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Government Shave $23 Billion Off Gross Debt Or How To Win At The Races!

Ok, I’m going to start with an allegory. A man takes $100 to the races every week and loses the lot. After a few years, his wife sits him down and says that if he goes on losing money at this rate, by the end of the year, he’ll have lost a total of $10,000. He nods and says that she’s right and that it’s a problem but right now his taxi is waiting and they’ll discuss this further tonight. When he returns from the races he tells her to put on her best dress and that they’re going out for dinner.

“Why?” she asks, “Did you win?”

“No,” he replies. “But I only lost $50 and by my calculations that means I’ll have only lost $8800 by the end of the year, so we’re over a thousand dollars better off!”

Ok, if that makes no sense to you then how did you react to the news that the Government had “shaved $23 billlion off the debt” (in the next four years)? Were you caught up in the euphoria that our finances were now back under control and that jobs and growth were happening because well we believe in jobs and growth and look, jobs and growth thanks to jobs and growth? Or did you remember to question everything that the papers tell you?

A few points to consider:

  1. The figure of $23 billion is only $23 billion less than the projected figure of $606 billion. It’s not $23 billion less than what the debt currently is. (That figure was conspicuously absent in all news stories)
  2. The figure is a prediction anyway. In terms of the allegory above, it’s like the man telling his wife that he has some much better tips for next week so that he’s sure that he’ll lose even less next week.
  3. Scott Morrison has developed “boring” as a method to nullify any political attack. If you are one of the few people who don’t immediately reach for the remote to change the channel then chances are that his use of the word “fiscal” followed be words, “responsible” and “jobs and growth” have sent you into the same sort of altered state of consciousness that enables certain witch doctors power over zombies. However, if you listen closely and can repeat the words, “I’m not in Kansas, Toto” every few seconds, you realise that he’s saying nothing and that his whole schtick is based on nobody actually releasing that he hasn’t actually done any more than repeat a few basic hopes and a belief that the future will bring good things because well, the Liberals are in charge and next year power prices will go down because we want them to.
  4. Sometimes the best way to reduce debt isn’t to concentrate on the spending side, but to actually spend so that you have more revenue in the future. Going to uni and having a HECS debt is one example. Fixing up your car so that you can become an Uber driver may or may not be worth it, but spending a few dollars getting Responsible Serving of Alcohol certificate so that you can actually get a job serving drinks will certainly improving your employment prospects. Of course, this won’t work out every time for everyone, but when you’re the government if you spend wisely, the odds are in your favour. Putting a cap on uni places may be a good idea or it may be ridiculously short-sighted. Either way, I’d like to see a rationale beyond simply: “This will save money.” That may be the same sort of rationale as not going to work will save you money on transport.

Whatever, I’m bemused by the way the media seem to simply repeat so much without question. It intrigued me to read about Robert Doyle vehemently denying accusations of misconduct. Given the case is under investigation, I make no assumptions about his guilt or innocence, but I can suggest that his public statement lacked a denial. He may have meant to include one and simply forgot in amongst everything else he wrote. He told us that they were terrible allegations, which even his accuser would agree is true. He told us that we was “frustrated” that he hadn’t been told of the exact nature of the formal accusation. He told us that he was a father and a husband and listed various other roles. He said that it was a distressing time. He said that his standing down shouldn’t be taken as an admission, which again is only fair. However, in the one page statement there was no actual “I did not do what I’m accused of” statement. Perhaps, he just overlooked it because the other things were more important to say and he felt that we could just infer the denial.

And certainly, when it came to the media, he was right, because a number of them reported it as such. Maybe he issued a follow-up statement, but I couldn’t find any direct quotes.

Ah well, we really should just let the investigation take its course without comment. After all, we’ve got to work out how to spend that $23 billion which we now have thanks the fiscal responsiblility of jobs and growth, you are getting sleepy, jobs and growth, you are in my power, wage rises will come, wages rises will come, you are getting sleepy…

Where was I? Oh that’s right, spending the $23 billion. My bet is on personal income tax cuts in the next Budget.


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  1. Ricardo29

    My wife insists I use the mute button whenever Momoscomo is on TV. But last night (7.30) I unmuted for Ellen Fanning’s questions and really enjoyed them. We all know momoscomo could talk under wet concrete, and know that what he is saying is utter bullshit, so this was a bit of a fun way to endure his interview. Sadly, the fact that he was there at all, was disappointing.

  2. Harry

    Despite all the rhetoric and bluster about the “debt and deficit disaster under Abbott though dialled down under Turnbull, they have increased the deficit and debt. Not only that but I do not believe they will ever get to surplus and nor do I think it a valid aim.

    Meanwhile they are continuing to cut government spending, give tax cuts to big business whilst making welfare harder to get and cutting Medicare rebates. Oh and the ordinary wage earner may get a small bone thrown at them just before the next election.

    Either they do not believe their own bullshit and they are quite aware there is no debt and deficit problem and never was or will be or they are behaving more like a state government than a sovereign entity that does not need taxes for funding.

