Let’s focus on what’s important

Many of us are not surprised to learn that the Treasurer, Wayne Swan today announced that it was unlikely that Labor will be able to achieve the promised budget surplus in 2012/13.  For the purpose of this post I won’t go into any of the reasons or throw figures at you.

Economists are in unison, agreeing that the Government has done the right thing to drop the surplus commitment. Unsurprisingly, evidence of their support is very hard to find in our media online news sites. If you’re lucky you might catch a brief interview with one of them on TV. One of them might even be given the chance to explain why this is a good outcome.

The reason Australia was able to escape the Global Financial Crisis of a few years back was because it had the guts to spend money and thus create jobs. Again, I won’t go into that as we all know how Australia benefited from this bold, but necessary move.

Well, almost everybody knows we benefited. The exceptions being our Murdoch media and the Federal Opposition. And today we hear that this duo are still the world experts on the Australian economy. Today, their opinions take precedence over our economy. The online news sites are filled with nothing but their ‘valued’ opinions.

From that economic minnow Terry McCrann:

Wayne Swan’s decision to finally come clean and admit the bleeding obvious with the budget is just another cynical and dishonest move from a discredited treasurer in a completely discredited government.

It’s been blindingly obvious for months that there was no way the budget was going to swing miraculously from a massive $44 billion deficit last year to a tiny $1 billion surplus this year.

Indeed, it’s been obvious right back to budget night in May.

But Swan and prime minister Julia Gillard believed they had to keep promising a surplus, after her: “There’ll be no deficit in 2012-13 under a Government I lead”.

Swan quite deliberately brought the mid-year budget update forward, while the figures could still be massaged to still pretend to predict a surplus.

Even though the surplus predicted was pathetically, meaninglessly small.

Now he’s just as dishonestly chosen to tell the truth just before Christmas and the extended summer break.

Did McCrann focus on the economy? No.

BTW, how does one dishonestly tell the truth?

From ‘he who runs away‘:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said it was a “humiliating, embarrassing, nervous announcement from the Treasurer”.

Mr Abbott said the surplus was not a forecast – “it was a fact”.

“It has now been dumped,” he said.

“You just can’t trust this government to manage the economy. You just can’t trust this government to tell the truth”.

Mr Abbott said the Prime Minister made “two solemn covenants” during the election – the carbon tax and the surplus.

“She said that the day after she made the no carbon tax commitment. This second solemn commitment, this second covenant with the Australian people, dumped.”

“For three years they have been boasting of this surplus. Well, they don’t have that anymore”.

Did Abbott focus on the economy? No.

Even from Mr Eleventy:

Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said it is “not in the Labor party’s DNA to live within their means”.

“Taking out the garbage five minutes before Christmas is the way the Labor party operates,” he said.

“They are treating the Australian people with contempt.”

Did Hockey focus on the economy? No.

And this front page non-story ‘ha ha I told you so’ from an un-named news.com reporter:

Treasurer Wayne Swan:

“We’ll be back in the black by 2012/13, as promised.” (May 2011)

“The government remains absolutely committed to delivering our return to surplus as we planned.” (August 2011)

“We’ve nailed our colours to the mast.” (February 2012)

“Despite the tough global conditions, we remain determined to return the budget to surplus in 2012/13, and we will get there.” (March 2012)

Prime Minister Julia Gillard:

“My commitment to a surplus in 2012/13 was a promise made and it will be honoured.” (April 2011)

“We stand by the predictions, the entries in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. We stand by the figures and we’re on track to deliver a budget surplus.” (November 2012)

Did he or she focus on the economy? No.

Of course they don’t want to focus on the economy. It’s going gangbusters and will continue to do so.

Well done, Mr Swan, on what is another bold move. I don’t care what you said previously. You have the good sense to act upon approaching change, rather than react after the change.

As an aside, I’ve never supported the need for such a quick return to a surplus as I believe it has been the Government’s hasty response to pressure from the media, the public and the Opposition. Unfortunately they are going to be under attack from all sides over this. It’s my hunch that the leading economists in the country – who support the move – will be gagged by the media.

Is it too much to ask that the critics try and focus on what’s important, ie, the economy?

PS: This announcement has really let Abbott off the hook. He’s happy to face the media again.

English: Wayne Swan, Treasurer of Australia So...

Wayne Swan, Treasurer of Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

134 comments on “Let’s focus on what’s important

  1. OMG! What have I done?

    I asked Iain a question.

    Please, Iain, try and contain your answer to less than 5,000 words. :mrgreen:

  2. I agree that the government’s promise to return the budget to surplus was nothing more than a reaction to the MSM/Liberal machine..with this double dare ya mostly because they believed that Swan never could do it. But of course if you want to follow a slash and burn policy, anyone can produce this magical thing called a surplus.

  3. If this (apparently high taxing) Government was raising tax revenue at the same level as the fiberals under Howard and Costello, the surplus, Gonski and the NDIS would be a shoe-in. That’s the fact jack! And that’s what the response to Hockough, and Dagnabott ought to be! Check the facts Iain!

  4. Migs, I agree with everything you have written…on the economic question, but surely this is a bad move politically. Perhaps Swan is just facing up to the inevitable. But to the extent that he has any choice in this, shouldn’t he just stuff the economists and bloody-mindedly stick to the surplus no matter what, purely to keep the News Ltd ‘broken promise’ brigade off the Govt’s back? It’s economic lunacy I know, but the alternative is giving fresh ammo for new attack material over months.

  5. Miglo you will need to add the wise words of the shadow finance Minister (a real shadow he hasn’t been heard of for months) Andrew Robb.

    His words via twitter:
    “Chickens come home to roost for Labor. Surplus broken promise result of 4 reckless years”

    Ummmmmmm So in Robb’s financial mind he thinks Labor has had 1 good year or he cannot count to 5.

  6. Miglo

    “This announcement has really let Abbott off the hook. He’s happy to face the media again”

    He will probably go missing at 9.30 tomorrow, Slipper court time.

  7. How Howard taxed the tripe out of the public to eliminate government debt.

    The tax to GDP ratio averaged 23.4% in the 12 Budgets handed down by Peter Costello in the Howard Government.

    Assume the current Labor Government collected the same average amount of tax as the Howard Government – no more, no less. That is, just to reiterate, an amount equal to 23.4% of GDP for each year from 2008-09 to 2012-13.

    What would be the level of net government debt in this scenario?

    Well, in 2012-13, net government debt would be – wait for it – negative 1.6% of GDP. That is, there would be no government debt. Fact.

    And if the tax to GDP ratio held at the Howard Government average out to the end of the forward estimates (2015-16), then net government debt would be negative 3.3% of GDP in June 2016. Fact.

    Which just goes to show, if the government taxes the tripe out of the private sector, it is easy to run large budget surpluses and have no government debt.

    Edited (for brevity) from Stephen Koukoulas’ blog

  8. Migs
    I will keep this brief but the problem for Labor is not that they have finally surrendered to the reality that they were never going to get the surplus that they promised, not once but repeatedly since 2010 but that they have taken so long to to admit the obvious. Wasn’t only last week that Swan was still claiming that we were on track for the surplus?
    There in we find the ever-increasing credibility gap that Labor have no answer for and no chance of bridging before the next election, They do demonstrate the folly of over promising and under delivering which has been their pattern in just about every grand idea that they have dreamed up in the last five years and sadly I think that the NDIS and Gonski will suffer the same fate.

  9. Sue, Robb is clearly an economic goose.

    Has anybody showed him Australia’s credit rating? The unemployment rate? Interest rates? Inflation rate?

    Yep, all bad. 😉

    For the Coalition, that is. 🙂

  10. To put it another way, with the pitiful state of media reporting in this country, the News Ltd aim of regime change and lack of public engagement in budget issues, there’s fat chance of any proper discussion about either the merits of the announcement or gravity of the broken promise. So why tempt fate?

  11. Telling isn’t it that when Abbott was in trouble being pressured on Ashbygate and the polls turned against him his right wing zombie trolls ran away from here just as the coward Abbott runs away whenever he’s asked a question he hasn’t rehearsed that holds him to account.

    Now they come scurrying back from under their spider holes.

  12. Have not heard one that agrees with Abbott and Hockey. Yes, run, he did again. Heard one say, he moved quicker that Pyne did to get through those doors.

    I sense that he will be forced to answer some questions.

    Some are saying the announcement today will take pressure off Labor. The tiny surplus has moved to a small deficit, much less than last year. It is still on a downward path. The end of the world has not come.

