December 30, 2014 | Graham

Looking for a magic bullet

It’s almost unimaginable that Tony Abbott should be in this much polling strife this early in his career, but today’s Australian shows him facing a wipeout in the southern states based on analysis of Newspoll this year.

The previous government was rejected because of its incompetence and dishonesty, but this government has been relatively competent and honest.

Their three big promises were to stop the boats, axe the tax and pay back the debt. They’ve performed on two and would be well on their way to three if the Labor opposition and the minor parties would let them implement their election promises.

Labor doesn’t seem to accept that it lost the last election decisively, and not through any sleight of hand, so it has done everything it can to thwart the government.

This includes the hypocrisy of describing measures they don’t like as broken promises, even when they aren’t, and then effectively breaking promises for the government even though they were clear government commitments in the election campaign.

An example of the first is the government’s decision not to fund Gonski beyond 4 years – a position clear in the election campaign. An example of the second is abolition of the Climate Change Authority – again clear.

So, what has gone wrong?

One answer is that the model for what worked has changed. It used to be thought that balancing budgets, paying down debt and gradually leveraging prosperity, at the same time being fairly socially conservative, a la John Howard, was the recipe for electoral success.

Kevin Rudd certainly thought so, running as John Howard lite. Labor’s subsequent performance would also tend to prove this thesis, neglecting this thesis and delivering resounding defeat.

But perhaps it is not so simple.

Certainly one OLO contributor thought that a more radical socialist (progressivist) model could work, and instanced Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York City.

Certainly de Blasio won in a landslide, but as with Rudd, landslides are hard to hold on to. Latest polling shows de Blasio on 49% approval to 36% disapproval, this after winning the election 13 months ago by 72.2%.

de Blasio’s fall from grace is being attributed to his pro-black stance on the recent killings of police officers, and his disapproval is highest amongst white voters. But one would think that probably some of his policies, such as abruptly increasing the minimum wage is having repercussions as it would be putting a lot of stress on business.

While he appears to use a lot of rhetoric in common with Bill Shorten, when voters get to see it up-close they are not so keen. Not only that, but while his rhetoric is egalitarian, he is perceived to represent racial minorities rather than racial majorities. This is alienating the majority.

The truth is that there is no magic bullet, and that politics is more the province of interest than ideology. Ideologies are only tools to justify giving groups what they think they want or need, at least as far as many voters are concered.

The politician that can assemble the largest coalition of interests will win.

So perhaps Abbott’s problems are not with broken promises, imagined or not, or personality, or even so much basic messaging.

Perhaps it is that he hasn’t worked out who he has to appeal to in order to win elections.

Labor certainly has a better idea, although it does this by defining almost everyone as a victim. As de Blasio shows, it is possible to start running out of victims before you get to a majority.

It also means defining a fair proportion of your society as the oppressor, again, not necessarily a vote winning strategy.

Looking at the way votes are sloshing around in Australia it looks to me like the key to Abbott’s success in the next election is the same group that was the key to Howard’s victories – tradesmen, salesmen, retail workers, lower-end white collar workers, agriculturalists, stay at home mums etc all living in the outer suburbs and regional areas.

The non-Greens minor parties tend to be full of these sorts of voters, and some even lodge protest votes via the Greens.

Policies like the baby bonus were targeted squarely at them, and taking them away is bound to alienate them, as is, on the other hand,  paying a disproportionately generous parental leave allowance to wealthy inner suburban dwellers who want time-off from their six figure jobs to have a child.

These people are diminishing in numbers as efficiencies, expanding tertiary education and the compliance industry provide motivation, training and opportunity for their children to move into less onerous white collar positions in the city where the cultures are different.

Which means Abbott probably needs to find a new supplementary constituency to make up the numbers, which I suggest he might actually find amongst the young.

Labor’s failure to balance the books is perhaps the final indignity foisted on younger generations by the boomer generation that has managed Australia to its own benefit over the last 30 years or so.

