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Tag Archives: Wayne Swan

Time to end Tony Abbott’s deceitful debt scare campaign

Let’s get real here and start talking facts. Cold hard incontrovertible facts.

I have already outlined the truth of the situation in, Facts speak for themselves, Australia still lucky country. Now to get into the details.

$44 billion worth of net assets were inherited by the Labor Government in 2007 from John Howard’s Liberal Government.

This is after a strong period of economic growth and private investment following the dot com crash, from 2002 to 2007. Not to mention, ever surging commodity prices and resources demand, mainly from a booming China.

$70 billion of government owned assets were sold off under by Treasurer Costello, most of them at bargain basement rates. Incidentally, as an aside, he now wants the Queensland Government to engage in such reckless practices.

This means the net assets on the books (63% of the overall cash generated from asset sales) were as a result of selling our assets, without a mandate, for much less than they would now be worth if they had been retained.

Almost every other benefit from the mining boom was squandered, as there was abysmal investment in education, health, infrastructure and productivity over 11 ½ years of Coalition rule.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) recently stated Howard was the most profligate Australian Prime Minister in history. If you take issue with that statement, talk to the experts.

Howard was defeated when there were very few signs of the credit crunch and GFC in evidence.

Since Labor came to power in late 2007, there has been $160 billion in tax receipt write-downs as a result of a weaker global economy.

Between 2004 to 2007 the Howard Government saw $334 billion of upward revisions yet still under invested in crucial sectors and sold off public assets.

Every developed nation entered recession . . .  except for Australia that is.

Image courtesy of the Australian Labor Party

Image courtesy of the Australian Labor Party

Australia took decisive action to stem the impacts of the GFC on jobs and economic growth. The economy is now at trend growth and 926,000 jobs have been created since the GFC. An outstanding result no matter how you slice it.

This meant stimulating the economy with a significant stimulus package of around $52 billion (3% of GDP in today’s terms). A response that was heralded as a model targeted and effective response by the IMF, OECD and World Bank. The OECD praised the package stating it would save 200,000 jobs.

World experts such as Nobel Prize laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz also said the stimulus “served Australia well“.

Without this stimulus, as the world was sinking into a crisis, growth in Australia would have stalled and unemployment would have spiked above 8% leading to a prolonged period of economic hardship for many Australians.

Australia chose to support jobs and growth and to maintain levels of spending in order to support services for the Australian people.

To maintain surpluses over the GFC period – as some in the Coalition seem to suggest Labor should have done – would have been irresponsible.

The Liberal Party's attempt at a counter graphic with no mention of the context of the GFC or that $150B is close to the amount tax receipts have dropped off.

The Liberal Party’s attempt at a counter graphic with no mention of the context of the GFC or that $150B is close to the amount tax receipts have dropped off.

It would have led to the requirement to unleash austerity on all Australians at the worst possible time in the last 80 or so years since the Great Depression.

Cuts would  have been in the realm of $32 billion a year over the last five years. That is 2% of GDP annually, in today’s terms.

This kind of program would have put Campbell Newman to shame and led to further hurt in the Australian community.

The other major contributor to our debt position is the $37.5 billion investment in the NBN. Broadband was an area Howard neglected for his entire term in office.

He didn’t understand that this expenditure is an investment in our future; an asset, not an expense. It will create jobs and growth.

Tony Abbott admits he doesn’t understand broadband either:

The remainder of our gross debt is about $50.5 billion over five years. This is equal to 0.6% of GDP each year in today’s terms.

The numbers sound big, but in the context of our almost $1.6T trillion economy, they are small. The Coalition try to take interest payments and debt out of the wider context because they are large by historical standards. However, to do this without reference to the wider economy, the global scenario and the GFC is just plain deceptive.

They know it too.

I ask you to look at how much debt you personally carry on credit cards and in car and home loans. I can tell you right now it will be more than 10% of your household income (on a net basis). In fact, private debt is a much greater issue than public debt.

Respected economist Stephen Koukoulas called out the scare campaign recently in an e-mail to Labor members and supporters.

