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Joe Hockey is either a hypocrite or incompetent, or maybe both

Today’s interest rate cut have – as cuts do – no doubt been welcomed by Australians weighed down with a mortgage, but one prominent and wealthy Australian whose financial security is not under any such encumbrances has also found the news welcoming: Joe Hockey, our Treasurer. Here is Mr Hockey’s reaction:

“This is good news for Australian families and it’s good news for Australian business,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Canberra.

“The government is working hard to take the pressure off interest rates by keeping inflation low.”

Mr Hockey said the rates decision would lift business and consumer confidence. “The shackles are off the Australian economy,” he said.

Joe Hockey says the global economy has become more challenging since the cash rate last changed.

It is a different Mr Hockey now that he’s Treasurer. Under a Labor Government interest rate cuts were considered bad, bad, bad.

We have sifted through the archives at The AIMN to see what Mr Hockey’s reactions were – and our accompanying commentary –  when he was the Shadow Treasurer to a government who rode us through the Global Financial Crisis and oversaw numerous rate cuts. One thing stood out: he is all over the shop when it comes to talking about – or knowing about – interest rates.

Enjoy these gems from our archives . . .

With the announcement that the Reserve Bank is tipped to cut rates today, Joe Hockey has pounced:

Mr Hockey says the expected cut shows Labor has lost control of the economy.

But, he adds:

“Of course interest rates on average should be lower but if interest rates come down today it is because the economy is struggling, not because it’s doing well,” he told ABC radio on Tuesday morning.

Is it just me, or does the above statement make absolutely no sense or offer no logic whatsoever? Have I missed something? Or has Joe Hockey finally made it publicly clear that he has well and truly lost the plot?

I suspected all along that he lost the plot eons ago. His history of erratic announcements on interest rates confirm this. And no matter what happens to interest rates today, he will see it as a result of bad government.

The Prime Minister’s early announcement that the election will be held on September 14 relegates the recent Liberal Party’s Our Plan: Real Solutions for all Australians to the waste paper basket. It probably belonged there anyway; offering nothing but statements and bereft of strategies. They’ll be busy coming up with something more substantial over the coming weeks, one would expect.

I also expect they will retain this commitment from the Plan:

The Coalition will protect the Australian economy from economic shocks and create the conditions which keep interest rates as low as possible . . .

I wonder if Joe Hockey knows about this. Was he even consulted? Is the party aware that Joe has been telling us for some time now that interest rate cuts are a bad, bad thing?

Or maybe Joe was consulted about the Plan a couple of years ago when he trumpeted that interest rate cuts were a good thing.

After all, in August 2010 he told us he wanted them to come down:

. . . what I did say is I would want to see the Reserve Bank move further in cutting interest rates.

Then in September 2010 the thought of rising interest rates made him livid and it was all the Government’s fault:

The Gillard Government must accept the blame for higher interest rates.

History tells us that the rates were put on hold that month, incidentally. But Joe was livid nonetheless.

In November 2010 after a rate rise he was still livid:

Australian families were the victims of a government who was no longer talking about interest rate rises, childcare costs and other costs of living, Mr Hockey said.

Families would struggle to buy Christmas presents, he said.

“It hasn’t been the usual practice of the Reserve Bank to increase interest rates in December because that is like a body blow to the heart of retail in Australia.

“But that body blow has been delivered, it’s been delivered by the Reserve Bank, by the banks and it’s all come about by this government.”

Fast forward to his 2011 Budget Reply Speech a more relaxed Mr Hockey told Parliament that:

. . . this Budget does nothing to reduce the upward pressure on interest rates.

Funnily, however, there were no rate rises in 2011 up to the day of his reply. But he was about to get livid again.

On Oct 1 2011 in anticipation of an increase he pointed the fickle finger of blame at the Government:

Of course the Reserve Bank should not be increasing interest rates tomorrow, but if they do then it will be Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan’s interest rate increase because they have done nothing to address core underlying inflation pressures.

Guess what? They never went up. Nothing to blame the Government for after all. Good try though.

