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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.

126 comments

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  1. Lee

    The Don Dunstan Foundation, together with the University of Adelaide, the Flinders University of South Australia and the Economic Society of Australia will host this lecture by Prof Joseph Stiglitz in June in Adelaide, for anyone who is interested in attending. Entry is free.

    Dear Supporter

    We invite you to join us to hear acclaimed international economist and recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, Professor Joseph Stiglitz present on the ‘Price of Inequality’.

    With a New York Times bestselling book of the same name, this year’s Joseph Fisher Lecture promises to be one to remember as Professor Stiglitz ‘draws on his deep understanding of economics to show that growing inequality is not inevitable: moneyed interests compound their wealth by stifling true, dynamic capitalism.’

    While one reviewer comments ‘Politics shapes the market, he argues, but politics has been hijacked by a financial elite that has feathered its own nest’.

    Professor Joseph Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University in New York and Chair of the University’s Committee on Global Thought.

    Event: 2014 Joseph Fisher Lecture

    Topic: ‘Price of Inequality’ by Professor Joseph Stiglitz

    Date: Thursday 26 June 2014

    Time: 5.30pm to 6.30pm

    Venue: Bonython Hall, North Terrace, University of Adelaide

    RSVP: Register Here by Thursday 19 June 2014
    http://economics.adelaide.edu.au/events/fisher-lecture/

    Enquiries: professions.alumni@adelaide.edu.au

    Please join us as we are truly honoured to have Professor Stiglitz preside.

    Kind Regards
    Associate Professor Mandar Oak
    Economics, Head of School

    The Hon Rev Dr Lynn Arnold AO
    Chair of the Trustees, Dunstan Foundation

  2. John

    Reblogged this on jpratt27 and commented:
    Time to end Abbott’s scare campaign.

  3. Kayla Flamenco Malaysia

    Excellent article, you’ve highlighted the many issues so many have been trying say. I am near exhausted by the frustration. Good work!

  4. Anomander

    Reblogged this on Anomander's Thoughts and commented:
    Time to end the lies, deception and scare-mongering of the Abbott government and their agenda to harm everday Australians at the expense of their wealthy benefactors.

  5. jagman48

    Reblogged this on rosscornwill and commented:
    A good read.

  6. Richard Leggatt.

    I have reached the conclusion that none of this matters, all these blogs etc, we’re just bitching amongst ourselves! We’re/you’re preaching to the converted, or in the case of any trolling, the unconvertible!
    This is my simplistic definition of the electorate, 30% rusted on Liberal, 30% rusted on Labor, 20% Greens. (I know that’s high, hear me out) and 20% swingers. A lot of Greens are disaffected Labor voters who may come back if Labor shows some spine and integrity! Palmer pulls people from across the spectrum but in the end I think he’s likely to implode/explode 🙂 Therefore, there is only one target: The 20% of swingers who will decide the next election! Instead of wasting our resources re-enforcing our own beliefs, we need to form a fighting force/fund to raise money and engage the 20% in mainstream media because that’s where they reside, not on these pages!. Short punchy television ads, online pop ups. Whatever??? If you agree let’s try and work on this together. I invite your criticism!

  7. Möbius Ecko

    I was waiting for it and the Liberal party in government hasn’t disappointed.

    Mathias Cormann has flagged a tax payer funded advertising campaign to sell the budget.

    If this is not attacked by every source possible and from every angle possible then Australia is a lost cause. After the Howard’s massive publicly funded party political advertising over a decade and Abbott attacking the previous government for most of the government ads they put out, this will be right up there with the worst of their lies and deceits. Here’s what Abbott said in 2011:

    “Just on the subject of the government’s advertising campaign, what you’ve got at the moment is a government which is taking money off schools and hospitals so it can spend it on ads and this is absolutely the wrong way to go.

    That blatant hypocrisy must be shouted from every rooftop.

  8. icanpiecan

    Read and shared. Summed up everything beautifully in a clear concise tone. Thank you 🙂

  9. Neil of Sydney

    This article is one falsehood followed by another falsehood followed by even more deceit.

  10. flohri1754

    It has been very hard to get across such points to either the committed Liberal or the Liberal inclined “swing” voter. Perhaps/perhaps it is easier now as the true complexion of Tony Abbott and crew in power is becoming clear. A lot of ground still to be made up.

  11. mars08

    That blatant hypocrisy must be shouted from every rooftop.

    It can’t be shouted from every rooftop because Labor started it. Any attempt to focus on the “blatant hypocrisy” will just be bounced back at Labor.

  12. Neil of Sydney

    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.

    Mining boom did not start until 2004 and Costello saved $50B in his last three years (2004-2007).

    The rest of the sentence is a load of crap.

    The person who wasted the boom was Wayne Swan. Boom was bigger than ever under Swan and he spent the whole lot on building detention centers and locking up asylum seekers costing us $1B/year more than under Howard.

  13. Neil of Sydney

    “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”

    Even more crap. Is it possible for you lefties to tell the truth??

    Costello ran $100B of surplus budgets AND $70B of asset sales meaning he saved $100B+$70B= $170B.

    This paid off all the debt Costello inherited and allowed a Future Fund containing $70B to be started up.

    Frauds like Stephen Koukoulas like to make out Costello paid off most of the debt by asset sales. If that is so where did the money in the Future Fund come from???

    And Stephen Koukoulas is a fraud.

  14. Matthew Donovan

    Neil.

    The mining boom did indeed begin in 2003 – 2004.

    Nothing I said goes against that.

    The fact of the matter is the IMF has judged Howard to have led the most profligate government in our history.

    Commodity prices were booming, demand increasing, terms of trade increasing, growth above trend and falling unemployment.

    The two things that were left were the Future Fund and money in the bank. Combined, from what I’m aware, both were worth less than the value of the $70B of our assets that were sold.

    8 consecutive tax cuts were given away as well as the Baby Bonus of thousands of dollars.

    The money was fritted away on bribes or “cash splashes” as you would term it.

    These created black holes when the revenue fell away and were entrenched in our budget.

    I’m happy to go through the Budget papers.

    Accept reality.

  15. Anomander

    Well gee. I’m inclined to take Neil’s word over that of the IMF, OECD, World Bank and Joseph Stiglitz.

    Don’t start your bullshit here Neil, we’re not the gullible mugs you’re used to over at the Merde-och press who just blindly absorb the shit they are fed.

    We know how to read, research, analyse and think. Unlike you who seems only to be able to parrot Liberal lies.

  16. Neil of Sydney

    “The fact of the matter is the IMF has judged Howard to have led the most profligate government in our history.

    Too bad it was not an official IMF document. It clearly states on the front page it was a working paper for discussion.

    Furthermore the Howard govt was not even mentioned. Download it (as i have) and show me where the Howard govt was mentioned?? Howard was not even mentioned. It was actually taking about Australian governments (Commonwealth, State and local). We are a Federation remember. Howard got blamed for the wasteful spending of State govts like Beatties.

    Do you believe everything you read???

    “Combined, from what I’m aware, both were worth less than the value of the $70B of our assets that were sold.”

    Do you lefties understand maths. Once again.

    Costello ran $100B in surplus budgets AND AND AND $70B in asset sales. $100B+$70B = $170B saved over 11 years.

    This paid off the $96B in debt he inherited and allowed a Future Fund to be started containing $70B.

    And not many lefties know this but asset sales were not put into the budget as revenue. They were dinki di surplus budgets. Asset sales were used to pay off debt however.

    Think carefully if you want to post again.

    PS Stephen Koukoulas is not to be trusted.

  17. Möbius Ecko

    Ah I see from Mathew Donovan’s response that Neil has decided to infest here, and repeat the same stuff probably word for word he has for years.

    The reference to the mining boom is one he raises very often but what he conveniently leaves out, though it’s been pointed to him many many times, that Howard reigned through the longest period of sustained economic growth in global history and then fell into the mining boom. A period of sustained growth that started under Keating about two years before Howard took over. Even with that Costello still managed to post a deficit in one year because of the huge swaths of money Howard was throwing away.

    The economy was improving so much when Howard won office on a massive lie, remember his debt truck, that Howard remarked at the time he was handed a better economy by half than he thought possible. Then looking at a close election and possible defeat he did what Liberals always do, invent a crisis to scare the people, and in Howard’s case it was Beazley’s black hole, though Beazley had nothing to do with it.