    Not too sure what Iain thinks he told us. The reality is that not much has changed today.

    The culprit according to the majority, is not excessive spending or the cutting of taxes. The reason is lower taxation receipts, caused by the fall in ore prices. I believe they are already on the way back up.

  13. Florence
    What I am telling you is that Labor have been caught out by their own spin yet again and as a consequence Swan looks to be either a liar or a fool who believed his own propaganda, neither is a good look for the nation’s treasurer, Further its well dodgy that this announcement has been made while Gillard is on holiday, how tricky is that, When they must have known for ages what the score was?.

  14. I agree with Iain.

    Essentially, this government is getting poor advise or is ignoring good advice because of political considerations. Chasing after the surplus was unnecessary.

  15. It was fun to watch Uhlmann get a great put down by Penny Wong.

    In response to Uhlmann talking over the top and trying to badger the Minister with his own opinions, Penny Wong replied

    “I understand you wanting to have a political opinion but RESPECTED columnists and economists agree with our approach”
    Then Chris did (either an Abbott or his regular dummy spit )and quickly closed the interview.

  16. Iain, Mr. Swan said he was ponderrin over the matter for tha last week or so. New figures came available today, that left him no room to move.

    All that has been announced, before we all get too excired, is that there may not be a surplus. May not.

    Mr. Swan said that it was no longer prudent to make the cuts, to fill the holes.

    That is something most people in business and those in thow wanted to hear.

    Now what is sneaky about that.

    One looked at the newly available figures, and made a decision..

    As a famous economist once said, when the facts change, I change my mind.

    It is about governing.

    Took you a long time to cotton onto my name. Would rather CU but I imagine I am not going to get it,

  17. Sue, did not have much more luck with Jason Clare either. Think we will hear more of that man in the future.

  18. All the sensible real journos are reporting Swanny’s huge backflip as good news, and rightly so.

    From George Megalogenis: So I say hooray that @SwannyDPM finally dropped it.

    Only the ignorant right wingers would shit on this decision, and you know the stupid thing about them?

    If Swanny had bought in a surplus at the cost of many they would have reacted the same as they are now.

    If the surplus had been 1, 2, 3 or less than 10 billiion they would have called it piddling and worthless and still canned the government.

    If it had been a large surplus they would have canned the government for failing the people and sacrificing so much to achieve a surplus in people’s lives.

    So all their whining and moaning means absolutely naught, in fact it means less than Swanny’s deficit.

  19. 😯 el dildo agrees with Iain 😯

    Migs, nice one, and it is about time that they did the deed!

    Watched Sloppy Joe and rAbbott (watched, cos I turned the sound off until the questions) but they didn’t actually answer a question, and as soon as rAbbott got one on Ashby and Brough, he made a quick,standard, support, response and then ran away.

    What a gutless and mendacious pair they are 👿 👿

    Cheers 😀

  20. CU

    He does not like the senator but then he doesn’t like the PM, the AG. the Health Minister, the Minister for Trade and on it goes. He likes Tony he even has an opinion piece on Tony in the Religion and Ethics section. I wonder if Chris is looking for a move, it certainly would be an area he wouldn’t have to worry about not getting an interview with the PM
    http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/12/17/3656062.htm

  21. ‘Is it too much to ask that the critics try and focus on what’s important, ie, the economy?’

    We appear to be sliding into a deep recession and Labor will experience less of a loss if they go to an Easter election.

  22. I reckon all Chris Uhlmann needs to do is photocopy Leigh Sales diary and maybe some cab charge vouchers and he could get a good job working for Tony.

  23. Perhaps the timing of this announcement is to clear the air before hitting the LNP with action on the Ashby/Slipper affair. If so, good strategy.

  24. I agree with your entire post Miglo, perhaps you put it up before 7.30 as Chris Uhlmann in his grilling of Penny Wong didn’t mention the economy either, just raving about “credibility in tatters” & such. Like your resident trolls he too has emerged after Ashbygate.
    As Min says the promise was always a bit of a reaction. But it angers me so much that the people who engineered all this now write themselves out of it. These are the ones who stood admiringly by as Abbott & Hockey told us they’d have us all back into surplus much much quicker than those silly Laborites. The media to this day remain strangely reluctant to quiz them on exactly how this would be done & Abbott & Hockey themselves don’t seem too keen to tell us.
    The media’s refusal to quiz Abbott et al on their policy has laid the ground well for this as Abbott can attack from any angle he wishes. What should be a fatal flaw with his lack of policy is allowed by the media to become a great strength.

  25. Carmel, I think you may be right, and lets face it, when Abbott starts trying to defend not only Brough, but also questions for himself, Pyne, Bishop, Brandis (the indefensible) and the list goes on, I think that the surplus will be the least of his problems, 😛

    Cheers 😆 😆 😆

  26. Some of the comments that Chris Uhlmann should have considered before attempting to interview Penny Wong. It even comes from ABC PM program. You would think even Uhlmann could have attempted this research before his program.
    It’s not that hard.

    “Economists are relieved the Federal Government is abandoning its push for a surplus, labelling it a sensible, pragmatic and realistic decision.

    For months, they have been concerned the Government’s penny-pinching to keep the surplus dream alive had the potential to slow growth and jobs”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-20/economists-glad-to-see-surplus-promise-abandoned/4439016

  27. “Has anybody showed him Australia’s credit rating? The unemployment rate? Interest rates? Inflation rate?”

    It is comments like that why I call ALP supporters deceitful. I was around from 1983-1996 and unemployment averaged 8% with 30 months of double digit unemployment in between. Home loan interest rates were at 18% in 1991.

    Now it may not be possible for a Federal govt to do anything about unemployment but if it is possible Hawke/Keating had 13 years to do something.

    We had to wait until Howard/Costello for unemployment to reach 4%, a rate not seen for a generation of Australians. And it was Howard/Costello which restored our credit rating lost by Keating in the Banana republic days.

  28. Economists are relieved the Federal Government is abandoning its push for a surplus, labelling it a sensible, pragmatic and realistic decision.

    For months, they have been concerned the Government’s penny-pinching to keep the surplus dream alive had the potential to slow growth and jobs.

    Today, Treasurer Wayne Swan bowed to the inevitable and all but ditched his commitment to deliver a surplus this financial year.

    The latest official figures from the Department of Finance show cash receipts for July to October are almost $4 billion less than forecast in the May budget.

    “At this stage I don’t think it would be responsible to cut harder or further in 2012-13 to fill a hole in the tax system if that puts jobs or growth at risk,” Mr Swan said.

    The Opposition says this proves what it had been saying all along, that Labor would never deliver a surplus, describing the announcement as humiliating and embarrassing.

    But business leaders, market economists and some in Labor’s own ranks had been urging the Government to walk away from its pledge.

    Leading economist Chris Richardson says ditching the surplus is a triumph of common sense.

    “The alternative, to keep cutting to get a surplus this year, would have hurt the economy,” he said.

    “It’s already starting to hurt the economy.

    “So a sensible decision. I’m glad it’s been taken.”

    AUDIO: Stephen Walters talks to PM (PM)
    JP Morgan chief economist Stephen Walters also welcomes the announcement, and he says a return to surplus in this economic cycle is hard to argue against.

    “But I think what a lot of people, including myself, had some issues with was why we need to rush to do it within the next six months,” he said.

    Mr Walters says the Treasurer has done the right thing to allow the “economic stabilisers” to kick in.

    “Rather than intervene… and try to squeeze revenue from previously untapped sources or trying to slash expenditure to try to make the books balance, you essentially let current policy settings stand and allow whatever the implications are to your revenue to unfold,” he said.

    “And as the Treasurer says, they’re already down by about $20 billion, and just in this fiscal year alone on your revenue side, to October they’re down by $4 billion.

    “Now essentially rather than trying to reverse that, you just let that play out and essentially end up with a deficit rather than a surplus.

    “It’s a very simple equation; it’s just politically clearly very difficult for the Government to admit that they’re not going to make it……………

    .

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-20/economists-glad-to-see-surplus-promise-abandoned/4439016

    S & P.. Australia’s AAA Credit rating is safe.

    No, we are not in a depression.

  29. I find most of the foregoing conversation quite bizarre.

    There seems to be (ignoring all the gotcha bullshit) a universal acceptance that there’s something about a surplus that’s worth striving for. There isn’t. The economic conditions required to support surpluses aren’t common in Western economies. Deficits are the norm.