Like all hard working Australians he announced on Jan 27 2012 he wanted the RBA to cut rates:

“I think the Reserve Bank has the capacity to do much of the initial heavy lifting and to stimulate economic growth by reducing interest rates.”

And he alone could save us when on March 27 2012 he proudly announced that:

He would work though on realising lower interest rates that would prop up the finances of many Australian households.

But . . . when they did come down, on May 11 2012 he was back to his livid self:

 . . . shadow treasurer Joe Hockey said the rate cut was a sign that the Government had lost control of the economy.

Yet he left us dumfounded on June 4 2012:

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has conceded Australia’s economy is in reasonable shape and endorsed Wayne Swan’s commitment to returning the budget to surplus.

Speaking to an international audience on Bloomberg TV, Mr Hockey said Australia was vulnerable “like everyone else”, but its economic fundamentals were strong.

“Australia is in a better position than most other western nations,” he told Bloomberg’s Asia Edge program.

“We have an unemployment rate of around 5 per cent, we have strong demand for our commodities and even though they probably won’t get there we have a government that at least is promising to deliver a surplus budget.”

[yet] When the Reserve Bank lowered interest rates by 50 basis points last month, Mr Hockey said it confirmed the “weakness in the Australian economy”. In his budget reply he said economic growth under Labor had been “very poor”.

The very next day, after a rate cut he sniggered to the adoring media that:

The Reserve makes clear it is worried about Australia’s underperforming economy and deteriorating international conditions.

But before the month was over they were apparently going up according to Mr Hockey:

Well you know what’s interesting . . . we’ve been saying this for three years now, that if the government actually delivers a surplus then it’s going to take upward pressure off interest rates.

Which is good, because it fits in with his Nov 2010 prediction:

Australia is set for high interest rates.

And also in November that year after an increase he declared:

. . . the Gillard government and its ”insipidly weak Treasurer” owned the interest rate rises.

And when we didn’t get a cut he laments in June 2012 that:

“A week ago Australians were expecting an interest rate cut – now they are facing interest rises. That undermines consumer confidence, it undermines business confidence and it leaves Australians fighting higher prices.”

But when the rates went down on Oct 2 2012 it was back to the Government’s fault again:

The Reserve Bank has cut interest rates today not because the economy is doing well, but because parts of the economy are doing it tough.

And on Oct 10 last year he took on a dire tone:

Last week’s reduction in the cash rate, to 3.25 per cent, took it to levels only one cut away from the lows reached during the financial crisis. The Reserve Bank are cutting interest rates not because the Australian economy is doing well but because the Australian economy is deteriorating.

But also in October 2012 we learn he wished for an interest rate cut and his wish was rewarded. And he was happy:

Last Tuesday, at the Elmore Field Days, he called on the Reserve Bank to drop interest rates.

And lo and behold, an hour or so later, that’s just what the bank did.

So chuffed was Big Joe, he grabbed a tractor and raised it above his head, roaring King Kong style.

OK, it’s a toy tractor.

And when they don’t go down we get this statement on Nov 6 2012 to blame the Government for them being put on hold:

Joe Hockey claims the Reserve Bank did not reduce the cash rate because the economy is overheating:

‘This shows it is now manifestly clear that it is the policies of this government which are pushing up the cost of living and staying the Reserve’s hand in delivering further interest rate relief to home buyers and small businesses.’

Again in November last year:

. . . the carbon tax is going to make it harder to cut interest rates.

But he doesn’t like them being cut. Remember? It means the country’s in a mess and it’s all Labor’s fault.

Such as it was with this announcement on Dec 4 2012:

The Reserve Bank has today cut the cash rate from 3.25% to 3%. Clearly the Reserve Bank is trying to catch a falling Australian economy . . .

Followed by this the very next day:

The Federal Opposition says the RBA rate cut foreshadows tough times ahead for the Australian economy.