The boomers expect to enjoy their retirement, paid for by kids now at university.

For these kids their HECS debt will be relatively trivial. It is handling their mum and dad’s government debt that will give them the greatest challenges.

So, before Joe Hockey and his colleagues sit down to work out how they will refashion their budget, they need to first work out who they would like to vote for them.

It might not be pure, but it is how politics works. You only get good policy by appealing to the groups that get a tangible benefit from it. It’s no magic bullet, but it’s basic.




Posted by Graham at 12:01 pm | Comments (20) |


  1. been relatively competent and honest

    Graham this is delusional. You’re harking back to core and non core promises. The reason the govt is in so much trouble is that Abbot made it an article of faith that 1. the problem could be fixed without any pain just by changing govt. and 2. that unlike the previous govt he would keep ALL his promises.
    in addition in govt. they have not done what howard did which is to seize the gravitas of govt. and run with it. They continue to behave like an opposition.
    The slide in popularity is of the govt.’s own making. They sowed the seeds in opposition. now they are reaping the whirlwind as a result.

    Comment by barney — December 31, 2014 @ 10:02 am

  2. There are too many wrongs in the article to be worthy of separate discussion.

    Suffice to say that Tony Abbott and his team of not-so-merry men plus token femmes (The Speaker, The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Sue What’s her name) is neither trustworthy nor smart.

    On both charges, they are losers and are losing. Soon, it will be past tense – they will have lost.

    I’m with Barney. Graham is delusional.

    Comment by John B — December 31, 2014 @ 10:48 am

  3. No I haven’t said or posted anything let alone said that! What’s this new format Graham; Censorship by a different name?

    Twice already I’ve tried to post; lets see if I’m successful at the third go? So, here goes!

    I don’t think the problem is broken promises at all.
    After all, all reasonable people can be persuaded that changed circumstance must to be responded to with changed measures, even unpopular ones!

    No, I believe the real problem is an inherently missing sense of common decency and fairness, and a complete lack of ticker in effectively dealing with a problem of their own making; namely, the roll-out of welfare for the rich and the “aspirational”, as vote buying exercises?

    Simply put, the budget position is entirely a consequence of the roll-out of welfare for the rich and so called aspirational entitlements!

    So therefore, it follows winding them back, will fix the problem.

    5 billion per for negative gearing; thirty billions plus for family trusts, and aren’t the latter being hugely abused as virtual onshore tax havens!?

    Then there’s the preferential treatment of millionaires super funds, (a further 40-50 billions per; arguably, the only people in today’s constrained circumstances, that just don’t need this Government assistance; but particularly given the current budget position!

    So, I’ve found 75 billions PA thus far, and without reducing a single service or impacting negatively on genuine need!

    And yes, we do need to thoroughly rationalize the federation, with the removal of all duplication.

    As one well known political advocate would have said, you can’t be half pregnant! Or for that matter, have half a hospital service or public education!

    The government needs to put the taxpayer first and foremost, as opposed to political cronies or state based mates!?
    What’s good for one is invariably bad for the other!

    And those who wish to survive beyond a single term, might need to do some serious soul searching, and or, some long overdue re-prioritization!?

    And people everywhere have a right to expect scarce tax dollars to be used in the most efficient way, as opposed to the current and huge waste!

    We are with but one exception the most over-governed people on the planet!

    And instead of the usual lip service to much smaller government, we need to see some practical examples!

    Particularly as the passing parade traversing through ICAC, tells us how corrupt and or morally bankrupt most state governments seem to be!?

    And or, how effective they’ve been as virtual roadblocks in the path of the nation’s progress.

    Look, without these costly appendages holding us back, decentralization would have been a literal fact, as would have been rapid rail.

    The only good thing about the endless costly delays (doubled infrastructure costs every decade of delay) has been the development of the magnetron, which should be the very rapid rail model we eventually roll-out, as the most cost effective and long term measure.