    But it matters not what facts and sources you bring up with Neil, he will ignore them to repeat his same mantras almost verbatim over and over and has been doing so for years. It’s why I made a decision a while ago on another blog he infested to not read his posts, because with a very high probability I know he will say the same things he always has no matter what evidence is given to prove the contrary.

  18. Lee

    “Instead of wasting our resources re-enforcing our own beliefs, we need to form a fighting force/fund to raise money and engage the 20% in mainstream media because that’s where they reside, not on these pages!”

    Oh they exist in social media as well. I have some Facebook friends who voted Liberal. In recent weeks they have ‘liked’ the political articles I’ve posted that expose Abbott and Hockey’s lies and they have been laughing at some of the political jokes about the LNP too. I’m hopeful they now realise they made a big mistake voting Liberal.

  19. Möbius Ecko

    That has also happened t me Lee. Some who openly bragged about ousting the terrible Labor government and voting for Abbott are now liking and sharing the posts I put up on Abbott’s lies, deceits and failings. I’m also getting retweets from some who not long ago stated they supported Abbott.

    No wonder they are planning to spend untold millions on publicly funded party political advertising to attempt to fool the people their budget of lies is necessary. That advertising campaign when it comes must be countered at ever turn. The lies it will most certainly tell must be exposed and ridiculed at every turn across social media.

  20. Matthew Donovan

    Neil.

    The IMF did the work.

    Fact.

    http://smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/hey-big-spender-howard-the-king-of-the-loose-purse-strings-20130110-2cj32.html

    In regard to the Future Fund:

    “The Future Fund Act, 2006 (Cth) received Royal Assent on 23 March 2006 and on 5 May, A$18 billion in seed capital, derived from government surpluses and income from the sale of a third of Telstra in its ongoing privatisation, was deposited into the fund.

    The Australian Government transferred their remaining 17% stake in Telstra, valued at A$8.9 billion, into the fund on 28 February 2007. This contribution, combined with other transfers, will push the fund to over A$50 billion by the end of the 2006-2007 financial year.”

    The overall value of money in the bank combined with Future Fund is $25B higher than I was aware of when Howard left. Happy to correct that.

    It did not start with $70B as you state.

    The Howard Government during its time in office received $334B of upward projections on revenue.

    In stark contrast during the GFC Labor Government had over $160B of downward projections.

    Howard and Costello did indeed frit away their revenue on tax cuts and the Baby Bonus.

    The assets that remained when they left came overwhelmingly from asset sales.

    It takes no great skill to flog off assets without a mandate.

    The Howard “Golden Era” is a nonsense.

  21. DC

    It appears Neil of Sydney has left the building….

  22. Stephen Tardrew

    Niel to Matthew:

    Gee that damn truthy business just seems to get in the way but anyway the truth is really a lie because we are the God given LNP of elite corporate superiority. Our misspeak is strategic whereas the Gillard Lie (shit wish I had an “s” for that) was absolutely appalling.

    To tell an honest lie is a truth therefore Tony is the most honest of God fearing Christian teaching the art of strategy to a bunch of honest incompetents. Damn I think there might be something wrong with that but can’t work it out. Can’t really remember what a lie is. Anyway Tony is Pell’s little suck so he must be honest.

    Gottcha there hey? Mind like a steel trap.

    Logic of the Old Testy Good Book will win every time.

  23. Bacchus

    We can only hope so DC 😉

  24. Neil of Sydney

    “Neil.

    The IMF did the work.

    Really?? Peter Martin provides a link to the paper at “examined 200 years”. It says this on the front page

    “This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.
    The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily
    represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the
    author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate.

    Then do a search for “Howard” or “Howard govt” in the paper. Howard govt is not even mentioned. Australia is mentioned. There are most probably hundreds of these preliminary papers published.

    Why did Peter Martin pick this paper?? Why does everybody believe Martins interpretation??

    People Believe Martin because you want to believe Martin. Like Koukoulas, Martin is a Labor Party supporter.

    The rest of your post is a load of crap.

  25. Frank P Mcenroe

    When will those people showing praise for Howard and Costello realise. during their time in power property values Australia wide had risen by wait for it— more than two trillion dollars, the first home owners grant was the cause. a big bunny to pull out of a hat, NSW paid out $256 million in grants,, tax from that hand out eight billion dollars a year . mobi echo I believe two plus two equals four., and today families are paying mortgage’s that are 4 times the true value of the property, so who is cooking the books,

  26. greg toland

    Love the Labor Ads on TV Watching Abbott squirm as the Ads are only Pointing out the Truth And IF he tried to deny the facts He would be would be Highlighting His LIES and Deceit to the Electorate, That’s why They won’t Run Ads I see our Mate Neil Nothing Is back with us, Come on Neil explain WHY a Proven Liar who continues to Lie Deserves to be in the Top Job, The Washington Post In an article Places your Man as the Most Hated PM in the WORLD, A well deserved Accolade and I Fully support it . . Over to you Neil, The True reason why that Poisonous Budget isn’t going down to well its Because The Great Liar Overstepped the Line With His Broken Promises Not very subtly Either .

  27. Möbius Ecko

    greg toland expecting Neil to give an answer on the honesty of Abbott or this government, indeed on any policy detail is asking for just one reply every single time. Labor.

    It’s always been his only answer to everything to do with the Liberals. Labor.

  28. johnward154

    The 2007 election left Tony Abbott with a big reduction in earnings. His response was to take out a $710,000 mortgage to pay out his existing mortgage and to ensure he borrowed enough to cover his recurrent expenditure on the education of his daughters and lycra.
    Now this person feels he is entitled to lecture us all on “living within our means” and not to borrow to cover recurrent expenditure?
    As far as the projected long term debt of $667 Billion. If one takes it out to 2050 (the projection that is) we get to something like $3Trillion. And by the turn of the century Labor’s budget disaster will equal the national debt of India and China combined.

    Seriously, I think we have to consider there is something curious about how provocative the budget is to the lower classes. It could all be a distraction to focus our attention away from the need to “Fix the Federation”. I have only heard Abbott mention this three times and never before the election.
    It could be that separate the commonwealth back to the stronger states models and concentrate the federal government powers in such a way that the conservatives, the neo-cons, remain in power for decades.
    Think about It for a little while. Ban Unions and opposition parties.Privatisation of all assets, Build a larger AFP and ASIO. a Larger defence force , then collect and distribute tax. The states do everything else with education and health in the private sector? Like that?

  29. Möbius Ecko

    Cuts to indexation for pensions for seniors, those with disabilities and war veterans. All departments without exception have increased efficiency dividends, which actually means cuts, except the PM’s department.

    But the real gall in the budget is that it has financed the PM’s residences at double CPI with increased spending now.

    Yet again Abbott demonstrates that he considers himself above everyone else to be truly privileged at our expense and the suffering of others.

  30. Neil of Sydney

    deaths in detention he turns a blind eye”

    Labor/Greens locked up more asylum seeking men, women and children than any govt in Australian history.

    I wonder how many deaths, acts of self harm there were from 2008-2013??

    I suspect there were lots. I also suspect nobody who votes for ALP/Greens gave a stuff until you lot handed the mess to Abbott late last year.

  31. krustymerkin

    Neil

    The IMF paper was written by IMF staff. That indemnity on the front page means nothing, as you well know. The lead writer is an Assistant Director and Division Chief at the IMF. It is written by IMF staff for publication by the IMF. It represents the research of the IMF.

    The Labor Government inherited Commonwealth debt in 1983 too. And the economy inherited by Howard in 1996 was in a growth phase created by Keating and his policies. The Howard Government may have overseen several Fiscal Surpluses but many were structural budget deficits – a fiscal crime given the circumstances.

    Inconvenient detail?

  32. mars08

    >I also suspect nobody who votes for ALP/Greens gave a stuff….

    And I suspect you spout endless streams of shit!!

  33. Neil of Sydney

    “The IMF paper was written by IMF staff. That indemnity on the front page means nothing, as you well know

    Well here is a critique of that paper.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/deceptive-attack-on-howards-record/story-fn7078da-1226553110377#

    “YOU don’t need to be a professor of economics to know John Howard was more fiscally prudent than Silvio Berlusconi. And if an econometric study suggested the opposite, you would look very carefully at its data and methods before placing much weight on its results. ………………And the years covered by the test were a period in which the Labor states were amassing debt, with rising debt in Queensland and NSW exceeding the increase in commonwealth gross debt.