Coalition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says the move shows the RBA is intervening to counter Labor’s big spending policies like the promised Gonski education reforms and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

But he’s not alone. When joined by his boss in June last year:

Alas, Hockey was (inexplicably) joined at that press conference by Abbott, which reduced the average economic IQ of the room by 20 points. Abbott proceeded to lay out his understanding of the rate cut. Abbott thought the RBA had cut rates because “economic conditions are soft. The stock market is down. Profits are weak. Retail sales are weak. The property market is down.” Glenn Stevens’ statement that the bank had cut rates because of “modest” domestic growth, a weakening international environment and low inflation was politely ignored.

Yep, it’s all the Government’s fault. It’s only good if cuts come under a Coalition Government. To repeat the old Liberal meme, here’s what Joe had to say back on Aug 9 2010:

Mr Hockey also argued “interest rates are always lower” under the Coalition – an argument described by Mr Swan as one of the “bigger distortions” he’s heard in recent times.

Laughable, isn’t it?

I like what Leigh Sales asked him on the 7:30 Report on Nov 1 2011:

So, how come when interest rates go down the Government never gets credit, but when they go up it’s always the Government’s fault?

Follow the link if you want to see his answer, but don’t expect anything intelligent. You won’t find it.

. . .

See what we mean? He’s all over the shop.

And to think that this hypocritical, incompetent economic buffoon is our Treasurer.

Frightening, isn’t it?

69 comments

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  1. roscoe

    it sure is frightening, but then he wasn’t good enough to make it in real estate like his brother

  2. kate ahearne

    A terrific piece of research. Thank you.

  3. diannaart

    Joe Hockey is either a hypocrite or incompetent, or maybe both …

    and no one is asking if he plans to campaign for leader of the Libs either.

    I think he has not been his jolly old self since the stomach stapling.

  4. corvus boreus

    In yesterdays speech, Tony Abbott declared that ‘sound economic management was in Liberal DNA’.
    Perhaps this explains why he felt content that the best person for treasurer was one without any qualifications in economics.
    He had faith that a genetic predisposition towards instinctual understanding of monetary systems would see Joe muddle through.

    It seems that in the world according to Tony, Liberals are born with an inherent superiority in matters of fiscal restraint that transcends any training or learning, just the same as a certain lineage of hemophiliac Hanoverians are born with a ‘godly twinkle’ in their blood that decrees that they are pre-ordained to rule over us mere colonial commoners.

  5. DanDark

    Ahhhh yes what a pity the cigar chomping foot tapping baboon should of been focusing on real policies to enhance every bodies standard of living not just the filthy rich in opposition, and he thought the Australian people were going to lie down and take their crap, their bullying tactics, their insults, their backflips, their arrogance, the list goes on. Also pretending to be on a unity ticket with all Labors policies to get into power,
    but as we all know they had no intention in keeping those promises,

    Instead of tearing down the gov with his rot for all those years Smokin’ Joe should of been working,
    yes working, not just gobbing off all the time, now he is paying the price, it didn’t matter what Labor done, the libs came out firing both barrels, time for some karma Joe and Co….bang bang…. 🙂

  6. Ginny Lowndes

    Overseas there has been the rise and rise of large gangs of murderous men with flags.
    In Australia we have the rise and rise of a large group of very stupid men with free Uni degrees.

  7. gangey1959

    BOTH.
    I have been wondering whether there is a little bit extra special in his cigars too.
    And he is stupid.
    And his Govt car is a BMW.
    And, and, and…..

  8. Roswell

    On that evidence, both. I’d long suspected that though, even without this evidence.

  9. Robert W Gough

    I almost choked on my lunch today when I heard Hockey tell us that the cut in interest rates was a result of the Abbott government’s good fiscal management. I, too, remember his criticisms of the Gillard government when he said Labor had lost control of the economy and that the reason why interest rates were lowered was because the economy was struggling, not because it was doing well.

    Your words were too temperate when you referred to Hockey as hypocritical and incompetent. Hockey is an opportunistic liar who twists everything to suit his own political success. Dracula is now in charge of the blood bank and the media let him get away with the ridiculous statements. Even the Western Australian Premier refers to Hockey’s budget as flawed and a major reason for the unpopularity of the Prime Minister

    I remember all to well also how he and Abbott talked down the Australian economy during the Gillard days. Surely, this also makes them traitors. Not only should the Senate block supply but the two of them should be taken before the high court of Australia for treachery.

