Tony Abbott for Prime Minister

I just spent the afternoon re-reading Tony Abbott’s outstanding Battlelines, his 2009 tract on political philosophy. It reads better now than when it was first published.

We are about to have a race between three mediocrities to replace a non-entity, with Tony standing on the sidelines. The Libs have a proven vote winner who was sandbagged from his first day in office by an incompetent Minister who wanted the job for himself, and when he had it, drove the party into the ground. Now there will be one more try to get it right.

Abbott understands the major policy issues of our time, and he stands on the right side of history. Not everyone will see this as a positive, but he is our Donald Trump. The left hates him, and rightly, because he sees through everything they have tried to do and wish to do. The left are the party of Venezuela, decay and ruin. Tony Abbott, with a cabinet onside with his fundamental liberal-conservative philosophy, is far and away the best hope we have for renewal, growth, prosperity and freedom.

Tony, please run. And as for the rest of you in the party, restore as your leader the only person in Parliament with the stature, the knowledge and now the deeper understanding of politics to lead.

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220 Responses to Tony Abbott for Prime Minister

  1. Goanna

    Could come up the outside.

    Worth it just for the exploding left heads.

  2. Fat Tony

    With a bit of luck, Tony may have been watching and learning from The Don

  3. While I totally want him back, I think it’s too early. The media would start a campaign that’d make the last one look like a kindergarten fight and I’m certain that they have made preparation for this as they have for anyone taking over from Turnbull (unless it’s a wet).

    Abbott will have to bide his time, like Howard, and do his best as a cabinet member encouraging others to do what’s best for Australia.

  4. H B Bear

    Not going to happen.

    Next!

  5. Big_Nambas

    They are far too stupid to go for Abbott. He is the ONLY one who has a chance of keeping Shorten out of the lodge.

  6. Anonymous Former Staffer

    “The Libs have a proven vote winner…”

    I’m as conservative as they come, and I served as a staffer in Abbott’s Government. He ran a dysfunctional administration with incoherent policies and was on track to be a one-term PM from an almost unassailable position of electoral strength. There is a very good reason no one in the party is seriously considering a return to Tony Abbott.

    Personally, I like the man, but politically he would be suicide for the Liberals.

  7. H B Bear

    Steve – you are making the mistake many people make with the Lieborals, listening to their speeches and reading their books. Remember the albatross, Joe Hockey’s “end of the age of entitlement” speech in London? How did that work out? Another 3 years of massive budget deficits and the fat slob is now on $400k in the US with the Australian taxpayer picks up his childcare expenses.

    Fvck them all to Hell.

  8. Gavin R Putland

    No, Abbott is not our Trump. Abbott is in an altogether higher league, intellectually and morally, than Trump. And you know I’m no sycophant of Abbott.

  9. Big_Nambas

    Me and roughly 1 million voters who left the Liberals after Turnbull dumped Abbott will not vote for the liberals under Morrison or Bishop. Dutton maybe if he shows some policy direction. Turnbull NEVER.
    under Turnbull the Liberals will lose 20 seats.

  10. Baldrick

    Not happening –

    David Speers ✔ @David_Speers
    Tony Abbott will not be a candidate tomorrow.

  11. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    Nah.

    This country needs Abbott, Turnbull and SHorten removed from politics so it can recover.

    Tony has done his job magnificently. He destroyed Turnbull… again..

  12. Tom

    Put a cold spoon on it, Steve. Not going to happen. But, once in Cabinet, everything is possible. Remember the way Howard hung around in the 1980s until the pardee ran out of leaders?

  13. Pickles

    Abbo. And Barney back at the helm of the Country party. You know it doesn’t make sense, therefore it must be done.

  14. Snoopy

    Abbott’s decided to save himself for the rebuild apres le deluge?

  15. Top Ender

    Go for it Tony!

    His electoral office and parliament office details are here.

    Leave the man a message!

  16. Tim Neilson

    Albo for PM!

    Raise the bar and get a happy ending!

  17. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    As an SES volunteer and a member of the Rural Fire Birgade.

    Tony will come into his own after the slaughter.

  18. Stimpson J. Cat

    Tony would never come back without Credlin.

  19. FelixKruell

    Sure, he can win votes and elections. But he can’t govern. He proved that all by himself. Both in terms of process and policy.

    And despite all the bluster, when it came to walking the talk, he wasn’t a ‘real’ liberal/conservative.

    He:

    Folded on 18C.
    Raised taxes.
    Raised spending.
    Signed the Paris Agreement

  20. stackja

    Nah not gonna happen. Look at Menzies? He was a goner in 1941. Never gonna be anything again. And 1946 was about to quit parliament.

  21. A Lurker

    Worth it just for the exploding left heads.

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself…

  22. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    Tony would never come back without Credlin.

    Tell him to piss off then.

  23. Jo Smyth

    If Bishop or Morrison becomes Leader then it will just be Turnbull Mark II, but maybe that’s the plan. The base will not return with either of them there. Richo reckons Bishop is the most popular with the public but he would say that wouldn’t he because he wants Labor to win the next election. Hopefully Dutton gets the job. Listening to him with the media he can certainly take them on whereas Tony Abbott has a tendency to appease and be nice which is no good against the feral media that will be in full force. No doubt Tony Abbott would be Peter Duttons wing man and would be a total support for him.

  24. Craig Mc

    Abbott understands the major policy issues of our time, and he stands on the right side of history.

    Hopefully he’s learnt that he can’t please everyone, and there’s no reward for folding to criticism on the left.

    Also, that he has to feed the chooks, as Joh used to say and not leave media space for the drongos on the left to fill.

  25. Chris

    Fuck having Tony as PM anyway. He can do better work in the ministry, bringing good people onto the team and bucketing shite all over Shorten every question time.

  26. Stimpson J. Cat

    Tell him to piss off then.

    He won’t come back for this rabble.
    It would be like Jesus coming back from the dead, sacking the Apostles, and cloning Judas to run the Church.
    Ridiculous.
    There is more chance of my hair growing back.

  27. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    the left is shit

    They are waging war on conservatives in the US, literally locking up everyone associated with Trump.

    It’s about time to start returning fire and locking them up en mass. We need a counter-revolution.

  28. Herodotus

    The media would start a campaign that’d make the last one look like a kindergarten fight

    Are we ready to admit that this is what really counts?
    That you only tip Labor governments out when eventually they are so on the nose that nobody wants them any more, despite the inevitable media support right down to the wire?
    That you only get conservative flavoured governments if you also endure the constant barrage of left media crap?

  29. candy

    It would be nice to go back to Abbott vs Shorten at an election, “left” vs “right”, as it should have been.

  30. pbw

    Before Tony Abbott stepped up to address the press after winning the leadership, Shorten’s body would be falling to the floor. Enter Albo.

  31. Elle

    Well said, Steve. I concur.

    Just heard that Turnbull thinks the party will be too far right if the likes of Dutton get in. What? We need to be more right. We are so far left it’s rediculous. That statement by Turnbull said it all for me.

  32. RobK

    TA would be a solid deputy.

  33. Makka

    While Abbott is the ONLY Lib who can save enough furniture, he won’t get a run. As said upthread, the Libs are far too stupid to go that route. Which is fortuitous because the only long term solution to Australia’s problems lies in the destruction of the Liberal Party, thus making space for a genuine conservative party to form.

    A good comment the other day; The Libs today in general are a collective of no hopers who didn’t fit in to the ALP or Greens but still want a place at the trough. No convictions just parasites. Burn it to the ground.

  34. Tel

    Tony would never come back without Credlin.

