Readers can make their own assessments, but Spartacus would like to offer the following observations in reply to some of Creighton’s comments:
Soon after Labor’s landslide loss that year to Tony Abbott’s Coalition, he (Bowen) wrote a serious book about the role of treasurer – The Money Men, which delved into the lives and times of the 12 “most notable” of Australia’s 39 treasurers. And now he’s now the second longest-serving shadow treasurer.
Any book that includes Wayne Swan among Australia’s best treasurers and second only to Paul Keating is not a “serious book” by any stretch of the imagination.
If Bowen had a radical edge in his student days, he’s mellowed. Tom Switzer, executive director of the traditionally Coalition-aligned Centre for Independent Studies, has been impressed by “how sensible he is on economic reform and the Hawke-Keating legacy – something that some might say should look like a pretty profound disqualification from running today’s Labor Party’s economic policy agenda”. Adds Switzer: “He’s easily the best of the Labor Party frontbench on public policy”.
That Bowen is “the best of the Labor Party frontbench on public policy” is not a particularly high bench mark.
“The interaction between the capital gains tax discount and negative gearing has led to a supercharging of debt which is a uniquely Australian phenomenon,” he (Bowen) says.
This is debatable. Spartacus might argue that the “capital gains tax discount and negative gearing” would have had a much lesser effect on debt were it not for the sloppy monetary policy of the RBA.
Cats should however read for themselves and make their own assessment of the man most likely to be Australia’s next Treasurer.