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Frydenberg and Steel-Plated Boots

The final results are in for the fiscal year 2018/19. The government’s May Budget prediction of a $4 billion deficit has come in officially at a $641 million deficit.

Well, ring the bells, set off the firecrackers, send a telegram to the Queen. We almost made it. It’s as near to a surplus as you could hope for. All our worries are over. God is in his Heaven and all’s well with Australia.

Except it isn’t!

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. How apt is this simple proverb in today’s economic environment where we have a treasurer and his government obsessed with the idea of producing a surplus in the face of a declining economy?

What fools these people are!

These idiot politicians who have presented themselves as the masters of good economic management, who have convinced a majority of Australians that surpluses are good, that deficits are bad, that debt denominated in our own currency is somehow a burden on the nation.

Never mind what that debt has done to improve the wealth of the private sector; never mind the added value reflected in a GDP number that would otherwise have been negative but for deficit spending.

What is it about these people that they can’t understand a simple economic imperative?

Who is advising them and is the advice being accepted?

If one is foolish enough to believe the government is doing a good job in managing the economy, seek counselling. Rather, one should be directing their admiration and heaping thanks and praise on China and in a perverted sense, Brazil, not Canberra.

It is Brazil’s misfortune and China’s continued growth that has made our terms of trade look rosy. But for that, the real state of the domestic economy would be exposed for even the least competent observer to see.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Morrison and Frydenberg are doing the same. They are patting themselves on the back while unemployment rises, production levels are being revised downwards, private debt is driving record numbers of bankruptcies.

Soon, very soon, it will be apparent to all that monetary policy (interest rate reductions) have little or no impact on those who are already struggling to put food on the table. The only means by which our economy can improve at this time, is an injection of government spending, sufficiently large enough to kick-start consumer spending.

Striving to produce a budget surplus is counter-productive to that need.

A surplus is contractionary. It reduces the money in circulation. Our economy needs more money in circulation, not less. The Reserve Bank governor, Philip Lowe, has been dropping hints as big as footballs for months. Yet still, Josh Frydenberg doesn’t get it.

He will soon, however. Our iron-ore sales to China are the only reason he hasn’t already. Soon Brazil will be back in the exporting game. Then, we will see the first negative GDP quarter come in and the penny, hopefully, will drop. I hope, when it does, that he will be wearing steel-plated boots.

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  1. Phil Pryor

    We have had luck, customers, government stupidity and the conservative botty twitching about frugality; this is a poor position, not too bad, but ignorantly avoiding necessities of planning, foresight, awareness, ability. The treasurer is an exhausted penile member, unable to erect a proper plan for stimulation and recovery, let alone forward thinking. We need better government and will not ever get it with this scummy scrum of conservative clods and clowns.

  2. Aortic

    Morrison, Cormann and Frydenberg have as much economic knowledge as the former financial wizard Joe Hockey of leaner and lifter fame. As rightly stated in the article without favourable exterior factors, our situation would be markedly different. Nothing this rabble would even know how to initiate, would contribute to the betterment when the situation changes which it will surely do. We need someone with some vision and certainly not Morrribund Doorman and Friedanegg, bellyaching in Parliament.with huge grins telling us how the Labor Party can’t manage money. Obviously the majority of the punters were conned, with the help of Palmers millions into believing this. Almost guaranteed when things go belly up it will somehow be all Labors fault.

  3. Matters Not

    Re surpluses and the like:

    Except it isn’t! …

    But perhaps it’s better than it might be under Labor who promised an even bigger surplus in the last election? Are you suggesting that it’s a good thing that Labor wasn’t elected? At least in the economic sense?

    Or is it the case that that citizens (the voters) aren’t the font of all knowledge? Cannot be relied on to make good decisions? Are easily fooled? etc

    And how do we explain to those who point to the Scandinavian nations which produce surplus after surplus (to the applause of their citizens) that ‘surpluses’ are bad while deficits are ‘good’?

    Perhaps the ‘politics’ are a bit more complicated than the ‘economics’? (And so it goes.)