    Which would make a very pleasant change from the usual penny wise and pound foolish administrations, and the ripping up and tearing down of buildings and or outdated and virtually unmaintained facilities, only half way into their useful economic lives!?

    How long must some of us be obliged to put up with outdated and inefficient copper wire networks, which by the way, have been missing in action for most of the last quarter for me, (and not a single cent of discount) when it comes to inoperable telephonic or internet services.
    Which drops out in the blink of an eye; and, where I was effectively robbed of both!

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — December 31, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

  4. It is the old story, let someone else pay to fix it up.
    If Abbott loses the next election because of the same
    reasons that cause the poor polling, then the country will be
    in big trouble, because the majority will be giving the message; “Don’t care, I am not paying !”

    Abbott and Hockey need to say VERY loud;

    Comment by BarRy — December 31, 2014 @ 1:17 pm

  5. No Alan, I do not waste my time stalking the site to see when you are posting so as to make the posts disappear. And as you appear to have posted, I’m not even sure what your problem is.

    I am sure that your maths is wrong. This article estimates the cost of negative gearing in 2009/2010 as $2.9b But generally speaking these calculations leave out the tax paid by the lender on the interest on the loan, and the increased ability of owners to own property resulting in more capital gains tax being paid. However you slice it, the figure is not $5b.

    Your figure for “millionaires super funds” is likewise wrong. The government estimates that the foregone revenue this financial year will be $27.9b But that is the figure for everyone. And most super is held by ordinary Australians, so unless you are going to abolish our compulsory superannuation system, you’re not going to realise those savings, and then your pension costs are also likely to rise.

    I can’t find a figure for family trusts. Can you direct me to a source?

    Comment by Graham — December 31, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

  6. Yes sorry Graham; but If I’d already said it, we’d all be able to actually read it!
    However, simply couldn’t conceive you would be stalking the site trying to make my posts disappear! Don’t be so silly Mate?

    It was just me and my lack of familiarity with the new format! Mia culpa.

    Others have noted on other public formats, that the cost of negative gearing to the budget bottom line, is around five billion; and we are the only nation stupid enough to have one, regardless of the net number!

    Former treasurer, Mr Costello, is on the public record suggesting, that preferential treatment of high income super, was around 40 billions; and expected to rise through 50 billions inside a decade?

    Even so, and regardless of the number, it’s impossible to make such (tax break) largess, more important than say, war widows and orphans benefits!

    I seem to recall Ross Gittens suggesting that family trusts may be costing the budget bottom line some 30 billions per; even so, I think that’s likely to be a quite massive under estimation?

    And we have other sharp practice, like the same sum of money chasing its tail through several subsidiaries, in order to create a false picture with regard to tax liabilities or even solvency/profitability.

    And then there is the practice of creating offshore subsidiaries, and then using them as so called service providers, and at exorbitant fees, in order to avoid a fair tax share.
    And all of it perfectly legal under current rules or tax laws!

    For mine, all of that could be eliminated, by simply eliminating the very means or conditions that either require it, or make it possible.

    And as bad as the highlighted avoidance (negative gearing/preferential treatment of super super/family trusts) costs the budget bottom-line?
    International avoidance by corporations with budgets larger than many sovereign nations, is likely costing us significantly more.

    For mine, a single stand alone expenditure tax, would end the need for tax avoidance instruments; and the avoidance they create or allow!

    Currently, tax compliance costs rip an averaged 7% from the average bottom line!
    And real reform would hand that back to the average small business operator,just like your good self!

    And if everyone paid a fair share in relation to their spending patterns or expenditure, those paying all our tax would pay considerably less.

    And there simply is no case to be made for an additional level/middle tier of government ripping around 30% out of health and education budgets, that a direct funding model would avoid; and indeed, add that 30% to the coal face of essential service, where it would be far better directed.

