Go Hard. Go Early. Go School Halls.

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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25 Responses to Go Hard. Go Early. Go School Halls.

  1. Chris

    Also, tie the spending to outcomes. How many taxpayers will die poorer than they might, without The Children(tm) having measurably better education?

  2. entropy

    I am sure there is an endless list of spending on commissions, commissioners and advisers and funding for NGOs, schemes and activities that don’t need senate approval to remove. Remove them to start with.

  3. H B Bear

    Frankly it is a toss up between Keynesianism and Islam as to which will finish off the West first. One wants to cut your head off while the other just slowly crushes you under debt and taxes.

    Too close to call if you ask me.

  4. 2dogs

    “the people will convince the senate”
    The sortition idea that Dot has been advocating seems to have some support on both sides.

  5. stackja

    Labor stands by GFC school grants scheme
    Australian Associated Press
    an hour ago
    Labor is standing by its controversial Building the Education Revolution scheme despite more than $36 million being spent on schools that have since shut down.

    Opposition education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said it was no surprise a tiny number of schools included in the $16.2 billion scheme prompted by the Global Financial Crisis received grants before being closed.

    “It’s difficult to say that a program that ended in 2013, that has since seen schools close down, that we didn’t have a crystal ball to know which schools we’re going to close down,” Ms Plibersek said in Sydney on Saturday.

    “It’s no surprise you’ll find the occasional project among 10,000 that could’ve been improved.”

    At least 93 schools across the country received grants before folding, leaving facilities built under the post-GFC stimulus scheme no longer serving any full time educational purpose.

    Education Minister Simon Birmingham is trying to claw back cash spent on schools that have since closed.

    “The legacy of school halls built for schools that are no more is a further reminder of the massive waste under the Rudd and Gillard governments, especially their BER program,” Senator Birmingham told The Australian.

    “Where possible, my department now works to stop any further waste and recover taxpayers’ hard-earned money should a school close, or at least ensure the facilities built under the program can be used by other schools or the community in a way that puts investment from taxpayers to good use.”

    Ms Plibersek said the coalition government had steadfastly opposed the post-GFC stimulus package as well as building in Australian schools.

    “I will never apologise for the fact Labor kept 200,000 Australians working during the global financial crisis,” she said.

  6. H B Bear

    From 2dogs link at 2.47pm

    MATT WORDSWORTH: So, could this political jury duty actually work?

    To discuss the idea I’m joined by Professor Simon Jackman from the United States Studies Centre; Iain Walker, the executive director of the New Democracy Foundation; and Sami Shah, comedian and host of the Laughing Dead podcast.

    What the f**king f**k? Is this bozo the ALPBC’s new tame almost muzzy? Doesn’t $1.2bn a year even buy you a real muzzy?

  7. val majkus

    just to broaden the depression
    themarcusreview.com/2016/05/03/what-did-we-get-for-our-400-billion-loan/
    written 3 May 2016
    has a graph

    … The first two bars show Howard’s last years, with spending well within revenue. The next six belong to Rudd and Gillard (plenty more on that to come). The last two show the deadlocked waste of a parliament we currently have and a Liberal government that has so far been without the ability or the means to fix what Rudd and Gillard left. Politics just keeps lowering the bar to the point where Satan is probably getting worried.

    just add one year and the last sentence is just as relevant today

  8. val majkus

    comment on that story in the Oz

    Glenda 3 HOURS AGO
    And Bowen and Swannies former assistant, had the audacity to come before the public yesterday and rail about $500 billion in debt.

    Increase in gross debt since ALP left – $227 B according to Chalmers.

    How convenient of him to forget the $16 B a year = $64 B we have borrowed just to pay the interest on the ALP legacy debt

    Add to that the $100 B in deficits over the forward estimates in the last ALP 13/14 Budget and the $30B + savings that ALP will not vote for and we can see who is to blame for the majority of the current debt

    – 6 years of ALP economic ineptitude!

  9. Neil

    Increase in gross debt since ALP left – $227 B according to Chalmers.