  4. Kerri

    The penny will drop but with Joshie as treasurer there will be no one to catch it.
    And the PM is setting up Lowe to take the fall for their economic mismanagement.

  5. andy56

    Matters not, ” or is the case” is exactly the case. Until we have the courage to kick out stupid incumbents, we will not progress.
    The economy needs a fundamental kick start. Its been hollowed out to such a degree that we dont have much apart from iron ore and coal to export. If you take these out, the economy is dead man walking. Federal budget looks good, too bad everything else has gone to pot.

  6. Stephengb

    Australia EXPORTS Agriproduce 77% and minerals/fossil fuel (Iron ore, Gas, Coal) 100%.

    Exports (balance of payments) are currently positive. Soon China will stop buying Gas Iron ore and Coal, because POTUS is killing their industrial base.

    Agri-produce is insufficient to sustain a positive balance of payments.

    Then we will see a new recession, perhaps even worse than the GFC.

  7. Matters Not


    we don’t have much apart from iron ore and coal to export

    Maybe? But I note we are also exporting (our) ‘gas’ at such a rate that makes us the biggest ‘gas’ exporter in the world and at the same time we are then importing what was once (our) gas to meet the local demand. And we do so at a price far, far above what we sold it for in the first place. A Monty Python script?

    Note also the profits from what was once ‘our ‘gas are transferred elsewhere – without the right tax (or even any tax) being paid.

    While one could go on re how we are duded (here, there and everywhere – try rare earths as a current example), it might explain why the Scandinavian countries (who refuse to sell their revenue producing assets – generally speaking) can run almost endless surpluses while, at the same time, can also provide so many services, including free university education etc.

    Perhaps surpluses are not so much an economic problem as a lack of political will to adopt a different a different ideological ‘common sense’? Perhaps we need to be aware of political economy …

  8. OldWomBat

    I hope something rather heavier falls on frydenburg, morrison, dutton, …..

  9. Kathryn

    Is it possible we could ever have a WORSE government than the Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Circus? Not to diminish the absolute mess the Howard/Costello government made of our economy when they recklessly threw away countless BILLIONS of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on a vile illegal war (in Iraq) at the height of a mining boom, Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison (like most LNP governments) clearly cannot be trusted to manage the contents of a child’s piggy bank! Leaving this totally inept, horrendously wasteful pack of ultra-conservative, draconian self-serving elitists in charge of our economy is tantamount to putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank. Remember the relentless hullaballoo this government (and their propaganda Ministers of Fake News in the lying Murdoch press) made of Rudd/Gillard’s now comparatively very modest deficit of $240 billion deficit? Now we have the appalling situation where absolutely NOTHING is mentioned – by these totally deluded, pompous politicians or the Murdoch-influenced media – about the scandalous near TRILLION dollars of debt our country languishes in at the moment! Now it is a case of “don’t look over here … look over there!” whilst we have the dictatorial, bible-thumping hypocrite (Morrison) totally ignoring our nation’s worst deficit, ignoring the disastrous impact farmers are facing due to the catastrophic affects of climate change and continuing their callously inhumane stance against asylum seekers, pensioners, people eeking out a living in survival mode on Newstart and their remorseless attacks, vilification and sneering condescension of the most vulnerable citizens in the country!

    Whilst our economy is in freefall, the unspeakably depraved politicians in a regressive, coal-loving fascist regime don’t mind handing themselves a couple of massive pay rises in less than six months whilst ignoring the pleas of the overwhelming majority of Australians to increase Newstart and STOP the LNP’s inhumane move to push through a cashless welfare card that will demean the recipients of this meager pittance even further! This is an autocratic government – who are now the highest paid, non-achieving politicians in the OECD – led by a pompous, sanctimonious and supremely arrogant “happy clapper” who, clearly, chooses to leave his so-called fake Christianity at the door whilst he goes on and on locking up legal asylum seekers – and their traumatised children – in off-shore concentration camps under the horrendously cruel watch of delegated sadistic attack dogs (like Dutton), wasting MILLIONS of dollars on politically-motivated Royal Commissions into Unions and their political opponents that have achieved and proven NOTHING, spending countless millions on illegal raids on the offices of the ABC, arresting whistle blowers, intimidating and harassing journalists, shutting down democratic protest marches and muzzling debate or justified criticism of the LNP’s staggering ineptitude, unbelievable cruelty and increasing fascism!