    It is consequently simply incorrect to impute the outcomes of this test to the Howard government, as it jumbles together the fiscal performance of the commonwealth and the states.”

    When Howard/Costello were paying off debt the States (all Labor) were racking it up.

  34. Kaye Lee

    In its last five years, the Howard government spent $250 billion, including $133 billion in new spending and $117 billion in tax cuts. Australians could be sitting on a $300 billion sovereign wealth fund to rival the oil-rich nation of Kuwait if we had banked the budget windfall of the now deflating mining boom.

  35. Neil of Sydney

    Yeah right. You lefties are insane.

    Australians could be sitting on a $300 billion sovereign wealth”

    To do that in 5 years Costello would have to save $60B/year. Do you really believe that was possible??

    Even if it was Jeff Kennet shows what happens to govts that run large budget surpluses. They get thrown out because greedy Labor voters want services.

    Enter the real world Kaye. By the way here is an index of Commodity prices

    http://www.rba.gov.au/chart-pack/commodity-prices.html

    As you can see the boom did not start until 2004 but exploded after Rudd won govt and commodity prices are still way above the levels when Costello was in power.

  36. Anomander

    I’ll admit Neil, you’re an incredible comedic talent. Quoting The Australian as though it was a reliable and truthful source of reporting. I’ll be laughing about that for days.

    Of course the states were broke, Howard splurged and pissed away all their revenue in the form of tax cuts and middle-class welfare to make the ignorant believe he was a great bloke.

    Ahhh… such fond memories of that day when I and the good constituents of Bennelong helped boot that slimy little worm out of office. One of the proudest days of my life. It will, of course, rank below the day that pathetic divisive slug Abbott gets shafted, so I am rather looking forward to it.

  37. Neil of Sydney

    “Howard splurged and pissed away all their revenue in the form of tax cuts

    Tax cuts?? But Stephen Koukoulas says the Howard govt was a high taxing govt. Now you are saying he was wrong to give tax cuts. Please make up your mind.

    By the way why don’t you lefties save some money just for once. Hawke/Keating took debt from 5% of GDP to 20% of GDP. Costello took debt from 20% of GDP to zero. And Swan took debt from zero to 10% of GDP.

    If it is so easy to save money why don’t you lefties do it for once???

  38. Lee

    “Even if it was Jeff Kennet shows what happens to govts that run large budget surpluses. They get thrown out because greedy Labor voters want services.”

    For what reason do we pay taxes other than to pay for services?

  39. Matthew Donovan

    Neil.

    Quoting The Australian? Really?! Really?!

    Comedy hour. It’s a Liberal Party newsletter.

    You need to accept the profligacy finding by qualified IMF economists. Howard was in government.

    Upward revisions to revenue were spent in full on tax cuts and the Baby Bonus. Profligacy.

    I’m not sure how much the upward revisions were during the last years but it’s safe to say it was a substantial chunk of the total $334B in total.

    They absolutely could have put that aside into a fund.

  40. Neil of Sydney

    “For what reason do we pay taxes other than to pay for services?

    Exactly. And that is why Kaye saying Costello should have started a $300B wealth fund is so ridiculous. Even if it was possible, taxpayers would not allow it.

    You need to accept the profligacy finding by qualified IMF economists. Howard was in government. “

    Why?? The Howard govt is not even mentioned in that paper.

    If it is so easy why doesn’t Labor save some money for once??

    Hawke/Keating produced nothing but debt followed by Rudd/Gillard who produced nothing but debt.

  41. Trevor Vivian

    The concept of short punchy ads funded from the writers and commenters herein has merit for sure, legs not so sure. Wasnt an ad from getup banned from tv by the stations themselves recently.

    It must be so defeating for dropkicks like Neil from Sydeney to find his hero Abbott cant govern, cant get out of his attack dog thuggish mentality long enough to listen and discern how to make friends and influence the electorate to his “story”.

    Howard was rightly given the boot from the electorate. Without the “Tampa” lies, Beazly may have one that election. The electorate surprised myself by booting “honest” John from Bennelong, but i believe Howards bribery by churn bought his downfall. Howard believes the voters were wrong, misunderstood him, and it was a travesty that he lost.

    Thanks for the larfs Stephen T, great satire that.

    Abbott the boxer is an expression recently used and i believe it gives a clue to this yobs makeup. He is not happy unless its a slugfest and the uglier the better.

    The concept of the PM as Statesman completely evades Abbott and his instinct to brawl make it all the more difficult for Abbott’s minders to manufacture the Statesman image.

    Export Abbott not Refugees!

  42. Michael Taylor

    Neil, I don’t think it’s going to take very long for you to wear out your welcome here. It’s certainly wearing thin with me.

  43. Lee

    “And that is why Kaye saying Costello should have started a $300B wealth fund is so ridiculous. Even if it was possible, taxpayers would not allow it.”

    Are you on crack? investment in a sovereign wealth fund to secure our future is a type of service that is performed on the nation’s behalf. Today Norway’s fund is worth $1 million for every person in Norway. They have a high standard of living plus an excellent welfare system for those that need it. You must have rocks in your head if you think that would be rejected by most taxpayers. We didn’t need middle class welfare. I think most people are sensible enough to understand the need to save some money, rather than just fritter it away for the sake of spending. Once again it was a case of politicians not caring about what happens beyond the end of their term in government.

  44. Möbius Ecko

    And when I read kobymac’s stuff I thought I would get facts and sources but all I read was the usual ill informed right wing spray against Labor and unions.

    Oh well I guess we can’t expect anything better from the economic illiterates who swallow Liberal lies and deceits hook line and sinker and crap them out as facts.

  45. Lee

    “Even the IMF said their report on Howard was not their view, but that of the two authors.”

    The only reason for the disclaimer – which seems to be on all their working papers – appears to be that working papers are deemed to be research in progress. If the IMF desperately wanted to distance themselves from a report chock full of evidence, then they wouldn’t have their name all over it and they wouldn’t put it on their website for the entire world to see.

  46. Möbius Ecko

    Matthew Donovan @ 12:18 am

    Bet anything Neil is spruiking the same crap he always has, almost word for word. Labor debt. There will be his furphies on Howard, repeated so many times nobody can count them any more no matter how many times he’s pointed to the facts.

    Mathew as to Neil quoting the Ltd News and other right wing sources for “facts”, wait until he starts directly sourcing the Liberal Party website and Liberal politicians and claiming that information as credible. But on the other hand Labor can’t be trusted as they lie. Tellingly Neil never ever addresses the lies of the Liberals, especially Howard and Abbott, instead diverting any questions on their lies and deceits by ignoring those questions and attacking Labor.

    Neil is a one trick pony like Abbott. He has a very small bags of what he calls credible facts and just recirculates them repeatedly almost word for word, and does that not for weeks or even months, but for years.

    I’m all for giving opposing views a go but Neil is not an opposing view, he’s a very short recording stuck in an endless loop.

  47. Möbius Ecko

    OK instead of Neil going on and on about the same stuff in the past bought up purely to bash Labor how about just for once he address this present government, something he’s never done. If he addresses this then I will for the first time in a very long time read his posts.

    As low as this government has gone, it has now set the bar even lower.

    Turns out that in February Brandis quietly diverted funds away from the Commission into Child Abuse to the Commission on the HIP.

    He took $4 million away that he claims is underfunding and then took another $2.5 million that was earmarked to assist future witnesses to the Child Abuse enquiry.

    So spending millions of tax payers money bashing Labor on a stacked forgone enquiry into a program that has been investigated several times previously is more important to this government than investigating institutionalised child abuse.

    Brandis has sat before Senate Estimates over this and stonewalled the entire questioning of it.

    Millions of dollars in funding for child sex abuse royal commission redirected to home insulation inquiry

    Justify that Neil and address all the lies and deceits told by Abbott for once without referring to Labor.