    I think Chalmers got his numbers wrong. Net debt was -$39B in 2007 and +$211B in 2013 an increase of $250B. Now at $355B an increase of $144B since 2013

  10. Rasputin

    If the cash were to be recovered, would that negate the benefit of the stimulus? I think that stimuli should come from vibrators rather than spending borrowed loot.

  11. Whalehunt Fun

    As spending on wsucation increased, performance decreased. It could not be more obvious. Cease all government funding of education. The performamce will rise dramatically. This socialistbstupidity of governments funding education needs to be stamped out and all its supporters persecuted gaolled and preferabky deported

  12. Suburban Boy

    Go Rudd. Go Swan. Go Henry.

    Go to hell.

  13. Adelagado

    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.

    No it’s not. Rebuilding disaster zones is exactly the same as building new stuff that we actually need.

  14. rickw

    The government should pay people to dig holes in the ground and then fill them up.

    I have seen this done in aboriginal communities. Complete insanity.

  15. NuThink

    the government needs to make its case to the people first, and the people will convince the senate.

    Was that not what Malcolm promised when he booted Abbott? That we need someone who can explain the complex issues. Maybe it was just too simple for him. Another broken promise.

  16. One thing that I discovered regarding the NBN, which we received last Oct, is that the full speed cannot be enabled until everyone in the area connects to the NBN ie, cancels their ADSL plans. NBN Co hasn’t set a firm date on when the old system shuts down, other than a vague 18 or so months after the NBN becomes available in an area.

    The performance issue is about ‘co-existence’ where, if those who have signed up to the NBN were given the full possible speed possible, those who haven’t signed up would lose their NBN and phones (we’re on FTTN). There are two issues here, firstly, ‘super-fast’ internet doesn’t seem to be a priority for people afterall, despite what both governments have been touting for years and, secondly, those who do want better performance are now held hostage by those who are completely apathetic to any change.

    It’s lose/lose whichever way you look at it.

  17. .

    5G is going to kill the NBN and the prevalence of ASDL 1 made the SBS and ABC obsolete and irrelevant.

    Put them all to the sword. Stop wasting taxpayer’s money: it is all debt funded so merely just represents higher taxes and lower economic growth (increases in living standards).

  18. Mark A

    bemused
    #2415868, posted on June 18, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    One thing that I discovered regarding the NBN, which we received last Oct, is that the full speed cannot be enabled until everyone in the area connects to the NBN ie, cancels their ADSL plans.

    I’m sorry, but I cannot believe that.

  19. Dr Fred Lenin

    Digging holes and filling them again is ground breaking , work very socialist .I mean look at socialist politicians and journalists ,they dig themselves into a hole ,then keep digging .

  20. Mark A
    #2415879, posted on June 18, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    I’m sorry, but I cannot believe that.

    I thought that as well, but after a lot of searching and enquiry, it appears to be true, for example: https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/National-Broadband-Network-NBN/FTTN-coexistence-issue/td-p/661838 and https://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/2536410 and http://blog.jxeeno.com/nbn-fttn-limited-to-121-mbps-during-transition/.

    The ADSL shut-off period should be six months in my view. This whole thing has been advertised for years now and so ignorance and complacency should no longer be an excuse not to transfer.

  21. Habib

    Imagine were we’d be if politicians were personally liable for their idiocy and profligacy, like everyone else (except for public servants and welfare hoovers, so really not many of us any more). I for one would rather enjoy seeing Gillard waddle her fat arse around an intersection washing windscreens, although that’s probably above her ability.

  22. Habib

    The left are rather keen on digging holes and filling them in, usually to dispose of kulaks and the like.

  23. Pingback: Go Hard. Go Early. Go School Halls. | Catallaxy Files | Cranky Old Crow

  24. Tator

    I would like to see the Junkies wife challenged on her 200000 workers claim and clarify that it was only 200000 CFMEU union members employed as all the ALP state governments only used firms with unionised labour. Which is probably why the costs for a simple school hall blew out to the same costings as a multi story hospital according to Rawlingsons Guide. Maybe a forensic examination of all contracts and invoicing may bring out more CFMEU skullduggery in fleecing the Taxpayers via “training” or “industrial stability” fees charged by the Unions as the TURC disclosed they were business as usual conditions.

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