    Tony had his chance and blew it, if you want Credlin back then just put her directly in charge of the Liberal Party, don’t bother with half measures. Give them a term out of office to see what shape she can whip them into.

    If that doesn’t work, nothing else will.

  35. egg_

    Is Kates trolling Mick Stumble?

  36. Eyrie

    The Libs need to get sensible and draft Tony. He won’t stand on his own. Maybe he has learned from last time and seen Trump’s example and just publicly treats the media with contempt. Then banish ALL the wets to the backbench.

  37. The BigBlueCat

    It would be good to have Abbott back even on the Front Bench! He is a great parliamentary performer, and Shorten would soil his dacks if TA gets a ministry guernsey.

    Speaking of Shorten – he calls the Liberals cancelling question time “shameful” – of course, Shorten has form when it comes to shame, being instrumental in the removal of 2 Prime Ministers himself, and presiding over a union that sold its members downstream.

    We need a proper alternative to Shorten and Labor, not the ALP-lite that the LNP has become – same but different hasn’t worked, and it’s time for Turnbull (aka Lord Wafflesworth) to do the honourable thing and just resign.

  38. None

    And it won’t run unless his party drafts him. Good. Why should he work his butt off to save their arses after the way they’ve treated him.

  39. Elle

    Peta Credlin would be a great alternative, Tel … and an attractive one.

    She has the experience and testicular fortitude.

  40. .

    Sinistra delenda est.

    That means the LNP too.

  41. jupes

    Abbott talks the talk.

    When he had his chance, he didn’t walk the walk.

  42. Considering….
    * The senate will not let any conservative get anything of value pass,
    * The meeja will not give any conservative a chance to breathe,
    * That we don’t have a Trump type with huge cajones and no beholding to power brokers,
    * And that the Chinese economy is about to tank, taking us and our dollar with it,
    * Making the treasury benches a poisoned chalice,
    Then getting a Dutton or Abbott or even a Bernardi is a total waste of time and money and only a delay before Labor gets back in. Australians have not hurt enough (like middle America was) to abandon pooffo pinko leftist thinking.

    I say let Shorten take over with his union masters, give the public a thorough, deep, hard screwing so that from the ashes, a conservative may emerge with some control over the senate and a chance to reign in this monsterous government.
    Otherwise we’re just delaying our death as a nation.

  43. Filbert

    Can Turdball fall on his sword… literally, pretty please?

  44. Mak Siccar

    FelixKruell
    #2798299, posted on August 23, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Wrong! Tony Abbott did not sign the Paris Agreement. Turdball did.

  45. Filbert

    Abbott also put that uber-quisling, mincer fanboi Angus Campbell in as CDF.
    Good ‘un Tone!

  46. P

    Tony, please run.

    Steve Kates, I couldn’t agree more.

    The problem is that if Malcolm does not receive a letter with 43 signatures then he will not call a meeting.
    No spill. No ballot.
    At this stage I do not believe he will receive this letter.

    No letter, no go.

    He will therefore remain PM and replace those who have offered their resignations, I regret.

  47. .

    Clint

    Do you want to deport Aborigines and non-white, or not the right cultural background citizens?

    After all you said we’re better off if we’re only white.

    You still haven’t explained to me how ethnostates are equivalent to racial supremacy.

  48. FelixKruell

    Mak Siccar:

    Wrong! Tony Abbott did not sign the Paris Agreement. Turdball did.

    Turnbull ratified it. But Abbott comitted to the target.

    Specifically:

    The Government has announced that Australia will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2030, ahead of the Paris climate change conference in December. Prime Minister Tony Abbott told ABC Radio’s AM program that Australia’s goal was environmentally and economically responsible and said he was confident Australia could achieve it “without clobbering jobs and growth.

  49. Abbott would do better to bring LNP back as government after a single term of Labor, after a loss to Labor at the next election. That would demonstrate the level of public support he has. It would be a decade of his own political maturity since last time, and co-incide with Trump’s second term.

  50. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Haven’t read down thi thread yet, but it is exactly what I said on the Leadership Change one, Steve.
    Reclaiming Abbott as PM is the only way for the Libs to ask for forgiveness and succeed.

    PUT UP YOUR HAND, TONY. THE MARGINAL ELECTORATES ARE YOURS.

  51. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Gary, a single term of Labor would just muddy the electoral waters further. Especially with Labor holding the pursestrings and the media.

    Bring it on now, Tony. The issues will never be clearer than right now.
    Malcolm has destroyed our energy advantages. Seize them back while we can still do so.

  52. Empire 5:5

    The media has no power if nobody gives them attention. STOP READING, STOP WATCHING, STOP POSTING THEIR BULLSHIT

    You get it.

  53. Makka

    Can we please dispense with this illogical fantasy that Abbott would make a decent PM? We have been down this road before. He is not PM material in the conservative sense. He is far too concerned about his perceived relationships with the left and women. That is what brought him undone last time and nothing can be seen to indicate that has changed. He’s a very decent man but nowhere near hard enough or ruthless enough to be a good PM in this toxic fetid leftist environment which is Australia today. He will roll over for a belly scratch just like last time.

  54. .

    Well said Makka. The Liberals need to be destroyed. They cannot be reformed.

    They have no actual conservatives or classical liberals in their ranks. Not common in the branches, and absolutely NONE in Parliament or their party executives.

    They have very few likeable and worthy people in elected office now.

    They’re fucked. There is no coming back.

    Don’t be the “Dog on the Tuckerbox”.

  55. IRFM

    Abbott destroyed the following in order:
    Turnbull
    Rudd
    Gillard
    Rudd
    Abbott
    Turnbull
    Six from six ain’t bad

  56. .

    If only he never became PM, we’d still be lovesick schoolgirls.

  57. cohenite

    You still haven’t explained to me how ethnostates are equivalent to racial supremacy.

    I don’t know who you’re talking to but the question is ill posed. The question/assertion should be: ideological-states are equivalent to cultural supremacy. For instance the ideological-state of Western democracy is culturally superior to every other ideological-state.

  58. Elle

    That is what brought him undone last time 

    It was the well orchestrated leftist hate Abbott campaign that brought him down.

  59. None

    Turnbull ratified it. But Abbott comitted to the target

    Not quite. Abbott committed to the target only under lots of caveats like all in (US, China, India) etc or none in. Both Kenny and Credlin were present at that time so they will broach no lies on this one either.

  60. mh

    Steve, not sure how much of the year you spend in Australia, but Abbott is not our Trump.

    Trump is a killer and a winner. Abbott is a solid guy, no more.

  61. None

    It would be hilarious if they picked a liberal prime minister who at his first pressee was asked why there were no women picked in his cabinet and he turned around and said: Well I’d like there to have been some women but no one wants to grab them by the pussy and drag them into cabinet. Something about warts and all.

  62. calli

    The media must be mocked, pilloried and eviscerated at every opportunity.

    Ignoring them is pointless.

    These shytes are ruining my country. I’m never going to shut up about them.

  63. Elle

    The media are the conduit – bringing us propaganda, but also an avenue for opinion that needs to be heard.

  64. Three genuine questions, Steve Kates:

    How do you defend this?

    “The left are the party of Venezuela, decay and ruin.”

    As this forum has been discussing recently, this was the actual profile of Australia’s economy in 2013 after six years of Labor:

    * median wealth per adult $US219,505, highest in the world;
    * Heritage economic freedom score 82.0, highest in the OECD;
    * hours worked per adult per month: 86.7, just below highest on record;
    * ranking in the OECD on jobless rate: sixth;
    * productivity rising in a continuous 17-quarter streak;
    * optimum interest rates: 2.5%;
    * budget deficit $18.8 billion, down from $43.4 billion the previous year;
    * gross debt 28.6% of GDP;
    * net debt 10.4% of GDP;
    * value of the Aussie dollar: 92 U.S. cents;
    * economic growth in a 22-year positive streak
    * AAA ratings with positive outlooks with all three credit agencies, for the first time ever;
    * world’s best economy on the IAREM, for the third year in a row.