  48. icanpiecan

    Im 23 and Indigenous. I’ve never truly felt represented by my country or politicians. I’ve witnessed Abbot the rabbit on many occasions especially because I live in the same area as him.
    In 2005, in Japan. I represented Australia with the Sydney Children’s Choir for the world festival. Coward Howard and Abbot the rabbit were parading around like celebrities on tax payer money, I have a picture of me and Howard on stage (puke), I was only 15 at the time.
    I turned to one of the private school kids next to me and stated ‘is that Tony Abbot?’ ‘Tony who?’ They had know clue. Yet they’re parents worshiped them…
    When Howard the Coward had the chance to come up to me and shake my hand, he chose the little blue-eyed angelic private school boy next to me. He could not look me in the eyes, yet he could stand next to me on stage for the IMAGE of being seen standing side by side an indigenous person (who really cares if I have a name).
    I have Also done welcome to country for Tony Rabbit. Uncle Max smoked him out. Smoking ceremony is sacred, it is cleansing. The Rabbit is scared and being flushed out of his hole.

  49. Möbius Ecko

    You can’t equate government finances to private borrowings, they’re not equivalent. And attempting to equate it someone lending 10 bucks?.

    Why the go at quoting the Australian, and indeed any Ltd News source, is they have been proven to deliberately distort facts and publish misleading information. They have a stated right wing agenda and have not hidden it.

    The SMH, and the Guardian for that matter, have not been shown to deliberately fabricate stories for a stated political agenda.

    All have made mistakes and have either been sued for them or made retractions.

    Would you believe anything sourced directly from the Labor Party or a Union website? Yet Neil directly sources the Liberal Party website, Liberal politician websites and right wing organisations whilst at the same time stating Labor lies.

  50. Neil of Sydney

    “Are you on crack? investment in a sovereign wealth fund to secure our future is a type of service that is performed on the nation’s behalf.

    Good. Then why didn’t Labor create one?? Since 1980 they have been in power for 19 years and have produced nothing but debt.

    Fact is Labor voters do not like surplus budgets. They want any surplus money spent on themselves. The idea that an ALP govt could save money no matter how good the circumstances is laughable.

  51. Lee

    “Möbius I’m sorry you dont understand when you promise a bloke 10 bucks, only raise 5…you have to either borrow 5 bucks, or only give him 5. Where’s the counter argument?”

    Are we to believe that every single person who is opposed to the national debt has never taken out a loan or used a credit card? Stop being such a hypocrite.

  52. Lee

    “Fact is Labor voters do not like surplus budgets. They want any surplus money spent on themselves.”

    Fact is you’re talking out of your arse. I know plenty of Labor voters who like surplus budgets and who would support investment in a sovereign wealth fund..

  53. Möbius Ecko

    Lee. Gina Rinehart borrowed $7 billion from the US for a major project though she could have funded that project and more herself.

    Now both personal and business borrowing are not equivalent to government finance, but the principle in this case is similar where borrowings are undertaken to stimulate investment and expansion.

    Howard, as Kaye Lee has shown, borrowed money even though he was running surpluses.

  54. Stephen Tardrew

    “I am sorry you don’t understand.” What unadulterated condescending crap as if your opinion is the only opinion. Well let me tell you something fellas this damn ridiculous economic system is corrupt and broken and I could not care if you are left or right to willingly harm you fellow human beings in the name of some dysfunctional econometric economic rationalist model (when there is nothing rational about the invisible handy ghosty in the machine thingy) is morally wrong and scientifically unjustifiable. Yes you conservatives are so concerned that all you can do is live in the past and damn any innovative solutions to a financial system that is manifestly inequitable, wasting resources, allowing people to become absurdly rich while others live in and abject poverty while destroying the echo-sphere. Yeah that shows real innovation, intelligence, forward thinking and consideration for our kids. Total unadulterated bullshit. Just repeat the same old failures. That’s surely going to work. You prattle on with irrelevant minutia while Rome burns. Bloody brilliant.

    Oh lets just do more of the same crap deregulate; redistribute wealth upwards; cause untold suffering to the poor and marginalized and act as it we have the moral high ground. You my friends are morally inept and ethically challenged. You are so bereft of ideas that all you can do is parrot a failed system that is not scientific and is loaded with great doses of subjective judgement free form any foundational empirical facts. Your formulas are fabricated simply because human beings are subjective creatures who interpret the universe the way it suits them. Economics is not a science and hiding behind the cloak of scientific legitimacy while screwing up royally is the strategy of fools. Add a large does of fundamentalist religious ideology and we are on a highway to hell.

    Cycle after cycle of hardship and impoverishment and you fools try to tell me this is a functional system. You willingly support human suffering for you own greed and hide behind religious dogmatism and pseudo science. Good God when the hell are you going to learn that it is up to us to help the poor and marginalized and construct a system of equitable distribution of goods and formulation of a steady state economy that is in equilibrium not driven by infinite growth in a finite universe. We are primitive sentient beings and many of you just want to wallow in your primitivism without finding innovative solution based upon equitable goals.

    I am sickened by the continual rattling on while people suffer because the world economy is a greed laden farce of epic proportions. No socialism, no communism, no capitalism, no neoconservatism but straight out human care, consideration and compassion for those who suffer through no fault of their own. An all you doyens of truth and rationalism can do is justify such despicable greed.

    You are bloody fools.

  55. Stephen Tardrew

    Kobymac;

    You are the problem all you want is labels yet someone with an independent voice is a threat because you are captured by other peoples minds and ideas. Do truly independent minds scare you because they are closer to the facts? Making others suffer for you own personal greed is immoral. Get it? Philosophy is obviously not your strong point.

  56. Matthew Donovan

    Feel free to free to write your own opinion piece Neil.

    IMF economists did find the Howard Government was profligate.

    Who was running the country in the years where the government was found to be profligate?

    Not Howard by any chance?

    I know facts hurt but I’ll keep whacking you over the head with them until you embrace reality as presented and numbers.

    Howard raked in money and left next to nothing.

    Labor was stuck with $160B of revenue downgrades from the GFC.

    Reality.

    Embrace it.

  57. Paul

    Hi All, If I may add my H.O. laced with some local knowledge. I lived in Canada for 10 years. 16 years ago the exact same public debate was raging through their parliament. “should we cut services, raise taxes and pay down debt?” Guess what? they decided not to do any of those things, kept spending and borrowing at the same rate and if you take a peek at where they sit on the supplied graph you will be looking into Australia’s future. By the way, Canada has a much stronger support system for business start-up and support than Australia has ever had or probably ever will. Tall poppy syndrome alive and well in this country? yes it is.

  58. Paul

    Of course the Graph I refer to is the net debt as a percentage of GDP.

  59. claude191

    Lots of facts and figures, but two important ones missing:

    – Every year we have outstanding debt with a budget deficit means only one thing: we are borrowing money to pay interest. To use the household example, the debt represented by our mortgage isn’t any problem at all, but paying the mortgage interest with the credit-card is definitely a problem.

    – Without change, the debt will continue to grow. The article tries to prove how things are great now – debt is low, etc. etc. Lets assume that is true. Great, but so what? We need to be asking where we will be in 5 or 10 years time. Do we want our finances in a good position that is deteriorating or in any position but improving?

    Until the Labor party accepts these facts and stops denying that there is any kind of problem at all, I will not vote for them. So far they only commit to more borrowing and more spending.

  60. Lee

    “Lots of facts and figures, but two important ones missing:

    – Every year we have outstanding debt with a budget deficit means only one thing: we are borrowing money to pay interest. ”

    Another important fact missing – borrowing wouldn’t be necessary (or not so much) if some governments would stop selling off our revenue-generating assets.

  61. mars08

    Number 1 on the government’s slogan du jour list: “Labor’s Debt and Deficit Disaster”. We can expect that one to remain in use right up to the next election.

  62. Möbius Ecko

    Then claude191 why did Hockey more than double the debt in his first 200 days, and why is this government bringing in what are supposed to be savings measures that overwhelmingly hurt the lest well off and the most vulnerable whilst leaving alone or increasing public money to the wealthiest and biggest businesses, most of who funnel their money offshore?

    Just addressing the revenue side and the huge welfare handouts going to the wealthy along with subsidies to big business would more than address our debt. But you will never see this government ever address that, indeed they are determined to make that imbalance worse.

    Finally there is no comparison between government finances and a household mortgage, it’s a false analogy, and that doesn’t address where your analogy so badly falls down. Mortgages are overwhelmingly paid off all the time with few defaults. The percentage of household income that goes to pay off a mortgage that is backed by assets is considerably more than the small fraction of debt the government has as compared to GDP and its assets.

