Guest post, David Leyonhjelm’s alternative 2015-16 budget

From The Financial Review

In its first budget the Government dabbled with a theme of spending restraint and return to surplus. Then came Senate obstruction and backbench jitters. Now, as the Government prepares its second budget, it is dabbling with a theme of “nothing dramatic”.

This is a mistake. Yes, the Government’s second budget must be different from its first. But the case for spending restraint and a rapid return to surplus is as strong as ever.

This time last year I presented my version of what the budget should look like. Once again, I have a view as to what needs to be done.

Looking back on last year

Last year I proposed an immediate return to surplus, achieved solely through spending cuts. These included: a 10% reduction in the salaries of public servants and politicians; abolishing Family Tax Benefit Part B and the Schoolkids Bonus; freezing other welfare payments; withdrawing the age pension for those with million-dollar-houses; means-testing Medicare; halving higher education subsidies (while retaining higher education loans); and abolishing corporate welfare including funding for the ABC and SBS.

I also proposed a freeze to the minimum wage to promote jobs and growth, which would boost the budget through additional taxation revenue and fewer dole payments.

As it happened, the Government’s budget and my approach had some similarities. But the Government was far too tentative. It didn’t propose an immediate return to surplus and it lacked a clear and simple story of why a surplus was important.

It squibbed on its election commitment to cut 12,000 public servants. It proposed a $5 cut to Medicare subsidies for GPs, but then tried to buy off voters by reserving the potential savings for medical research. It proposed a freeze on only some welfare payments, and meek cuts to higher education subsidies. And the Government merely sought to constrain, rather than abolish, corporate welfare including ABC and SBS funding, and Family Tax Benefit Part B. In short, it was half pregnant.

As a result, Commonwealth Government spending is set to grow rather than fall this financial year, both in real terms and as a share of GDP. Despite the Government seeking to blame falling commodity prices, this addiction to spending is the primary cause of our deficit of more than $40 billion this year and $30 billion next year.

Some may say the Government’s timidity was justified because even its timid spending cuts were blocked in the Senate through the opposition of Labor, the Greens and various cross benchers (but not me, I hasten to add).

But if your bills are going to be blocked, they may as well comprise coherent and consistent legislation that you can take to the next election. And if you’re going to lose the votes of those who believe in the age of entitlement, you may as well take an axe to their entitlements rather than a butter knife.

In the end, most of the Government’s timid spending cuts were passed via annual appropriation bills (the sort of bills that Malcolm Fraser blocked to precipitate Whitlam’s dismissal). This suggests a means by which the budget can be balanced this time.

A new approach — targeting annual appropriations

The legacy of the Whitlam dismissal is that Labor will never block annual appropriation bills. As a consequence the Government could, and in my view should, use these to bring the budget back into surplus.

More than $30 billion of annual savings could be achieved through annual appropriation bills. This would deliver a surplus in the next financial year based on currently available numbers. (If falling commodity prices cause significant damage to next year’s finances, cuts of more than $30 billion would at least reduce the budget deficit to single figures.)

But delivering $30 billion of annual savings through appropriation bills is not straightforward, because only about a third of the Commonwealth Government’s spending is authorised in these bills. In a scandalous disregard for accountability and democracy, most spending enjoys an enduring authority granted by parliaments of the distant past and can only be halted with new legislation. These enduring authorities cover welfare payments, Medicare rebates, university subsidies and the transfer of GST revenue to the States. Labor, the Greens and many of the crossbench would block any attempt to undo these enduring authorities.