    Correct?

    If any country at any time, ever, was in better shape, then when and where?

    What are those levels now, Steve?

  65. Tintarella di Luna

    Fuck having Tony as PM anyway. He can do better work in the ministry, bringing good people onto the team and bucketing shite all over Shorten every question time.

    I agree, Abbott is a brawler and a fighter but not for himself, perhaps lack of self belief. He is at his best when attacking on behalf of someone he believes in, and I think he will do that admirably for Peter Dutton. Abbott was a very effective and fearless attack dog for Howard, and that left Howard free to do talk the talk. Unlike the smartest man in the Universe who created Utegate because of his belief that no-one could best him and then Rudd bested him good and hard.

  66. Chris

    Abbott destroyed the following in order:

    You forgot Pauline.

  67. .

    * optimum interest rates: 2.5%;

    Okay Alan, define “optimum interest rates” you utter clown.

    Do you realise that in 2011-2013; that the real interest rate on mortgages was higher than what it was when Keating’s infamous 17% interest rates were belting debtors?

    “But you never had it so good…” Sounds like how a poundmetoo story starts.

  68. Bruce of Newcastle

    If any country at any time, ever, was in better shape, then when and where?

    Australia, 2007.
    The ASX still isn’t back to the same level 11 years later.
    Labour was handed a gift economy by Howard & Costello.
    So good that we sailed through the GFC without even a technical recession.

  69. It’s interesting that so many here keep denouncing Tony Abbott in the belief that he is unable to learn from his mistakes and improve.

    Given the nature of the party that we’ve seen to date; one can imagine how difficult it would have been to push through all the reforms that he wanted.

    How many here would be on the dole queue now if this same view had been applied to them throughout their lives?

  70. Chris

    If any country at any time, ever, was in better shape, then when and where?

    Sweet! All we needed was unprecedented export earnings, resource stockpiling and ponzi scheme building boom in the world’s most populous country, and a major capital investment boom to supply them, while the rest of the world slips back from bad government and finance sector looting the world’s savings and risk capital.
    Then we can be in that great position despite six years of being run by complete fuckwits and fundamentally dishonest main-chancers in the pay of the organised looting cartels.

  71. .

    You mean he’s stopped gaoling humble fish and chip shop owners?

  72. Neil

    budget deficit $18.8 billion, down from $43.4 billion the previous year;

    I told you that was garbage That was Swans second last budget. Swans last budget in May 2013 was a whopping $48B deficit

  73. .

    That’s right Neil, and projected debt now for the Commonwealth alone would exceed 1 trillion AUD.

    Facts are not important to Crikey writers who larp as honest journalists.

  74. Catfeesh?

    Don’t know if Dutton is the answer. Could be. Maybe.

    I don’t doubt that Abbott has learned the lesson from his first go as PM. You need to talk to the populace not the media or your colleagues. Tell them to fuck off. The reality is that the voting population want conservatism good and hard. By which I mean lower waste (read, slash the public service and spending in general), cut regulation, flog the ABC to the highest bidder (or even the lowest bidder, who gives a shit), slash income tax, corporate tax and send the greenies and all their fucking stupid shit to the shithouse.

    It’s not difficult. All they need to do is think past the party room.

  75. Alan Austin

    Not at all, Bruce of Newcastle. The opposite is true.

    The Rudd Government inherited a lacklustre economy in 2007, but soon fixed it.

    In their first nine months, 225,500 new jobs were created. Gross debt had been stuck around $60 billion for four years. Swan reduced it to $52.4 billion within a year and increased the net money in the bank from a puny $22 billion to $48 billion.

    Costello had set the 2007-08 budget parameters for a surplus of $10.6 billion. Swan re-jigged things and delivered an actual surplus of $19.8 billion — the highest ever.

    Exports rose quickly after relations with trading partners were restored, enabling Labor to achieve a trade surplus within its first year. Thus ended a string of 77 monthly trade deficits.

    Don’t be too embarrassed if you didn’t know all this, Bruce. Few, if any, positive stories about Labor ever run in the mainstream media.

  76. stackja

    Swanee!
    How I love you, how I love!
    My dear ol’ Swanee

  77. mh

    Alan, I hope you are supporting a fellow baldy, Peter Dutton.

  78. .

    Gross debt had been stuck around $60 billion for four years.

    You dishonest, stupid, ill-read wannabe.

    No one cares about “net debt”. What matters is debt servicing costs you imbecile.

    The Argentinian Peso and banking system was not preserved because their government could flog millions of hectares of national park.

  79. Neil

    * AAA ratings with positive outlooks with all three credit agencies, for the first time ever;

    Even more disinformation. WE got our AAA credit rating back in 2003 which we lost in the late 1980’s. There are hundreds of ratings agencies not 3. WE had to sell a lot of assets to reduce out debt to get our AAA back.

    So what if Fitch 8 years after we got our AAA back got round to giving us AAA in 2011? WE have been AAA rated since 2003 when S&P’s and Moody gave us AAA. Fitch most probably just forgot because we are a unimportant country

  80. Lizzie

    He didn’t have the guts to do what he needed to do. He betrayed his base, that’s why tyre conservatives don’t trust him. Coward.

  81. Alan Austin

    Please look at the actual budget outcomes, Neil.

    2011-12: -$43.4 billion
    2012-13: -$18.8 billion
    2013-14: -$48.5 billion
    2014-15: -$37.9 billion
    2015-16: -$39.6 billion
    2016-17: -$33.2 billion
    2017-18: -$18.2 billion (tbc)

    And please look at the election dates. Thanks.

  82. Alan Austin

    No, Neil.

    Fitch gave Australia its first ever AAA rating in November 2011.

    This was the first time Australia had had all three AAA gongs.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-29/fitch-rating-australia/3701752

  83. .

    2013-14: -$48.5 billion

    And please look at the election dates. Thanks.

    Which was the last budget of WAYNE SWAN, you blithering imbecile.

    https://www.budget.gov.au/2013-14/content/speech/html/speech.htm

    BUDGET SPEECH 2013-14

    DELIVERED ON 14 MAY 2013 ON THE SECOND READING

    OF THE APPROPRIATION BILL (NO. 1) 2013-14 BY THE HONOURABLE WAYNE SWAN MP DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND TREASURER OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

  84. cohenite

    Fuck me dead, the chardonnay socialist is here quoting himself.

    Tell us about little billy’s r..e allegation and plibber’s convicted drug dealer hubbie alan.

  85. .

    Fitch is not the only credit rating agency in the world you dim bulb.

    Australia has had an AAA rating on and off for decades.

  86. Neil

    No, Neil.
    Fitch gave Australia its first ever AAA rating in November 2011.

    That is what I said. Can you read English? S&P and Moody gave us AAA by 2003. Eight years later Fitch gave us AAA in 2011.

    So what? WE have been AAA rated since February 2003. Fitch is irrelevant

  87. C.L.

    We are about to have a race between three mediocrities to replace a non-entity …

    A very accurate summary.

  88. struth

    Remember your man love of Abbott when he was rolled, Steve.
    You haven’t got over him yet!
    FMD.

    Abbott is not the man.
    We know what we are going to get.
    If we don’t get Dutton, (with Abbott a minister), none of this matters.
    Abbott does not seem to think the media is his enemy, but that they can be managed.
    Big mistake and totally naïve, verging on ignorant.
    No, it’s pure dumb ignorance.