  10. Rossleigh

    Joe Hockey’s only qualification to be shadow Treasurer was his inability to explain himself in a way that would make people understand what he was saying…
    Joe’s only qualification to continue as Treasurer is his capacity to say things that are so patently stupid that people focus on the sheer incorrectness of the statement and completely overlook the implications of what he’s actually saying.
    For example, “Poor people don’t drive!” invites the obvious attack, but not the obvious question: “But surely, Joe, now you’re in charge they’ll be able to afford cars and they’ll be driving everywhere trying to pick up one of the three trillion jobs your economic management has created”

  11. Rossleigh

    And, of course, if our low interest rates are a sign of good fiscal management, what about the places where it’s zero? How awesomely better than us must they be???

    mm just wondering about my incentive to save…

  12. John Kelly

    This survey demonstrates that Hockey will say anything that sounds good for his side of politics. Whether it makes sense or not doesn’t matter to him, so long as it discredits the other side. His knowledge of economics is poor. He needs notes to refer to, constantly. This is also another example of an average media not taking him to task on the stupid things he says.

  13. bobrafto

    Waddaya expect from a liar?

    The truth?

  14. Bernie Radel

    I didn’t think anybody listened to anything Joe Hockey had to say anymore.
    He has proven over and over again that he is a dud.
    The Palestinian community must feel sick every time Joe comes out with his rubbish.
    Just a dumb man who has wheasled his way up the pole by being an agreeable person,
    But no one laughs with him anymore, only at him.

  15. Trevr

    Great article.

    Ginny lowndes, so much said in so few words on the predicament of modern Australia circa 2015.

    Treasurer Joe can’t decide whether he’s Mr Eleventy, Smokin’ Joe, or just the most economically illiterate Treasurer ever seen,

    but then again that’s the modus operandi of the whole Abbott rabble!

    Incompetent. Illogical, Ignorant, and wilfully so!

  16. stephentardrew

    I think the media went to the same non existent economic school that Joe Blow went to feeding upon ignorance with ignorance.

    They taught Eleventy number theory and inverse qualitative statistics and interest rate flexibility theory or the switch it pitch it method.

    That and his insistence he is living in a fluctuating matter and antimatter universe when yesterday becomes todays tomorrow, otherwise know as the bully boy effect.

    There is Phd in there, or should it be a Dhp, for anyone insane enough to try to formulate the Joe Switcher Ditcher economic thesis.

    Rhodes Scholar stuff wouldn’t you say?

  17. stephentardrew

    By the way lots of patient research. Very impressive.

  18. Ian Sprocket Muncher Parfrey

    So The Fat Controller finally sticks his head up out of the mire, does a little Oliver Hardy tie waggle just to let people know he’s not dead yet, and (hopefully) disappears never to be seen again.

    I give him 5 start out of 5 for effort and 0 out of 5 for integrity.

  19. Wally

    Joe Hockey is a DICKHEAD! Sorry for yelling but I hope some of the LNP members hear that and act appropriately by getting rid of him and Abbott ASAP. While interest rates are so low what happens to peoples superannuation and retirement funds? Realistically families were better off when interest rates were 16% and inflation was a healthy 10-12%. It was hard to get your first house but the percentage of your income spent to pay the mortgage shrunk quickly so households managed to have free cash within a few years after taking on a housing loan.

  20. Paul G. Dellit

    Great article. Incompetence breeds failure with hypocrisy (garnished with a bit of lying and obfuscation) its only defence. Only someone who really doesn’t understand economics (and attempts to conceal the fact by calling it boring) would appoint another man who doesn’t understand economics as Treasurer. Joe is a simple-minded, lazy, petulant ideologue capable of saying anything at any time in his flailing attempts to sound vaguely sensible. He fits right in with the rest of the Abbott Front Bench. Let’s hope Tony has the budgie smugglers to tough it out right up to leading the LNP to the next election.