Australia has a AAA credit rating from all three major ratings agencies. If we were in such a bad fiscal state we would not only not be one of only seven countries with that honour but we wouldn’t be the only one with a Stable rating from all three. Under Howard and Costello’s so called “Golden Age” this was never achieved and to do it during such turmoil must be acknowledged.

Another graphic showing the growth in the Australian economy compared to others. Now at somewhere in the range of 15% since the GFC. (Courtesy of Independent Australia).

Another graphic showing the growth in the Australian economy compared to others. Now at somewhere in the range of 15% since the GFC. (Courtesy of Independent Australia).

This was only recently reinforced by Fitch when they affirmed their AAA rating for our economy.

A point only further underlined by Dun and Bradstreet’s recent release entitled Australian economy ranked among world’s safest, in which it says:

Solid GDP growth, relative to other developed economies, contributes to Australia’s status as one of the world’s safest trade destinations. Likewise, the nation’s unemployment rate is low, and its annual average inflation remains within the Reserve Bank’s target band. Terms of trade at historical highs and solid commodity prices have also helped Australia avoid much of the turbulence experienced within other advanced economies.

It continues:

Australia’s relative economic strength, which is supported by the country’s mining boom, and its comparatively limited exposure to European markets are key reasons for the nation’s ranking as one of the most attractive trade and investment destinations globally.

This is the reality Tony Abbott and the Coalition want hidden from view. However just because you repeat it, getting louder and louder each time, doesn’t make it true.

Abbott’s deceptions and flat out lies on the economy are even more mind blowing when one considers he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford and studied, of all things, economics at the University of Sydney during which he commenced his much fabled entry into student politics.

Former Treasurer Peter Costello has himself, in private conversations, been reported as calling the man that wants be our Prime Minister an “economic illiterate.”

Time we got real.

This government has to invest in your future, your jobs and your country.

The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

Just ask Queenslanders.

(NB: This article rounds our gross debt up to $300B. So in fact our position is currently actually better than presented).

This article was first published on Independent Australia.

The Coalition and Financial Management … an Oxymoron

Poor Joe Hockey! One could be sucked in to feeling sorry for him … not! The Government’s election promise, the much touted public service staff cuts of 12,000, has vaporised. Joe can’t implement this promise because Labor beat him to the punch. The public service efficiency dividend, a mechanism governments of both persuasions have been using for the past 30 years, has already factored in cuts of 14,500. There is no more efficiency room left unless huge chunks of government delivered services are contracted out to private companies. What a blow! You would think Joe would be happy about that. Labor has inadvertently fulfilled one of the Coalition’s election promises. Is he happy? Not our Joe. He now has to look for other cost saving measures to avoid an increase in the budget deficit and further borrowings. You would have thought the Coalition, these economic gurus, would have known this long before they announced their pre-election promise. It’s not as if it was a secret. It was in the previous government’s budget papers. Someone in the Coalition was sleeping on the job.

So, where to now?

Sooner, rather than later, Joe and the Government are going to have to own the budget. They will have to accept responsibility for the state of our finances. By next May when the next budget is handed down it will belong to Joe and blaming Labor just won’t wash anymore. Then we shall see the cut of his jib. The May budget will certainly show yet another deficit of around $40 billion; one similar to what we have become use to under Labor. I suspect, also, it is going to contain some unpopular cuts involving broken election promises for which there will be a myriad of excuses. Why? Because Joe and the Coalition will be seen to be no better at raising revenue than Wayne Swan and Labor and that’s going to hurt him, personally. Joe spent a lot of time and energy telling us about fiscal mismanagement, budget emergencies and other bits and pieces. To be cast as just another Wayne Swan won’t go down well.

Economics is not an exact science. It relies on a whole host of uncertainties. There’s a lot of guesswork, estimating, crystal ball gazing and most important of all, events not yet known. Kevin Rudd learned that the hard way; his unexpected event was the GFC. Perhaps another GFC-like event is just around the corner, who knows. But whatever happens, it will belong to Joe Hockey. He won’t be able to blame any subsequent economic ills on Labor. It will be a good test of the false public perception that the Liberals are the better economic managers.

Who started that rumour anyway?