    The tragedy here is that we have an opportunistic Opposition supported by an ignorant financial press, and quite a few partisan economists that have made fiscal policy (easily the most useful tool in the Treasurer’s tool kit) almost totally unworkable.

    Swan’s retreat from his stupid surplus promise is the realisation of the Opposition’s worst fears. They know that that is exactly what is required to keep the ship steady
    until (fingers crossed) things improve.

  30. No, we are not in a depression.

    We may be soon. Labor never fails to trash the budget. Look at QLD. No debt in 1988 but 20 something years latter under mainly ALP rule Qld lost its credit rating during the biggest mining boom in Australian history and the boom took place in Qld.

  31. Neil, as far as this post is concerned I don’t really care what happened from 1983-96. I’m more interest in December 2012 and the immediate future.

    But if you want to bring up the past . . . don’t get me started.

  32. Neil, at least you will be happy then. Now the quickest way to get there, is to vote Mr. Abbott.. That will guarantee it, if one listens to the shit they are now voicing.

    Have not heard one economist back what they have to say.

    Have heard plenty say Labor now has it right.

    Funny a government is being trashed, for doing the right thing. Funny indeed.

  33. I’m more interest in December 2012 and the immediate future.

    A persons track record is very important. And the track record of the ALP is they trash the budget and we lose our credit rating every time they are in power.

  34. The following from the News ltd Courier mail, more amazing the number of positive comments.

    “FOR you and I this potential deficit means three parts of nearly nothing.

    It will not impact the taxes we pay or the services we receive (in fact on the latter front they are less likely to be cut).

    At best it may take some of the gloss off the Australian dollar (yet financial markets basically yawned at the news yesterday).

    It will also take some of the pressure of the Reserve Bank to use monetary policy to combat a grumpy economy.

    That’s good news for the growing numbers of net savers in Australia, and perhaps not so good news for mortgage holders hoping for rates to plumb even deeper lows.

    Really, though, the headline is that this is the deficit we had to have”
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/wealth-and-welfare-should-wax-and-wayne/comments-e6frerdf-1226541269347

  35. Neil, was Wayne Swan a member of parliament from 1983-96? 🙄

    But yes, a person’s track record is very important. That’s why I put my faith in Swan. His track record is exceptional.

  36. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/swan-firm-on-surplus-as-tax-revenue-falls-20120307-1uknk.html

    Yesterday’s national accounts showed company tax revenue up 4.5 per cent over the first six months of the financial year. The May budget had forecast an increase of 29 per cent over the entire year, revised down in November to an increase of 21 per cent.”

    What retard in Treasury forecast an increase in company tax of 29%??? Has Swan totally politicised Treasury?? So tax revenue has increased but not by the 29% forecast. Well i am not surprised. A 4.5% increase over 6 months sounds normal.

    By the way LABOR has lied again. No ifs or buts.

    Miglo- it is Costello with the exceptional record. Swan has racked up $200B of debt in just 5 years.

  37. Migs, and Sloppy Joe and Abbott have a track record of backing the wrong economic horse every time, and there is plenty of evidence as to how well austerity measures work… NOT.

    And quoting QLD as an example is like shooting yourself in the foot, when you look at the scathing assessment based on the fact that it is the only domestic economy to go backwards…… but that is because we in QLD use a different Ausie dollar from the rest of the country. According to the state treasurer. 😯

    Zero…. ya got nothin’. 😛

    Cheers 😀

  38. Neil, in case you have not noticed, as you keep looking backwards,

    S&P have already confirm today, that the AAA is safe.

    Neil it is fallacious to say all Labor is bad. All Liberal are good.

    There has been good and bad on both sides.

    At the end of the day, out economy depends as much on what occurs in the global sphere, as in this country.

    So far since Labor was elected in 2007, they appeared to have played the economic cards dealt really well.

    As Mr.Abbott has been against every action taken, saying he would do the opposite, one can only assume he is getting it wrong, andf if he was at the tiller, we would now be in step with the rest of the western world.

    What Labor does have a reputation for is reform and moving the economy on.

    It is time for all to start talking the economy up. It is a well known fact that economies can be destroyed by predictions of gloom, and doom.

    We are travelling OK, but there is much uncertain aboard.

    We can come tumbling down at any time.

    I believe that is what Mr. Abbott is counting on, and will do everything to help it along.

    We could have had sensible talk on the economy today from him. He chose to play politics, continuing the lies and exaggerations. With his education, he must know he is bullshitting, but he does not care.

    People appear to be spending this Christmas, which suggests to me, that there is not as mucj gloom anf doom aboard, that we are being told exists.

    Neil, we can only go on the figures for Labor since 2007. On the whole, they have spent were necessary, and now are running at tight ship. Too tight, business is saying.

    Even with ther announcements today, Mr. Swan said there is going to be no loosing of budget constraint.

    All that the government has said, that they are not tightening further.

    Neil, you rave on about waste etc., that this government is not guilty of.

    The budget has just gone throught the greatest Consolidation ever.

    Taxes have come down since they were elected.

    Neil, maybe you can enlighten us to what should be done and why. That is if you can turn your head around and begin looking to the future,

  39. The Costello surpluses equalled dollar for dollar the private sector deficit.

    (I -S) + (G-T) + (X-M) = 0

    Dummies like you Neil will sing Costello’s praises because you know nothing about economics, just the crap you read in the papers.

  40. No Neil, Labor has not politicized treasury No treasury did not get in wrong in the budget., They used ti figures that were available at the time.

    Since then there has been a dramatic drop in ore prices, which happened to be the area,, they were expecting the biggest tax receipts from. Lower ore prices, lower profits, lower tax bill.

    No Neil, no conspiracy. Have to look to the Liberals for that.

    No, no one is lying.

    Also, I believe the ore prices have turned around and are on the way up again.

    No one expects them to return to the records of the last couple of years.

  41. Iain Hall
    December 20, 2012 @ 7:08 pm
    Dare I say “told you so”?
    Iain Hall
    December 20, 2012 @ 7:33 pm
    Migs

    There in we find the ever-increasing credibility gap that Labor have no answer for and no chance of bridging before the next election, They do demonstrate the folly of over promising and under delivering which has been their pattern in just about every grand idea that they have dreamed up in the last five year
    Iain Hall
    December 20, 2012 @ 7:44 pm
    Well Migs if you want to bathe in that Egyptian river perhaps you had better watch out for crocodiles…..
    Iain Hall
    December 20, 2012 @ 7:56 pm
    Florence
    What I am telling you is that Labor have been caught out by their own spin yet again and as a consequence Swan looks to be either a liar or a fool who believed his own propaganda, neither is a good look for the nation’s treasurer,

    Iain Hall
    December 20, 2012 @ 8:04 pm
    Yes el Gordo ,
    Hmm who was it who was always saying that Labor lacks ticker?

    Yeah Yeah told you so gotcha…good work Iian. I notice in your gloteoric (my new word for gloating rhetoric) you failed to include one economic fact or even mention the economy. Ticker is prudent economic stewardship. I notice your statement about under delivering, how you can possibly say such rubbish in light of the current economic figures, a NDIS, NBN, A price on Carbon to enable an ETS, Murry Basin Agreement and prudent economic stewardship through the GFC. I would like you to explain the pitfall and negatives of not returning a surplus whilst reforming and expanding the economy. It sounds good, but is totally unnecessary.

    el gordo
    December 20, 2012 @ 8:01 pm
    I agree with Iain.
    Essentially, this government is getting poor advise or is ignoring good advice because of political considerations. Chasing after the surplus was unnecessary.

    Totally unnecessary and I too scarily agree

    el gordo
    December 20, 2012 @ 9:16 pm
    ‘Is it too much to ask that the critics try and focus on what’s important, ie, the economy?’ We appear to be sliding into a deep recession and Labor will experience less of a loss if they go to an Easter election.

    Sliding into deep recession, that sounds a bit Myan there Gordo… Please Explain?

    I had dinner with two economists at a party last night. Both agreed that the idea of a surplus whilst trying to implement significant infrastructure programs was crazy and totally unnecessary. One laughed when I stated “Aren’t we living beyond your means?” He said cautiously, you have to spend money to make money especially in the future. The wool off the sheep’s back and building cars nobody wants wont cut it. The climate for nation building infrastructure has never been better for Australia.