    Many big businesses pay no or little tax so they get to keep all the profits they generate. The Turnbull regime makes noises about tackling tax avoidance by the big end of town but it looks like precious little will happen.

  3. kerri

    Good article Rossleigh. How many of the sheeple will be wise to the semantics and trickery?? One thing I can answer is how many MSM reports will question the semantics.

  4. Zoltan Balint

    You know the old saying ‘do not bite the hand that feeds you’ the LNP knows this and also knows that if you are doing the feeding a good kick in the guts usually stops them from asking for more.

  5. Kronomex

    I call, “Bullshit!” on Morriscums reasons for trying to push this travesty through. It’s more of a whining from the big end of town (no doubt with a few veiled hints about donations possibly not being forthcoming) about how The Donald is looking after us so why aren’t you. Besides, we’re the boss of you so look out.

    Talk about waving the magic accounting pencil…crayon. Little people watch out, there’s more to come.

  6. townsvilleblog

    Ross I think you were looking for an analogy mate, but in general a good article, keep up the good work.

  7. Anon E Mouse

    I would like to see Labor hammer them hard on them flogging the poor while rewarding the rich.
    A simple, oft repeated question like ‘ Why do the LibNats hate the Australian people so much?’ would put them under pressure for the many hateful, harsh, and cruel things this govt is doing.

    If Shorten can’t do that – then he should step aside and let someone else do it.

  8. economicreform

    It’s not debt. The issue of federal government securities should not be regarded as increasing debt, but rather as an increase in broad state fiat money – injected into the economy for the good of the economy. Be aware that a federal budget deficit is a private sector surplus, which the private sector needs in order to save, spend and invest.

    The reason it’s not debt is that a monetary sovereign can ALWAYS service any of such “debt” denominated in its own currency, and that this “debt” in the aggregate never needs to be “paid back”. It can either be rolled over in perpetuity, or – if the bond holder insists on redeeming the asset at maturity – can be easily replaced by the release of a similar financial asset at a price too good to refuse. This is what happens in practice.

  9. Rossleigh

    Analogy works too, townsvileblog, but I did mean allegory.

    a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.”

  10. helvityni

    Ricardo29,Ellen managed to stop Morrison a couple times, Leigh Sales NEVER….

    I want to use the mute button for: Turnbull, Morrison, Dutton, Bishop, Micaelia Barnaby…and more

  11. bobrafto

    Total debt is around $600B, if the wiz scomo can save $20B a year it will take 30 years to get back to square one, he’ll probably be dead by then, I’m reasonably sure I will be.

  12. Graeme Henchel

    Scott Morrison plays the role of George Costanza in a government about nothing.

  13. Max Gross

    And after all the damage is done, these incompetent, self-serving ratbags will swan off into retirement on super and pensions and perks the average mug punter can only ever fantasise about. Never forget, the decisions the LNP makes never hurt THEM.

  14. Florence nee Fedup

    Have we lost the like button or is it ny computer.

  15. Peter F

    Helvitny, Ellen also asked relevant questions about the actual debt at this time. I Know that the importance of the level of debt is dismissed in many quarters, but ‘the debt and deficit disaster’ HAS been the basis of the lies put out by the current team. I was pleased to see Ellen at work , and glad that I resisted my natural inclination to change channel.

  16. Michael Taylor

    It’s not your computer, Florence. The ‘Like’ button isn’t working.

  17. mick loughlin.

    When I listen to him and Dutton, as a father with three young kids, knowing they also have young children, it almost makes me shudder to think what sort of fathers they are.

  18. Kronomex

    Gina must be just about having orgasms now that Ben Dover Barnaby is about to become infrastructure minister.

  19. Vixstar

    A blogger said scomo likes putting the n word in cuts.

  20. Karlo

    Look into my eyes – not around my eyes – but into my eyes. Courtesy of Little Britain

  21. Florence nee Fedup

    Thanks Michael

  22. Phil

    Morrison’s life revolves around and within evangelical Christianity aka the Church of Personal Wealth – tax exempt. He is surrounded by and immersed in the faux religious cult of aspirational wealth and unadulterated personal greed – tax exempt. This is the church of crisp white shirts, flowery frocks, and soft rock bands singing hosannas to private money – tax exempt. The leaders of this false church realise the holy grail of monetary wealth can only ever be the possession of the few whilst the remaining majority can only ever aspire.

    Morrison’s politics is the politics of private greed and the price is rampant inequality. He cares about this because if the people twigg to the scam, they could turf him out and bang would go his status at the church altars, so he uses spin generated by an army of propagandists – an army that we pay for to keep his tax exempt wealth machine in motion.

    Morrison is a fraud on Australia.

  23. Peregrine McCauley

    Rossleigh is correct in using the noun – allegory . When at Tempe Primary in the sixties , we were taught English and grammar . The noun can be used in an narrative , or common speech , that uses examples , symbols , metaphors et cetera , to explain the meaning of the sentence in an alternative manner . Hence Rossleigh was making an allegorical comment . All pretty plain to me .

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