  89. cohenite

    It truly is a bizarre when Stephen conroy makes complete sense in describing turdball.

  90. Alan Austin

    To the anonymous person who posted this:

    ‘No one cares about “net debt”. What matters is debt servicing costs you imbecile.’

    Precisely!

    Only twice since the Whitlam years has Australia’s economy generated net interest receipts in – instead of net payments out. They were Labor’s first two years – 2007-08 and 2008-09 – just before the GFC smashed the joint.

    But here’s the thing. Even after all the borrowings necessitated by the Great Recession, Australia paid only $8.29 billion in 2012-13 – Labor’s last full financial year.

    In contrast, interest paid last financial year was a whopping $13.13 billion. And that’s after four years of the strongest global boom in trade, jobs and corporate profits since World War II.

  91. Oh come on

    No. Just…no.

    Abbott had his chance and he blew it.

  92. struth

    Hey Alan.
    You are going to regret coming here, sunshine.

    Just warning you.

  93. .

    But here’s the thing. Even after all the borrowings necessitated by the Great Recession, Australia paid only $8.29 billion in 2012-13 – Labor’s last full financial year.

    Please stop posting this prevaricating, vomitous crap which has been debunked more than Uri Geller.

  94. mh

    Alan, where is your red bandana?

  95. eb

    OK, how about this. I don’t know if anybody else has put this forward before.

    What if Dutton is found to be ineligible? Who might step up to take over as the conservative wing candidate? Abbott then steps into the breach and saves the day for the forces of good.

  96. .

    Abbott represents abolishing the debt ceiling and gaoling humble fish and chip merchants.

  97. In the past couple of years on the sidelines watching Trump rise glorious across the ocean, I wonder if Abbott has learnt a few things.

    Most importantly, has he finally discovered and embraced his inner mongrel?

  98. Andysaurus

    Didn’t have time to read all the comments, so this may have already been said, but: please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, come back Tony.

  99. Malcolm Thomas

    Right, Tony Abbott … you mean the non-practicing small government enthusiast, restorer of honours for foreign dukes, the man who was going to shirt-front Putin and reverse 18C, the person whose appalling agenda as opposition leader and then PM led to the Libs squandering of the golden opportunity afforded by the failings of the previous ALP government, and on it goes.

    The three mediocrities standing tomorrow do pale in impact against the absolute failure that was Abbott. You are right on that respect Steve – there is no comparison.

    Personally, I’d hate it if either of so the current benchwarmers got in ahead of Dutton, who would at least fought for a arguably lower and better targeted migrant intake. So, now, might Abbott, but his earlier disasterous leadership would all but ensure a Bill Shorten rout next time at the polls.

  100. Alan Austin

    Thanks, Struth.

    They were genuine questions.

  101. Neil

    Alan

    ALP supporters give great praise to Fitch for giving us that 3rd AAA in 2011.

    Why didn’t Fitch give us AAA in February 2003 when the 2 majors (Moody, S&P) did when debt was only 5% of GDP? Why not 3 years later in 2006 when debt was ZERO? Or in 2007 when debt was less than zero? If you cannot get a AAA with zero debt when can you get one?

    Why did Fitch wait 8 years after we got our AAA back in February 2003?

  102. totally irrelevant who gets the gig, they are only warming the seat for shortarse and accompanying assorted union thugs, leftwards, bludgers, refo’s, marxists, etc etc. The first chance they will have for another realistic run at it will be minimum of 6 years, by which time all they will have to pick up is ashes.

    we have seen the birth of a new expression today, the new PM will will attain an Abbot victory; similar to a Pyrrhic one only demonstrating greater self delusion all the while demonstrating a large dollop of the ability to cut-off one’s own prominent facial feature, not to mention a long list of failures and promises to not be a spoiler, demonstrates someone either not very smart to start with or who has taken too many punches

  103. stackja

    A new direction: The truth about the economy they don’t want you to know

    Socialism?

  104. Forget it

    Kates, being a totally desperate self-promoter, seeks to attract attention. Here’s some news: Margie has walked. Tony is totally finished. Get it?

  105. Habib

    I reckon it’s a hoot having a lefty tout lurking around, trying to convince troops here to get behind Peanuthead and the unreconstructed hoons of the ALP because of their wily fiscal nous and libertarian principles.

    A fair chunk here regard the liberal & national parties as absolute frauds, marxist degenerates who should be flapping by their heels off the roof of assorted buildings, or launched by trebuchet into very hard walls. Those dilettantes are seen as the enemy, what does he think we regard outed socialist looters as?

  106. stackja

    an Australian freelance journalist now living near Nîmes in the South of France.

  107. .

    I know right Habib? He’s barking mad but it is good clean fun.

  108. cohenite

    Alan is a vintage leftie.

  109. Alan Austin

    Relative to the rest of the developed world, Neil, Australia’s economy before 2008 was pretty ordinary.

    Yes, it looked okay on paper following the radical restructure of the entire economy and the liberalisation of commerce in the 1980s and 90s.

    But growth, jobs, budget surpluses, income per person, median wealth and economic freedom were pretty average relative to the rest of the developed world.

    Most of these advanced dramatically through the global rankings from 2008 to 2011.

    By mid 2009, Australia had the strongest GDP growth in the OECD. That had never happened before. Plus close to the lowest jobless rate, lowest debt, best interest rate and highest economic freedom.

  110. stackja

    The Malcolm X-factor

    30 September 2006

    A long-time friend, the former state Liberal minister Michael Yabsley, candidly admits: “The greatest concern his staunch supporters had about Malcolm was that he might not develop the skills necessary to be a good politician. There is no great secret about the fact that he’s got a daunting intellect and can be a pretty intimidating sort of person. You know the old line, ‘You’ve got to be able to suffer fools’? Well many of us said for a long time, ‘Malcolm doesn’t suffer fools.’ In many walks of life that is not a handicap but it is in politics.”

  111. Neil

    Alan

    You did not answer the question. Why did Fitch wait 8 years to give us that 3rd AAA in 2011 when the 2 majors did it in February 2003. WE were debt free in 2006. Should be able to get a AAA if debt is zero.

    Anyway we have been AAA rated since February 2003. Fitch is irrelevant

  112. .

    Alan Austin
    #2798727, posted on August 23, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Relative to the rest of the developed world, Neil, Australia’s economy before 2008 was pretty ordinary.

    Utterly batshit. over 15 years of growth and unemployment in the low 4s, high LFPR and reasonably high wages.

    “It looked good on paper – here are some figures, on paper, that gainsay this…”

    ???

    “Strongest OECD growth”

    The monetised value of the growth was less than the money spent/borrowed.

    Income is the flow of wealth; the GDP figures and national accounting framework are less than perfect. We didn’t become wealthy by giving ourselves a loan and then drawing an income from it.

    As for the multiplier, the savings rate bumped up and meant the MPC was too low, therefore the stimulus could not have contributed to GDP, at best it was a break even scenario.

  113. Habib

    How’d he suffer himself then?

  114. There are several elements to the answer to your question, Neil.

    1. I don’t know precisely why Fitch waited. Perhaps their report at the time will be instructive. But we can guess.

    2. Australia was not debt-free in 2006. Gross debt – on which interest was payable – was around 10% of GDP. Gross interest paid was $5.5 billion in 2005-06. Net interest was $2.3 billion.