    We are constantly told that no one is owned a living, least of all double handling Government or Government departments!

    Why there are some cities that almost match our population numbers and controlled by a single administration!
    We just don’t need all this government, or what it costs us or allows!

    If we are to keep some form of state administration, then it should be based on the American model, where intending Governors contest winner takes all elections; and where the winner appoints dept heads for the term of that office.

    Business is not the only thing needing cost saving streamlining; but corporate Australia as well!

    To get back to your claimed numbers; if the sums are that small, then it strikes me they may cost more to administer than they raise?
    And an even better reason to simply jettison such measures; as should be the almost automatic case of the other 130 tax imposts, that simply don’t raise any significant revenue, yet still present with admin costs!? I mean, and for heavens sake, over forty taxes impact to a greater or lesser extent, on the retail price of a loaf of bread! MADNESS!

    With all off the multi national corporations given no choice but to pay the proposed unavoidable, single stand alone expenditure tax; which by the way would only impact on the business done here, and or the actual profits earned here; the actual rate could be progressively reduced to as low as 5%!?

    Moreover, the tax rate itself could be microscopically adjusted; to alone control all inflation or stagnation and simultaneously; and indeed, far more rapidly!

    Meaning, interest rates could be progressively lowered to turbo charge the none mining economy!

    If that long overdue pragmatism is combined with the roll-out of publicly provided, CHEAPER THAN COAL, thorium industrial energy; (soon/now) we could become the high tech industrial engine house of Asia!

    And the best possible of all possible futures for we Australians!

    I mean, we may have already transitioned through peak minerals, and therefore have few other choices?

    All that prevents this best of all possible futures, is hidebound ideology, and those welded to it; and from both sides of the isle!

    Look Mate, we are all in this thing we call lifeboat Australia; but the biggest and the strongest are doing their seeming best, to avoid a fair share of the survival rowing!

    We just can’t continue to make the grannies and or war orphans do much more than a comparative fair share, when they of all people, ought to be the passengers/take a turn on the tiller!

    And if the rest and the strongest of us (Google, Apple etc) all take a turn on the hypothetical oars and all pull together, and in the same direction, we may actually go somewhere other than increasingly small spirals into the whirlpool of economic self destruction; and already marked by the increasing preponderance of overvalued, over leveraged properties?!

    I mean, and I hate to end on such a sour note, but how much of our economic sovereignty is still ours?
    As much as locally sourced fuel perhaps?
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — January 1, 2015 @ 9:02 am

  7. Alan, about the only thing I can agree with in this is that we should have more of our tax raised via indirect taxation, aka GST.

    You want to believe that there is somehow huge amounts of tax being avoided, so you just airily dismiss anything that doesn’t agree with your preconception, so there is not much point dealing with your assertions.

    You’ll just come back and assert something else without any evidence and I’ll waste my time actually doing hard research, just to have you make more stuff up.

    This is really just delusional (a word I note a couple of our resident trolls throwing around earlier in the thread).

    So here’s a challenge Alan, please provide links to evidence on the web supporting your claims above, such as:

    * Peter Costello says that super is costing us $40B in benefits
    * Ross Gittens saying family trusts cost $30B per year (not that I regard Gittens as reliable unless he is quoting from a reliable source)
    * That state governments “rip out” 30% of health and education budgets
    * A list of the 130 taxes that apparently cost more to administer than they raise, or at least a link to a list
    * A list of the 40 taxes that allegedly impact on the price of a loaf of bread, or a link to a list
    * Any reputable assessment that we could finance all the expenditure that we do now with a 5% GST!
    * Any proof that “grannies and war widows” are being asked to do more.

    How about you do the hard work this time?