Matt Wade from the Sunday Age in his article, ‘Our National Journey to Prosperity‘ (24 Nov ‘13) highlights the beginning of Australia’s rise to world prominence in wealth, health and education which began when Bob Hawke became Prime Minister in 1983. Just prior to that, we were a basket case under the former Coalition Treasurer, John Howard. Paul Keating became the new Labor treasurer and over the next decade restructured our economy in five critical areas. It was the floating of the Australian dollar, which Reserve Bank governor Glen Stevens recently described as, ‘‘one of most profound economic policy decisions in Australia’s modern history’’, together with tariff reductions, de-regulation of the banking system, the trade union and labour market accords and the independence of the Reserve Bank that changed the Australian economic scene and our way of life, generally.

When talking about events, the next foreseeable one is the Indonesian Presidential elections in 2014. By the time that is decided, Tony Abbott will know just how good a friend President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was to us and how difficult it is going to be with the incoming president, whoever that might be. None of the candidates are particularly disposed toward us. This will create additional problems for Joe Hockey because he will have to re-visit all of our foreign aid commitments and find some grovel money albeit after just cutting the foreign aid budget to the bone. Tough times lay ahead for Joe and they have nothing to do with the six years Labor was in office. The repeal of the carbon tax might get through the senate next year although that is not a certainty. If it does, all revenue from that will cease as will the pittance coming from the mining tax. This is, of course, the government forsaking revenue to honour a promise they think helped win them office. But, most painful of all, as the Indonesian economy continues to gather strength and our near neighbour becomes the third Asian tiger, Australia will be denied access to valuable markets in favour of other friendlier nations. That is going to hurt us … big time.

So let me do a little crystal ball gazing of my own. Joe Hockey is the new John Howard (the 1982 version). Over the next six years the Coalition is going to systematically stuff up the Australian economy and re-define the parameters of fiscal ineptness pushing the national debt out beyond $500 billion. Why? Because they don’t have a vision for the future. They govern for today; they think tomorrow will take care of itself. Well, this time they won’t have a mining boom to mask their collective lack of ability which will translate economically into a probable recession and massive unemployment. Consequently, around 2019, if not before, Australia will be back where it was in 1982 and Labor will once again be invited back into office to clean up the mess.

And those misguided voters who thought the Coalition were the better financial managers, will scratch their heads and seek psychiatric counseling. History doesn’t lie.

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It’s official: Joe Hockey has lost the plot!

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.

Last January I published Wiping the egg off Joe Hockey’s face where I showed he is all over the shop when it comes to talking about – or knowing about – interest rates. Given his latest gaffe it is fitting that I reprint the article (and the rantings of this laughable man) below. He has history.

Enjoy!

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.

If Joe Hockey keeps this up then between now and the election someone will be wiping a lot of egg off his face.

Maybe they should find a way to shut him up. Or maybe they could get rid of him. This economic buffoon could be our next Treasurer.

Frightening, isn’t it?

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John Lord’s Election Diary Update No. 5

Photo from 1015fm.com.au

Photo from 1015fm.com.au

My Election Diary has gathered a large number of loyal followers. I appreciate your comments and I am encouraged to keep going with it. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thursday, August 3

The Banks

“Australian Financial Regulators” all agree a small impost to safeguard the banks against future problems is a good idea. The banks are most upset and say they will pass on the cost despite the obscene profits they are making. I cannot help but wonder why it is always socialism that bails out capitalism. “Never in the history of this nation have the corporate and privately rich been so openly brazen”.

Friday, August 4

I Give a Gonski

“As far as school funding is concerned, Kevin Rudd and I are on a unity ticket. There is no difference between Kevin Rudd and myself when it comes to school funding,” Mr Abbott said.

I absolutely hate being taken for a fool. If he and Pyne think I’m going to fall for this nonsense he has another thing coming. It makes me so bloody angry.

The fact is, that, the proposals are entirely different. There is no requirement for the states to chip in. There is no requirement for the states to distribute according to need. And there is no long-term commitment. This is nothing like Gonski. This is just a 4-year plan to spend an extra $2.8 billion over four years. The Government’s plan is the full package $10 billion over 6 years. And most of the funding is in the final two years.