  63. claude191

    Mobius (sorry, don’t know how to umlaut!)

    > Then claude191 why did Hockey more than double the debt in his first 200 days,

    Budgets settings cause debt. Please show me the budget where Hockey introduced all this debt you are talking about. Otherwise, this is an unfounded claim.

    Or are you talking about the “debt ceiling” change? Thats not the same thing as debt and, btw, is a response to settings established by Labor budgets.

    > why is this government bringing in what are supposed to be savings measures that overwhelmingly
    > hurt the lest well off and the most vulnerable whilst leaving alone or increasing public money to the
    > wealthiest and biggest businesses

    That is an argument about “how to reduce debt” and not “why should we reduce debt”. The two are unrelated arguments.

    Labor say we don’t have a problem. If they acknowledge the problem, then they are worthy of consideration for govt.

    > most of who funnel their money offshore?

    This is beside the point. It changes nothing about the answer to the question “Do we have to change our policies to manage our debt better?”

    > Just addressing the revenue side and the huge welfare handouts going to the wealthy along with
    > subsidies to big business would more than address our debt.

    Completely agree! But Labor doesn’t propose this. They say “there is no debt problem” and when in govt did not do anything about it. Instead, they just put in policies to spend more (and hence borrow more)

    > Finally there is no comparison between government finances and a household mortgage, it’s a false
    > analogy, and that doesn’t address where your analogy so badly falls down.

    Why is it false? I’ll just say its true. Who is right?

    Here is why it is a reasonable comparison:

    1. To buy an asset they use to generate revenue or social benefit. Borrowing to buy an NBN or a hospital or a hospital is a particularly good idea. (Comparison: a household who has a mortgage)

    2. To cover the shortfall between revenue and the ongoing running costs of the govt. Ok if its temporary due to a future reduction in cost or increase in revenue. (Comparison: a household using a credit-card to bridge a short period between employment)

    However, if you borrow you must have a plan to pay it back. In particular, you must be able to very quickly generate a long series of declining budget deficits or, better, surpluses. Otherwise each budget period you are borrowing more and more to pay interest with no end in sight.

    > Mortgages are overwhelmingly paid off all the time with few defaults.

    Do you think govt’s don’t have to repay their debts? Otherwise, how does this prove the analogy doesn’t make sense?

    >The percentage of household income that goes to pay off a mortgage that is backed by assets is
    >considerably more than the small fraction of debt the government has as compared to GDP and its assets.

    So, are you saying that govts (unlike households) can borrow to pay interest, then borrow more to pay the increased interest next year, and then repeat forever? That would certainly invalidate the analogy.

    But I’m saying govt’s CANNOT do that. The timing and scale will be different to a household as of course this is just an analogy. But a plan for repayment must exist, just like a household.

    Labor says there is no debt problem and we can continue with the budget settings they left behind when they left power. This is crazy talk. Until it stops the LNP will be able to implement their policies. Only when Labor presents a *credible* economic alternative will the argument be won on the social issues.

  64. claude191

    kobymac,

    > I just wish, as happens too often, there were no comparisons to personal debt as they
    > always sound stupid.

    Analogies are always about simplification to aid understand. If they get stretched too far or used inappropriately then indeed they sound stupid.

    But the personal debt analogy can work. Finances are finances and the accounting standards used by the govt are the same as those used by businesses (and, I supposed, anal-retentive individuals).

    Entities have assets and liabilities and they also have income and expenses. It is perfectly fine to create a liability (i.e. a loan) to acquire an asset. You have to be careful the asset isn’t a white-elephant – but this is about making wise choices within a valid financial framework.

    But it is NEVER valid to create liabilities (loans) to bridge a perpetual shortfall between income and expenses.

  65. johnward154

    The 2007 election left Tony Abbott with a big reduction in earnings. His response was to take out a $710,000 mortgage to pay out his existing mortgage and to ensure he borrowed enough to cover his recurrent expenditure on the education of his daughters and lycra.
    Now this person feels he is entitled to lecture us all on “living within our means” and not to borrow to cover recurrent expenditure?
    As far as the projected long term debt of $667 Billion. If one takes it out to 2050 (the projection that is) we get to something like $3Trillion. And by the turn of the century Labor’s budget disaster will equal the national debt of India and China combined.

    Seriously, I think we have to consider there is something curious about how provocative the budget is to the lower classes. It could all be a distraction to focus our attention away from the need to “Fix the Federation”. I have only heard Abbott mention this three times and never before the election.
    It could be that separate the commonwealth back to the stronger states models and concentrate the federal government powers in such a way that the conservatives, the neo-cons, remain in power for decades.
    Think about It for a little while. Ban Unions and opposition parties.Privatisation of all assets, Build a larger AFP and ASIO. a Larger defence force , then collect and distribute tax. The states do everything else with education and health in the private sector? Like that?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWVshkVF0SY… Galaxy

  66. kobymac

    I just want to know, when I call a person like Kaye out on the crap she’s written. Why does she think she is any better than the libs, who actually have their ‘crap’ independently checked? This is a school boy site. Interesting, but written by kids. You can pull on heart strings as insurance to lying – its a typical socialist game – they never step up and back their statements without resorting to class warfare. Its ok to be wrong Kaye, but when you are, your credibility is such you can’t comment on others being wrong.

  67. Lee

    Yet you keep coming back. Here, click on this link and it will take you the adults’ site. https://www.liberal.org.au/

  68. Matthew Donovan

    I keep coming back to the fact that Australia is not in “crisis”.

    The structural issues in our budget relate to problems that have existed since Howard was in power.

    Growth will be lower in the post GFC world and this impacts tax take.

    Taxes are significantly lower as a % of GDP than under Howard.

    The issue is not spending. It is revenue.

    Much needed investments have been made and revenue needs to be found to pay for them.

    This isn’t found by whacking the least well off.

    It is done by reducing or eliminating tax concessions and subsidies for the big end of town.

    They aren’t affordable or prudent.

    $100B in the way of subsidies and concessions have been ignored.

    This fixes any structural issues in the budget and is fair.

    Over time debt is managed and paid down. There is no need for austerity. That will hurt the economy and is already hurting business and consumer confidence.

    Too much talking down our economy by the Abbott Government.

    We have 3 AAAs. This means there is NO “crisis”.

  69. Kaye Lee

    ” Why does she think she is any better than the libs, who actually have their ‘crap’ independently checked?”

    What a silly thing to say. Are the “libs” some homogeneous group who can all be lumped together so we can compare our personal worth? You probably have a very different idea to me as to what is worthwhile. And can you show me where the libs have had their PPL scheme, their Direct Action plan, their NBN, or their roads to nowhere “independently checked”? I have been searching for their costings and CBAs and I can’t seem to find them.

  70. Matters Not

    As Matthew Donovan and others point out here, there and virtually everywhere – there is no crisis. Yet there are too many who think otherwise. Nevertheless this canard must be addressed each and every time an ALP or Green politician appears in the MSM.

    Abbott shows how a lie if repeated often enough wins the day. The truth of ‘no crisis’ must become a mantra to be repeated morning, noon and night and frequently during the day.

  71. Kaye Lee

    I agree Matters Not. One thing that is really making me angry is that on our official government site, Tony Abbott has had the temerity to say over the last 6 years Labor ran up a debt of $667 billion. How dare he use our government page to tell that lie. Surely there is something we can do to have that removed and to have him censured for using OUR official government site to push his Liberal lies.

    At the risk of repeating myself, from Hockey’s own budget

    “net debt 2013-14 $191.5 billion “

  72. Stephen Tardrew

    Kaye:

    Can never be repeated enough Kaye. Let everyone who comes to this site see the facts. Keep it up. Good work.

  73. Kaye Lee

    In fact I would like some legal advice about whether Abbott can be prosecuted for using an official government page to tell lies. Surely that page belongs to us…not the Liberal Party.

  74. Matters Not

    Kaye, I very much doubt that going down the ‘legal’ road would be productive. Constructions of ‘reality’ are almost infinite. In many ways ‘lies’ are in the view of the constructor.

    It seems to be me the current ‘war’ we engage in has almost nothing to do with ‘policy’ but with who can win the media war. (Not that I’m suggesting that the outcomes won’t have policy implications. They will! And in spades.)

    The sad ‘reality’ is that politics is now about ‘media’; about who can create the best sound bites and here the ‘progressives’ are losing badly.

