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Not Your Average Joke! (A biography of our Treasurer)

Joe Hockey (Image by

Joe Hockey (Image by

Listening to Joe Hockey, I always find myself conflicted. Part of me believes that he’s as economically ignorant as he sounds, another part of me thinks that he imagines he’s just part of a debating club where he’ll get points for trying to defend the indefencible, and yet another part of me believes things that I can’t say or, like the Fairfax Media, I could be sued by Joe, as part of the Liberal’s demonstration of their support for free speech.

Whatever, I found his interview last night particularly confusing, because I kept swinging wildly between all these possibilities, before remembering that I did once point out that the three were not mutually exclusive.

Labor controls the Senate, he blustered, until Leigh Sales, in that typical way that ABC people sometimes show their bias by bringing up facts – the facts are rarely on the side of the Liberal Party – pointed out that the Labor Party don’t control the Senate. At this point, he qualified it to, Labor and The Greens and the independents control the Senate. This, I thought, is an interesting definition of control. Rather like me suggesting that Mitch Johnson and I have over two hundred test wickets between us, or that Cate Blanchett and I have several academy award nominations. More, in fact, than Joe and Tony and their entire front bench combined.

In actual fact, I think that it would be fair to say that the Liberals, the National, The Greens, PUP and the independents control the Senate, but that sort of defeats the argument that Joe was trying to make.

Something about everything being Labor’s fault…

Including the people we have in charge of the country…

But I particularly liked his logic in arguing for the Medicare co-payment. To sum it up simply it went something like this, I earn a lot of money, Tony Abbott earns a lot of money and it’s absurd that we don’t pay anything when we go to the doctor, and you too, Leigh Sales, because we all know that ABC presenters are overpaid! So if we just make sure that pensioners and the unemployed don’t have to pay any more, then someone who’s working part-time on the minimum wage should also have to pay the say amount as Leigh Sales and Tony and me.

I have a vague memory of Labor suggesting a means test on the private health insurance rebate, which was dismissed as class envy and we were told that people on $150,000 were struggling. But like I said, it’s a vague memory and I seem to feel that it’s been cancelled out by the idea that people on the minimum wage are overpaid…

Now, Joe is always calling for ideas and complaining that Labor Party under Shorten are just negative and never giving him ideas that he can steal, so I have one for him: How about we raise the level of taxation just a little bit on higher income earners, Mm, let’s say, we add one percent on the Medicare Levy for everyone earning more than a backbencher and half a percent for everyone earning more than, say $120,000. Want to get Treasury to model them figures, eh? That should fix rich freeloaders like you leaning on the Public Purse and only paying a “mere” $40 when you stood on your son’s foot or however he broke it!

However, it’s his total lack of an understanding between “lifestyle” and “investment” that makes me stop drinking my chardonnay from the glass and start swallowing it straight from the bottle. While Tony’s turn-it-around Press Club Pontifications praised all those small business owners who’d mortgaged their homes, Joe was still pursuing his mantra that “all debt is baa-d”, in spite ot the fact that many businesses borrow to expand.

Debt can, of course, be bad. And while I don’t wish to make cheap political points and I think the whole negative gearing argument is more complicated than most opponents acknowledge (Two points, Keating tried to abolish it and it lead to a spike in rents, and point two, I have negative geared a property so I have a vested interest in abolishing it because it’s just recently become positively geared so any spike in rents would help a struggling capitalist like myself… Take that, you right wing trolls who try to argue from the point of view of economic illiteracy! I can forgive economic illiteracy from the Left, but when you profess to be Right wing, you’d better make sure that you don’t sound like someone who’s asked to be Tea Party Treasurer, only to discover that nobody wants to pay their dues because nobody owes anybody anything and besides “No Country Ever Taxed It’s Way To Prosperity”!)…

I lost my train of thought. Shit, I will be asked to stand for PUP if I’m not careful. Where was I?