  21. M-R

    The fact that he is the Treasurer says everything there is to say about this guvmint.

  22. Hyper Bollocks

    I’m not convinced this means anything. Has there ever been a Treasurer who hasn’t taken a completely hypocritical stance on interest rates from Opposition to Government? I mean, ever? I think not. It’s politics.

  23. Möbius Ecko

    He has not just done it with interest rates. Any news, from unemployment, business confidence, consumer confidence, retail sales, fuel prices etc. you will find Hockey took contradictory stances through opposition and now different ones in government.

    It boiled down to any news, good or bad, was painted as varying degrees of bad by Hockey in opposition. Now in government any news, good or bad, will be painted as good by him.

  24. Michael Taylor

    Trust Hyper Bollocks to complain. I don’t know why we f***ing bother sometimes. I guess he/she is one of these people who’ll just never be satisfied with what we do.

  25. CMMC

    Breaking News, Leadership Crisis

    They have finally figured out that Abbott is a zombie controlled by a printer at the IPA.

  26. Robert W Gough

    You say it well, Mobius

  27. Michael Taylor

    If you don’t like the commentary here then feel free to leave.

  28. Michael Taylor

    HB your comment was deleted.

  29. Loz

    Hockey is a man with little or no integrity. He will say anything to try and keep his seat in parliament regardless of the truth.

  30. Michael Taylor

    Yes, it was deleted because I chose to. My call. If you can’t work out why then that’s a shame. All of your future comments will also be deleted.

  31. Umberto Ledfooti

    A hypocrite? Incompetent?

    Definitely both.

    Just like his colleagues.

    And their ‘leader.’

  32. bobrafto

    In my opinion HB was making a point, whether one disagrees with his opinion really shouldn’t mean deletion.

    Obviously HB likes to have a banter and rejection is not nice.

  33. bobrafto

    BTW I enjoy reading tantys.

  34. Kaye Lee

    I disagree HB. I placed a commenter here under moderation because he continually derailed articles with his own bandwagon. I started by trying to engage, answering his assertions, until I slapped myself and realised I was being sucked into a convo that had nothing to do with the published article. People who are continually negative get very wearing after a while. I only have so much tolerance and when people are not contributing to the conversation I don’t think they should be able to divert it to their own agenda. I don’t need people to agree with me but I get sick of people who are making no positive contribution to the discussion.

    I should add I asked Michael’s permission first because he owns this site and has every right to make that call.

  35. Zolf

    Great research. I know this article is about the incompetence and dishonesty of Hockey.

    What about the call itself? (the interest rate cut)

    Point me in the right direction, but I’ve been yelling obscenities at G Stevens for a while now. This particular cut will achieve nothing significant. This cut should’ve been made ( according to me) when the AU$ was hovering around 90 US cents. It would have accelerated the AU$ fall to where Stevens wanted to in the first place. But no, he had to wait until these morons took all this money out of the economy. By now it will be largely ineffective. Today Stevens should’ve cut by 0.5% or nothing. This will only encourage stupid property investments, perhaps the sale of more bloody 4WDs.

  36. Kaye Lee

    Having reread some of my recent comments I am putting myself into time-out. Going to bed to sleep off my grumps. Tomorrow is a brand new day.

  37. Matters Not

    Kaye Lee, I for one really appreciate your articles and comments. And that’s from someone who rarely, if ever, gives praise. Count me as a ‘fan’ of sorts.

    Just sayin …

  38. Michael Taylor

    And that brand new day might just have more excitement in it. 🙂

    BTW, I’ve got the grumps too. Life’s too short to waste time arguing with people whose sole purpose in coming here is to do nothing but disrupt. That’s why I have no hesitation thee days in blocking them. They can take their bad attitudes elsewhere.

  39. Michael Taylor

    Another BTW, if Matters Not likes you, you must be good.

    He’s a hard critic.

  40. Matters Not

    Another BTW, if Matters Not likes you, you must be good.

    While ‘good’ is a ‘positive’ and ‘better’ is a ‘comparative’, and ‘best’ is a ‘superlative’.