    Very sad!

  75. Stephen Tardrew

    Matters Not:

    An endless point of frustration to many. I am sure if some of us put out heads together we could come up with a way more effective and targeted attack on the LNP than Labor at the moment. John921fraser’s point that Labor is still scared of Murdoch my well be the case. Also who knows how many economic rationalists remain on the Labor right.

  76. Matters Not

    sure if some of us put out heads together we could come up with a way more effective and targeted attack on the LNP

    Indeed! Perhaps we could have a ‘slogan contest’. For a start, we could have a denigration thread attacking Tony, along the lines that ‘Tony lies’ or ‘Tony’s a tosser’ – childish I know, but ‘JuLiar’ worked.

    Then there could be a ‘positive’ thread, stating what Labor will pursue. ‘Science not Faith’ – that’s the Labor way. Shorten and Science go hand in hand. (Not that there’s any evidence of that – but who cares in this brave new world.)

    I think that in the age we live, ‘repetition’ is important, much as I abhor such strategy/tactics.

  77. Stephen Tardrew

    Matters Not:

    Completely agree I love a good natter but those one liners have a whole lot of political power for those with short attention spans. “It’s Time” now where did I read that?

  78. Matters Not

    Stephen Tardrew, I well remember ‘It’s Time’. At that time, for me it evoked visions of what might be.

    Fond memories.

  79. claude191

    Matthew Donovan, you listed a bunch of activities and then said “This fixes any structural issues in the budget and is fair”. Thus you acknowledge there is a problem and that something must be done and hence fixed. Further, you use the term “structural” which does indicate you understand the importance of the issues.

    This puts you and I strategically in agreement. Something is wrong and it must be fixed. We may well differ on the tactics to be used for the fix. I’d accept tactics I don’t agree with – assuming they solve the issue.

    And it doesn’t matter what we call this issue that must be fixed. But it was reasonable to call it a “crisis” or “disaster” when the Labor govt was doing/promising naught to fix it. Indeed, today they often claim they left the budget in a sound position and nothing needs to change.

    Anyway, the crisis/disaster terms now continue to be used post election by the LNP. Perhaps not accurate anymore given plans of various forms are on the table to resolve. But when coined they were arguably reasonable interpretations of the situation given Labor’s lack of plan to resolve.

    Indeed, Labor still appear to have no plan to resolve the issue!

  80. Matthew Oborne

    The latest rant is this budget reflects courage. Courage would have been being true to the Australian public and saying all this before an election, in reality that also would have been political suicide. Why because hurting the most vulnerable whilst helping the richest is not what the people wanted or voted for. Their political platform for the next election thankfully is destroyed before they even start. They have not yet taken their masks off though, this is just the start. Do they do it all in these three years knowing they wont get a chance again or do they try to repair the irreparable? Clive Palmer tried giving us a heads up by putting the name of their former party out there for all to ponder. The Nationals have had enough, the backbenchers know they will need a new career and Malcolm has had an interesting lunch date..

  81. mars08

    This puts you and I strategically in agreement. Something is wrong and it
    must be fixed. We may well differ on
    the tactics to be used for the fix…

    Bloody clown. Words are like weapons. If you don’t know how to use them…. it’s best to leave them alone.

  82. Lee

    “Matthew Donovan, you listed a bunch of activities and then said “This fixes any structural issues in the budget and is fair”. Thus you acknowledge there is a problem and that something must be done and hence fixed. ”

    Ok, claude191, you people are like a broken record. Labor, blah, blah, blah, debt,blah, blah, blah. You’ve all been brainwashed by the pathological liars in government.

    It’s time for you people to have an original thought. I’ve asked these questions to Liberal voters several times now and none of them have provided an answer. All they do is keep on bleating about the debt crisis and that it must be fixed.

    Do you think it is fair that extremely wealthy Australians are paying no income tax at all, yet everyday they are using taxpayer-funded infrastructure?
    Do you think it is fair that a middle income earner pays more income tax than the 75 wealthiest people in the country combined?
    What do you think is an acceptable way to return the budget to surplus?
    Do you think it is reasonable to allow the wealthiest people to keep taking advantage of loopholes and pay no tax, whilst the government is taking up to 18% of the incomes of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged people?
    Do you think the Australian government should honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which we are a signatory?

  83. claude191

    Lee,

    > you people are like a broken record

    If the defenders of the status-quo (i.e. no change to budget settings) continue not to understand the issue then I will continue to point out the error of their ways. No amount of distraction – such as your questions – alter the fact that there is a problem to be solved.

    > Do you think it is fair that extremely wealthy Australians are paying no income tax at all, yet everyday they are using taxpayer-funded infrastructure?

    No, it is not fair.

    > Do you think it is fair that a middle income earner pays more income tax than the 75 wealthiest people in the country combined?

    No, also not fair.

    > What do you think is an acceptable way to return the budget to surplus?

    Raise taxes and cut spending. Easy. But doing *nothing* is not an option. Do you propose to do nothing? Because that is what Labor say. They say “We left the budget in great shape. There is no problem”.

    > Do you think it is reasonable to allow the wealthiest people to keep taking advantage of loopholes and pay no tax, whilst the government is taking up to 18% of the incomes of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged people?

    No, not reasonable.

    > Do you think the Australian government should honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which we are a signatory?

    Yes, of course.

    So, distractions dealt with. Now, that your off-topic questions are our of the way, how about you return to the central theme of Matthew’s article: that the debt/deficit campaign was a deceit and not true.

    My questions to you: do we need to change the budget settings or not? That is, do we have a structural budget problem that needs to be addressed? Labor says “no”. What do you say?

  84. Lee

    Claude191,

    Thank you! So I think we’re agreed that there is a fairer way to reduce debt without demonising the poor. It would be nice if other Liberal voters had the intestinal fortitude to speak up too instead of simply parroting the BS that the LNP is telling us.

    I don’t have a problem with reducing debt – but it is simply dishonest to tell everyone there is a crisis. The government can find money for (extra) jets, pushing religion in schools, knighthoods, royal commissions into stuff that has already been investigated, paying rich women to breed and drug testing everyone on welfare when experience elsewhere has shown that the program costs far more than is saved by taking benefits away from the low number of positives. When there is debt to be paid off, let alone when there is a budget crisis, then it is irresponsible to be spending money on this stuff.

    I cannot recall seeing posts from anyone who thinks we should not attempt to reduce our debt at all. We’re simply saying that there is no crisis and there is no justification for the government to be doing what it plans to do. Labor does have plans to reduce debt, just not in such a drastic way that causes unnecessary hardship for our most vulnerable people. Their budget planned a return to surplus in 2023-24 if I recall. If they were not intending to reduce it at all then it couldn’t return to surplus. I do think they should have some cojones to go after the wealthy who are paying no income tax at all, or very little, and reduce the debt sooner.

    I also don’t have any faith in the current government to return the budget to surplus and then not piss the money up the wall. I’m expecting to see more middle and upper class welfare and pushing either Christianity or Catholicism in schools, neither of which we need. Eventually they’re going to run out of revenue-generating assets to sell and then we’re going to be in deep excrement.

  85. claude191

    Lee,

    This is what Bill Shorten said in his budget reply:

    “Australia is fundamentally strong, and so is the legacy Labor left behind.”

    This tells me all I need to know. I don’t care if you call it a “crisis” and “emergency” or just “a problem”, but it must be fixed and Labor doesn’t think there is anything to fix.

    And Labor’s plans for a budget surplus by 2023-2024? That’s a laugh! How many times have Labor told me that? How many times did they fail to deliver? They apparently couldn’t see the change in fiscal circumstances longer than 2 weeks into the future! They are idiots.

    I disagree with many of the LNP’s tactics to fix the budget, but at least they are fixing it. I’m angry that they told a bunch of bullshit lies before the election. I’d prefer a very different approach on both counts.

    At the end of the day, if we don’t fix the budget the poor and the vulnerable will pay the price through the eventual recession and fiscal contraction that will be required. It happens like that every time. The relatively well off are hardly touched by recession.

    I hope we have a double dissolution. This will force Australians to choose:

    – If we choose Labor and we are led into fiscal fairy land maybe we will learn a hard lesson.
    – If we choose LNP at least the lies they have told will be cauterised.
    – If we choose PUP or the Greens then I’m moving to another country 🙂

    Cheers,

    Claude.