    Both these economists rate Swan as a treasurer and when I asked why? One replied that the figures speak for themselves. The other (a small L liberal) stated quite objectively that the Liberal party has no economic talent in its shadow cabinet. No Dr John Hewson’s in the wind to paraphrase. He considered Hokey and Abbott economic illiterates trying to trash talk people into fear.

    Both were concerned about the high dollar’s effect on exports and I listened in pure amazement as they systematically disemboweled Auto manufacturing as one of the worst industries in Australia.
    Both were advocates of true free market economies and both hated politician’s for destroying free market economies with agendas.
    I asked them both about indicators for a recession. One guy made a good point. When commodity prices drop, the Ziggy Forrest’s and Nathan Tinker’s (A hocked Conjob) of this world fold, as the price margin in their cost is 40-60% greater per ton than Gina Rinehart. Most of Clive Palmers wealth is in the ground and requires borrowing mega bucks capital at prohibitive rates to become a reality. They are the blokes Wilkie should be concentrating on as they are the worst gamblers in Australia.

    Forgotten by the media dumbing down of the economy.

    FACT
    GDP to Public Debt Low
    GDP Growth Strong @ 0.5%
    Inflation Low 2%
    Unemployment Low 5.1%
    Economy AAA rated
    Foreign Direct Investment Strong

    Neil of Sydney
    December 20, 2012 @ 10:56 pm
    “Has anybody showed him Australia’s credit rating? The unemployment rate? Interest rates? Inflation rate?”
    It is comments like that why I call ALP supporters deceitful. I was around from 1983-1996 and unemployment averaged 8% with 30 months of double digit unemployment in between. Home loan interest rates were at 18% in 1991.
    Now it may not be possible for a Federal govt to do anything about unemployment but if it is possible Hawke/Keating had 13 years to do something.
    We had to wait until Howard/Costello for unemployment to reach 4%, a rate not seen for a generation of Australians. And it was Howard/Costello which restored our credit rating lost by Keating in the Banana republic days.

    Hawke Keating. The accord, deregulation of the banking system and floating of the dollar
    Howard Costello, sale of Telstra, work choices and work for the dole.

  42. There is much to dislike in Toolman’s religious, er, religion article, but this one got my gourd:

    Not being Julia Gillard could be enough to get him there, given the equally visceral reaction to the prime minister among large swathes of the electorate.

    What a gutless wonder he is. What he really meant to say was he hates Gillard’s guts, but he hides behind a weasel words statement that the public hates her.

    What makes me sick is the apologetic tone he takes towards Abbott because Abbott is a Catholic, just like Toolman.

  43. There’s something Toolman should realise. His right wing ‘opinions’ are a dime-a-dozen in the “mainstream” media. He offers nothing to differentiate himself from the multitude of other wankers pushing a Liberal line in the MSM. He will never be a diamond, just a grain of sand on the beach.

  44. No matter if it is good or bad economically, politically this is more damaging than the Carbon Price I think for Labor. They were stupid to ‘promise’ a surplus, it should always have been an aim. Unfortunately for them, things keep going down hill globally. It wouldn’t have needed much of an uptick to get the surplus, but another downtick just brought home the realisation that it aint gonna happen.

    They are going to pay for this by the opposition and media (as evidenced by toolman) A few months ago, I would have said this would spell the end. But, as economists have argued so hard and long, they might get away with it. Economist might cry the ‘lie’ line, but, at the end of the day, they have to admit it was the right move, they argued for it.

    Time will tell I suppose the political impact it will have.

    Even now, people are voicing there amazement at the ease with which the opposition appeared to voice their opinion about this, yet the inability to answer questions about ashby. They are losing all relevance due to their own machinations.

  45. Dummies like you Neil will sing Costello’s praises because you know nothing about economics, just the crap you read in the papers.

    Strangely through MJ Neil not only doesn’t sing Costello’s praises when Costello heavily lambasted Howard’s reckless spending and middle class welfare handouts, Neil goes into bat for Howard against Costello and cans Costello.

    Proves your point on Neil.

    Neil is a one trick pony on this and always has been, singing the same song on debt over and over until it becomes an irksome ear worm. But it’s only Labor debt that is bad. Liberal debt, like Costello’s deficit during record revenue intakes or the Liberals States racking it up are OK.

    In other words his an ideological hypocrite.

  46. Tom, I agree..Labor were stupid enough to promise a surplus. Never make a promise when no one can adequately predict the future as circumstances change. And even with changed circumstances would the MSM back the government for their responsible actions..no, of course they wouldn’t.

  47. Migs,

    he has delusions that he is a diamond in a rough patch

    Uhlmann is the embodiment of the ‘Peter Principle’!

  48. Ricky
    Yeah Yeah told you so gotcha…good work Iain. I notice in your gloteoric (my new word for gloating rhetoric) you failed to include one economic fact or even mention the economy.

    That is simply because may comment was not about economics but the politics of this concession by Swan to the facts that have been obvious for quite sometime

    Ticker is prudent economic stewardship. I notice your statement about under delivering, how you can possibly say such rubbish in light of the current economic figures, a NDIS, NBN, A price on Carbon to enable an ETS, Murry Basin Agreement and prudent economic stewardship through the GFC.

    The current economic figures are substantially different to those predicted in the last budget Ricky, and because of that simple fact the strategy of that document is totally shot. But to detail what I mean about over promising and under-delivering take Gillard’s grand plan to provide a laptop to every high-school student it quickly got down-graded to something quite substantially more modest in delivery and the schools had to provide the necessary IT back up for the units actually delivered. As for the NDIS not a single disabled person has received a single cent’s worth of extra help and none is likely for years to come, even assuming that the money will be forthcoming to pay for this grand scheme which is not likely. The NBN may well prove to be a benefit but I can’t help but think that the government may have backed the wrong horse here and that its economic model is based upon the same sort of woolly wishful thinking that has seen Swan have to make an embarrassing back down, the take up rates have been woeful where the service is available.
    The Carbon tax/ETS may be beloved by the millenarian true believers in the AGW Green religion but it is a total nonsense as a response to the climate. It promises to “address” climate change and yet even if that theory were to prove correct the regime will not make a measurable difference to global temperatures. It is in fact a perfect example of over promising and under delivering.

    The Murrey Darling basin agreement has some merit but it has its flaws as well.

    Finally there is the GFC “stewardship” what can I say but “Pink Batts” and “School Halls” both opf which were examples or hasty action and a lack of thought.

    I would like you to explain the pitfall and negatives of not returning a surplus whilst reforming and expanding the economy. It sounds good, but is totally unnecessary.

    I never expected Labor to achieve its claimed surplus and I have no opinion on there being “pitfalls” in this obvious eventuality. I expect that the economy will not collapse as a result of this concession, however Labor’s economic credibility, which was always low to begin with, will take a further nose dive and its the politics of this that matter at this point in time rather than an economy that seems to be able to endure the Gillard/Swan misrepresentations and repeated failed predictions, probably because its increasingly clear that they will be booted out of office at the next election.

  49. ‘…this is more damaging than the Carbon Price I think for Labor.’

    No way Tom, he people knew it was going to be a big ask, returning to surplus, so the electorate will not harshly judge the government for failing in this this regard.

    By comparison, the tax on a harmless trace gas will not be forgiven.

  50. Whether the doom and gloom that is about to unleashed will be worst on the economy than if Labor had stripped spending, switched numbers, anything, to get their surplus, will remain to be seen. As will the electorates reaction to the announcement

    It was a dumb promise to make. I think abandoning it might be even dumber

  51. >i> the tax on a harmless trace gas

    You’re an obsessed brainwashed right-wing nutjob. 😀 But, hey, the Ginas of the world need you to keep putting out the propaganda that serves them and their selfish interests, so keep on keeping on. Just don’t expect them to reward you for your humiliating labours.

  52. so the electorate will not harshly judge the government for failing in this this regard.

    The Carbon Price issue is nullified, in fact, it is more of a weight around the libs neck now. This is a real broken pledge, irrespective of conditions now. It was a stupid promise, and could prove to be a costly backflip.

  53. In an AFR interview, Tony Abbott praised Chris Uhlmann, while complaining that Mark Scott should do something about the left wing bias at the ABC.

    Oh what a Merry Xmas wish to Chris and Gai from Tony Abbott.

    In the AFR article he has publically done for Chris and Gai the same support for Peter Slipper and his wife, Inge

    What a scorpion of a man he is.

  54. El Gordo is right Cuppa the Carbon tax will not go away as an issue no matter how much you latte sippers wish that it would, Gillard’s back-flip/ Lie to the people is the main reason that the voters don’t trust Labor, this latest concession from Swan just adds to that perception.