    I believe, Kaye Lee qualifies in the ‘superlative’ category.

    But my ‘judgements’ are neither here nor there. In the whole scheme of things, I suspect that Kaye Lee has a self-concept that goes well beyond what contributors think of her, at any particular time.

    Just sayin …

  41. Annie B

    Good article – impressive research on statements made by Hockey.

    I used to think that Hockey was an OK kind of bloke. … When the LNP was in opposition, he made statements that didn’t make much sense, but that was more or less to be expected – from an opposition and particularly THAT opposition ….. ??

    Except now he holds the position of Treasurer, and I have never in my longish years of life, seen a man so inept, so out of his depth, so ‘controlled’ and so acquiescent to his ‘masters’ whims, as is Hockey.

    No use calling him nasty names ……… he is simply not up to the job. …. Doesn’t know bee from a bulls’ foot about economics or the effects of the rise ( or fall ) of interest rates on the economy overall, or even what debt and deficit is – in reality.

    We have lived through high interest rates before ….. low interest rates are much more of a worry. ….. especially if they fall any lower. As Rossleigh said : “And, of course, if our low interest rates are a sign of good fiscal management, what about the places where it’s zero? How awesomely better than us must they be???”

    Rossleigh is right to be worried.

    Hockey is the fall guy …. a puppet with nothing up top – and used mercilessly by the Abbott …. because Abbott knows that Joe will say anything and everything to stay in ‘Gods’ corner and in his good graces.

    Joe falls over his own contradictions – constantly. He simply does not have the intelligence, intellect or knowledge to be in the position of Treasurer …… of anything.

    I most definitely would not like to be in his shoes – at this time. !!!

  42. stephentardrew

    Spot on Matters Not:

    Completely agree.

    Kaye Lee is a gem.

    As for Michael he has always been a fair and tolerant moderator who puts time, effort and resources into something he believes in for the betterment of all.

    I do admire how tolerant those at AIMN are. A rare trait in social media.

    I am a real fan of AIMN which plays a valuable and informative role in my life.

    Note Michael “AIMN”. Even us dullards mange to get things right sometimes.

  43. Michael Taylor

    Thanks Stephen. Truly appreciated.

    Must admit those types are very trying. And tiring.

  44. rikda

    One could write a book on the wholesale abandonment of decency of various governments.
    But one singles out Joe Hockey because of his enigmatic separation of reality.
    In the halcyon days of socialist ambition, Joe was the caricature they all drew.
    He is the quintessential model of the “Big fat lying capitalist pig”

  45. Damo451

    Look ,i am starting to get a bit sick and tired of people doubting Joe’s abilities ,and questioning every little thing he says or does.
    I think it is quite obvious that Joe is more than capable of multi tasking ,and he can be ,both a hypocrite and incompetent at the same time.

  46. John Armour

    Whilst we’re all subliminally aware Hockey’s been making these sorts of stupid comments on rate movements ever since he got the shadowy job, it’s richly entertaining to have them all strung out in sequence, a conga line of contradictions with more no doubt to come.

    Or maybe not? If there’s a spill, Hockey’s arse will be on its way to Mareeba. So maybe we should cherish these gems.

    Beyond all this however let’s not forget that these micro-incremental movements of so many “basis points” are just distractions, like the hypnotist’s gold watch.

    Mortgagors may not get the cut, and if they do, what if they lose their job? There are reasons why the RBA cuts.

    And if anybody thinks, like Hockey, that this cut will drive a flurry of investment by business, they’re deluded. Business always has a wet finger raised trying to pick the wind direction and a rate cut just signals “more caution” and pay down debt.

    It’s fiscal policy we need to get the economy off the floor, but that means bigger deficits and more debt, and we know where that leads: more irrational fear-mongering from our idiot Treasurer.

    Thanks to the AIMN team for putting all that research together. Well done.

  47. Zathras

    Joe pays himself through a Family Trust to minimise personal tax and charges the cost of visits to his family farm in Queensland to the taxpayer and then has the gall to classify others as “leaners” while implementing austerity measures on them.