Where is a guarantee of equality of opportunity in Abbott’s policy? There isn’t. It’s just bullshit aimed at placating the electorate. In the space of three weeks, the Coalition has changed policy three times.

“There is no difference between Kevin Rudd and myself when it comes to school funding.”

It’s just more lies. See what Politifact think.

http://www.politifact.com.au/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/aug/02/tony-abbott/abbotts-flip-school-funding/

Saturday, August 5

More on the opposition Gonski con job. And what a con job it has turned out to be. Dennis Napthine the Victorian Premier on the eve of signing sold out the kids of Victoria. And for political purposes. Conservatives really couldn’t give a stuff about our kids’ education.

In a nutshell, here are the key differences between Labor and the Coalition as of today. If you want some more detail, see this short interview

http://bit.ly/1ck1vAW explaining the day’s events what an impact we’re making! — with Kylie Stoneman.

The Way Things Are

In the Governments ‘’Economic Update’’ Chris Bowen has opted for reality rather than Wayne Swan’s elusive hope of stronger growth and a budget surplus. This is, I think, commendable. We like things stated the way they are. With honesty. In doing so he draws attention to the difficulties of economic forecasting. For any government, Treasury has the best methodology available to it and still can’t get it right. Joe Hockey, on the other hand, intends using outsiders and reckons he will.

The point of the Economic Statement is to recalibrate the argument and in the process restart it. Rudd and Bowen will argue that the economy is going through a transition and is not in crisis as Hockey keeps saying. And this is the reality. Blind Freddy can see that the revenues aren’t there. In Costello’s time, treasury used to get it wrong the other way. Surpluses were continually increased as commodity prices went up and up.

I can recall when I was in business and I would produce an annual budget based on a number of assumptions. Then I might lose an order or a client and it would be shot to pieces. That might sound simplistic but budgets are just economic guides. That’s all.

In such circumstances, the Coalition usually employs a philosophy of slash and burn and it remains to be seen what they intend doing if (God help us) they are elected.

They now have the economic statement and 10 days after the election is called they will have PEFO. There will be no excuse not to fully cost their proposals and in plenty of time before the election. And the savings and policy decisions will have to be based on the now known Labor bottom line.

It must be remembered that there is little money in the kitty to make rash promises. Labor has $500 million in funded but unannounced policies so it will be an election with very little in the way of handouts. The Coalition will have to be front on and center as to where they will cut to pay for their promises. $11 billion for their direct action environment policy for example.

So, Labor will go into this election campaign with not much to offer other than some of the biggest reforms this country has ever seen. The opposition, as yet, is offering nothing and with no money to do so is at a policy loose end. Therefore, it goes into the election agreeing with the government’s reforms (if only in part) which is remarkable in itself.

The advantage for the government in all this is that, (given that all the Governments costings are in the public arena), the entire focus will be on the opposition’s willingness to be open and transparent about its intentions.

The Tax Base

The following is an extract from an article by Laura Tingle in the Financial Times and is most important
.
‘’A perhaps unintended message from the statement, however, must dog both sides of politics: it is simply not feasible for governments of either persuasion to keep patching over the shortfalls of the existing volatile and inadequate tax base.
A key question for both sides of politics will be how detailed a commitment, now detailed a discussion, they are prepared to have about what must be done about this.’’

And this is a good read about debt.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/we-have-a-debt-problem-says-nab-chief-20130801-2r29e.html

Alan Austin’s Quiz is not only fun but gives an in-depth analysis of the Coalition. Say hello to Tony.

https://newmatilda.com/2013/08/02/say-hello-tony-abbott-and-friends

Thanks for reading my diary. I was going to tip an election announcement today but now I’m not sure.

A dog that’s had its day

John Howard

A guest comment by R James

In a week when the Federal Opposition has accused the Government of resurrecting Kevin Rudd in the hope that he will restore the government’s electoral prospects, the conservative opposition has itself turned to former Prime Minister John Howard in the hope that he can save the Coalition under the weight of Tony Abbott’s stewardship.