  86. john921fraser

    <

    Gee whiz "claude191" no one forces anyone to "choose".

    "I hope we have a double dissolution. This will force Australians to choose"

    Australia is a democracy.

    Why some people even chose to vote twice because they were drunk.

    You really shouldn't comment on Australia's Budget because sadly, you are lacking in knowledge and appear to parrot the Abbott line.

    Why don't you tell everyone how the Budget has hurt you over the last 5 years …… you should have plenty of knowledge there to share.

    Gotta agree with your hope for a D.D. though.

  87. mars08

    If the defenders of the status-quo (i.e. no change to budget settings) continue not to understand the issue…

    There are informed people who are saying there should be “no change to budget settings”? Oh, really? Are we sure?

  88. Neil of Sydney

    “And Labor’s plans for a budget surplus by 2023-2024? That’s a laugh! How many times have Labor told me that? How many times did they fail to deliver?

    Good point.

    http://www.budget.gov.au/2012-13/content/speech/html/speech.htm

    The four years of surpluses I announce tonight are a powerful endorsement of the strength of our economy, resilience of our people, and success of our policies.

    Wayne Swan 2012″

    Swan should be in jail for false advertising.

  89. Michael Taylor

    Perhaps he could share a cell with Tony Abbott, hey Neil.

  90. Neil of Sydney

    I am actually surprised my post was accepted. I thought i had been banned.

    Would be interesting to see what you people would say if it was Costello who got up and said we would have 4 surplus budgets and instead got 4 large deficits.

    I think you guys give Swan a free ride. None of his predictions even came close

  91. Kaye Lee

    Neil,

    Could I have your comments on the Charter of Budget Honesty? Do you think it was a good idea to introduce that so incoming governments could not lie about the state of the books?

  92. Kaye Lee

    You want a real laugh read Joe Hockey’s budget reply speech in 2013. The first paragraph says

    “Through delivering responsible savings to the Budget, the Coalition will help families, households, retirees and pensioners get ahead by scrapping the carbon tax as well as ensuring that tax cuts and fortnightly pension and benefit increases are kept.”

    The closing paragraph says

    “The coming election will be a stark choice: between three more years of broken promises, nasty surprises and weak excuses from Labor, or the experienced Coalition team with a Plan to rebuild not only the economy but also the bonds of trust between the people and the Parliament.”

  93. Michael Taylor

    I am actually surprised my post was accepted. I thought i had been banned.

    No, but it’s a good idea. :mrgreen:

    Actually, Neil, a lot of comments have been caught up in spam lately. When I have time I go through each spam comment to see if any genuine comments are caught up, but I must have missed yours. We now receive over 1500 spam comments a day, so sometimes I rush through them.

  94. Neil of Sydney

    Charter of Budget Honesty is a good idea. But forecasts are a different matter. This Charter was brought in because Labor said in 1996 before the election that the budget was in surplus when it actually wasn’t. That is Labor lied about the current state of the budget.

    But as i said forecasts are a different matter. So many assumptions and nobody is sure if/when another crash comes. But it looks like Swan was too greedy/optimistic with his forecasts. I trust Hockey more than i trust Swan.

    Anybody with a brain new Swans forecasts of surplus budgets was a lie. It looks like Treasurers have more power than i thought to fudge the budget numbers.

  95. Stephen Tardrew

    Neil:

    But, but, but can’t intelligent people plan and economy to work for all without causing undue suffering, inequality and poverty. Hear of Thomas Picketty? I thought the LNP were the smart kids on the block. All this time after the GFC and you dumb bumbs can only bash up on the poor and marginalized. Conservatism by nature lacks innovation, critical and progressive lateral thinking. More of the same that brought the world to its knees is the solution. Where the hell is your moral compass because that is the first priority before promoting subjective economic rationalist dogma which has no empirical basis. Prove the empirical ground soundly and scientifically for your opinions.

    Adam Smith’s fairy ghost in the machine, the invisible hand, has not a skerrick of empirical evidence. Have you read his book “On Moral Sentiments”. Might help. Hint economics is not a science it simply operates as a pseudo science out of science envy. Neil stop wasting your time if you cannot put ethics before economics and construct and equitable and just political system of democracy. Get rid of regulations and watch the planet go to hell in a hand basket. Oops its already happening and the last twenty or so years of economic rationalism is a success. Looked at the biosphere lately have we? What do you think we are here uneducated swill. (with kudos to Paul Keating)

  96. Neil of Sydney

    Looks like my posts are getting stuck somewhere so i will try again.

    Could I have your comments on the Charter of Budget Honesty?

    Good idea. But i think it is only useful regarding the current state of the budget. Forecasts are most probably not to be trusted since there are so many variables.

    The Charter was brought in so a govt at election time could not lie to the people. If you remember in 1996 Labor said the budget was in surplus when it was actually in deficit.

  97. Kaye Lee

    I agree. Of course no projection can be 100% accurate because we cannot control what happens globally. That being said, it is an indication of the current state of play. So when we talk about the debt and deficit left by Labor it should be the figures quoted in PEFO …yes?

  98. claude191

    john921fraser,

    > no one forces anyone to “choose”.

    It was just a turn of phrase. But since you want to be a pedant, you would look less foolish if you were at least correct. The last time I looked voting was compulsory in Australia. Hence a DD will indeed “force” people to choose. And this compulsion does not invalidate our democracy.

    > you are lacking in knowledge and appear to parrot the Abbott line.

    Why don’t you just say I have green hair, four legs and make squirrel noises? You may as well because you seem happy to make assertions without evidence or any other supporting material.

    How about your highlight where my lack of knowledge is exposed? As for being Abbott’s parrot perhaps you should just read my post again. I said his govt told a bunch of lies which I doubt is Abbott’s line.

    > Why don’t you tell everyone how the Budget has hurt you over the last 5 years

    It hasn’t really. All I can think of is that I lost my rebate on private health insurance, but (a) that was the correct action by the then Labor govt so I don’t begrudge it, and (b) it was a small impost on my fairly well-off position.

    I’m not here arguing about the debt issue from a personal perspective. Are you?

    If all you have is a vacuous attack on my phraseology and knowledge then you are not actually contributing to the debate. I suggest you just call me names instead – at least that would be entertaining.

  99. claude191

    mars08,

    > Bloody clown.

    Do you want to borrow my silly hat and oversize shoes?

    > Words are like weapons. If you don’t know how to use them…. it’s best to leave them alone.

    So true! And, of course, you have bested me with your articulate “Bloody clown” insult. Well done!

  100. Neil of Sydney

    MYEFO is more recent so in theory should/could be more accurate. But forecasting has so many variables. Looks like Costello was always pessimistic in his forecasts since the surplus budgets were always bigger than forecast. Swan however was too optimistic or downright dishonest since his forecasts never came close.

    I think PEFO gives mainly useful information about the current state of the budget. Forecasts are so unreliable.

    But Abbott is wrong to say we have $667B of debt. It is correct to say we are heading that way if nothing is done. I wonder if he is aware of the mistake or has no idea what he says is wrong?

    http://www.budget.gov.au/2013-14/content/myefo/html/03_part_3.htm

    In addition, deficits in each and every year, without remedial action, would contribute to a substantial increase in Commonwealth Government Securities on issue, which would rise to $667 billion by 2023‑24 (around 26 per cent of GDP) (Chart 3.4)

  101. Kaye Lee

    Neil,

    MYEFO was a political document that isn’t worth the paper it is written on which is why they did PEFO. Costello could not predict that resources demand and prices would skyrocket any more than Swan could predict the rest of the world would spiral into recession. Mining boom…GFC. remember?

    Hockey knows he is quoting a possible gross debt in ten years time…shonky at best as we both agree. Abbott straight out states on the official PM of Australia page

    “Over six years, Labor ran up a $667 billion debt on the nation’s credit card”

    It is a blatant lie and I resent him using official government pages to tell political lies.

  102. Neil of Sydney

    “MYEFO was a political document that isn’t worth the paper it is written on

    I would trust numbers under a Coalition govt more than i would under an ALP govt. Here are the numbers for Swans 2012 “i have a surplus” speech.

    http://www.budget.gov.au/2012-13/content/overview/html/overview_44.htm

    Look at underlying cash balance column.