So my plan is to cut more than $30 billion out of annual appropriation bills, which usually authorise around $140 billion in spending. This would apply across the breadth of the public service, as indicated:
?
Stop annual appropriations for: Cuts in spending by ($ billions):
New policy and capital spending (not including defence) 5.3
Foreign aid 4.7
Various Commonwealth healthcare programs (including acute and primary care, mental health, health infrastructure grants and workforce training) 4.4
Healthy lifestyle promotion (not including immunisation) 0.4
Assistance to industry, agriculture and exporters 3.9
Sports (including ASADA), Arts, ABC and SBS, media regulation, phone and call subsidies 3.0
Research (including medical, marine, nuclear, renewable energy, CSIRO and ad hoc ARC grants) 3.0
Indigenous programs 1.9
Ad hoc grants for infrastructure, regions, schools and clean energy
Agencies responsible for human rights, families, gender, Australia Day and Canberra 1.9
10 per cent of Commonwealth public sector pay 3.1
Total 31.6

To begin with, I would not allow any spending on new policies or capital equipment (other than defence equipment) in the annual appropriation bills. Typically, more than $5 billion of such spending is unveiled each year. New policies should be thought of as a luxury only available to governments that can live within their means. We don’t have such a government. And capital spending, other than on defence equipment, ought to be the responsibility of State and local government anyway.

I would then cut various existing programs that are not protected by an enduring appropriation.

A good number of these may actually be unconstitutional, given the Commonwealth has no explicit authority in section 51 of the Constitution. In recent times, whenever the High Court has had to rule on the constitutionality of such a program, it has struck it down. But many continue because it is difficult to get the High Court to consider each one and Governments have been content to preserve them in the meantime.

A long line of programs should face the chop

I would cut foreign aid. Aid is a poor diplomatic tool, as indicated by Indonesia’s rejection of Australian Government pleas for clemency for the Bali 9 ringleaders. Apart from the commitment of military and public health resources in response to natural disasters, the Government does not need to be philanthropic on our behalf. Individual Australians who care about conditions in other countries can and should be encouraged to make donations from their own wallets.

I would cut Commonwealth spending on the health bureaucracy, because healthcare is a State responsibility and government support is best provided directly to individuals rather than to health departments and institutions.

I would also cut spending that promotes healthy lifestyles, as how we live is none of the government’s business. I would nonetheless retain spending on immunisation, which provides benefits beyond the individuals who receive the vaccine.

I would cut industry assistance, including for exporters, agriculture, the sports industry, the arts industry, and that part of the broadcasting industry we call the ABC and SBS. This is just corporate welfare for the favoured few.

I would cut government spending on research. It crowds out philanthropic and business support, which would provide greater discipline to the direction of research.

And I would cut indigenous programs, because race should not determine access to government services.

Commonwealth grants for regions, infrastructure and schools that are in annual appropriations bills would be cut, because they are areas of State responsibility. I would cut spending on climate change programs because, among other things, I see the reality of global inaction. And I would cut other areas of symbolic spending such as the Human Rights Commission, family studies, and gender equality.

Employing fewer Canberra public servants and paying them less

My spending cuts would mean at least 15,000 public servants lost their jobs, mostly in Canberra. While those affected obviously wouldn’t appreciate such cuts, it is in everyone’s long term interest to get people out of the unproductive public service and into the private sector where they produce things that people want.

The Government has a mandate for significant public service job cuts, given its election commitment to cut 12,000 public service jobs (rather than the 2,000 cuts it decided to pursue after the election). And there would still be more than 200,000 Commonwealth public servants after these cuts took effect.

For the public servants that remain, I propose to cut their pay by 10 per cent. After a decade in which pay and employment grew faster in the public sector than the private sector, this is a reasonable option. And yes, politicians’ pay should be cut by the same amount.

Overall, my approach would deliver a surplus in the coming financial year, based on currently available numbers, without resorting to tax hikes.

No tax hikes

There is no justification for tax increases of any kind. Real (ie after inflation) Commonwealth tax per person has increased by more than 13 per cent since the introduction of the GST. As a result, our tax-to-GDP ratio is higher than in many countries with which we compete, like South Korea and the United States.

Tax hikes may not even succeed in sustainably raising revenue because they discourage Australians from working, saving and starting a business, encourage mobile Australians to leave the country, and discourage foreign investment and migration.

Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan acknowledged the growth detracting impact of tax hikes in 2010 when they proposed a cut in the company tax rate from 30 to 28 per cent. They cited independent modelling indicating that the tax cut would increase GDP by 0.4 per cent, with much of the benefit accruing to wage earners.

Treasury modelling in 2012 reiterated this, noting that a company tax cut would prompt new foreign investment and greater profit shifting to Australia, rather than to overseas. Modelling by the UK Treasury has since indicated that half of the revenue impact of a company tax cut would be offset by increased economic activity.

Of course, we should be cutting taxes anyway. The policy of the Liberal Democrats is to halve government spending, which would finance a $40,000 tax free threshold, a flat 20 per cent personal and company tax rate, and the abolition of special taxes on tobacco, alcohol, fuel and imports. But the Liberal Democrats do not control each House of Parliament (yet), so in the meantime we should achieve what spending cuts we can in annual appropriations bills, and avoid tax hikes. To paraphrase Kerry Packer, the Government is not spending our taxes so well that we should be paying extra.

The imperative for surpluses

While tax hikes are not justified, an immediate surplus most certainly is. When you’re up to your eyeballs in liabilities, you should spend less than your income. The Commonwealth Government’s liabilities currently exceed its assets by $229 billion, amounting to nearly $10,000 for every man, woman and child in Australia.

The wave of baby boomer retirements has already begun and will soon become a tsunami. It is farcical to think it is too difficult to achieve a surplus now, but that we will somehow achieve surpluses in the 2020s when literally millions of baby boomers start drawing an age pension.
It would be imprudent to sit back and hope for a jump in economic growth (or commodity prices) substantial enough to generate a budget surplus. Economic growth is currently at a respectable 2½ per cent, but hoping for more is unwarranted given neither the Coalition nor Labor are promoting pro growth policies.

Both see multinational companies and foreign investment as whipping boys to tax and restrict, they are doing nothing about penalty rates, unfair dismissal laws and the ban on low-paid work (euphemistically called the minimum wage), and both run a mile from the politically-sensitive recommendations of the Competition Policy Review to strip protections from favoured groups and political donors, like pharmacy owners. Moreover, they ignore the lesson from the United Kingdom that cutting government spending frees up resources for the private sector to thrive.

The time is now

If the Government jettisons grown-up budgeting in favour of vote buying, they will get no joy at the ballot box. Labor and the Greens have already tied up the votes of those who can be bribed. The only votes on offer are those from taxpayers who understand that debt needs to be repaid and budgets need to balance.

My alternative budget would deliver spending cuts through bills that Labor would never block. So a feral Senate provides no excuse for another budget deficit. It is within the Government’s power to deliver a budget surplus, and it is the Government’s responsibility to do so.

David Leyonhjelm is the Liberal Democrats Senator for NSW

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59 Responses to Guest post, David Leyonhjelm’s alternative 2015-16 budget

  1. Empire

    I take some comfort in knowing this alternative budget was actually published in the MSM and that a small government future is possible.

  2. Y

    The policy of the Liberal Democrats is to halve government spending, which would finance a $40,000 tax free threshold, a flat 20 per cent personal and company tax rate, and the abolition of special taxes on tobacco, alcohol, fuel and imports.

    Where do I sign?

  3. Scott

    “If the Government jettisons grown-up budgeting in favour of vote buying, they will get no joy at the ballot box. Labor and the Greens have already tied up the votes of those who can be bribed.”

    Wise words indeed. A message that even members of the political class should be capable of understanding.

  4. notafan

    These included: a 10% reduction in the salaries of public servants and politicians.

    While Canberra might be full of fat cats, the APS 2 and 3s in regional call centres and processing areas would suffer real hardship from a 10% pay cut.
    APS salaries should be frozen and conditions of employment ie leave entitlements reduced or hours or work increased before arbitrary pay cuts are made.
    It’s so easy for some on $195, 000 PA plus perks to call for someone on $55,000 to take a 10% pay cut.