    The gloss of his contrived personal charm has long worn off and he will go with Abbott.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Thanks for the kind words guys but in my opinion it is the quality of the comments that helps make this site so valuable. I learn from all of you. It’s like having a whole heap of interesting intelligent people over for dinner without having to cook or clean up (or even get out of my jammies).

    I also like the uncluttered layout. It is much easier to read than most other sites I visit.

  49. Kaye Lee

    “And if anybody thinks, like Hockey, that this cut will drive a flurry of investment by business, they’re deluded. ”

    I agree John. I own a small business. Cutting interest rates will make very little difference to me and it will not cause me to employ more people – over the last couple of years I have cut staff. Demand is low, unemployment is high in my area, and people are nervous. Rents have skyrocketed and this move will only exacerbate that problem meaning consumers will have even less to spend.

  50. gangey1959

    Wow. There is a bit of pent-up angst in here today.
    Relax. It’s Valentine’s Day in a week and a bit.
    I can’t wait to see what Tones gives his various Ministers just to show what he really thinks of them.
    What colour are the flowers on poison ivy? And what is the best colour ribbon to tie around the handle of a dagger in the back?
    Meanwhile, a mate of mine’s company has just bought a big 3D printer.
    I’m allowed to play with it cos that’s the sort of thing I’m good at when I’m allowed to buy myself a job instead of being on Newstart.
    Let me know the required specs, and I can build us a real Treasurer. One with an activated brain perhaps.
    I’m going to leave building a PM ’til I’ve got it exactly right.
    We could have a go at some policies though as a warm up.

  51. Osmium Gus

    How do you know he’s trying to bullshit you?
    His mouth is open.

  52. Kelvin

    Interesting research, just shows, how we don’t have any real budget scrutiny at the time. What I mean by that is that it is important that we have an intelligent discussion on how the economy runs. Hockeys huff and puff simply devalues proper opposition scrutiny of budgetary matters. What is odd is how he continues to carry this strange behavior forward. Still talking budget emergency, fiscal disaster, debt being passed on to future generations while he is now the one blowing the debt out, simultaneously blaming previous government.

    Every now and then I still see posts from various people still pushing this debt emergency. Just to put it all into perspective, at the time Hockey took over as treasurer, Australia had a debt to GDP of 21%. USA 103%, Japan 276%, Greece 172%. Greece debt is now 214% of GDP. Even Switzerland had debt to GDP of 33%, higher that Australia. Clearly we do not have an emergency.

  53. John Armour

    @Kelvin

    I say this quite a lot but maybe you’ve never seen it…

    Our debt is actually not even a debt in the usual sense of the word. When the government issues bonds it’s just borrowing back money it spent in an earlier period. It’s actually just a central bank monetary operation to keep control of the interest rate.

    One would have more chance explaining this to a besser block than Hockey.

    Here’s a link that might help explain…

    Functional finance and modern monetary theory

  54. stephentardrew

    Good on you John Armour

    Keep bashing away.

    Someone has to.

  55. Jexpat

    Kelvin:

    The OECD numbers from 2014 reflect all that and then some.

    Government debt: ‌General government gross financial liabilities as a percentage of GDP

    http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/economics/government-debt_gov-debt-table-en

    We’re right down there at the bottom (bottom being the preferred position)

    “Beat out” only by Estonia & Luxemburg.

    The fact that he and Abbott are STILL on about “budget emergency, fiscal disaster, debt being passed on to future generations nearly the entirety, blah, blah, blah.”

    And with a few notable exceptions, the lazy stenographers and/or dishonest propagandists throughout the Australian media keep lapping it up- and bleating it out.

  56. bobrafto

    Intergenerational theft.

    I maybe wrong but I’m under the assumption that Tax Evasion by Murdock and the others amount to over $8Billion a year. (Kaye, please correct me if I wrong).

    A generation is 25 years X $8B = $200BILLION in today’s money then pile on the fossil fuel subsidy and the other corporate welfare.

    So the biggest intergenerational thieves are the corporate sector led by Murdoch.