    3. Several countries had lower gross debt than Australia then, including New Zealand, the UAE, Luxembourg and Chile.

    4. Debt is not the only variable the credit agencies examine.

    5. Australia advanced dramatically between 2007 and 2011 in global rankings on many other variables. These included GDP growth, jobs, budget surpluses/deficits, income per person, median wealth and economic freedom.

  115. .

    5. Australia advanced dramatically between 2007 and 2011 in global rankings on many other variables. These included GDP growth, jobs, budget surpluses/deficits, income per person, median wealth and economic freedom.

    You’re beyond barking mad.

    Unemployment increased massively. The LFPR fell. Hours worked fell to stop massive layoffs (possible because of WorkChoices). There were near bank collapses, recaps and massive monetary accommodation. The TOT trade crapped out. Global demand for commodities fell and expansionary fiscal policy overvalued the dollar. We accumulated debt that we may never pay off.

    By mid-late 2011, labour productivity growth was negative on trend.

  116. Neil

    https://www.budget.gov.au/2018-19/content/bp1/download/bp1_bs11.pdf

    Table 4 says GROSS debt was a low 6.4% of GDP in 2003, 4.7% of GDP in 2007. It had increased to 15.6% of GDP in 2011 when Fitch gave us that 3rd AAA ALP supporters rave about

    Strange Fitch did not give us that 3rd AAA in 2003 when S&P and Moody did but waited 8 years till 2011.

    I suspect Fitch just forgot about us because we are not an important country

  117. Alan Austin

    To the anonymous poster here, just above, please note:

    1. Unemployment did not “increase massively” under Labor. It peaked at 5.9% in June 2009. That was the sixth lowest in the OECD at the time.

    2. The jobless shot up to 9.8% in Sweden, to 10% in the USA, to 11% across the European Union, to 16% in Ireland, and above 20% in several countries during the GFC.

    3. The jobless rate in Australia exceeded Labor’s 2009 peak of 5.9% in 14 months while Mr Abbott was PM, and for two months under Mr Turnbull.

    4. Australia’s jobless rate now ranks 18th in the OECD. That’s in the bottom half. That’s down from sixth place under Labor.

    5. Australia’s gross debt was low and manageable under Labor. The heads of Treasury and Finance said in 2013 that with Labor’s settings at that time, it would start to reduce substantially in 2016-17 and each year thereafter.

  118. Infidel Tiger

    Why is Alan fighting decade old arguments here?

    Move on, you stupid old xunt.

  119. Habib

    And it seems he’s out of it. Doesn’t he know socialism is squaresville, daddy-o?

  120. Tim Neilson

    Alan Austin
    #2798797, posted on August 23, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Pretty much everything you have posted are outright lies, and therefore not worth responding to.

    As for “gross debt”, yes, at the end of the Howard/Costello era we had “gross debt” because Costello wanted to keep some liquidity in the bond markets to stop them collapsing, so kept some “gross” Commonwealth debt on foot.

    But we had negative net debt.

    Also, apart from the changeover years, Costello never had an iron ore price over $36 but Goose Swansteen never had one less than $100 – yet Swansteen still managed to deliver budget deficits six times out of six, racking up hundreds of billions in total net debt, while Costello had taken us from net debt to net surplus.

  121. Tim Neilson

    The heads of Treasury and Finance said in 2013 that with Labor’s settings at that time, it would start to reduce substantially in 2016-17 and each year thereafter.

    FMD you are an imbecile.

  122. struth

    These boys started taking Alan seriously.

    Fuckwit lefty obviously.

    Hey Alan, what does the G in GDP stand for, and if employment figures were so great under Labor, does it matter to you if it was employment in the public sector or not?
    Are employment figures and various wrongology you quote here able to be manipulated to fool the gullible such as yourself, or do you believe everything you are told?
    Why was the Labor party (that you believe was doing so wonderfully for the country), dumped harder than the labor party after a Whitlam dismissal?
    Everything was just tickety boo according to you.
    Our government was not in debt when Labor came to power and they wrecked the joint.
    They were booted so hard to the curb, if it wasn’t for lefties infiltrating Liberals, we wouldn’t see them in power again until those that experienced it were dead.
    And you come on here dribbling shit.
    According to statistics, the average human has one tit and one ball.

    Do you believe that?

  123. Alan Austin

    Just waiting for Steve – or someone – to answer the questions, Infidel Tiger:

    Three genuine questions, Steve Kates:

    How do you defend this?

    “The left are the party of Venezuela, decay and ruin.”

    As this forum has been discussing recently, this was the actual profile of Australia’s economy in 2013 after six years of Labor:

    * median wealth per adult $US219,505, highest in the world;
    * Heritage economic freedom score 82.0, highest in the OECD;
    * hours worked per adult per month: 86.7, just below highest on record;
    * ranking in the OECD on jobless rate: sixth;
    * productivity rising in a continuous 17-quarter streak;
    * optimum interest rates: 2.5%;
    * budget deficit $18.8 billion, down from $43.4 billion the previous year;
    * gross debt 28.6% of GDP;
    * net debt 10.4% of GDP;
    * value of the Aussie dollar: 92 U.S. cents;
    * economic growth in a 22-year positive streak
    * AAA ratings with positive outlooks with all three credit agencies, for the first time ever;
    * world’s best economy on the IAREM, for the third year in a row.

    Correct?

    If any country at any time, ever, was in better shape, then when and where?

    What are those levels now, Steve?

  124. Alan Austin

    Tim Neilson, I have one word for you:

    Great Recession.

  125. Anthony

    Abbott wrote Battlelines prior to becoming opposition leader and PM. He didn’t implement his ideas then, he wouldn’t now.

  126. Habib

    1/. fact. 2/. bollocks. 3/. everywhere not infested with marxist fucknuckles.

    Anything else?

  127. Snoopy

    Alan Austin
    #2798896, posted on August 23, 2018 at 10:22 pm
    Tim Neilson, I have one word for you:

    Great Recession

    LOL

  128. Alan Austin

    So, Struth, is there an assertion here not supported by the data?

  129. Infidel Tiger

    Alan Austin
    #2798896, posted on August 23, 2018 at 10:22 pm
    Tim Neilson, I have one word for you:

    Great Recession

    Pitch perfect comedy dude!

  130. dopey

    Alan
    Your estimate for drownings please had Labor remained in office?

  131. .

    Alan Austin
    #2798872, posted on August 23, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    To the anonymous poster here, just above, please note:

    1. Unemployment did not “increase massively” under Labor. It peaked at 5.9% in June 2009. That was the sixth lowest in the OECD at the time.

    2. The jobless shot up to 9.8% in Sweden, to 10% in the USA, to 11% across the European Union, to 16% in Ireland, and above 20% in several countries during the GFC.

    3. The jobless rate in Australia exceeded Labor’s 2009 peak of 5.9% in 14 months while Mr Abbott was PM, and for two months under Mr Turnbull.

    4. Australia’s jobless rate now ranks 18th in the OECD. That’s in the bottom half. That’s down from sixth place under Labor.

    5. Australia’s gross debt was low and manageable under Labor. The heads of Treasury and Finance said in 2013 that with Labor’s…

    The stupid, it burns. You are literally too stupid or ignorant to discuss the issue Alan. Let experts and adults talk.

    1. Unemployment, not the unemployment rate.

    2. So what? The US is where the crisis started and otherwise the nations you note have inflexible labour markets.

    3. The ALP and LNP are so similar to me now, why do I care? Before Work Choices was repealed; that is WELL INTO THE ALP GOVERNMENT; unemployment dropped to 4% in the first time since the 1970s.

    4. Ranking unemployment internationally is a fairly useless measure if you’re trying to assert how bloody good Swannee was compared to the LNP.