    Comment by Graham — January 1, 2015 @ 10:00 am

  8. Graham how is my comment trolling? i have raised legitimate criticisms of your thesis. i used the word delusional because from my perspective you are deluded in believing that dishonesty and the the correction requiring no pain were clearly stated intentions of the last election by the opposition. It was Abbott and co that made honesty and integrity the issue. to ignore that as you have and to say this is basically a good government, is to ignore entirely the context within which it was elected.
    i repeat you are delusional in choosing to ignore that context

    Comment by barney — January 1, 2015 @ 11:22 am

  9. Okay and fair enough Graham, albeit I’m unable at this point, to find any information on something as hidden or oblique as Family trusts.
    Nobody but nobody seems to want this actual information in any part of the public forum?

    And no I don’t mean a 5% GST, which is just not able to be imposed on profits earned here by offshore corporations; whereas, an unavoidable expenditure tax, could be!

    Therefore, I would jettison that along with other regressive measures like fuel excise, with the rest of the tax act, just to restore genuine transparency/equity.

    And there are several economists claiming on the public record, (you’re just not looking) we could finance current outgoings with just a 2% transactions tax, which would then automatically mean, and relying on their superior maths, that a 5% E tax would be plenty; always providing you completely eliminated current avoidance.

    In any event, one wouldn’t start at 5% but rather 18%, which is around 380 billions of a 1.6 trillion dollar economy!
    And then progressively reduce that number as avoiders and new enterprises/migrants, were added to the tax collection fold!

    18% when measured against the no longer necessary saved tax compliance cost of 7%, is closer to 11%, which in real terms, would already be the lowest real tax impost in the developed world?

    As one well know Republican Senator said, when a guest on Q+A, at some point complexity always becomes fraud. Quote unquote.
    So, what would that make total transparency, and revenue immediately available to consolidated revenue?

    Richard Denniss from the Australian institute says in reference to tax breaks on super, we are looking at 70 billions now, with an estimated cost of of around 100 billions by 2020!

    He goes on to say, super concessions are unfair, the top 5% of income earners get a third, and the bottom 20% get literally nothing.

    The highly acclaimed and independent Gratten Institute, in an in depth analysis, reckons negative gearing costs the annual budget, in foregone tax, some 15 billions!
    A far cry from your 2.9 billions.

    Given we can agree on a broad based tax, why can’t that same tax be the only source of government revenue?

    As for the 30% savings number, that was the additional cost imposed by state governments on the school halls roll-out, or 30% averaged, above that that the independent schools needed for the same deal!

    Therefore it is reasonable to extrapolate that the same follows for all states administered public facility, and money that could be saved and used at the coal face, if we simply eliminated the double handling of the fat cat fee charging state admins.

    For all we know, eliminating them from the funding formula, might well save even larger percentages.

    In any event, I think the school halls comparisons, gives a more than useful insight into the possible savings?

    Taxes that impose some cost on a loaf of bread, include fuel tax on all possible transfers, from the grain merchant/farmer/contract harvester/rail shipper or road train operator, to the miller, the baker and the delivery transport operator.
    It also includes every cent of PAYE, imposed on every involved employee at every level of planting, harvesting, transporting, processing, baking, delivering, stacking, storing and at the checkout!
    It also includes in some measure, any PASG or company taxes leveled on the profits of any of the aforementioned enterprises; and all before one starts including a possible cascading GST.
    So one doesn’t have to be Einstein to figure out that there are at least forty taxes imposing some level of cost on a loaf of bread!

    Should we exclude literally dozens infinitesimally small imposts, simply because they’re infinitesimally small, yet together, make up around half the cost of a loaf of bread?

    Conversely, one needs to have a quite unremarkable mind or level of intelligence, insight or due diligent study/research just to contend it just isn’t so, or simply dismiss someone else’s research out of hand?

    Why? Simply because it doesn’t fit the conformation bias?

    You’ll have a bright and very prosperous new year now, y’hear.
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — January 1, 2015 @ 11:53 am

  10. I didn’t ignore it, and I gave examples. One of the haulmarks of trolling is people making assertions of a personal and negative nature, as you habitually do, without any evidence to back them up. There were no legitimate criticisms and you are a troll.