  55. Perception is the first honest thing that you have dribbled.

    It is a perception based on a lie from Abbott, Hockey and co and reinforced by the MSM spin machine, and of course the mindless trolls… if the shoe fits?
    Start working in facts, and you might have a chance of regaining some minuscule level of credibility, but I won’t hold my breath! 😉 😛

  56. Let’s focus on what’s important. Abbott wants to be PM. Abbott hates ABC. Murdoch hates ABC. Murdoch will use his media to get the PMship for Abbott. Abbott will repay Murdoch by neutralising ABC and selling NBN .

    Now enjoy this read
    “So now we have it: what appears to be hard, irrefutable evidence of Rupert Murdoch’s ultimate and most audacious attempt – thwarted, thankfully, by circumstance – to hijack America’s democratic institutions on a scale equal to his success in kidnapping and corrupting the essential democratic institutions of Great Britain through money, influence and wholesale abuse of the privileges of a free press.

    In the American instance, Murdoch’s goal seems to have been nothing less than using his media empire – notably Fox News – to stealthily recruit, bankroll and support the presidential candidacy of General David Petraeus in the 2012 election

    The Murdoch story – his corruption of essential democratic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic – is one of the most important and far-reaching political/cultural stories of the past 30 years, an ongoing tale without equal. Like Richard Nixon and his tapes, much attention has been focused on the necessity of finding the smoking gun to confirm what other evidence had already established beyond a doubt: that the elemental instruments of democracy, ie the presidency in Nixon’s case, and the privileges of free press in Murdoch’s, were grievously misused and abused for their own ends by those entrusted to use great power for the common good.

    More than anyone, Murdoch invented and established this culture in the newsroom, where you do whatever it takes to get the story, take no prisoners, destroy the competition, and the end will justify the means.”

    The tape that Bob Woodward obtained, and which the Washington Post ran in the style section, should be the denouement of the Murdoch story on both sides of the Atlantic, making clear that no institution, not even the presidency of the United States, was beyond the object of his subversion. If Murdoch had bankrolled a successful Petraeus presidential campaign and – as his emissary McFarland promised – “the rest of us [at Fox] are going to be your in-house” – Murdoch arguably might have sewn up the institutions of American democracy even more securely than his British tailoring.
    Happily, Petraeus was not hungering for the presidency at the moment of the messenger’s arrival
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/20/bernstein-murdoch-ailes-petreaus-presidency

  57. ‘The Carbon Price issue is nullified’

    No, everyone I know says their power bills have more than doubled and that won’t go away. Its a festering sore.

  58. everyone I know says their power bills have more than doubled

    True, but the Carbon Price isn’t being blamed by them. In fact, in some places, it is being thanked for allowing cheaper alternatives, like Solar

  59. ‘I think abandoning it might be even dumber’

    Not at all, the electorate is economically savvy and will accept the government’s reasoning.

    Out in the bush we are sliding into a deep recession, this is going to be the real problem for joolya.

  60. TS
    Its a FACT that the currency of politics is credibility and Labor have well and truly squandered the totality of their credibility by being untruthful with the voting public.
    The sad thing is that had they been more up front and realistic in things like their economic predictions (rather than engaging is politically motivated wishful thinking) made in the budget they might have copped a bit of flack at the time but they would not been copping so many telling blows now. You see its not always a matter of what you do as much as it is a matter of how you go about it and Labor just keep making the same mistakes over and over.

  61. Tom
    Solar is not cheaper to the nation at all it is far more costly per KWH once you factor in the subsidies that just add to everyone’s power bills and state government deficits.

  62. IF power bills do go higher, then we will have to use less by doing it smarter. In the ye olde days when I was local government rep on the EPA everyone enthused about how we could all contribute – by building houses the good old Aussie way, deep verandahs and windows facing the cooling winds for Summer as examples. Then the greedy 90’s came along and it seemed that everyone forgot about the fact that challenges mean innovation. Hopefully that time is something which we will be looking forward to in the near future.

  63. You are an absolute moron if you believe the dribble you are publishing? Peter Costello the LNP treasurer had built a $20 billion dollar surplus to 2007. Since Labor has been in power we are now heading for a prediction of $5 billion dollar deficit! If you haven’t noticed the world is still in a recession Spain; Greece and Italy are stripping the Euro dollar down with request of constant bail out and America having been the first country to introduce this spend or offer $1000 dollars to everyone to help stimulate the market are currently $17 trillion dollars in debt and rising, the amount of debt the US are in to put it in “laymens” terms you can vovsr the entire planet with American $1 dollar bills that is the amount of debt thry are in. Australia is holding together not because of Labor economic genious Wayne Swan but because of 3 areas: 1 – Peter Costello $20 billion dollar surplus left in 2007 2 – the mining industry 3 – China strong support of buying our minerals. Once that dry up what are we left with? NBN costing Australian rax payers an estimate of $70 billion dollars! a Carbon tax; a super profit tax that currently has recieved $0.00 dollars because mining & companies did not have massive profits to benefit from? offering welfare to illegal immigrants when our elderly are struggling to buy everyday grocery and to scared to keep the heater on in winter or the air condition on during hot summer? Open your eyes and see it for what it is this government is destroying our beautiful nation and its the battlers & our elderly that are struggling.

  64. Tony Abbott has a great scorpion mentor the big M himself.

    From the Guardian article, Petraeus turned downed the offer saying on tape “his wife would kill him”. I suppose having one’s private life splashed across the headlines may just be a coincidence, may just embarrass the wife, children and extended families or

  65. If you think that putting up a video link of two of the biggest liars this country has ever known, on this blog, will help your arguments, you really are more delusional than any here have considered.

    The only ones treating Australians with contempt are them with their spin, lies and constant talking down of the economy.

    If they think that cutting spending by reducing PS’s, services etc is going to improve the tax revenue base, then they are really living in fantasy land. and if you want facts, then look to the USA, UK, Europe and closer to home QLD.

    Austerity in these circumstances DOES NOT AND WILL NOT WORK.

  66. … currently has recieved $0.00 dollars because mining & companies did not have massive profits to benefit from …

    Wrong! Do try to keep up.

    The federal government has raised more than $1 billion from the resource rent taxes in the first quarter of the 2012/13 financial year, including the the first funds raised by the mineral resource rent tax (MRRT) since its implementation.

    The government’s monthly financial statement for October, shows the petroleum resources rent tax and the MRRT earned a combined $501 million in October

    Here’s the link
    : http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Mining-tax-revenue-tops-1bn-in-Q1-pd20121220-362YD?opendocument&src=idp&emcontent_asx_financial-markets

  67. Who cares?, you obviously don’t, and you also don’t understand.

    It is Idiots like you talking down the economy that is the real problem, believing the lies that you read in the papers and what the LNP spout at every opportunity.

    So far the MRRT has produced 1 billion $s, which is well down on forecasts, but certainly not 0 $s, and if it had been Hockey holding the purse strings, we would have followed America and Europe into recession, and then where would all the elderly and the poor be?

    Who cares…. WAKE UP!

  68. Yep the doomsayers could be correct,

    Just as well those in ther know are saying different. Yes, this government is close to surplus, well thast is what the bamkers are saying.

    Mr, Abbott and Co are lying when they say such things as the MRRT is adding to the problem.

    The receipt are down becasue of the fall in comodity prices. Nothing to do with anything that this gvernemtn has done. Added to that is the high dollard that has climbed in spite of what the RBA has done.

    This government has cut spending. To go further would put the busget into free fall. There is the economis option of rasing taxes on those that can afford to pay. Sadly thi is not a political option.

    Rushing to a surplus was always a political option. Was not viable as an economic one.

    Listen to what the Opposition is saying. They are saying Labot did not cut spending hard enough. At the same time, they are condemmong every cut, and there are many, that Labor made.

    What one needs to know, what futher cuts need to be made by Mr.Abbott, to achieve his magic surplus. The question you need to ask yourself, are you willinfg to see his cuts.

    To keep to the facts as they are today. Labor intends to keep on aiming for a surplus. There will be no loosening of the purese strings. The surplus will now be later than what they intended.

    Labor has worked hard towards their aim, but due to global situation have fallen a little short of the mark. At least this is what everyone except Mr. Abbott and Mr. Hockey are saying.

    We put Labor into the government, to govern. That is what they are doing.. They are making decision in light of the situation that prevails today. That is what mangers do.