    5. The gross debt under continuing financial management under Swan would have been over 1 trillion AUD for the Commonwealth alone.

  132. Confused Old Misfit

    E’s not pinin’! ‘E’s passed on! This PM is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PRIME MINISTER!!

    With apologies to Monty Python,

    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    WMS.

  133. struth

    Answer the questions I ask, Alan.
    We’ve answered yours.

  134. Alan Austin

    No problem, Struth.

    1. Hey Alan, what does the G in GDP stand for?
    A: Gross

    2. if employment figures were so great under Labor, does it matter to you if it was employment in the public sector or not?
    A: Not for the purposes of this discussion.

    3. Are employment figures and various wrongology you quote here able to be manipulated to fool the gullible such as yourself, or do you believe everything you are told?
    A(i): Figures can be manipulated. They can also be highly instructive.
    A (ii) No, I do not believe everything I’m told. That is kind of the point of my posts here, Struth. I am referring you to data which shows that what most Australians have been told by the mainstream media and the Liberal Party establishment about Labor’s economic management is actually not true.

    4. Why was the Labor party (that you believe was doing so wonderfully for the country), dumped harder than the labor party after a Whitlam dismissal?
    A: Because what most Australians have been told by the mainstream media and the Liberal Party establishment about Labor’s economic management is actually not true.

    5. Everything was just tickety boo according to you.
    A: No. Just the best-performed economy the world had ever seen up to that point.

    6. Our government was not in debt when Labor came to power and they wrecked the joint.
    A(i): Australia had some gross debt in November 2007, but a wafer thin net surplus.
    A(ii): No. Labor built the economy up to the best-performed economy the world had ever seen up to that point.

    7. According to statistics, the average human has one tit and one ball. Do you believe that?
    A: Close enough. To be precisely accurate, .9911 tits and 1.0089 balls.

  135. Habib

    It should be disturbing that seemingly intelligent people can believe such obvious complete and utter bollocks, but it’s not any more. It’s not even that disturbing that they’ll be back on the treasury benches in six months, the changes will be mostly semantic. Our only hope is for the senate to be an absolute zoo, with every monomaniac, ratbag and microcephalus heading in completely opposite directions, and unable to sit still longer than a sackful of civet cats injected with Benzedrine.

  136. BorisG

    literally locking up everyone associated with Trump.

    No one forced him to associate himself with such obvious crooks.

  137. struth

    I did pose the first question wrong.
    I was looking for you to answer regard the formula.

    2. if employment figures were so great under Labor, does it matter to you if it was employment in the public sector or not?
    A: Not for the purposes of this discussion.

    I asked, does it matter to you, I didn’t ask you whether it mattered to you regarding this discussion.

    Do you think employment figures should be given as real full time figures and only in the private sector, or the public service added to it?

    You believe your data to be true.
    It is not.
    We can argue about that for days.
    No one will get anywhere.
    Australians are all ill informed according to you.
    You have the figures that suit your biases, and therefore those figures are right in your eyes.

    Get your head out of your propaganda figures and stop waving them about here.
    We lived through labor.
    We are still living with leftism with this Liberal government.
    The growth of the public service.
    The union corruption and control.
    The identity politics and Marxism.
    The attack on western values, Christianity, and decency.
    The exploding debt.
    The over regulation and control.
    The sick sexual perversions of Marxists in our schools abusing children via Safe Schools (Marxist leader)

    We are not tribal.
    It is not one party at all costs.
    We believe in freedom, limited government, low taxation and personal responsibility.
    Whichever party can provide it.
    It is about so much more that your lying figures.
    God only knows the mindset of the leftist elitist who believes he knows better.
    Who believes his figures are correct, (because he told himself so) in the face of the pure evidence of history saying otherwise.

  138. .

    Alan

    The idea we give a shit about defending the Liberal Party of Australia is bloody deluded.

  139. Jo Smyth

    In 2009, didn’t Tony Abbott step in at the last minute and win by one vote. Could the same thing happen again as Turnbull does his utmost to damage Peter Dutton and get his protégé Scott Morrison elected to carry on his work.

  140. Motelier

    AA,

    Every politician that has sat in either the lower house and the upper house sonce 2007 has bear some responsibility for the mess we are in.

    You include in that list one P Costello. Costello was a good money manager, but I think his ambitions outgrew his capabilities in regard to being PM.

  141. Alan Austin

    Hi again Struth,

    Re: “Do you think employment figures should be given as real full time figures and only in the private sector, or the public service added to it?”

    We should look at both separately, then add them together to get the big picture.

    Fortunately, the ABS allows us to do this, as well as achieve a multitude of other breakdowns.

    The more data we can access, the better.

  142. Alan Austin

    Not at all, Motelier.
    Australia has only been in a mess for the last four years.
    You were not in a mess at all between 1987 and 2013. Your economy was in the top ten or so in the world throughout that period. It was the best-performed economy in the world from 2009 to 2013, and by 2013 you had the best economy the world had ever seen.
    The deterioration only began in 2014.
    That is the point of this discussion.
    Don’t let the manipulators suck you in, Motelier.

  143. JC

    Alan
    You should be beaten with a broom stick for being a dishonourable dipshit.

  144. From my point of view I applaud the demise of that traitor Turnbull and his socialist mates who belong in the labor party.
    The real issue for me and my vote is now one of policies. If as turdball says the “challengers will drag the party to the right” it will be how far they are prepared to go to adopt true conservative policies that are 180 degrees from where they are now. By declaring war on all labor policies and the winding back or shutting down labors wasteful and destructive departments and programs the new Liberal team can offer a real choice to conservatives otherwise I will still vote informal in the HoR.
    Abbott had clear opposite policies in boats and carbon taxes and won a 20 odd seat majority .
    Lay out a long list of conservative policies that destroy labor ,stick to it and the votes will come.
    Show us the cut of your cloth .

  145. J.H.

    Absolutely…. He was our “Trump”, before Trump was a twinkle in the election cycle’s eye.

    …. and I will never forget, nor forgive the media attacking Tony Abbott and supporting Vladimir Putin when Abbott confronted Putin over the shooting down of flight MH17 by a Russian missile and the deaths of 38 Australians among the 298 victims. The Australian media ridiculed Tony Abbott the entire time, basically spitting in the faces of the families of those victims….. Anyway, Abbott confronted him and Putin left the G20 early.

  146. Nob

    Alan Austin
    #2798895, posted on August 23, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    If any country at any time, ever, was in better shape, then when and where?

    Australia in the 90s and early 2000s.

    By 2010, Labor had already squandered the surplus they were left with and Australia was in extremely bad shape to deal with a commodities downturn, with incredibly high costs and very little to show for the overspending.

  147. Nob

    Incredibly high fixed costs at that since poor policy decisions and over-regulation had made the labour market less and less flexible.

  148. Nonsense, Nob.
    The Coalition left a wafer thin net surplus of just $22 billion in November 2007.
    As Treasury has since affirmed, it should have been around $367 billion.
    But, instead, John Howard squandered most of that buying votes at elections.
    In any event, Wayne Swan built it up to $48 billion by July 2008, which was at least the basis for a buffer against tough times to come.
    Of course, even that was nowhere near enough, was it?
    But please don’t swallow the furphy that the Coalition left a lot of money in the bank, Nob.
    They just didn’t.

    Australia’s economy was not “in extremely bad shape” in 2010. It was the best-performed economy in the world at the time, with positive GDP growth, jobless below 5.5%, interest rates at 4.5% and gross debt below 20% of GDP.
    Not to mention the highest economic freedom in the OECD.
    Don’t let them suck you in, Nob.