Oh that’s right, if the Liberals are so sure that debt is bad and that we shouldn’t go into debt, I’d like to see Adam Bandt – or anybody really, perhaps even those SA Liberals that feel more than a little bit misled over submarine tenders or whatever the correct term for the way in which Abbott will allow Japanese subs into Australia even though the Diggers fought so hard to keep them out – move a private member’s bill to abolish negative gearing just so grandchildren won’t be born with a debt.

Mm, I can almost hear the argument now. It’s not a debt. Eventually, it’ll be an asset.

Once I thought that was the one of the reasons we educate our young…

Still, I’m not Treasurer. I’m just your average…


Aww, I’m probably just your average Rossleigh, which means I’m one of the few people who’ll ask, given the definition of seismic, how on earth can the PM use the phrase, “a bit seismic”?

Still, Joe has his “full support”…

Now that would be an interesting Google search. “xxx has my full support!”

I’d be willing to bet that most xxx’s in that quote don’t last the year.


Not Your Average Rossleigh.




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  1. CMMC

    Hockey is not talking about economics. Just like Abbott he is recycling slogans and tabloid/talk-back talking-points.

    I think he even invoked ‘Pink Batts’ yesterday.

  2. aravis1

    I won’t take your bet, but I hope – I hope – I hope, your last sentence is right. Once they’re gone, I think we will not quite believe they ever happened. Even now, I can hardly suspend disbelief.

  3. John Fraser


    Hockey's a piglet.

    And Abbot's a pig.

  4. mark delmege

    and Abbott wants to cut small business taxes … excellent – maybe it will help offset what he took off me last budget And he wants to extend middleclass welfare – though why I am not sure – I thought he was against that sort of thing. I guess it will be just in time for the next election (if he remembers and if he is still there) I’m sure The Shrek gave him full support for those policies.

  5. David K

    “Keating tried to abolish it and it lead to a spike in rents”

    Only in Sydney and Perth. Elsewhere it made little to no difference, and in Melbourne rents actually went down.

  6. Geoff Andrews

    If tones gives Joe his full support, Tone’s budgie smugglers will become bulgy strugglers. Anyhow, Joe would probably wear it like a hat, not recognising that it’s a lifter.

  7. Rossleigh

    Thanks, David K
    Given you want to start a serious discussion, can you give some actual data here.

    Sorry, but I am suspicious of assertions from people who aren’t the PM or the Treasurer.
    Some people just make things up to back up their argument. Not the PM or the Treasurer.
    I, personally, like actually data. But like I said, I’m not your actual Joe…

  8. Rossleigh

    Sorry, David K, but there is a serious need for an IRONY font.

    Still, I’d like a link to actual facts and figures…

  9. Graham Houghton

    You know, John, pigs can be quite endearing. And they taste good. I don’t think either of them qualify.

  10. Graham Houghton

    No, Toni and Jo are the gargoyle and the gutter.

  11. Kaye Lee

    “rents … actually only rose rapidly (at double-digit rates) in Sydney and Perth. And that was because rental vacancy rates were unusually low (in Sydney’s case, barely above 1%) before negative gearing was abolished. In other state capitals (where vacancy rates were higher), growth in rentals was either unchanged or, in Melbourne, actually slowed.”

  12. DouginHobart

    Like you, I find myself yelling at the tele, unable to believe he keeps trotting out the same old crap, and it’s not his fault etc. but I also get miffed at interviewers like Sales who never seem to follow through and really hammer these guys on their endless rhetoric and cliche. Surely they should have the research and facts at their beck and call to challenge muppets like Joe on their “facts”. Perhaps they don’t want to appear to be biased in their reportage….

  13. ' george hanson '

    Why do i have this horrific sensation that we are being governed by cartoon characters .

  14. Carol Taylor

    “Between them federal politicians own 563 properties.” at an estimation as of July ’14 of $564m. Abbott et al constantly harp about making ‘tough decisions’. What’s tough about hitting the most vulnerable and leaving one’s and one’s best mates portfolios untouched?

  15. Kaye Lee

    Hey, there! Hoop-la! the circus is in town!
    Have you seen the elephant? (Hockey) Have you seen the clown? (Abbott)
    Have you seen the dappled horse gallop round the ring? (Ley)
    Have you seen the acrobats on the dizzy swing? (Turnbull)
    Have you seen the tumbling men tumble up and down? (Johnston, Dutton, Andrews)
    Hoop-la! Hoop-la! the circus is in town!

