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

The pathway to prosperity? « Previous | |Next »
October 23, 2013

According to Joe Hockey raising the debt ceiling was a sign of economic mismanagement of the Gillard Government. It was akin to maxing out the “credit card”. It was a sign that the Gillard Government could not achieve a budget surplus, that the Labor government was profligate spenders, and hooked on debt addiction. The rhetoric for the last the three years was: "Don’t keep spending too much money. Don’t accrue that debt”. It was a sovereign risk issue.

Hockey, now Treasurer in an Abbott government, is increasing the debt ceiling from $300bn to $500bn. The mantra of "Don’t keep spending too much money. Don’t accrue that debt. Keep the budget in surplus" has been quietly shelved and forgotten.

It has to be cos Hockey is going to increase the budget deficit--eg., more subsidies to the old fossil fuel industries, funding the paid parental leave scheme and infrastructure, and making a massive increase in defence spending. But the budget deficit is all Labor's fault. The excesses and waste always are. Hockey's hands are clean. His plan for more spending than savings is not wasteful spending.

DysonAprivatisation.jpg Andrew Dyson

Australia is to have a commission of audit to find ways to pay down debt to counter balance Hockey's profligate spending, and to achieve the Abbott Government's stated aims of reducing the deficit, achieving a budget surplus and paying down debt. Fiscal austerity is the order of the day.

However, any tax increases have already been ruled out in advance. Faced with declining government revenue caused the recession fallout from the global financial crisis-which never happened according to the Coalition-- that leaves the following options: privatization (eg., Medibank Private), cutting spending, cutting services and charging more for government services. Or shrinking the size of the federal government by handing over responsibilities to the states and charities.

What's more cutting subsidies (eg., private health insurance), cutting services and charging more for government services for the middle class --that is to reining in the growth of welfare payments to middle-class families-- is “class warfare” and “the politics of envy”.

So that leaves fiscal austerity to target the working poor and those on welfare. The justification? The Labor government has been living beyond its means and it cannot continue. It's Labor's fault. It always is. The Coalition have to clean up the mess created by excessive government spending.

Welcome to the politics of austerity. The pathway to prosperity. That Liberal Party's pathway to prosperity is to lower the wealthy's taxes, deregulate the activities of business, and privatize government production of goods and services. Their program for the future is always: free the private capitalist system from (Labor) government intervention, and you will get "prosperity" and growth.

Economic problems are always reduced, by them, to pesky and unwarranted government tampering in the free market because they assume that capitalism is a fully self-healing system. The best solution for capitalism's problems, they insist, is to let the system function and correct them. Anything else will just make matters worse.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:58 PM | | Comments (6)


The Liberal Party is not a mass political party. It was formed as the political wing of the business class to oppose Labor and it now exists to further the interests of Big Business.

The Abbott Coalition had little to say other than say no to what Labor represented. Their historically based anti-communism has been replaced by anti-Greenand its leading them into strange positions.

"Hockey, now Treasurer in an Abbott government, is increasing the debt ceiling from $300bn to $500bn. The mantra of "Don’t keep spending too much money. Don’t accrue that debt. Keep the budget in surplus" has been shelved and forgotten."

Hockey: Labor debt is bad. Coalition debt is good.

It sure looks as if the Coalitions mantra of Don’t keep spending too much money. Don’t accrue that debt. Keep the budget in surplus" was a a tool to destabilise the Gillard Labor Government.

Abbott: "We were going to hit Labor's debt ceiling in December. That's just two months away. We were going to hit Labor's debt ceiling in just two months. And the last thing we wanted... is a crisis in this country like the crisis that they've just gone through in Washington in the United States."

Huh? Wha..? How on earth does what happened in the US apply to Australia? Where is the parallel?

Hockey: "We need not look any further than the recent events in the United States to realise how imperative stability and certainty is for confidence"

Oh yessss. Because years of screeching and faux hysteria by the coalition was great for the confidence of the Australian public. "Treasurer Joe Hockey this afternoon said the current limit would be reached in December if nothing was done and he wanted to avoid a situation like that in the US."

Yeah... news ltd are a bunch of wankers and frightfully limited.

Hockey again: “We need to move quickly to deal with this, particularly in the wake of what’s been revealed in the United States in recent times.

“We need to put it beyond any doubt and we do not want to have to revisit this issue again.”

In other words, let us do whatever we want and don't ask questions.

There's nothing to see here... move along...

My initial response was, "why are they so rapidly parachuting this US Tea Party syle crap in?"
On a slightly different note, I was astonished at Katharine Murphy's opening in today's "Grauniad":
"The Abbott government is pressing ahead with..the repeal of the Mining tax..will deliver $13 billions of savings to the budget.."
Savings? From the repeal of a tax?
The article claimed that savings would come from the phasing out of financial support for those affected by the tax (with a few social spending cuts bookmarked in), but nowhere were figures to demonstrate the thinking included.
I wonder at the msm coverage of these things, if even the Guardian can't report on these things without such painfully contorted wordings to obscure as much as reveal what is unfolding.