of course I might be completely wrong. If you have any thoughts on the subject then please make a comment.
2 Invariably when I’m on a debating site or just talking to people of a conservative disposition they will bring up the Coalition’s economic superiority and generally I’m caught without the figures that matter. Yesterday Terry2 provided us with what we need to know:
In the six years of the Rudd / Gillard Labor government from 2007 to 2013, gross government debt increased by $225 billion, from just under $50 billion to just over $273 billion.
Over this period the world economy went through an economic melt-down, government tax receipts were severely reduced and money was pumped into stimulating our economy and keeping us out of recession: it worked.
In simple terms, government debt rose by an average of $38 billion a year under Labor and its policies during the GFC.
So far under the coalition government, gross government debt has increased by a further $203 billion to a record $476 billion. This has happened despite a strong world economy, interest rates locally being cut to record lows and the export sector being helped by a competitive level for the Australian dollar.
The annual increase in government debt under the coalition government has been an average of $60 billion per year, some $22 billion a year more than under Labor. Treasurer Scott Morrison’s recent budget update has government debt reaching $600 billion by 2020.
You may remember the scare campaign run by the coalition on Labor’s debt and deficit debacle and even Barnaby Joyce saying this:
We’re going into hock to our eyeballs to people overseas. And you’ve got to ask the question how far in debt do you want to go? We are getting to a point where we can’t repay it.
Some people believed that debt was out of control under Labor and that only the coalition’s superior economic management could repay the debt and eliminate the deficit and they voted accordingly in 2013 : the same people are now being asked to believe that tax cuts will achieve the same result.
Just how gullible are we?
Kaye Lee also chipped in with this:
As we are still aiming for a surplus in 2020 (as if), I want to see what services will be cut to pay for corporate and income tax cuts.
The other ridiculous part about income tax cuts, as Barrie Cassidy pointed out, is we are all going to have an income tax increase when the extra medicare levy kicks in. Give us a cut in an election year knowing there is an increase the following year. What a ridiculous waste of time.
And the rot about our corporate tax rate being uncompetitive is another lie. Whilst the headline rate of 30% is now comparatively high, the many deductions we allow makes the effective tax rate, according to the US Congressional Budget Office, 10.4%. Also, because of our dividend imputation system which stops income being taxed twice, Australian shareholders will have to pay higher income tax to compensate for the reduction in franking credits.
My thought for the day
“The left of politics is concerned with people who cannot help themselves. The right is concerned with those who can.”