    Hey, there! Hoop-la! Here’s the circus troupe!
    Here’s the educated dog jumping through the hoop. (Pyne)
    See the lady Blondin with the parasol and fan, (Bishop)
    The lad upon the ladder (Morrison) and the india-rubber man. (Hunt)
    See the joyful juggler (Cormann) and the boy who loops the loop. (Joyce)
    Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Here’s the circus troupe!

  16. Sad sack

    Hockey, I believe doesn’t draw a salary and doesn’t pay a cent of Medicare levy?

  17. Kaye Lee

    I think, in the public interest, the tax returns of our elected officials should be made available to the public. I don’t need to know all the details, lets just say gross income, tax paid, medicare levy paid. When determining how much extra they charge in nursing homes they ask for gross income, no deductions allowed. Let’s make sure that our politicans are paying their fair share.

    BTW Malcolm have you got rid of that investment in the vulture fund in the Cayman Islands yet?

  18. Sharlene

    Love it!
    It really sh*ts me that he thinks that someone earning $150K and someone earning $25K should both pay a co-payment. People who have a higher income already have the ability to see a doctor who doesn’t bulk bill, pay their consultation fee and not claim it back from Medicare. Or, perhaps, the government could increase the Medicare levy in relation to income. So, for those earning under $100K, pay 2%; for those earning $100K-$200K, pay 3%; for those earning $200K-$300K, pay 4% etc. Up to, say a cap of 10%. Hell, make it 0.5% increase per $100K. There, problem solved.

    He needs to get the message – what they’re selling, we’re not buying. Austerity budgets don’t work; history shows us that, and economists worldwide agree. Follow through on the promise of going after the super profit companies that hide their profit offshore and in subsidiaries to avoid paying tax; stop the billion dollar subsidies to the mining sector (that only make up 1.6% of the Australian workforce), to the major banks (that already post profits totalling more than the government spends on higher education…i.e. CBA forecast profit of $9bn) and to big business…that avoids paying their share of taxes. STOP the right wing ideology that says if someone is poor, they’re unworthy or lazy – they simply don’t have the resources that others have. STOP inferring that the people just don’t understand “it has to be done” – because we’re smarter than that. More and more Australians are coming to realise that there is a difference between a country’s budget, and a household budget. They know that debt equalling 3% of national taxable income ISN’T a big deal – most people have credit cards or home loans that are higher than that. And more and more Australians are becoming aware of just who funded the Coal-ition’s campaign…who are buying legislation and policies and reviews through those donations. We’ve all got to have goals…one of mine is to get Hockey out of office via the next Federal election. And I have a pretty terrific success rate at achieving my goals.

  19. jagman48

    Oh this discussion is “So yesterday”.

  20. Sally K

    Tax shapes behaviour. Negative gearing has directed investment into existing housing converting would-be owners into renters and escalating land price and private debt, so less disposable income to buy goods and services, following through to less employment.

    Texas USA has had a thriving economy as described towards the end of this article, one of many by Catherine Cashmore at Macrobusiness:

    “The additional key however in what’s been termed the “Texas miracle” is low taxes on productivity, lack of state income tax and a good regulatory environment, offset by higher than average property tax.”

    Australian property through foreign eyes

    This paper from the UK says that land owners are the most heavily subsidised, not the poor.

  21. Florence nee Fedup

    This government is “So yesterday”

  22. Michael Taylor

    Yesterday, all their troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.

  23. Florence nee Fedup

    Michael, another couple of those chickens are coming home to roost. The number will grow over the coming weeks, finishing with May budget. Unemployment figures later today. I noticed Abbott’s stirring up of those so called terrorist arrests yesterday is not getting much traction.

    and submarines still has plenty of heat in it.

    See Pyne lost it on the radio this morning.

  24. Florence nee Fedup

    Now defence out with update of what is occu4rring in thre middle east.

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