  5. duncanm

    But if your bills are going to be blocked, they may as well comprise coherent and consistent legislation that you can take to the next election. And if you’re going to lose the votes of those who believe in the age of entitlement, you may as well take an axe to their entitlements rather than a butter knife.

    more wise words — take heed please Abbott Gov’t.

  6. sabrina

    Further small savings can result from:
    – reducing the number of parliamentarians and paying them less, and making their superannuation no different from commoners
    – change the election cycle to 4 years from 3 years
    – reduce the number of human rights commissioners or make the positions voluntary

  7. Empire

    While Canberra might be full of fat cats, the APS 2 and 3s in regional call centres and processing areas would suffer real hardship from a 10% pay cut.
    APS salaries should be frozen and conditions of employment ie leave entitlements reduced or hours or work increased before arbitrary pay cuts are made.
    It’s so easy for some on $195, 000 PA plus perks to call for someone on $55,000 to take a 10% pay cut.

    Notafan – I think you’ve failed to take account of the LDP tax policy.

    An APS 3 on $55k gross today nets $44.6k. The same individual on $49.5k gross under the LDP tax policy nets $47.6k.

    It’s not the dollars you get, but the dollars you keep, that counts.

  8. JohnA

    There is much to applaud in this set of proposals.

    I would cut foreign aid.

    I agree. Cut it completely.

    Aid is a poor diplomatic tool, as indicated by Indonesia’s rejection of Australian Government pleas for clemency for the Bali 9 ringleaders.

    I disagree with using aid as a lever for bullying foreign governments into doing what we want. We object to others interfering with our sovereignty, so it’s a bit hypocritical to want to do that to others, and to invoke aid money in the task.

    I would nonetheless retain spending on immunisation, which provides benefits beyond the individuals who receive the vaccine.

    Please explain some of those benefits and why your libertarian stance takes a back seat to government coercion in this instance. If the benefits are manifest, why can’t free citizens choose to adopt them for themselves?

    I would cut spending on climate change programs because, among other things, I see the reality of global inaction.

    What about the manifest failure of the entire global warming scam to be evidenced in the real world?

  9. Rabz

    There’s nothing in that LDP budget that is in any way objectionable. All fairly sensible proposals, which is why the political class will run a mile from them and the imbeciles in the media will loudly denounce them.

    There’s no appetite in this country for slaughtered sacred cow.

  10. Ant

    Any measures that contain the words “slash” and “public service” are music to my ears.

    That includes the ABC and SBS who should be front and centre for a massive slashing.

  11. Roger

    Eminently sensible budgetary reforms.

    I trust David has sent copies to Abbott and Hockey, for what it’s worth.

  12. john constantine

    The fainefilth on socialism 774 radio today had a poor old swampy on that had had fire damage to the second story of her house.

    Listening to them complaining about the endless frustration of dealing with all the paperwork generated by the makework voteherds of the council system was staggering. The very socialist soul destroying regulate and comply system that their abc champions–as soon as a swampluvvie has to do forms on their own time without being paid by the taxpayer to do it, then and only then do they whine and squeal like chainsaws in virgin rainforest.

  13. Lysander

    You say a few times “this is a State responsibility” but forget to include the fact that the States lost personal income tax and don’t have the funds? Would you then include personal income tax reform (back to States); and where would you then make up for that gap in revenue to the Feds?

  14. notafan

    Notafan – I think you’ve failed to take account of the LDP tax policy.

    An APS 3 on $55k gross today nets $44.6k. The same individual on $49.5k gross under the LDP tax policy nets $47.6k.

    It’s not the dollars you get, but the dollars you keep, that counts.

    Then the cut PS salaries looks good but doesn’t mean anything then?
    Not to mention a massive net payrise for pollies !

  15. candy

    My hunch is that any cuts to anything health related, education related, foreign aid related, public service related even if annual appropriation bills will be blocked and Labor look forward to early election and win it.

    I think Senator Leyonhjelm underestimates the power of unions/interest groups/social media/Get-Up – everything Labor has used to scare the bejusus out of people from the first budget and are just itching to do so again.

