Suicide in painless

Trigger warning.  This post is NOT about euthanasia.

In Spartacus’ misspent youth, he used to watch a television show called MASH over and over and over.  It was a show about a mobile hospital during the Korean war.

Such a show would unlikely be able to be produced nowadays given its politically incorrect content – including suggestions of an imperial United States and the cultural crime of using non-Korean actors to play Korean characters.

The theme song of MASH was Suicide is Painless, a beautiful but melancholy ballad by Johnny Mandel.  It was this song that came to Spartacus’ mind when digesting last night’s Commonwealth budget.

The last part of Suicide is Painless goes like this:

A brave man once requested me
To answer questions that are key
Is it to be or not to be
And I replied oh why ask me?

Suicide is painless
It brings on many changes
And I can take or leave it if I please
And you can do the same thing if you please

Spartacus will leave the analysis of the budget bits and bobs to others, but last night’s budget showed the following debt projection:

The above table shows the Commonwealth Government’s debt position.  Spartacus will focus on the gross debt line because the contents of the “Investments, loans and placements” line are unclear.  If for example that line includes the book value of the NBN, don’t believe it.  If that line is meant to reflect the Future Fund, then where is the corresponding contingent liability for public servant unfunded superannuation liabilities.

But looking at the gross debt line, The pain grows stronger, Watch it grin.  We are talking about a 7.2% increase in debt from FY18 to FY20.   That is more that expected economic growth during the period and it assumes a near best case economic environment.

This charade will end either with an orderly deceleration or a major economic car crash.  Unfortunately, Spartacus expects the latter.

Suicide may be painless for the person committing suicide.  It’s not that painless for those left behind.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus

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16 Responses to Suicide in painless

  1. So what does the man in the street do with his super?
    Cashes it in and buys gold?
    Leaves it where it is?
    Stuffs the cash in a poly pipe and buries it?
    Sends it OS?
    Leaves Australia?
    Buys a tin shed in the bush and stocks it up?

    Obviously we are entering turbulent economic waters. So what to do?

  2. Helen

    Leaves Australia?

    I have been told Vietnam is the place to go. But it looks like China is investing there, heavily – e propbs need a major recession to reset the clock – except gov addiction to stimulus.

    We need Trump.

  3. Neil

    In 2007 NET debt was minus $40B ie less than zero. We had $40B in the kitty earning $1B/year in income

  4. Tom

    Bloody oath, it’s about gross government debt, Spartacus. What happened yesterday is that, after the Howard-Costello government’s elimination of ALL government debt, the Turnbull rabble have settled on SIX HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS in gross government debt — around 40% of GDP — soaking up the equivalent of the current total Defence budget just paying interest. Adam Creighton:

    Booming tax revenues and a fresh push to get spending under control have lopped $126 billion off the government’s future debt burden, helping shield the budget from a looming rise in global interest rates.

    For the first time since the fin­ancial crisis more than a decade ago, the government has pencilled in a fall in the actual dollar value of the federal government’s total debt, which is now expected to stand at $558bn by 2028 rather than the $684bn projected as recently as December.

    “It has been a long road back from where we started in 2013,” Scott Morrison said in his budget speech last night. “With the budget returning to balance, we will start paying down debt.”

    The budget deficit is expected to shrink from $18.2bn this year to a surplus — the first since 2008 — of $2.2bn in 2019-20, a year earlier than expected.

    “This year, government is no longer borrowing to meet recurrent spending — the first time in a decade,” the budget papers state in a document unusually bereft of new, vote-buying spending proposals in what could be an election year.

    Booming company tax collections on the back of elevated iron ore and coal prices, combined with strong jobs growth, are propelling the government back into the black earlier than envisaged, sharply reducing its future outstanding debts.

    “As a government, we have put constraints on how much we spend and how much we tax, to grow our economy and respon­sibly repair the budget,” the Treas­urer said.

    “Real expenditure growth remains below 2 per cent, the most restrained of any government in more than 50 years.”

    Closely watched growth in total government payments, expected to hit $484bn next financial year, has accelerated from 1.3 per cent three years ago to 3.1 per cent next year before dropping sharply to 0.2 per cent in 2020. Under Labor, spending growth had surged to 12.7 per cent in 2009 during the ­financial crisis and its aftermath.

    The stock of federal government debt, only a year ago projected to burst through $720bn by 2027, is now expected to peak at about $600bn from 2021 before steadily falling after 2026.

    Just less than 60 per cent of the government’s debt is held by foreigners, down from almost 80 per cent in 2012.

    The improvements will help scupper claims the Coalition has not been fulfilling its promise to pay down debt and bring about a “clear path to surplus” of at least 1 per cent of GDP “as soon as ­possible”.

    Government receipts, which include tax and income from government-owned corporations, are on track to swell from $445bn, or 24.3 per cent of national income this year, to 25.3 per cent by 2020, which would be the highest share since 2006.

    Government payments as a share of GDP are forecast to rise from 25.1 per cent of GDP to 25.4 per cent next year before dropping to 24.7 per cent by 2022, down from a record high since the 1970s of 25.9 per cent in the wake of the financial crisis.

    Next year, the government will pay about $18.5bn in interest before falling to $17.2bn by 2022. The government is expecting its 10-year borrowing costs to rise from just under 3 per cent to about 5 per cent over the next decade.

    “We have retained Australia’s international AAA credit rating from all agencies, one of only 10 countries in the world to do so,” Mr Morrison said.

    Standard and Poor’s has placed the government on “negative outlook”, which means it has considered stripping the government of its coveted AAA rating.