    This talk of breaking promises might interest some. It has nothoing to do with the decisions that are being today.

    I am sure that Mr. Abbott will learn this, if he is voted into office. One has to work within the cards dealt.

    If this government is thrown out for doing the right thing, so be it.

    Listened to Mr. Hockey being interviewed by Sabre Lane. Came across sounding a little stupid. Then that could be my bias.

    At the end of the day, I believe it will be doing what is right, that will win the day.. I have not heard one business man come in on the side of Abbott. That must mean something.

    It would be funny if the Thomson matter was thrown out of court today. That is on the cards.

  69. Forgotten by the media dumbing down of the economy.

    FACT
    GDP to Public Debt Low
    GDP Growth Strong @ 0.5%
    Inflation Low 2%
    Unemployment Low 5.1%
    Economy AAA rated

    All due to Howard/Costello. We LOST our credit rating under Keating in 1986 and if Labor is so good at unemployment why could not Hawke/keating get unemployment at 5.1%.

    No these things were handed to Labor in 2007.

    The only things Labor hands the Coalition when elected is a trashed budget and a credit rating downgrade. Lets hope Campbell Newman can get the Qld debt under control and get their credit rating upgraded.

    Hawke Keating. The accord, deregulation of the banking system and floating of the dollar

    Yep they deregulated the banking industry, wasn’t that great?

  70. Ashby has announced he is now taking his case to FWA, Is not that were it should have been in the first case. With Jackson’s influence he must be expecting a better hearing.

  71. Zero, be very afraid, cos the rubber van is doing laps in your area, and your ramblings make you a prime candidate.

    You must be very rich or very stupid… we could take a vote… mine is for the latter.

    Would you like fries with that lobotomy? 😯

  72. Truth Seeker @ 9:41 am

    If you think that putting up a video link of two of the biggest liars this country has ever known, on this blog, will help your arguments, you really are more delusional than any here have considered.

    Mate the ones shown to be the most “economical with the truth” is Labor by a very long mile and as an Ex-Labor voter myself it pains me no end to see the party that I once supported being run by a mob of fools like the current administration, it makes me very sad indeed.

    The only ones treating Australians with contempt are them with their spin, lies and constant talking down of the economy.

    Frankly I don’t consider that “talking up” the economy the way the Swan Gillard and Wong et al have been doing has done us any favours because it has been so lacking in substance.

    If they think that cutting spending by reducing PS’s, services etc is going to improve the tax revenue base, then they are really living in fantasy land. and if you want facts, then look to the USA, UK, Europe and closer to home QLD.

    Its called living within our means and I suspect that you are not so good at it because you seem to have trouble grasping the simple idea that one’s credit cards are very useful unless they are all maxed out. Labor have maxed out the nation’s credit cards…

    Austerity in these circumstances DOES NOT AND WILL NOT WORK.

    There is a big difference between austerity and being prudently frugal.

  73. “The receipt are down becasue of the fall in comodity prices.

    Who told you that CU?? Commodity prices are at high levels. Dropped a bit but still way above the levels when the Coalition was in power.

    Added to that is the high dollard that has climbed in spite of what the RBA has done.”

    The dollar is high because of Wayne Swans deficit spending.

  74. Iain Hall
    December 21, 2012 @ 7:57 am
    The current economic figures are substantially different to those predicted in the last budget Ricky, and because of that simple fact the strategy of that document is totally shot.

    No Iian you are so incredibly wrong. Budgets contain current data and forecasts. They are dynamic documents built upon fundamental principals of strategy accounting for data that is known and variables that are not.

    To say a budget is “shot” because of a variable is like discounting an explanation of the benefits of solar power as useless because it’s raining. I concede and did not agree with a surplus’s. It went against all credible economists as we were sucked into the vortex of populous dumbing down that surplus good anything less bad.

    But to detail what I mean about over promising and under-delivering take Gillard’s grand plan to provide a laptop to every high-school student it quickly got down-graded to something quite substantially more modest in delivery and the schools had to provide the necessary IT back up for the units actually delivered

    Most kids got laptops. In fact 911,000 computers since its inception. Did your kids not get a laptop?

    As for the NDIS not a single disabled person has received a single cent’s worth of extra help and none is likely for years to come, even assuming that the money will be forthcoming to pay for this grand scheme which is not likely.

    Iian, Rome was not built in a day. We work very closely with the Disability Australia and I can assure you the ball is well and truly rolling. Do you have any conceptual idea of the complexities of setting up the NDIS? Maybe O’Farrell could use some of that “couch money” to make a strong commitment to possibly the most important disability initiative in Australian history. You obviously let ideology politicise the execution of this huge undertaking. There are massive economic benefits in addition to the sociological imperatives associated with the scheme.

    The NBN may well prove to be a benefit but I can’t help but think that the government may have backed the wrong horse here and that its economic model is based upon the same sort of woolly wishful thinking that has seen Swan have to make an embarrassing back down, the take up rates have been woeful where the service is available.

    What does this mean? I gather you are finally convinced of the importance this infrastructure to Australia. The economic model is simple, wholesale and VAR of products and services. It’s competitive and scalable. The NBN will prove to be what Telstra was…. A giant cash cow of perpetual cash flow. Like your comments on the NDIS, the NBN has entered rollout phase this does not happen in 5 minutes. Networks of this scale are evolving works in progress that never finish. They expand slowly like your understanding of its benefit’s in that thing we call “the future”

    The Carbon tax/ETS may be beloved by the millenarian true believers in the AGW Green religion but it is a total nonsense as a response to the climate. It promises to “address” climate change and yet even if that theory were to prove correct the regime will not make a measurable difference to global temperatures. It is in fact a perfect example of over promising and under delivering.

    Should I insert a picture of Jones, Bolt and Monkton in there to accompany such nonsense. Seriously Iian such a predictive assertion is way beyond you capability of understanding of science and economics. Ideological denial based upon political rhetoric is as whacky as monkton dressed as a sheik.

    The Murrey Darling basin agreement has some merit but it has its flaws as well.

    I will treat this broadside comment, based upon an opinionated lack of factual detail with the contempt it deserves. Three words…..No pleasing some

    Finally there is the GFC “stewardship” what can I say but “Pink Batts” and “School Halls” both opf which were examples or hasty action and a lack of thought.

    Well it worked despite the economic illiterates of the floposition’s opposition to stimulus at every turn. The runs are on the board, the scorecard is in “Fact” AAA despite the “no surplus so it’s a failure futility furfy”. We continue to be as one of the best economies in the world, that is a irrefutable fact.

    I would like you to explain the pitfall and negatives of not returning a surplus whilst reforming and expanding the economy. It sounds good, but is totally unnecessary I never expected Labor to achieve its claimed surplus and I have no opinion on there being “pitfalls” in this obvious eventuality. I expect that the economy will not collapse as a result of this concession, however Labor’s economic credibility, which was always low to begin with, will take a further nose dive and its the politics of this that matter at this point in time rather than an economy that seems to be able to endure the Gillard/Swan misrepresentations and repeated failed predictions, probably because its increasingly clear that they will be booted out of office at the next election. .

    One of the great lies of politics is the opposition is economic credibility based upon the Costello surplus. Short memories perpetuate this myth. Don’t take my word for it, do some research. Start here if you like.
    http://www.marketeconomics.com.au/1996-a-short-history-of-government-debt-in-australia

    el gordo
    December 21, 2012 @ 7:58 am
    ‘…this is more damaging than the Carbon Price I think for Labor.’
    No way Tom, he people knew it was going to be a big ask, returning to surplus, so the electorate will not harshly judge the government for failing in this this regard.

    I seem to be using this pharse too much Gordo as again you are 100% correct

    By comparison, the tax on a harmless trace gas will not be forgiven.

    So I will respectfully disagree precisely at this point.

  75. Nil of Sydney
    December 21, 2012 @ 10:32 am
    “The receipt are down becasue of the fall in comodity prices.”
    Who told you that CU?? Commodity prices are at high levels. Dropped a bit but still way above the levels when the Coalition was in power.
    “ Added to that is the high
    dollard that has climbed in spite of what the RBA has done.”
    The dollar is high because of Wayne Swans deficit spending.

    You’re an economic genius Nil, 🙄

  76. Min, I am watching a new home being built near my bus stop. What is pleasing and amazing is the high pitch of the roof. It looks so correct. The eaves are a little wider, but sadly there are no verandas. There are many climate controls built into that roof with whirly birds etc.

