History …

The budget’s in and the love media does its best …

Cornered Labor chooses brave way out

thunders the Silly Morning Herald. Under which, there is a lengthy article that does its best to be kind but can’t quite draw the veil over Labor’s utter incompetence admitting along the way that most of the measures in the budget are unlikely to pass into law before the election and …

No, the purpose of this budget is not vote-buying – it is reputation-rescuing, a last-ditch attempt to influence what history will say about the Rudd-Gillard government  as an economic manager.

But there are savings …

The strength of this budget – should it come to pass –  is that Swan has found sufficient saving measures (90 per cent of them tax increases) to cover the cost of the painfully slow phase-in of the disability insurance scheme, the Gonski school funding reforms and other new spending measures.

… well not so much savings actually tax increases.

The SMH poll reveals …

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In the Fin Review Laura Tingle also plays up the heroism …

Swan’s bold retreat in face of political defeat

… and compares the budget with Russia’s scorched earth policies. She perhaps didn’t stop to think that the scorched earth in question isn’t only the country the new government must march over, it’s also the country we poor peasants have to live in.

At the same time, it is a strategy that locks in its legacy reforms in education and disability.

The ALP have been in power since Saturday 24 November 2007, their so called legacy reforms are not yet in place. A treasurer who cannot budget a year in advance pretends to plan the first ten years of these twin embryos lives! Give me a break.

Colour and movement, like everything else this government gives us, it’s been spun so hard it comes out dizzy. It does serve though, to keep us from thinking about the $1.1 billion dollar surplus promised last year, which over recent weeks has burgeoned auction style into a $17 billion deficit and finally comes in at $19.4 billion.

History beckons, Mr Swan …

John Frum …

On the 21st of December at 10.12pm Australian eastern daylight time the Mayan Calendar came to its conclusion and the world ended.

Well, it didn’t actually, I exagerated. A lot of people thought it would, though, but so far all predictions of the last of days have proven false. So don’t drink the Koolaid.

Not all vacuous predictions are so pessimistic. For all the glass half empty folk there’s got to be the odd glass half full person. In the opposite corner we have the cargo cults. Things have gone bad, they ain’t what they used to be, young people these days … but if we renounce the new evils John Frum will come in a very large aeroplane and deliver all manner of material wealth and we will all be rich, like we had our very own carbon tax or mining tax.

In 1941, followers of John Frum rid themselves of their money in a frenzy of spending, left the missionary churches, schools, villages and plantations, and moved further inland to participate in traditional feasts, dances and rituals. Wikipedia.

That was in the New Hebrides, now Vanuatu. It worked, of course …

… some 300,000 American troops were stationed in the New Hebrides during the Second World War, bringing with them large amounts of supplies, or “cargo”.

And I am sure it will work again, Wayne Swan’s new John Frum is a mining magnate, Wayne’s done the “frenzy of spending” bit, but I’m pretty sure that none of the missionary schools were given new school halls, the churches are under investigation, villages and plantations even factories have been abandoned, we have been urged to move back from the coast. The labor party have indulged in no end of “traditional feasts, dances and rituals” especially, but not exclusively in NSW …

After the war, and the departure of the Americans, followers of John Frum built symbolic landing strips to encourage American aeroplanes to once again land and bring them “cargo”.

We must do likewise to bring back the mining boom, share out the wealth, cast out the snakes and carbon pollution …

Pink batts, I am sure, would make excellent symbolic landing strips …

Budget speech …

I am pleased to be able to bring you Wayne Swan’s budget speech …

Madam Deputy Speaker, I move that the Bill now be read a second time.

The four years of surpluses I announce tonight are a powerful endorsement of the strength of our economy, resilience of our people, and success of our policies.

In an uncertain and fast changing world, we walk tall — as a nation confidently living within its means.

This Budget delivers a surplus this coming year, on time, as promised, and surpluses each year after that, strengthening over time.

It funds new cost of living relief for Australian families.

It helps businesses invest, compete and adapt to an economy in transition.

And it finances bold new policies to help Australians with a disability, the aged, and those who can’t afford dental care.

It does these things for a core Labor purpose:

To share the tremendous benefits of the mining boom with more Australians.

To create more wealth, prosperity, and jobs; spread more opportunity; and advance the living standards of millions of families and pensioners on modest incomes.

Tonight we make a forceful statement that ours is one of the world’s strongest economies and fairest communities.

Not even a sovereign debt crisis in Europe or unprecedented natural disasters here at home could deny Australia this substantial achievement.

The deficit years of the global recession are behind us. The surplus years are here.

Surpluses built on some difficult savings, which avoid vulnerable Australians and frontline services, and don’t compromise our investments in productivity.

Surpluses that provide a buffer against global uncertainty, and continue to give the Reserve Bank room to cut interest rates for families like it did just last week.

This Budget is about discipline and restraint but also about priorities; ensuring precious funds are redirected to the purposes and people that need them most.

Across the budget, by saving and redirecting $33.6 billion, we’re balancing the books.

Making room for $5 billion in new payments to households.

Finding an extra $714 million to help companies compete, on top of the $3.7 billion in small business tax breaks.

Funding the historic first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Investing in dental services for those who can least afford them.

Strengthening the aged care system.

Investing in productivity and competitiveness by building on key improvements in health, education, infrastructure and clean energy.

Staying true to our Labor ideals and to the promise of a fair go, converting economic success into real benefits for the majority of Australians.

The deficit years of the global recession are behind us. The surplus years are here. Oh, whoops that was last year’s …

Debtski …

Total tax revenue last financial year … $317 billion.

Projected for this year … $340 billion.

Increase over last year 7.25%.

Yes, I said increase. Mr Swan and Miss Gillard are crying woe is us because of an unexpected fall in government revenue. If you expect more than a 7.25% increase in annual income you may well be disappointed!

There are three things to consider expenditure, expenditure and expenditure. These are the key to the budget black hole.

And the government continue to promise plenty of expenditure …