At the Press Club today Kevin Rudd will pay homage to Clint Eastwood’s Republican Convention “oration on an empty chair”, by debating Tony Abbott on the economy without Abbott actually being their.
I guess he will do a selfie of this performance to post to Instagram along with his homage of yesterday to Norman Gunston.
While Kevin’s done a lot to grow his social media audience using a range of impressions, you can’t say the same about the economy.
If any journalist wants to derail him today, they should ask him to name any economic policy of the last six years that has actually had the effect of growing the Australian economy.
I’m struggling to find one, but I’m sure the prolix Rudd won’t be caught that short, even if he’s likely to be caught without decent cover.
The sad fact is that the last government that positively contributed anything to economic growth was the Howard Government.
So while he’s likely to point to taxation “reform”, health “reform” and education “reform”, and “steering us through the GFC” as policies of growth, in fact none of them has done anything to make all of us richer.
When it comes to Labor governments of the last six years the term “reform” has been used as often as not to mask “redistribution”. And while redistribution is not necessarily bad, a government whose only claim to fame is robbing the rich to give to the poor is likely to be impoverishing us all at the same time.
Which is why voters aren’t prepared to give the Labor party any marks on the economy. They know that Labor inherited a very healthy animal and that rather than programming it for higher performance they’ve been doping it with ever increasing amounts of debt.
They know that without John Howard, and Paul Keating, and Bob Hawke, none of these “reforms” would have been possible and we wouldn’t have escaped the GFC unscathed.
Those of us who have invested in businesses know that you can pay any number of fancy experts to tell your bankers and investors how well your business is performing, but at the end of the day the only measures that count are what’s in your bank account, and how much you own, net of debt.
On those measures Labor has done nothing for Australia, and they are the measures, economically, that count.