  149. a happy little debunker

    The conditions of Abbott’s return may never met.

    Still no matter this spill there will be another just after the next election and that may see a return, if the party drafts him to the role.

  150. OldOzzie

    Ruthless road to revenge

    Whatever it takes. It’s a Labor Party line, but nobody has owned it like Malcolm Turnbull.

    By Caroline Overington

    You thought he’d go quietly? Malcolm Turnbull?

    He was never going to go quietly. Even so, let’s consider the ruthlessness with which the Prime Minister dealt with his Liberal Party colleagues yesterday.

    Truly it was something to behold. This was Malcolm at his cool, menacing best. Assassinate me? You better not miss.

    Faced with a second challenge by Peter Dutton in as many days, here is what Turnbull says he’ll do if the party dares try to remove him: he will quit parliament.

    This would, of course, plunge the Coalition government into chaos via a by-election in Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth.

    The government has only a majority of one seat in the house. It would become a minority government, at least until the by-election. And there’s no guarantee it could win Wentworth without Malcolm.

    So he’ll bring down the government. Or trigger a federal election. But that’s not all.

    Turnbull also intends to bring down Dutton, personally. He was seeking to mortally wound him on what may have been the last day of Turnbull’s political life.

    He said there was a constitutional cloud over the head of his rival, and it would be for Dutton to convince the Governor-General that he could form a stable government, without Malcolm in his seat.

    If not, we’re back to the polls.

    Oh, how badly the government doesn’t want to go to the polls. It would be annihilated.

    And Turnbull still wasn’t done. Before any of this could happen, he also wanted to see a letter with the signatures of the 43 insurgents who apparently want his head.

    He wants their names. If that is not menacing, what is?

    But why are we surprised? Turnbull has always been ruthlessly ambitious. Whatever it takes. That’s a Labor Party line, but nobody has owned it like Malcolm.

    At school he apparently told the other kids he’d be prime minister one day and look, sure, how many precocious youngsters from the boater-and-blazer schools have said the same over the years?

    Plenty. But Turnbull meant it.

    When ABC executive John Lyons profiled Turnbull in the 1990s, a friend quoted Malcolm as saying he wanted to be prime minister by the age of 40.

    “For which party?” the friend inquired. Turnbull reportedly said he didn’t really care.

    It was the same when he worked for Kerry Packer. In 1991, the billionaire was part of a consortium trying to buy Fairfax. The deal went bad, and Packer blamed Turnbull, accusing him of leaking deals, if not to rivals then at least outside the group.

    Turnbull told essayist Annabel Crabb that Packer had threatened to kill him over the deal. “He was taking the view that because he was bigger and richer than me, he could run me into the ground,” he told Crabb. “So I rang Kerry Packer and I had a major row with him … He told me he’d kill me, yeah. I didn’t think he was completely serious, but I didn’t think he was entirely joking either. And I said to him: ‘Well, you’d better make sure that your assassin gets me first because if he misses, you better know I won’t miss you.’ ”

    That’s the same song you heard yesterday.

    Turnbull stayed in business just long enough to make a personal fortune. Then, according to multiple sources, he approached ALP figures, seeking their endorsement to join the party.

    Five years later he won preselection as not the Labor but the Liberal candidate for Wentworth.

    Whatever it takes.

    And never mind that the Liberal Party already had a candidate for Wentworth in Peter King. Turnbull coolly knifed him and carried on.

    He won the seat in the old-fashioned way: chasing down every vote in the surf lifesaving clubs and the RSLs. There was no event that Turnbull would not attend. I saw him at the opening of the kosher butcher section at Coles, Bondi Junction. He got elected.

    John Howard, as astute an operator as ever there was, was wary. He, like everyone, could smell Turnbull’s ambition from space, and he kept him at arm’s length. Turnbull sat back, and waited. Not happily or patiently, but he waited.

    After Howard lost in Bennelong, Turnbull saw an opening and tried to run straight through it, losing to Brendan Nelson in his bid to be opposition leader, before winning the second time around.

    But the skills that saw him rise — impatience, rapaciousness — soon got the better of him. Turnbull wanted Kevin Rudd’s job, not later but right then, and so Utegate was upon us.

    That led to Tony Abbott becoming prime minister, and Turnbull again had to wait for his moment to strike.

    Thirty Newspolls. That was his trigger. Couldn’t he see how it might come back to bite him? He’s never been all that good at politics.

    His decision on Monday to call a leadership spill is a case in point. It was done to take the fight to Dutton, and it backfired because suddenly everyone could see how close the fight really was: 48-35, meaning just seven votes separated Dutton from the Lodge.

    Why so rash? Because Turnbull has too much confidence and too little political nous. He’d have looked at Dutton and thought: They’re going to vote for this guy?

    This plate-faced former cop from Queensland? Over me? No.

    It was fascinating to watch him at yesterday’s press conference. A few people have been forced to face political oblivion in recent years, and many have cried. Turnbull was cool as a cucumber. His felicity with the language has long been impressive, and his line about Abbott came off the cuff. In saying he would leave parliament if he lost the leadership, Turnbull added: “I’ve always thought former prime ministers were best out of parliament.”

    Also present: his belief in his own ability, which never wavers.

    These events of the past week, they really have nothing to do with his competence or performance. This was mutineers visiting chaos upon his government.

    “It has been described by many people, including those who feel they cannot resist it, as a form of madness,” Turnbull said. “A minority has by a process of intimidation persuaded people that the only way to stop the insurgency is to give in to it. I do not believe in that, I have never done that. I have never given in to bullies.”

    He then became one. No, he would not permit a leadership spill until he had personally seen the signatures of all those colleagues who wanted him gone. “People have to be accountable,” he said.

    He cast menacing doubt on whether a list of names of insurgents had ever existed. “I read in the press (it) is already in place, but perhaps maybe it isn’t,” he said.

    In finishing, Turnbull said he didn’t want to bring emotion into the battle, and yet he was smiling.

    Why? Maybe because he’s rich and happily married, with grandkids and options.

    Maybe this is the kind of war — petty, and largely pointless, against lesser foes — he still thinks he can win?

    Here’s another idea: Turnbull’s never been much good at politics, but revenge? He’s always been very good at revenge. Why not burn the house down? With some luck, he might even get to drag Abbott’s corpse out with him. For Turnbull, that may well be the sweetest victory of all.

  151. A Lurker

    Why is that people never learn…to never feed the Leftist troll.

  152. Vandals smash windows of Peter Dutton’s office at Strathpine, north of Brisbane

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-24/vandals-smash-windows-office-federal-liberal-mp-peter-dutton-qld/10159424

    More proof that Turnbull has to go and that the Left fear Dutton.

  153. .

    Lurker – you’re right, I’m sorry.

    *Nothing to see here in 1990 or 1991.
    *Mortgage rates in 2011-2013 were just great.
    *Swan’s last budget was not actually his.

    Either willful trolling or weapons-grade stupidity.

  154. Alan Austin

    Yes and no, Anonymous.

    1. Australia’s economy ranked fifth in the world in 1990 and 1991. Behind only Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Kuwait.
    But it wasn’t first – as it was from 2009 to 2013.

    2. Interest rates in Australia 2011 to 2013 were pretty close to optimum. They were between 2.5% and 5.0%. Only Mexico also managed to achieve that among OECD countries.
    Pretty impressive, actually.

    3. Labor’s last budget which was all their own work was 2012-13.
    The deficit was $18.8 billion – the lowest since the GFC hit in 2008.
    The Coalition has not achieved a lower deficit since – despite the strongest global boom in trade, jobs, profits and executive salaries since World War II.
    Also pretty impressive, don’t you reckon?