    Allegations of lying against your opponent have been a stock in trade of Australian politics for as long as I can remember. Labor certainly used to label John Howard as a liar, and Mark Latham even attempted to run an election campaign on that basis.

    It backfired because in the end people knew that Howard could be trusted to perform and Latham couldn’t. Whether Howard had managed to honour all his promises wasn’t the most important issue.

    If Abbott is smart he will be able get the Australian people to make a similar judgement. Labor under Rudd and Gillard demonstrated how incompetent they were with all the various poorly implemented grand schemes, like the pink batts fiasco and the so-called Building the Education Revolution disaster. Not to mention their illegal entry debacle, and the fact that the budget blew out while they were in office, not helped by implementing taxes like the mining tax which didn’t end up reaping any income. And there was their fascination with doing more than any other country to implement ineffective policies to fight global warming.

    In contrast Abbott has demonstrated good administrative skill and policy success. His only problem is that Labor doesn’t accept they didn’t win the last election and blocks any move he makes to control the budget expenditure, including moves that they themselves proposed.

    Labor’s born to rule arrogance is the biggest problem this country faces. The delusions happen when they are in power, with the honourable exception of the Hawke/Keating governments. Then the Libs get elected to sort the mess out. Labor runs government with only one end in mind – staying in power. They are not interested in governing for the common good.

    Comment by Graham — January 1, 2015 @ 12:00 pm

  11. What do you mean “Labor didn’t win the last election? Reference the EAC website:

    Lib + Nat house: 36%
    Lab + Green: 42%
    2PP: 47/53 Lab/Conservative, although consider Greens drew almost twice the National’ first preference vote.
    Result: 90/56 plus cross-benchers.

    Lib+LNP+Nat 38%
    Labor + Green 39%
    Result: 16/16/4 Coalition/Lab+G/Other.

    Add in the 40 Senators from the previous election and there you have it:
    Neither party group won the Senate in 2013 and neither deserved to.

    Labor is certainly not the only party which can be accused of holding a “born to rule” attitude. The Libs and their vassal parties currently display this tendency in spades, and that is the foundation for their current undoing.

    Graham, your finishing sentence about Labor “not governing for the common good” does you no good at all – you have not even tried to justify it. Similarly, Team Australia has not tried to justify their failure to budget for the public good, merely resorted to bludgeons and posturing.

    Best of luck, Tony. See you at the polls.

    Comment by John B — January 1, 2015 @ 2:18 pm

  12. Graham after that post i rest my case

    Comment by barney — January 1, 2015 @ 2:31 pm

  13. Rhosty, you are just full of it. One random check on one random “fact” demonstrates you can’t help yourself. You just make it up. The Grattan Institute (your spelling is atrocious too I’m afraid) estimates a cost to the budget all up of $6.8 B from government benefits to investors, most of which is due to the CGT rate. This latter is a completely made-up idea as CGT isn’t paid by owners, so they are the ones that get this benefit, not investors. But their calculation on negative gearing is similar to my own. It’s on page 22 of

    Thanks Barney, you prove my point again.

    John B, you also have problems. Your figures are wrong for starters. The Coalition won 42.3% of first preference vote, and with preferences won 53.49%. Labor only won 33.38% first pref and 46.51% with preferences. A clear loss. In the senate Labor only won 30.11% and the coalition won 37.71%. So clearly Labor didn’t get close to the government, and they did lose the election. Government is formed in the lower house and we expect that government to be able to get on and govern. What’s more Labor expect the Liberals to keep all their promises, but then vote against them when they put legislation through. What a joke.

    Comment by Graham — January 1, 2015 @ 8:56 pm

  14. “In contrast Abbott has demonstrated good administrative skill and policy success.”