  16. Old School Conservative

    candy
    #1672948, posted on May 4, 2015 at 2:05 pm
    I think Senator Leyonhjelm underestimates the power of unions/interest groups/social media/Get-Up – everything Labor has used to scare the bejusus out of people from the first budget and are just itching to do so again.

    Good point. Add to your concern the fear most people have of their income going backwards and expenses going up, it would take a supreme effort of intelligent marketing to overcome the hysterical messages from the Left.

  17. .

    I think Senator Leyonhjelm underestimates the power of unions/interest groups/social media/Get-Up – everything Labor has used to scare the bejusus out of people from the first budget and are just itching to do so again.

    Maybe. I doubted their influence before Rudd got elected.

    Then again I’m sane enough not to join one.

  18. .

    Y
    #1672896, posted on May 4, 2015 at 12:57 pm
    The policy of the Liberal Democrats is to halve government spending, which would finance a $40,000 tax free threshold, a flat 20 per cent personal and company tax rate, and the abolition of special taxes on tobacco, alcohol, fuel and imports.

    Where do I sign?

    Here:

    http://www.ldp.org.au/index.php/get-involved/join-online

  19. .

    Then the cut PS salaries looks good but doesn’t mean anything then?
    Not to mention a massive net payrise for pollies !

    We wouldn’t need as many PS jobs. I believe the LDP would abolish the useless Federal education department, for example.

  20. .

    Rabz
    #1672920, posted on May 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm
    There’s nothing in that LDP budget that is in any way objectionable.

    ANY party could put them up. It is a disgrace that the saner incumbents, the LNP and ALP, have not done this already merely in the name of good governance.

  21. Luke

    Here is my suggestion;
    A complete zero base reestablishment of the Commonwealth public service. Obviously there will be lots continued, especially those Constitutional offices but as for the rest they should all be abolished and rationalised. Departments, commissions, boards, offices, agencies etc.

    As each Commonwealth entity expressed their purpose and need for finance, massive duplications could be found (by anybody) and reduced. And those redundancies would not just be between Federal agencies but also State and local. For example, why have the HRC when each State has an equivalent commission backed by a much better Constitutional head of power. There are numerous Commonwealth agencies which exist purely to interfere with State government areas creating an ever increasing regulatory mess and duplication on wages bills.

  22. Luke

    The most important thing is to not let the PS cut itself. We learnt that in Queensland. We now have a much more top heavy public service despite loosing 14k people.

  23. Really?

    David, this sort of approach is exactly the reason Abbott’s first Budget went onto the rocks. It is plainly a laundry list, entirely ad hoc and lacking any rationale. In fact, it is likely you could go much harder if you were to look at specifics. Why, for example, do we persist with Austrade? Is there any evidence at all that it achieves anything? Same for the tourism portfolio. It’s clear that a big chunk of the defence budget is dodgy, especially given the nature of our priorities. Can we justify public funding for religious education at all? (It is worth a close look at the public funding of private schools, especially where the money is actually going to gold plating and non-core education purposes.)
    Interventions in business are extremely destructive. We should remove all favours for competitive businesses, unions and any other entity that should be paying its own way. And we must go much harder on competition policy.
    Much of this can be done by simple de-regulations.

  24. DB

    If only Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey had the political courage to do this.
    Instead they are an insipid pair of careerist politicians.

  25. stackja

    And Greens/ALP vote No! Now what?

  26. mundi

    “Agencies responsible for human rights, families, gender, Australia Day and Canberra”

    How do they consume $1.9b!?!?

    SHUT.IT.DOWN

  27. Infidel Tiger

    While Canberra might be full of fat cats, the APS 2 and 3s in regional call centres and processing areas would suffer real hardship from a 10% pay cut.

    Hahahaha!

    That’s the whole point. Those worthless dirtbags should be fired not have their pay cut.

  28. .