    Deficit budgets of $-54B, -$48B and -$44B were to be followed by 4 surplus budgets of $1.5B, $2B, $5.3B and $7.5B.- Wayne Swan 2012.

    Such a complete turn around is not possible. So Swan almost certainly forged the document and lied at point blank range to the Australian people.

  103. john921fraser

    <

    @claude191

    ". For the 2007 election, there were approximately 5,300 warning letters issued to non-voters."

    and

    " Non-voting at 2007 federal election
    3.1 Approximately 453,600 electors were issued with a notice of apparent failure
    to vote. Of this total: replies were received from approximately 289,000 electors;
    approximately 47,700 notices were returned undelivered; and approximately 117,000
    notices did not generate a reply from the elector. A summary of 2007 non-voter
    statistics is provided at Table 1 in paragraph 3.6 below."

    Link : file:///C:/Users/John/Downloads/http—www.aphref.aph.gov.au-house-committee-em-elect07-subs-sub169_19.pdf

    To date non have been taken out and shot = democracy.

    Keep your " silly hat and oversize shoes" …. not only do they suit you but you also need them to go out into the community.

  104. claude191

    john921fraser,

    Still focussed on a turn of phrase? And now you get all pedantic about what forced means equating force with the threat of death.

    How about you provide some facts about something that matters? For example, your claim that I lack knowledge and that I am parroting Abbot’s line. Nothing on that I see.

    (BTW, that link you provided is to a file on the computer you were using – not to the Internet)

  105. Stephen Tardrew

    claude191:

    Neil:

    I suggest you research the history of PEFO as a non-biased pre-election representation of the Budget agreed to by both parties and introduced by LNP. Would you like a legal challenge to treasury. Have you or the LNP got the guts to face the modelling front on. When you don’t like the figures just change them without negotiating with the treasury group that produced PEFO. Just go ahead and without accountability change the whole budgetary dynamics to meet your attack on the low income and poor. Brilliant strategy. I wonder how much punch PEFO would have for LNP if the tables were reversed. Facts is facts wearr them and stop the pedantic bullshit.

  106. Stephen Tardrew

    Not for you claude191 sorry.

  107. Lee

    “To date non have been taken out and shot = democracy.”

    No one gets shot but there are penalties for not voting. From the AEC website:

    “After each election, the AEC will send a letter to all apparent non-voters requesting that they either provide a valid and sufficient reason for failing to vote or pay a $20 penalty.

    If, within the time period specified on the notice, you fail to reply, cannot provide a valid and sufficient reason or decline to pay the $20 penalty, then the matter may be referred to a court. If the matter is dealt with in court and you are found guilty, you may be fined up to $170 plus court costs and a criminal conviction may be recorded against you.”

  108. claude191

    Lee,

    > No one gets shot but there are penalties for not voting.

    Thanks Lee. Yes, but ultimately an off-topic distraction. john921fraser was unable to provide any rebuttal to my points and so focussed pedantically on my turn of phrase when I stated people are “forced” to vote.

  109. mars08

    claude191:

    Do you want to borrow my silly hat and oversize shoes?

    Oh… don’t underestimate yourself. It’s clear that you really don’t need a silly hat and oversize shoes to be a clown.

  110. claude191

    mars08

    > Oh… don’t underestimate yourself. It’s clear that you really don’t need a silly hat and oversize
    > shoes to be a clown.

    You already called me a clown, so maybe try another tack. Even an original insult would be mildly useful rather just posting things empty of ideas, evidence and value.

    Are you unable to make a clear statement and back it up with some reason or evidence?

  111. john921fraser

    <

    @claude191

    Sorry "claude191" I had to go and do a bit of work.

    I thought you would have been able to use those little grey cells you say you posses to find the document I quoted from.

    See how you go with this :

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCoQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aph.gov.au%2Fparliamentary_business%2Fcommittees%2Fhouse_of_representatives_committees%3Furl%3Dem%2Felect07%2Fsubs%2Fsub169_19.pdf&ei=gnSMU-mLH4GVkAWDmIGgBA&usg=AFQjCNHc65VwAqoKh3aV-YA-7Xdv0HwZSA&bvm=bv.67720277,d.dGI

    Lets see you quote from a parliamentary document.

    That should be a breeze for someone of your capabilities.

    Because you already posses the accoutrements to be a clown.

  112. Christopher

    In one of his most influential essays, (Milton) Friedman articulated contemporary capitalism’s core tactical nostrum, what I have come to understand as “the shock doctrine”.

    He observed that:

    “Only a crisis – actual or PERCEIVED – produces real change”… A variation on Machiavelli’s advice that “injuries” should be inflicted “all at once” – Naomi Klein, “Shock Doctrine”.

  113. claude191

    john921fraser

    > I had to go and do a bit of work.

    Yes. Thanks for that – but you are still on about voting. And what are you trying to prove by posting this document? That nobody has been shot for not voting? Yeah, everyone already knows that.

    Anyway, voting compulsion is irrelevant; as I said this was a turn of phrase. Yet you continue to jump all over the place desperately trying to undermine a point that doesn’t exist. And as Lee posted earlier, you are just plain wrong anyway.

    How about you try and address the actual issue? The substance of this article and of my posts are about the debt / deficit argument. So far all you have said is I lack knowledge and I am parroting Abbot’s line.

    This is the third time you have had the opportunity to back up this claim, but choked. Why? Because you cannot actually do it? Or just too busy failing to prove irrelevant points by posting broken links?

    > Because you already posses the accoutrements to be a clown.

    Someone else’s insult. Oh my piccolo, do try to think of something original.

  114. john921fraser

    <

    @"claude191"

    Please accept my most humble apologies.

    And tell everyone here how you have been hurt by Australia's debt.

    Give everyone chapter and verse about your problems.

    I know you will have difficulty expressing yourself because I can see you are having trouble finding a Link that I have provided.

    One that a 12 year old could pull up in a single millisecond.

    Try to control your anger and enrol in a higher education course before Pyne shuts them.

    Picture yourself here.

  115. claude191

    john921fraser

    > And tell everyone here how you have been hurt by Australia’s debt.

    You (more of less) already asked me that, and I answered it. Why don’t you – in return – answer some of the questions I’ve asked you? All you do is throw around insults. That would be ok if you also spiced them up with a few facts or a little bit of logical argument.

    But alas no; you choke for the 4th time.

    > I know you will have difficulty expressing yourself because I can see you are having trouble finding a Link that I have provided.

    You made a mistake with the link, but cannot own up to it. Speaks volumes Kleinchen.

    In any case, I had no need to figure out your broken links on irrelevant topics where you are (as clearly explained by Lee) so completely incorrect. And you STILL haven’t clarified the point of your link.

    > Try to control your anger

    Thank you for your interpretation. More irrelevance.

    > Picture yourself here.

    More insults. No facts. No reasoning. No arguments.

  116. john921fraser

    <

    @"claude191"

    A shame you cannot answer anything.

    I have to go now.

    Looks like I am paying taxes to support you.

    Do try to control your anger.

  117. DanDark

    John921
    Another bot, they only respond to key words, debt the main one I reckon
    But not the only one, geee even a dumb detective can figure out what
    They are doing, not sitting here and reading every comment, that’s time consuming,
    Set the bot to zoom in on key words, gee not working bots, go away and bot somewhere else

  118. claude191

    john921fraser,

    > A shame you cannot answer anything.

    Haha! Good one. Across 5 or so posts you didn’t answer anything and comprehensively failed to present any facts or rebut any arguments. This is worse than losing as you didn’t actually participate. Misdirection didn’t work – in an debate about debt/deficit you bring up voting and who supports who with taxes. Tell me again how no-one is forced to vote in Australia because (wait for it…) no-one gets shot. It was a cracker!

    And here comes DanDark riding in on his horse to protect poor john921fraser! Wise words of reason, accurate rebuttal, clarity of evidence and sparkling repartee? Ah, no. Just pointless “bot” comments.

    DanDark, you do realise this is an article about debt? It is the central topic of the article. Try offering something that supports/contradicts the central thesis of the article. “bot hehe bot hehe”.

  119. john921fraser

    <

    @"claude191"

    Nice to see you are out of bed "claude191".

    I see you went to bed angry and have woken up in the same state.

    Rephrase or ask you question about this Article or Australia's debt and I will try to assist you.

    Continue on with your bad temper and you may as well go back to bed.

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