    Hmm… facts:
    In 2012-13, Labor’s last full budget, government spending as a share of GDP was 24.1 per cent. The unwind from the GFC stimulus was more or less complete.

    Mr Hockey’s MYEFO numbers show that government revenue will rise to 24.3 per cent of GDP in 2016-17 and 24.8 per cent of GDP in 2017-18.

    Those of you with a sharp mind can see that if Mr Abbott had not starting spending like a proverbial drunken sailor and held government spending at Labor’s post-GFC level at 24.1 per cent, there would be budget surpluses from 2016-17 (as Labor has budgetted for under PEFO), with a budget surplus at around $13 billion in 2017-18. The fact is that for this and every year of the Abbott government’s forward estimates, government spending as a share of GDP is 25.2 per cent or more.

    Comment by barney — January 2, 2015 @ 7:36 am

  15. Given that Labor’s budget figures were never realistic Barney, you start from a false premise. And in as much as your premise is correct you condemn Bill Shorten, the man who you spruik for. He is running around claiming that this is a severe and unjust budget which cuts spending. You can’t both be right.

    And if he thinks a budget cuts spending, which you assert increases it, how competent do you think he is on your own standards.

    Looks like you will have to vote Liberal next election.

    Comment by Graham — January 3, 2015 @ 6:15 pm

  16. “Given that Labor’s budget figures were never realistic”

    Gee it must be great to live in a humpty dumpty world where treasury figures mean exactly what you want them to mean. When it comes to budget forecasts and treasury forward estimates i will trust the Kouk every time thanks very much.

    now if we’re talking about economic management what about the $6 billion of tax cuts and social security spending funded by the carbon tax? why did Abbott not rescind that spending? surely that was the economically responsible thing to do. The only reason not to would be political – which leads us back to the rhetoric prior to the last election ie changing the government would fix things up and it would be PAINLESS – you would keep your tax cuts AND abolish the carbon tax. Any comment on that piece of economic literacy Graham?

    And what about the $7 billion in money given to the reserve bank when they didn’t ask for it? and why was this done? to increase the deficit in the last year of Labor to make their first budget look good by comparison. And the cost $300 million per year in interest. great economic management that.

    And what about abolishing the super surcharge on super amounts more that $2 million thereby benefitting those least needing it AND costing the budget bottom line?
    Perhaps Graham, based on this you will have to consider voting labor next time.
    If not at least take the time to put some evidence based arguments forward because at the moment all your doing is spruiking pro government rhetoric – and not all that well at that.

    Comment by barney — January 3, 2015 @ 8:47 pm

  17. hmmm….

    Comment by barney — January 4, 2015 @ 8:24 am

  18. Barney, there is no doubt that the NDIS is an expensive mistake. Labor made the mistake and the now government, then opposition, decided they had to wear it. So, because they adopted a Labor program, you want to hang them for bad economic management? Give me a break. And then you quote Julia Gillard’s Economics Advisor, Stephen Koukoulas, as a more reliable source of information than the bureaucracy. I’ve looked at some of the “Kouks” work on negative gearing, and it is incompetent. Wouldn’t pay any attention to him at all. He’s an ideological warrior.

    Comment by Graham — January 4, 2015 @ 8:47 pm

  19. Graham i didn’t mention the NDIS. I’m talking about economic decisions made by this government that have cost the budget bottom line at least $15 billion. You haven’t responded.
    As to ideological warriors the budget papers are the budget papers prepared by treasury. and how would you describe yourself? fearlessly objective?

    Comment by barney — January 4, 2015 @ 8:52 pm

  20. You did mention the NDIS Barney. Post number 17. Time to put a cork in the bottle of red I think! 😉

    And yeah, I am fearlessly objective. That’s why I got expelled from the Liberal Party. Koukoulas is a paid up member of the tribe. I suspect you’re a mere corresponding member and haven’t paid any fee, just tribute.

    Comment by Graham — January 4, 2015 @ 9:24 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.