John Winston Howard appeared Saturday June 29 2013 at the Federal Coalitions American style electoral rally in Melbourne, preaching from the conservative bible to the largely converted, offering nothing but slogan’s and contradictory reviews of the Labor Governments performance. It was only a few weeks ago that this former Prime Minister weighed into the economic debate with full praise for Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her treasurer Wayne Swan’s management of the country and its finances. In view of his attacks on the Federal Government at Saturdays rally, is it possible that the former Prime Minister is developing dementia in retirement? History does record that he has suffered memory loss in the past (along with some of his senior ministers and coalition partners) – during the oil for food fiasco; the now former Liberal Prime Minister (and others, like Mr Vaile – who is nowadays a strong advocate for CSG and fracking in northern NSW) declared (at the time) that they had no memory of selling wheat to Iraq, while our boys and girls (along with the sons and daughters of our allies) were over there fighting in a war that was started over a lie. The man was extremely lucky not to have been detained and charged with war crimes . . . his role in declaring war against a sovereign state on the flimsiest of evidence, when others were telling him that there was no conclusive evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, lead to the ongoing slaughter of thousands of innocent people and the removal and execution of a head of state.

In an effort to counter the return of Rudd, the Opposition turned to a man who was only the second Prime Minister in history to lose his seat in a federal election. A man who the major credit agencies and the IMF have identified as Australia’s ‘Spend thrift’ Prime Minister: the most excessive and reckless manager of Australia’s finances in living memory. He lavished taxpayer dollars on his own interests, while telling the electorate that it was in their interest; such as $8,000 on a wine connoisseur to educate him on what wines should be served when entertaining visiting diplomats and dignitaries; new décor for the Lodge and in his last term of office; thousands of tax payer dollars to refurbish the recently upgraded commonwealth jet which he used to ferry him back and forth across the country while holidaying in Broome, Western Australia . . . concurrent to all of this, his government introduced ‘Work for the dole’ (citing that the unemployed must not sponge off the taxpayers . . . that is the reserve of politicians). This was the man who burdened the people of Australia with the all invasive GST – with the pledge that it would destroy the black economy . . . along with the promise that with its introduction his Government would remove a raft of other levies and hidden taxes (but none were ever removed) and there at their rally, they the Liberal’s had the bare faced gall to wave placard’s declaring that they represent ‘lower taxes’ and a fairer society. History tells that their concept of a fairer society is the wealthy exploiting the poor at every opportunity. Conservative corporate heads strive to strip their workers of all entitlements and safety provisions so that their company can run on the smell of an oily rag . . . its all about profit, not philanthropy . . . they aim to have one man working and six waiting at the door to fill his place, when he collapses through exhaustion or ill health.

They are and always will be the manipulators of the little man, the average man and are not worth trusting under any circumstances . . . not unless you are blind to what has happened in the past and what is happening else where in the world at these times.

Class Warfare?

tumblr_m9xkygkFHY1qmjikgo1_500

Photo: memegenerator

The following quotes are just a few ideas from Abbott and Rinehart:

“TONY Abbott has proposed banning the dole for people under 30 in a bid to entice the unemployed to head west and fill massive skill shortages in the booming resources sector.” The Australian, April 21, 2010

“Mr Abbott advocated all welfare-dependent families with children should have half their income held back for food and essentials.” The Sydney Morning Herald February 24, 2010

‘I was in Canberra last week and had the opportunity to ask Opposition Leader Tony Abbott whether a government under his direction would continue with the Rudd government’s goal of halving homelessness by 2020. His answer was no. In justifying his stance, Abbott quoted from the Gospel of Matthew: ”The poor will always be with us,” he said, and referred to the fact there is little a government can do for people who choose to be homeless.’ National Times, February 16th 2010

“Mrs Rinehart also suggests the government should lower the minimum wage of $606.40 per week and cut taxes to stimulate employment.”  The Australian, August 30th, 2012

But when Swan criticises Rinehart, Forrest and Palmer over their opposition to the mining tax, that’s class warfare. When it’s suggested that maybe schools who have better performance facilities than the Melbourne Arts Centre may receive less funding in the future, that’s class warfare. When it’s suggested that people earning more than $150,000 a year should be means-tested for any welfare payments, that’s class warfare, because people on that sort of income are “struggling”, but anyone on the minimum wage doesn’t need a rise because they’re already being paid too much.