    Net debt, which cordons off a portion of the $141bn Future Fund and other financial assets, will peak at 18.6 per cent of GDP this year, falling to 3.8 per cent by 2029.

    Improved economic circumstances have added more than $35bn to government coffers over this and the next four years, about $20bn of which the government is putting towards paying down debt more quickly.


    Wait until the Liars (who ran up 60% 0f the debt before the Lieboral socialists went mad with the national credit card pretending to be Labor) break open the Treasury again: government debt will be ONE TRILLION DOLLARS — 60% of GDP — inside five years.

  5. Paridell

    I’m sorry to break it to you, but MASH was one of the most politically correct shows of its day. While it predated the actual term “political correctness”, it pushed all the buttons you would expect in a left-liberal view of the Korean War.

    You needn’t take my word for it – Dale Sherman in MASH FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Best Care Anywhere (2016) refers to the series as “a show that has so often been accused of being ‘politically correct'”.

  6. John Constantine

    It is valid to add all State debt to fed debt, as voters in bankrupt states will demand federal bailout.

    It is valid to add local government shire council debt as well.
    And statuary authority debt.

    We already have our trillion in debt.

    Where it gets interesting is the unfunded liabilities, being debts incurred, but the bill not presented yet, but it is in the mail.

    The infrastructure liabilities of the Big Australia mass population importation Rort are not included, but are very real.


  7. Dr Fred Lenin

    The debt will be insignificant when a loaf of bread costs$50 000 Using the Zimbabwe model , the only thing we will get like the Zimbabweans , is Free Dom ,whatever that means , never paid for Dom in me life !

  8. Rohan

    The debt will be insignificant when a loaf of bread costs$50 000 Using the Zimbabwe model

    LOL, the Zimbabwe model had a loaf of bread at 2 or 3 $100,000,000,000,000 notes.

  9. Entropy

    The budget deficit is expected to shrink from $18.2bn this year to a surplus — the first since 2008 — of $2.2bn in 2019-20, a year earlier than expected.

    It is always profitable to investigate how this trick is pulled off. All sorts of ways, no doubt, here is one:
    Remember that $500 million for the Great Barrier Reef over five years announced last week?
    Here it is in the budget:
    2017-18 $443.8m
    2018-19 $10.1m
    2019-20 $4.7m
    2020-21 $8.3m
    2021-22 $11.1m

    Not much of 17-18 left.

  10. Roger.

    This charade will end either with an orderly deceleration or a major economic car crash.

    As I remarked pre-budget on an OT, I don’t see any justification for optimism at present, so we are facing a crash rather than an orderly deceleration. The key indicator of this is the government’s refusal to back off the immigration accelerator while at the same time admitting that infrastructure investment has not kept pace.

    Yet despite the oft repeated promise/lie that immigration equals prosperity we are heading towards combined government debt being 50% of GDP, with c. two thirds of all new borrowings being from overseas, the servicing of which (with already accrued foreign debt) in foreign currencies will place downward pressure on our currency. Imports, many of which we cannot now readily substitute due to the deliberate degradation of our manufacturing and industrial base (e.g. petrol refineries) while we became a “service economy”, will become much more expensive. With household debt at record levels thanks largely to the artificially high cost of housing, very many households will not be able to absorb cost of living increases. Many Australians will be facing real adversity for the first time in their lives and they will be angry. The political consequences are unpredictable.

  11. John Constantine

    Our quisling orc political class know how this has to end up.

    This is why spending on bollards and anti-domestic terrorism initiatives is now core spending.

    Nothing to do with isis, all to do with having powerful and numerous enough heavily armed paramilitary Death Squads patrolling the streets to protect our leaders.

    Look what side of the protective bollards our sell-out scumbag politicos stand—here is a tip, the women and children of the proles are on the unprotected side.

    Look at the semiautomatic assault weapons carried by the protection details safeguarding our gun-grabbing, prole disarming orc class.

    The scumbag sellouts know exactly how it is designed to end up.


  12. NB

    Now for some completely off the cuff optimism:
    The world economy will boom as it readjusts from mindless disputes to trading nirvana.
    Trump and his team will be largely responsible as they makes countries think again about their international strategies. No more nuke threats and all that old stuff. Nope. Let’s get rich and have a fine old time instead.
    Commodity prices will adjust upwards accordingly.
    Hey presto! Everything is beautiful.

    By the way, as noted by at least one other commentator, MASH was on the front line of PC. The surgical team were the repair men for broken PCness.

  13. Squirrel

    Even without seeing those grim numbers, I found last night’s effort utterly depressing – this Budget reeks of a Government which has been completely played and conned by its senior bureaucrats, most particularly in relation to the “heroic” (as a candid Sir Humprhey would say) decision to give crumbs to the lower/middle earners whose votes decide elections, and the big bikkies (albeit delayed) to small numbers at the top (including those very well paid upper level Canberra bureaucrats).

  14. al

    Suicide IS painless – subby

  15. JohnA

    “As a government, we have put constraints on how much we spend and how much we tax, to grow our economy and respon­sibly repair the budget,” the Treas­urer said.

    Pollie-speak for “we squibbed the hard decision to actually cut spending – like shutting down the ABC.”

  16. JohnA

    And the Opposition Leader’s response?

    From my feed this morning:

    “Shorten ups ante in tax cuts battle
    Bill Shorten has pledged to almost double the annual cash handouts for low to middle income workers to $928.

    Reminds me of Shirley Bassey “Hey big spender, spend a little time with me!”

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