    Tax minimization is legal, tax evasion is not.

  57. Terry2

    It seems that the government is starting to put out the message that debt is good at a time of globally low interest rates. According to Treasury figures our net debt has increased 34.6% since the end of 2013 – Dec 2013 $178 billion to Dec 2014 $239 billion – and is scheduled to be $244.8 billion by June 2015. http://www.finance.gov.au/sites/default/files/mfs-december.pdf

    So, sit back and be massaged by big Joe as he tells you, quite correctly, that our government debt is low by international comparison and that it is economically sustainable in the prevailing global environment.

    Subtly and not so subtly the message is changing and Labor’s debt and deficit can no longer be used as a whipping-boy because debt is now prudent and appropriate to good economic management.

    Gotta keep up folks.

  58. Mary Davidson

    Glenn Stevens – RBA. On ABC – blaming Senate ‘ hold-ups’ for domestic economic situation .

    He was in the Cabinet meeting held this week . Is this the ‘ message’ he has been told to put out to the public?

    Is this position non-political or what?

    “Dirty Deals done dirt cheap!”

  59. Roswell

    Mary, I wonder if Stevens has been critical of any of the government’s efforts in reducing income. It seems not. Very sus.

  60. Robert W Gough

    It is interesting listening to Hockey on today’s media now defending his leader instead of his flawed budget. Is it because he knows that his job as Treasurer will go also if his leader goes. It seems that neither he, Abbott or any other of the conservatives can come up with any new lines and the media just continues to give them time and to accept the verbal rubbish that they say.

    Here’s a new idea! We are constantly told by the Abbott government how wonderful they are by repealing “the Carbon Tax”. Shouldn’t the Treasurer be reminded that when the Gillard government tabled legislation to introduce “the carbon Tax”, the Australian household was compensated for the additional cost by increasing the tax-free threshold from $8000 to $18,000 and by making other payments to pensioners and lower income workers.

    Since “the Carbon Tax” has been repealed, isn’t it logical that the tax -free threshold should be returned to what it was originally and that the payments given to pensioners and low income workers should be taken back.

    It seems to me that Mr Hockey has only done half the job when he says that he has repealed the tax. Surely, he must do these other things also, otherwise we will end up with a budget in deficit. Or does he know this, and that it just wouldn’t be a politically wise thing to do at this time.

  61. vivienne29

    Frightening reading. Confirms what we all know – government of hopeless idiots – portfolio by portfolio.

  62. Möbius Ecko

    Robert W Gough @ 1:38pm

    Abbott, against what Hockey said, promised in opposition if they repealed the carbon tax they would not remove any of the benefits that the Labor government had put in place to compensate for it.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-06/hockey-on-carbon-tax-compensation/4556010
    Hockey rules out carbon tax compensation

    Will low-income earners lose tax cuts and carbon compensation?

    Short answer: Current payments won’t change, but future tax cuts are less certain.

    If you’re worried about your current pension or other government payments that increased when the carbon tax was introduced, then don’t – with the carbon tax gone, your payments will remain the same as was announced in this year’s federal budget

    From memory Hockey at the time was spruiking he could increase revenue by cutting taxes.

  63. bobrafto

    What I couldn’t understand and still can’t was that everyone was up in arms about the carbon tax even though they were compensated for it.

    And Gillard & co didn’t seem willing to keep telling the electorate they were being compensated or if they were, they were drowned out by Murdock and his hacks.

  64. bobrafto

    How much was the compensation worth? $1 or $2K’s?

    Against a $550 increase in elect. costs.

    Labor failed dismally in countering the Libs crap.

  65. bobrafto

    “This is good news for Australian families and it’s good news for Australian business,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Canberra

    They can’t stop LYING, it’s in their DNA.

  66. Wayne Johnson

    the thing that bothers me about joe hockey and his side kick cormann when they started cutting everything
    after tony abbot no cuts lies these two a holes were laughing and smoking their cigars knowing what their terrible polices were doing to the poor it made me sick to my stomach im glad we are going to be rid of them on the 2/7 i will go out and celebrate

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