    Really?
    #1673058, posted on May 4, 2015 at 3:29 pm
    David, this sort of approach is exactly the reason Abbott’s first Budget went onto the rocks. It is plainly a laundry list, entirely ad hoc and lacking any rationale.

    Wrong.

    Your laundry list just contains one item:

    “FreeStuff” (TM)

  29. Really?

    @Dot: Wrong?

    Is there any evidence that last year’s Budget was in any way effective in changing course?

  30. .

    If they followed Senator Leyonhjelm’s advice it would have been. Yet you opposed that and you oppose this.

  31. Empire

    It is plainly a laundry list, entirely ad hoc and lacking any rationale.

    The rationale is quite sound. None of this spending passes the public goods test. The cuts are also politically feasible.

    If the LNP had just a few liberal members capable of organising a knock in a knockshop and who could sell cold beer on a hot day, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  32. Yobbo

    I think Senator Leyonhjelm underestimates the power of unions/interest groups/social media/Get-Up – everything Labor has used to scare the bejusus out of people from the first budget and are just itching to do so again.

    The real challenge for Leyonhjelm is not Greens voters, it’s the morons like many of the readers of this blog who continue to vote for the Liberal party no matter what.

  33. Squirrel

    Lovely and all as it would be to see dramatic action in the direction of a balanced or surplus federal budget, the now perilous level of indebtedness of Australian households means that any measures beyond the margins would need to be looked at carefully for the economic knock-on effect – even if a “full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes” approach is taken to the political aspects.

    We are on the European path, and it’s only going to get worse.

  34. Empire

    of a balanced or surplus federal budget, the now perilous level of indebtedness of Australian households means that any measures beyond the margins would need to be looked at carefully for the economic knock-on effect – even if a “full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes” approach is taken to the political aspects.

    There will never be a good time to be a public servant when the music stops.

    The economic “knock on effects” have been carefully considered. Private sector investment, employment and profit growth is never a bad thing.

  35. Paridell

    An agenda that makes selling citizenship look realistic!

  36. Really?

    Empire and Dot: The problem is not whether you like the arithmetic. The problem is in having a result.
    Textor’s research, which has been around for some time, demonstrates very clearly that voters are willing – in fact see clearly the need – to shift. What they reject is “solutions” that do not pass the commonsense tests of moderation and clear explication.
    The constituency for David’s Budget is roughly similar to that which Abbott’s enjoyed.
    It seems to me that the support for both major parties has been fractured because both have shifted from a focus on the broad centre, where most voters live. And where Howard and others have found the base for success.

  37. .

    Yobbo
    #1673228, posted on May 4, 2015 at 5:54 pm
    I think Senator Leyonhjelm underestimates the power of unions/interest groups/social media/Get-Up – everything Labor has used to scare the bejusus out of people from the first budget and are just itching to do so again.

    The real challenge for Leyonhjelm is not Greens voters, it’s the morons like many of the readers of this blog who continue to vote for the Liberal party no matter what.

    Correct. Look at this offensively dishonest fuckwit “Really?”.

    ”Be more like John Howard!’ ‘By usinga cost benefits test you have no rationale!’

    Go home darl and fuck yourself with a fine Cuban cigar.

    I was going to say something polite and erudite about Peter Bauer showed in his whole career that foreign aid is wholly ineffective and counterproductive, but you’re not worth the effort you knee scabbed little whore.

  38. Really?

    You’re dreamin’ Dot. (And it’s not a nice one, judging from the language.)

  39. .

    You had no argument and were dishonest “Really”. Fuck off.

  40. Neutral

    Nice one dot. If you say fuck a lot you are certain to be right

  41. Really?

    It’s called reality Dot. Face it. It might improve your health.

  42. .

    “Face reality”

    Hockey is a socialist fuckwit and your criticisms of Leyonhjelm’s alternative budget are weak as piss and are caterwauling for more socialism.

    Neutral
    #1673449, posted on May 4, 2015 at 8:43 pm
    Nice one dot. If you say fuck a lot you are certain to be right

    Indeed. Now fuck off.