    Hockey still raving on about Labor wasting money on pink batts etc. How many years ago was that, Under what government and PM. What were the global economic conditions.

    No GFC in Hockey’s eyes. One that the rest of the world is still suffering from.

    Heard Hewson this morning, blame the tax cuts that Labor made among other thinbgs for the crisis. Yes, I believe there is a crisis, and that Labor is addressing the new crisis.

    Screaming waste will lead us nowhere, just muddy the waters.

    It is time to look at how governments raise and finances their responsibilities, both at the state level and the federal level. Yes there are structural prolems that need to be addressed

    I agree with Hewson that neither party has the answers at this time, We are just band aiding future problems.

    We have to look at what we want, and what is needed for a bright future. We then have to decide whether we are willing to pay and how.

    Screaming cut the waste, lower the taxes will get us nowhere. Just camouflage the real problems we face.

    All rating agencies have now said Austarlia’s triple A rating are not at risk. A deficit makes no difference.

  77. Contrary to old Hockey mouth, it isn’t because the government is spending too much. Government spending as a percentage of GDP in Australia is low by international standards. This Government’s spending as a percentage of GDP is lower than that of the Howard Government. It is in fact a smaller spending government than the Howard Government.

    The reason is because cash payments – tax receipts – have collapsed. October is the month in which business pays its estimated tax for the July to September quarter. Cash payments are down $4 billion on estimates.

    Revenue is down almost $4 billion on predictions. It looks as if the resource rent taxes – the Minerals resource Rent Tax and the Petroleum resource Rent Tax bought in some money but there is no breakdown about which bought in what.

    The Treasurer said that profitability was down significantly across the economy, in all industries. This explains the fall in company tax collections.

    So the Government will wear a small deficit contrary to its incessant proclamations of the last few years and will put up with the banshee wailing from the Opposition about poor economic management and possibly more dangerous, broken promises.

    Abbott and Hockey will hammer this change of tune from the government to paint Gillard and co as dishonest, marrying the broken surplus promise to the no carbon tax pledge to paint a picture of a dishonest and untrustworthy government.

    What the banshees won’t tell us is where they would cut $15 billion from to fund their surplus.

    The money is there. Labor could tax the rich and business more. Contrary to all the BS from both Labor and the Liberals, Australia is a low tax country and as a consequence a low government spending country. Why? Because the Howard Government cut tax rates for the rich when in Office……

    http://enpassant.com.au/2012/12/20/want-a-surplus-and-decent-public-services-tax-the-rich/

  78. As The Australia Institute says:

    One of the reasons Australia is such a low-tax country is that the Howard government gave away much of the then budget surplus in tax cuts for the wealthy. In the years 2003-11 those tax cuts gave someone on average weekly earnings $26 per week while someone earning five times that received a tax cut of $367 a week.

    A look at the Treasury Tax Expenditures Statement gives us many areas for rich pickings. Here are a few.

    Tax concessions for superannuation give the top 5% of income earners $10 billion in foregone revenue. Tax concessions for small business on capital gains cost the revenue $710 million. The general 50% CGT concession for assets held more than 12 months, a measure which favours the well off and business because they have more capital, costs the revenue around $5 billion. Not taxing the family home costs government round $36 billion, so taxing the family homes of the very rich could bring in some hundreds of millions in revenue.

    These minor adjustments would hit the rich and business and recoup over $16 billion in revenue.

    Further, taxing the rich on their wealth, their inheritances and increasing their income tax, as well as strengthening anti-avoidance rules, could easily add many more billions to that figure.

    Taxing all economic rent, i.e. capturing the monopoly profits of miners besides those in iron ore and coal already caught by the pathetic MRRT, and other industries like banks and maybe supermarkets would yield tens of billions in revenue.

    We’d have no Budget deficit and enough to fund real increases and reforms in public education, public health and public transport and still be able to afford to move Australia to a totally renewable energy society by 2025.

    Tax the rich and business to pay for better public services for all Australians and to fully fund a totally renewable energy society by 2025..

    http://enpassant.com.au/2012/12/20/want-a-surplus-and-decent-public-services-tax-the-rich/

  79. Gilbert Boffa wrote:
    Politicians are lucky they do not fall under the supervision of the ACCC otherwise they would risk $multi million fines for all the outright lies and broken promises they make to increase their market share of voters in order to try winning elections (Hockey, Abbott slam govt over deficit, December 21).
    In my opinion the Liberals are going to have a big problem convincing the swinging voters that they wont increase other taxes to replace the promised removal of the Carbon Tax and to pay down the government debt during an extended period of recession or intending to break any expenditure promises they make before the elections on any popular new programs. Imo the Liberals are going to regret that Malcolm Turnbull was now not either the shadow Treasurer or the Leader in what might have looked like a sure win before but not so sure now.

    21 Dec 2012 8:59 AM

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Deficit-shows-spending-problem-Hockey-36RRX?OpenDocument&src=rab

    A comment that says better, what I am attempting to say, badly, I am afraid.

    It is about the future. The past is long gone, and one cannot change it.

  80. “You’re an economic genius Nil,

    ??? What is wrong with what I said?? Commodity prices are still at high levels but have dropped a bit. They are still way higher than when the Coalition was in power.

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

    Current index is at 120. It was at approx. 80 when the coalition lost govt in 2007. So commodity prices are still much higher than when Costello was Treasurer.

    Terms of trade are at record levels.

    Just more lies from Ricky and other Labor supporters.

  81. Neil, just because one does not agree, does not mean they are lying. Just means they see things different.

    Are you saying that you are the only one that can see the truth.

  82. Iain, I agree, talking up a bad economy would be wrong.

    Taking down one with lies, is bad,

    Just telling the truth would go a long way.

  83. In March, Mr. Swan and the PM made predicitions based on the figures available then. Yesterday, Mr. Swan updated those oredictions on current figures,
    Both are predictions, not yet reality.

    The PM said back in and since March, they would make adjustments necessary to keep the surplus timetable, based on the March figures.

    Yesterday, based on current figures, the Treasurer said that making further cuts is no longer an option, as it will only lead to the economy weakening further.

    The government said that it is likely it will take longer to reach a surplus. Meantime there will be no loosening of the purse strings.

    Circumstance has changed. The action needed to deal with the situation, also has to change.

    What is wrong with that????

  84. Neil always bangs on about commodity prices. Perhaps he’d like to explain the direct relevance of these figures to the budget bottom line?

  85. Iain, Howard had 17 goes at getting the private sector to provide better broadband. All failed. Labor had one, then quickly moved to the model we have now.

    The answer is obviously the private sector is not interested. At least no interested in providing a universal service, but is interested in cherry picking the best areas, leaving the others to die on the vine.

  86. What do they mean, when they say the government is no longer capable of living within it’s budget.

    Does it mean anything?

    I believe it is stupid and meaningless comment to make, when talking about the nation’s budget.

    All we hear is about is cuts. It is like the receipts and taxes are now set in stone, and cannot be altered.

  87. Neil, if commodity prices fall say ten percent. Does that mean the companies profit falls by ten percent.

    I suspect it does not. It would mean income would, not profits. ,

    The income would have to be balanced against production costs, that I suspect would remain the same.

    Unless I have it wrong. tax is paid on profits, not income.. They are still maintaining the same level of production,but selling it for lower prices, as far as I know.

  88. Let’s look at company tax receipt growth and total revenue collected over the last decade the Neil:

    Year => Company tax growth -» Total Revenue %GDP
    2002-03 => 20.3% -» 25.8%
    2003-04 => 10.2% -» 25.8%
    2004-05 => 11.9% -» 26.3%
    2005-06 => 21.2% -» 26.3%
    2006-07 => 16.6% -» 25.7%
    2007-08 => 8.1% -» 25.8%
    2008-09 => -2.2% -» 23.9%
    2009-10 => -13.5% -» 22.6%
    2010-11 => 7.7% -» 21.1%
    2011-12(e) => 24.4% -» 23.1%

    http://www.treasury.gov.au/PublicationsAndMedia/Publications/2012/Pocket-Guide-to-the-Australian-Tax-System/html/Appendix-C

    A couple of points Neil:
    * As you can see, company tax receipts growth of > 20% is not unusual (relevant to your comment on the “Editorial bullshit” thread)
    * Total revenue has fallen dramatically in the wake of the GFC, irrespective of what commodity prices have been.
    * The average tax take over the Howard years is 25% of GDP (1996-97 to 2006-07)
    * The average tax take over the Rudd / Gillard years is 22.4% of GDP (2008-09 to 2011-12)
    * Given the value of GDP is $1.57 trillion, if the Labor government had collected tax at the average rate of the Howard government, they would have raked in $40.8 billion more every year. It’s easy to run surplus budgets if you tax the tripe out of the country 🙄
    * I’ve only done this quickly, so feel free to correct any mathematical errors.

