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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Budget blues, 2008 « Previous | |Next »
May 12, 2008

The ethos is no longer one of 'If you've got it, flaunt it', is it? It is all about the dark clouds on the economic horizon: a global economic downturn, a credit crunch due to fallout from the sub-prime mortgages in the US, rising inflation, increased interest rates, budget cuts, fiscal responsibility, sharing the burden and so on.

SwanBudget.jpg Bill Leak

The economy is slowing down. But that was the goal of economic governance, wasn't it. Are we going to have some good old fashioned therapeutic politics along the lines of ' I feel your pain' as well? A sharing of the tears as it were in the form of economic populism.

Is the key to tax reform broadening the base to ensure international competitiveness? Or should it minimize the concessions and distortions to make it more efficient? Or should the tax system become more progressive and equitable? It would appear that the GST and some aspects of superannuation have been excluded from consideration.

No doubt those on high incomes and free marketeers will applaud the attack on middle class welfare and deploy the postponement of tax relief for high income earners---the rich. Why so? Their argument is that doing well from hard work is being punished rather than rewarded. It is the politics of envy for those who have done better than the working families during the boom times. Reduce the tax on luxury cars! Increasing the tax on luxury cars is inefficient, as it distorts decision making and rewards the wrong kind of innovation. A progressive tax system is the wrong way to go. It smells of Karl Marx.

Update:13 May
The strategically placed "leaks" about the "tough as hell" budget have been freely flowing the last few days. This media management can be seen in the leaks about the rise in luxury car taxes, the increase in Medicare surcharge levels, the climate change package, the collapse in revenue, the cuts in taxation expenditure, aged care funding etc etc.

The ghostly pale Liberal Opposition appears to have gone into hiding as the voice of their leader and shadow ministers are nowhere to be heard in the media. What is heard is distant Liberal voices attacking themselves.So who questions the Rudd/Swan spin about them being economically responsible, delivering on its election commitments, responding to the inflationary pressures inherited from the irresponsible Coalition, and investing in the long term future of the country. The media? Are they going to show us the extent of the rise in unemployment as economic growth is slowed?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:24 AM | | Comments (4)


One day we'll have inspirational leaders who will avoid the boom/bust cycle and instead deliver stability. Until then we'll just have to put up with the stodgy types lured into politicis.

Who is going to tell us that he 'feels our pain'? Why Brendon Nelson. He's such a sensitive emotional man you see. Are the public responding with empathy to his terrible plight? Do they feel sorry for his lot? Or do they have an urge to see the circling media wolves in the Canberra Press Gallery inflict pain on the hapless one?

It's more a blood sport than therapeutic politics. Therapeutic politics be dammed. Blood is required to flow in these political rituals and flow freely.

Sounds a bit like P. Sheehans LSD inspired rant in yesterday's SMH. The denial that the skewering of useless opposition leaders is not a pastime also enjoyed by the leaders own members is akin to seeing the lizards spring fully formed from the Vegas casino carpet.


its all about conspiracy, treachery and blood flowing on the floor--eg., the Victorian Liberal Party. The young party hacks spend all their time fighting their own factions to the death.The other faction in their party is the enemy.

Why is anybody suprised?