    NOW we have a government that doesn’t even bother hiding their increasing level of rapacious corruption, that stands up and openly (and shamefully) defends charged and convicted paedophiles (like George Pell), a government top heavy with a pack of alpha-male misogynists in a “boys’ club” that has the least number of women in their federal cabinet than any other government in decades, a government that has absolutely DESTROYED our (once) fine international reputation and ANNIHILATED our environment and caused the precious, rare waters of our longest river system, the Murray/Darling river, to be handed over to their mates in the greedy cotton growing industry (at the height of the worst drought on record) – thanks for nothing, Barnaby Joyce – in less than six catastrophic years of reckless waste, financial mismanagement and environmental vandalism to appease their huge donors in the mining industry and their predatory mates in huge multinational corporations!

    What have we had since 2013? Answer: The gormless Abbott who turned lying and deception into an art form, broke every single promise he ever made and whose pathetic obsequious imperalism saw him re-introduce the elitist knighthood system which he bestowed on the Duke of Edingburgh, a man who has never even tried to hide his open contempt for Australia and Australians; The elitist and absolutely useless Sloppy Joe Hockey whose rigid, short-sighted belief in the failed and discredited Trickle Down economic theory literally froze public spending and national confidence; The depraved megalomaniacal sociopath Dutton whose level of criminal, callous disregard for humanity borders on insanity; The ineffective, weak, supercilious and thoroughly disappointing Turnbull; The supremely arrogant and contemptuous Matthias Cormann whose disconnection from ordinary hard-working Australians living outside the bubble of Canberra is the stuff of legend; The mindless fool, Frydenberg, who couldn’t be trusted to manage the budget of the daily takings of a school canteen let alone have any credibility as one of the worst Treasurers in our history and, now, a totally inept, absolutely corrupt and self-serving bible-thumping hypocrite, Morrison – who is now playing the nauseating role of salivating lapdog to the insane Trump (as they both eagerly seek an excuse to start a war with Iran to distract the voting public from their woeful and dangerous tenure as the worst leaders in the OECD). No-one can deny that the LNP have turned Australia from HERO to ZERO in rapid time!

    Where is the governor general? WHY aren’t Australians rising out of their stupefied complacency and demanding the dismissal of the absolute worst, most corrupt, dangerously undemocratic and fascist regime in our history? Can ANYONE remember what Australia was like under the foresightful leadership of the compassionate, high-achieving democratic socialist Whitlam? We were PROUD of Australia then – it was a compassionate nation that welcomed migrants, it was a time when we were justifiably proud of our successful multiculturalism. It was a time when the forward thinking Whitlam government introduced Medibank (the forerunner of the now defunded Medicare), introduced fully-subsidised tertiary education (now defunded into oblivion by the LNP) and gave generously to national theatre and arts programs after decades of woeful neglect by the insular Menzies regime! NOW, under the hateful vindictiveness of a loathsome, capitalistic neoliberal regime that rules by division, xenophobic racism, hate and fear, the LNP have given “permission” for the nation’s worst, most repugnant racists and misogynists to crawl out from under their rocks and pile scornful derision and mindless attacks against anyone who doesn’t fit into the LNP’s “ideal”, ie wealthy, white, male, so-called christian and anglo-saxon!

    History has shown – indeed, it has PROVEN – that, without any doubt, Labor are – and have ALWAYS been – far superior economic managers. There is valid reasons WHY the ONLY two Australian Treasurers to receive international fame and well-deserved praise as the “best treasurers in the world” were BOTH Labor Treasurers: Paul Keating and the illustrious Wayne Swan who’s brilliant STIMULUS initiative ensured that Australia was the ONLY OECD nation to escape the GFC – an initiative that was then copied throughout the world!