  43. Really?

    Dot, you’re part of the problem. Happily, it is highly unlikely that your rantings will ever have effect other than to distract my side of politics and I think they’re woken up to you and yours.

  44. .

    You’re kidding yourself “Really”.

    You have not made one substantive point against the justifications given for each of those cuts, other than dishonestly calling it a “laundry list”.

    You don’t have the heart or brains to say for example how foreign aid passes a CBA.

    No son, you, and Joe Hockey are the problem.

    You’re a low rent little whore. I was right.

  45. Really?

    And you think your language is substantive Dot? (Aside from its evidence as to character?)

  46. Shy Ted

    “My alternative budget would deliver spending cuts through bills that Labor would never block.”
    Yes they will.

  47. .

    It sure is, “Really”, because you have never raised a valid reason why the proposed cuts are not justified. You lied and trolled to push for socialism.

  48. Really?

    Dot: I can only assume that your sense of security is threatened by opinions that don’t align perfectly with your own. So I am grateful that this is an entirely virtual communication as you are clearly a seriously unpleasant person as a result. Over and out.

  49. .

    You have not made a single substantive comment as to why David’s proposed cuts were unfounded.

    To quote rabz:

    Rabz
    #1672920, posted on May 4, 2015 at 1:29 pm
    There’s nothing in that LDP budget that is in any way objectionable. All fairly sensible proposals, which is why the political class will run a mile from them and the imbeciles in the media will loudly denounce them.

    There’s no appetite in this country for slaughtered sacred cow.

    Good riddance, you slimy little whore.

  50. Really?

    Dot, the proposals are fucked. They will get no where. No one will support them. You are a cuckoo.

  51. .

    The proposals are all good ideas.

    You haven’t made a substantive argument at all, other than to assert with no proof that they are unfounded – and also that using swear words invalidates your argument.

    We both agree that your lobbying of the government to endlessly expand its expenditure is totally fucked.

  52. Gab

    Really? sounds an awful lot like tomix.

  53. Really?

    Not lobbying anyone Dot. And my points were about actual cuts to spending that might be made to stick. Yours, it seems, are ad hominem noises that rely entirely on your favourite prejudices and wankery masquerading as policy discussion. If you ever spend any time in the world where people are you might discover that governments are elected and tend to aim for policy that will be supported and can be delivered.
    People like you give us broken policy, broken governments and shitty bad-tempered politics.
    I wish you and your puny tribe of derelicts a pleasant retirement in Irrelevance, your home town.

  54. .

    ‘Ad hominem’!

    Make a substantive argument against any cut.

    Just one, you intellectually bankrupt clown.

    I met a Liberal party member once.

    I told my fuckwitted friend that when I vomit over government policy, I look down the cistern and flush it away.

    When he did the same, he had to look in a clogged up wash basin then at the shame and filth looking back at him in the bathroom mirror, with a stench that would follow him to the grave and become his legacy.

    As for irrelevance, Joe Hockey will be remembered as a fine ALP Treasurer in the tradition of Wayne Swan.

  55. Really?

    Dear Dot: read carefully: my point is that THEY WON’T HAPPEN.

    Dream on, kiddo. And when you get to school, ask the teacher about elections.

  56. .

    They won’t happen!

    Because the Liberals are eunuchs who own a harem, that’s why pal.

    You assert the Liberals are better off winning elections even if they are indistinguishable from the ALP.

    The logical corollary of this is that the ALP is always more popular and their agenda being implemented is impossible – which is nonsense. You haven’t even shown why any of the measures fail a CBA or why they don’t align with the Crosby Textor research. You’re just arguing dishonestly from authority.

    The opprobrium directed at Abbott is because he has squibbed on cuts and fiscal rectitude.

    That’s what the base is angry about. Get Up and the Socialist Alliance don’t count you halfwit.

  57. .

    Non left voters you dishonest rabbit punching little piece of shit.

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