Who would have thunk it. A big dollar government stimulus program that involved spending too much on the wrong things in the wrong place. Who would have thunk it.
Reported in the Australian today, apparently:
More than $36 million from Labor’s controversial Building the Education Revolution scheme was spent on schools that have shut down.
Ok. Fine. How much of the multi-billion dollar Building the Education Revolution scheme was spent knocking down existing school halls and replacing them with new halls and how much was spend on building school halls that were actually needed?
But these questions don’t matter when it comes to a good old fashioned Keynesian stimulus. What matters not is what other peoples’ money is spent on, but rather that it is spent and spent fast to pretend there is actual economic activity.
Remember. This is the same thinking that suggested that the Fukashima disaster in Japan and the Wellington earthquakes were good for the Japanese and New Zealand economies respectively because they resulted in spending. This is also the thinking that promotes infrastructure spending because infrastructure is a nice word. Shall Australia build also built its own Gravina Island Bridge? How about an inland rail? It does not matter. It’s other peoples’ money and because it supposedly goes on the balance sheet, it is good debt.
Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman even suggested faking an alien invasion to get support for a fiscal stimulus. And before you ask did he really say that. The answer is yes in as much as John Maynard Keynes actually said:
The government should pay people to dig holes in the ground and then fill them up.
But back to the wasted school halls program, apparently:
Education Minister Simon Birmingham told The Weekend Australian that the government had been trying to recover the money spent on schools that had been closed, while “fixing the mess” left by the program, which ended in 2013.
Yeah right. Cheap politics. Is the government going to try to recover the money wasted on its daft programs? Most of the spending and plans for the NBN were done by the current Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull. Will the government be seeking to recover monies from this?
If they really wanted to stop government waste, they should just stop government spending. DO THE BLOODY WORK of going through the budget and getting rid of the rubbish. But none of them want to do the work. They just want to fly around (is that waste?), make announcements and cut ribbons.
Who needs to cut spending and end programs when it is just easier to tax, tax and tax.
And before someone says hostile senate, the government needs to make its case to the people first, and the people will convince the senate. The weathervane party, also know as NXT, will go where ever a media conference will take them.
Go early. Go hard. Go and do the work necessary to reduce government spending as a proportion of GDP.
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