    The WORST Treasurers in our history were undoubtedly John Howard, Costello, Morrison (before he became the worst PM), Sloppy Joe Hockey and the catastrophic Josh Frydenberg – ALL of them deluded fanatical followers of the Trickle Down economic theory which has been absolutely and thoroughly denigrated by illustrious economists such as the Nobel prize-winning Joseph Stiglitz! For God’s sake, Australia, WAKE UP and kick this government to the kerb at the next election – they have destroyed Australia’s international reputation, attacked our vulnerable citizens, annihilated our economy and vandalised our environment! The question is: How BAD does the LNP have to get before misinformed, Murdoch-manipulated, apathetic Australians finally realise just how toxic the LNP really are and STOP VOTING for them? The 2019 federal election PROVES just how stupid the tiny majority of disconnected, complacent Australians really are 🙁

  10. Diane Larsen

    Wow Kathryn nailed it spot on read exactly how I feel about the disastrous government we currently have and their predecessors

  11. Regional Elder

    A brilliant summation of where we are as a nation after more than 6 awful years of LNP government, and following 17 of the last 23 years that these LNP fools and charlatans have been in power.

  12. Robin Alexander

    Wonderful Kathyrn took those wordsstraight out of my mouth?I maybe 82yr old pensioner but follow with dread what is happening to Australia? Well put Kathyrn! Just listening ABC interview with reporter speaking of influence ofPenticostal preachers everywhere in Kimberlies telling natives their faiths in their past beliefsare of the Devil? Now residents in thesecommunities burning everything they held sacred of their past every reminder even bull dozed mens place? mamShekes them feel renewed? She mentioned a woman Preacher from Tonga who has been in region for approx 5yrs! but movement seems widespread now beginning to coarse concern?I believe this is is dangerous development! Having read their beliefs they certainly do not have Christian beliefs? They worship only the wealthy and believe all others are of the devils making and not to be helped?that is becoming very obvious with our PM complete lack of compassion for less fortunate and intent inflicting more pain on rest of us with his self satisfied smirk always? Their beliefs are like living in 1700? MONEY is their God? Deep concern for all on any government payments Aged & Veterens they intend Indue card next year! Please try imagine the very elderly trying to negste the complexity of Indue card wherevonly accepts/limited amount only on each transaction? No direct payments allowed?having to ring Indue to forward your money for purchase? Then after repeated requests you are told that you dont need it cannot afford it? Thisbis what happens now? 80/90yr olds never cope with change and why should they have to? Truly evil government intending great Aguish/stress/humiliation to elderly last years of their lives!!

  13. Aortic

    Brilliant exposition Kathryn, well done. If we didn’t have the natural resources we have in our ancient land, we ordinaries would be living in desperate circumstance, with the RWNJ’s still blaming the Labor Party for all the ills. They are economic numpties and if there was a god, I would implore him to send help before the inevitable proverbial hits the fan.

  14. Michael Taylor

    Brilliant, Kathryn. That’s worthy of a post. Do we have your permission to turn it into a guest post?

  15. John Hermann

    The tragedy is that the largest opposition party is as economically illiterate and irresponsible as the governing coalition. Witness the promise of former federal Treasurer Wayne Swan that he would get the budget into surplus come hell or high water, And the promise of former shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, in an absurd fit of one-up-manship, that “our surplus will be bigger than theirs”.

  16. totaram

    John Hermann: you are correct. I am tired of posting this fact, so it’s wonderful that you still have the energy to do so. When we do point this out we are attacked for being “anti-Labor” or some such.

    John Kelly: I tried to send you an email at the address I had used in 2016, but it didn’t work. Can you please send me the new one? Thanks.

  17. Kathryn

    Michael Taylor, thank you for your kind words. Yes, you have my permission to turn my vehement rant into a guest post. My fury against this government has not diminished since 2013 …. the manner in which they have laid to waste our economy, our national pride, our international reputation, our children’s future and our environment can never – and should never – be forgiven.

  18. The AIM Network

    Thank you, Kathryn. Someone will be onto it this afternoon, and it will be published either this evening or tomorrow morning.

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