  89. Bacchus
    December 21, 2012 @ 11:36 am
    Neil always bangs on about commodity prices. Perhaps he’d like to explain the direct relevance of these figures to the budget bottom line?

    Yeah good luck with that. I post figures from the RBA, Nil posts opinion. Liar?
    As you would be aware Bacchus demand for commodities has a direct correlation to price…economics 101. Rio pulls commodities out of the ground with 30% to 40% better margin than Fortisque. They also have longer term contracts.
    These companies only represent less than 10% of our 6.4 trillion dollar economy. So commodities are important but they are not the heart of our economic lifeblood.

    Nil of Sydney
    December 21, 2012 @ 11:04 am
    ??? What is wrong with what I said?? Commodity prices are still at high levels but have dropped a bit. They are still way higher than when the Coalition was in power.
    Just more lies from Ricky and other Labor supporters.

    Liar? Seriously you should do Standup, your piss funny :mrgreen:
    Since your all twisted up in commodities….Any conceptual idea of what a dip of 25 points in commodity prices is worth to treasury projections NIL? 🙄

    Bacchus
    December 21, 2012 @ 2:17 pm
    Let’s look at company tax receipt growth and total revenue collected over the last decade the Neil: Nil

    Good point Bacchus, dam fine “factual” point 🙂

  90. Neil always bangs on about commodity prices. Perhaps he’d like to explain the direct relevance of these figures to the budget bottom line?”

    That is what you lot told me many times. Costello only ran surplus budgets because of the mining boom which started in 2004. Oh that is right. Costello had the miners digging the stuff out of the ground with picks and shovels and then along comes Labor and gets them to use machinery which equals large depreciation expenses and less profits. So Costello gets more profits than Swan?? I do not believe it.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/get-ready-for-the-end-of-the-boom/story-e6frgd0x-1226360624893

    The government’s budget is built on the assumption that the resource-based prosperity responsible for our 4.9 per cent jobless rate will continue indefinitely, with only the gentlest decline in prices.”

    There is the problem. Stupid forecasting. No room for a commodity price fall or the budget is blown.

    These companies only represent less than 10% of our 6.4 trillion dollar economy. So commodities are important but they are not the heart of our economic lifeblood.

    I tend to agree with that. But that is not what I was told by Labor supporters when Labor was in power.

    And commodity prices are still high and terms of trade are at record levels.

    http://www.rba.gov.au/chart-pack/images/15-commodity-prices/15br-tot-small.gif?accessed=2012-12-21-14-44-31

  91. I tend to agree with that. But that is not what I was told by Labor supporters when Labor Coalition was in power.

  92. Neil, most people realize that budget predictions are just that. Predictions based on the figures available at the time.

    Most would realize that if the figures change over time, the predictions will change.

    Unless you have access to a crystal ball, how else does one do it,

    Yes the figures can go down. Yes, under Costello, they had a habit of going on. Mainly caused I believe by making promises over and over and never spending the money.

    We now have the Opposition saying they could have a surplus on todays figures.

    I am sure those journalist are going to ask how, and what they would cut.

  93. ‘Most would realize that if the figures change over time, the predictions will change.’

    Yeah that’s what happens with so many variable in the mix, its hard to predict economic outcomes. Only a handful of economists predicted the GFC.

    It was not important to get back in surplus, but joolya felt politically vulnerable and persuaded her Treasurer to make the prediction…. to give her a lift in the polls and keep Abbott on the left foot.

    If Swanny understood economics he would have said no to the PM.

  94. Sighs of relief echoed around Australia yesterday as Wayne Swan finally fronted up to formally ditch the surplus promise, but none would have been deeper and more heartfelt than among Labor MPs and staff at campaign headquarters in Melbourne.

    They had been faced with coming back from Christmas holidays and starting an election campaign having to find at least $15 billion in new spending cuts for no good economic reason. In fact business and markets were pushing for a deficit so the Reserve Bank didn’t have to do all the work in countering the strong currency.

    The political calculation was this: is it better to face an angry squall of broken promise accusations from the Opposition while the voters are doing their Christmas shopping, or cut $15 billion from government spending during an election campaign? No contest really.

    And the barking from Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott yesterday was probably neutralised by polite applause and yawns from business groups and market economists.

    It’s been a pretty good week for the ALP. The campaign has been freed from a fiscal straitjacket and a Roy Morgan face-to-face poll taken over the past two weekends has put them comfortably in front – 52.5 per cent to 47.5 per cent, which are roughly the figures of the 2007 election.

    Obviously there is a long way to go, but Labor MPs and the campaign staff led by national secretary George Wright will sit down to Christmas dinner this year with the sniff of victory in 2013.

    The key to Labor’s turnaround is a surge in support from women. According to the Morgan poll, support for the ALP among women went from 35 per cent to 40.5 per cent between November and December, and on a two-party preferred basis from 50.5 to 56 per cent.

    Men are roughly equally divided between the ALP and the Coalition, but Tony Abbott and his team now have a real problem with women. Their two-party preferred support among women has collapsed from 51 per cent in November to 44 per cent now……..

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Labor-budget-surplus-deficit-Gillard-Swan-pd20121221-36R9N?opendocument&src=idp&utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=152880&utm_campaign=kgb&modapt=commentary

  95. Let’s look at company tax receipt growth and total revenue collected over the last decade the Neil:”

    No one denies tax revenue is down because of the GFC. But is it down enough to give us $40B deficits?? And perhaps some of it is down because of Labor policies??

    Found this on Catallaxy. You may not be able to do the comparison you made.

    http://www.treasurer.gov.au/wmsDisplayDocs.aspx?doc=pressreleases/2009/122.htm&pageID=003&min=wms&Year=2009&DocType=0

    The Annual National Accounts also show a substantial increase in the level of GDP over history due to the ABS adopting the new System of National Accounts 2008 standards.

    The ABS has taken the decision to adopt these new standards to better capture new economic developments and to reflect revised international standards issued by the UN Statistical Commission.

    The level of nominal GDP is now 4.4 per cent higher in 2007‑08 than published in the 2007-08 Annual National Accounts, bringing the size of the Australian economy to $1.25 trillion in 2008-09.”

  96. Do you really think the economists in treasury are as dopey as you Neil? They know the difference between apples and oranges, and present their data to be consistently either apples or oranges. Where there is any hint of discrepancy, they make that well known in their releases…

  97. Well I told you I saw it on Catallaxy.

    What makes me a little smirky about your analysis is to what lengths you go to find evidence to back up your heroes. If your mathematics was proved wrong you and Stephen Koukamaniac would spend hours and hours trying to fudge the numbers to fit your beliefs.

    I cannot argue against your numbers only to say there has been a fall in revenue due to the GFC but even if your numbers are correct the budget would be in balance not the $20B surplus that Costello had.

    if the Labor government had collected tax at the average rate of the Howard government, they would have raked in $40.8 billion more every year.”

    Even if you are right it still does not explain why we went from $20B surplus to $40B deficit.

  98. Squeal of Sydney is another halfwitted right wing redneck brainwashed by the non-stop stream of spin and BS from the Li(e)berals and their so-called “mainstream” media.

  99. Try something different Neil – it’s called thinking 😉

    What is a deficit or a surplus? Where do such things come from? The concept of turning a surplus into a deficit is a nonsense if you do think about it…

  100. Bacchus, if we have a billion deficit or million dollar surplus.

    A lot it seems

    The sky will fall in with the first, heaven will break out with the second. The reality is there is little difference.

    They have gone a long way in moving back to surplus.

    ABC is making me sick with the tripe, and I like tripe.

    Have listened to an hour of more how Labor is getting trashed by the Opposition, how they have broken promises etc.

    They then sign off with a one liner, most businesses and economists support and agree with what Labor has done. Says it all.

    Have not her one person that supports what Abbott is saying, not even those from his own side.

  101. Focus whisperers this is important… 🙂 cue the sound of static returning to the station

  102. Pingback: The ‘Right’ to be heard: what we heard. | Café Whispers

  103. Pingback: Don’t write crap | The Australian Independent Media Network

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