We don’t need class warfare rhetoric. What we need is a little consistency.

Why Labor must not win the 2013 election

In a nutshell, we have a Government who have hoisted us to the top of the international economic tree; who have delivered policies that will drive us into the future; and yet who trail the Opposition badly in the opinion polls. In nutshell number 2, we have a mainstream media who clamber over each other in telling us how incompetent this Government is while instilling in our minds that only Tony Abbott can deliver us from the burning fires of hell.

What if it were the other way around? What if the much-loved Tony Abbott (media loved, that is) had guided us through the global financial crisis (GFC) and safely out the other side; had a raft of policies on the table that held Australia high as a country willing to embrace social and political change, and yet were facing a wipe-out in the September election?

Not only would the Abbott Government be fighting for survival, but the media will be standing with them, shoulder to shoulder, fighting too. What would they be saying about the likely election result?

I’ve candidly put together a number of hypothetical examples. My responses might appear somewhat absurd, but it’s only absurdities that we’ve come to expect from our pathetic media. Let’s play along.

The falling dollar: The dollar is in free fall because the market is nervous about the prospect of Labor taking charge of the economy later this year. They don’t have a good history of economic management and the market is jittery in anticipation. Australian overseas travelers will also be hit hard. Forget those annual trips to Las Vegas taking in shows and shopping. Labor will ruin that for you. Forget too, the annual pilgrimage to Anzac Cove. Labor will ruin that planned holiday as well. Our dollar will sink into irrelevance.

The economy: Joe Hockey not only guided Australia through the Global Financial Crisis but his sound economic management has seen Australia receive AAA credit ratings from the world’s three major rating agencies. This is a first for our country. Nobody before him has been able to achieve this feat. He has also seen interest rates, the unemployment rate and inflation all fall below 5% at the one time. This has not been achieved in over 40 years. Euromoney awarded him with the prestigious Finance Minister of the Year in 2011. Australian voters want to award him with a seat on the Opposition benches.

If Labor win the election and Wayne Swan gets his hands on the savings of hard working Australians then we might become the next Cyprus. Best to keep your savings under the bed.

Refugee boats: How much longer can Julia Gillard promise to ‘stop the boats’ without laying a plan on the table? How much longer can she get away with calling asylum seekers ‘illegal immigrants’? She has been given a free license to scare and to lie and the average voter believes her. And the threat to tow them back to Indonesia could not only create an international incident, put put the lives of Navy personnel at risk.

Julia Gillard’s rudeness: Not even the holder of the highest office in the land commands her respect. Her disgraceful shouts of ‘he’ or ‘him’ when addressing Prime Minister Tony Abbott make one wonder that, given that her arrogance towards the Prime Minister is appalling, how must she then hold hard working Australians in lowly contempt. She’d think she’s even too good to kiss President Obama.

Foreign Affairs: In Julie Bishop Australia has a Foreign Minister we feel proud to represent us on the international stage. Can you imagine Bob Carr attempting dialogue with foreign governments and dignitaries as equally as commanding and gracious than Julie Bishop? Of course not. Do we want a Foreign Minister who just stares at people? One who couldn’t even find Indonesia on a map? One then, who would just stare at maps?

Interest rates: Home buyers have never had it so good under the Abbott Government. The last Labor Government presided over 11 successive increases. No wonder the market is jittery. Oh how easily people forget.

Infrastructure: There will be none. Simple.

Education: Shadow Minister Peter Garrett hasn’t asked one question to his counterpart, Christopher Pyne in two years. Does this display any ounce of interest in his portfolio? He is more interested in glaring at the Speaker or attempting to burst blood vessels in his neck than he is in education. His only comments on education have been to the adoring media that teachers are incompetent which he’ll fix by sacking 43,000 of them across Australia.

The Budget: Labor want to return to a surplus at the expense of jobs and infrastructure. Joe Hockey saved 230,000 Australian jobs with his gutsy move to spend money during the GFC and now Labor want to take those jobs back. Do we really need a surplus if it is going to cost jobs and services?

Those are a few reasons why Labor must not win the 2013 election.

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