  155. Tekweni

    I enjoy the odd troll. Their utterances remind me of what a narrow line we tread between sanity and insanity. They are like wind up toys that repeat the same thing time after time and like wind up toys they have no thought process and repeat the same thing time after time. Feeding them just encourages them to repeat the same nonsense and makes them feel important.

  156. .

    Everything Alan asserts has been debunked multiple times, repeatedly by several other commenters as either straight up lying or a very poor understanding of economics. He is a glutton for punishment and it is cruel to continue treatment.

  157. Alan Austin

    Not at all, Anonymous.
    The opposite is true.
    No-one here has shown any assertion to be unsupported by the data.
    We are still waiting for an answer to the questions posed at the outset to Steve:
    Three genuine questions, Steve Kates:

    How do you defend this?

    “The left are the party of Venezuela, decay and ruin.”

    As this forum has been discussing recently, this was the actual profile of Australia’s economy in 2013 after six years of Labor:

    * median wealth per adult $US219,505, highest in the world;
    * Heritage economic freedom score 82.0, highest in the OECD;
    * hours worked per adult per month: 86.7, just below highest on record;
    * ranking in the OECD on jobless rate: sixth;
    * productivity rising in a continuous 17-quarter streak;
    * optimum interest rates: 2.5%;
    * budget deficit $18.8 billion, down from $43.4 billion the previous year;
    * gross debt 28.6% of GDP;
    * net debt 10.4% of GDP;
    * value of the Aussie dollar: 92 U.S. cents;
    * economic growth in a 22-year positive streak
    * AAA ratings with positive outlooks with all three credit agencies, for the first time ever;
    * world’s best economy on the IAREM, for the third year in a row.

    Correct?

    If any country at any time, ever, was in better shape, then when and where?

    What are those levels now, Steve?

  158. Neil

    The Coalition left a wafer thin net surplus of just $22 billion in November 2007.
    As Treasury has since affirmed, it should have been around $367 billion.

    I would take a wafer thin surplus budget of $22B any day. And we were debt free in 2007

    What? Treasury said what? $367B. I think you may be talking about a Treasury paper which said the govt got an extra $340B from the mining boom from 2004-2011. The media reported incorrectly as from 2004-2007. It was actually over 8 years from 2004-2011

  159. Tel

    The Coalition left a wafer thin net surplus of just $22 billion in November 2007.
    As Treasury has since affirmed, it should have been around $367 billion.
    But, instead, John Howard squandered most of that buying votes at elections.

    So the job of Treasury is now to tell past governments retrospectively how much surplus they should have earned.

    How about this idea: Treasury starts concentrating on getting a few of their projections somewhere within ballpark accurate before they start rewriting history. Worth a try?

  160. Alan Austin

    Actually, Neil, all three Treasury Secretaries since the Howard years have affirmed that the economy went back into structural deficit in 2006-07 as a result of the waste by Mr Howard and Mr Costello of the windfall profits from the mining boom and the vast assets sales.

    There is a neat graph on page 3-12 of the 2016-17 Budget papers which illustrates this.

    The recently-retired Treasury head John A Fraser (appointed by Tony Abbott) said this in January 2016:

    “We have a structural budget problem that arose before the [2008] global financial crisis. From the outset of the commodity price boom of the early 2000s, Government revenue grew faster than expected … But a very substantial amount of the revenue windfall was used to lock-in long-term spending commitments.”

    https://treasury.gov.au/speech/the-australian-budget-some-context/

  161. Tel

    1. Australia’s economy ranked fifth in the world in 1990 and 1991. Behind only Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Kuwait.
    But it wasn’t first – as it was from 2009 to 2013.

    You have this all muddled up, Australia is fifth in the world right now, the rankings are right here: https://www.heritage.org/index/country/australia

    If you look at the historic trend we are gradually going down, but like I already explained those ranks ignore government debt so as interest rates keep going up (they certainly will) and government goes further into debt (gonna happen regardless of who is PM from here) our freedom is set to go out the window come crisis time. I guess you can all give yourselves a pat on the back when that happens.

  162. Neil

    As Treasury has since affirmed, it should have been around $367 billion.

    Really? You have a link for that? Treasury did publish a paper saying the govt got an extra $340B from the mining boom from 2004-2011 ie over 8 years

  163. Alan Austin

    Pretty sure Treasury would have advised cabinet at the time, Tel.

    We know from the recollections of Dr Ken Henry, as one example, that he worked extremely closely with the PM during the global financial crisis.

  164. stackja

    I am skeptical about you, AA.

  165. Tel

    “We have a structural budget problem that arose before the [2008] global financial crisis. From the outset of the commodity price boom of the early 2000s, Government revenue grew faster than expected … But a very substantial amount of the revenue windfall was used to lock-in long-term spending commitments.”

    You changed the story by trimming out a fair chunk of the speech. Here’s a larger quote with my emphasis added:

    But structural expenditure decisions offset much of the temporary revenue gain. In particular, a very substantial amount was spent on ongoing programs that increased transfer payments and benefits.

    In simple terms, and as I said in my speech to CEDA in February last year, some of the proceeds of our once-in-a-generation commodity price boom were used to pay down debt and set against future liabilities through the creation of the Future Fund.

    Changes to the personal income tax scales over this period also helped to relieve pressure on households and reward personal effort and initiative.

    In addition, the work of fiscal repair during the late 1990s and early to mid 2000s provided an important buffer for when the global economy was hit by the GFC.

    But a very substantial amount of the revenue windfall was used to lock-in long-term spending commitments.

    Since then, the rate of Government spending growth has remained high despite considerable savings measures over more recent years.

    At first, this could be attributed to GFC-related fiscal stimulus.

    But as temporary stimulus measures were unwound, growth in spending continued apace. This in part reflected a number of ongoing welfare and other spending programs that were put in place in response to the GFC but largely became a permanent fixture.

    In real terms, spending has grown at an annual average rate of around 3.5 per cent since 2007 compared with around 3 per cent during the 1980s and 1990s.

    As a result, at 25.9 per cent of GDP, spending in 2015 16 is forecast to be close to the post-GFC peak, and could have been higher were it not for the measures taken by the Government in MYEFO.

    More recent savings measures are helping. The payments-to-GDP ratio will now decline over the budget forward estimates to 25.3 per cent by 2018-19. But spending will not get below 25 per cent at any time over the next decade.

    It’s your own link and it explains the problem over and over: too much government spending. How difficult is that?

    What’s more, this story about John Howard and the windfall gains was only invented by the ALP fairly recently as an exercise in making excuses and distraction from their budget failure. Here’s the World’s Greatest Treasurer explaining the surplus of 2012:

    https://www.budget.gov.au/2012-13/content/speech/html/speech.htm

    The deficit years of the global recession are behind us. The surplus years are here.

    Surpluses built on some difficult savings, which avoid vulnerable Australians and frontline services, and don’t compromise our investments in productivity.

    Surpluses that provide a buffer against global uncertainty, and continue to give the Reserve Bank room to cut interest rates for families like it did just last week.

    This Budget is about discipline and restraint but also about priorities; ensuring precious funds are re‑directed to the purposes and people that need them most.

    Across the budget, by saving and redirecting $33.6 billion, we’re balancing the books.

    Making room for $5 billion in new payments to households.

    Finding an extra $714 million to help companies compete, on top of the $3.7 billion in small business tax breaks.

    Funding the historic first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

    Investing in dental services for those who can least afford them.

    Strengthening the aged care system.

    Investing in productivity and competitiveness by building on key improvements in health, education, infrastructure and clean energy.

    Staying true to our Labor ideals and to the promise of a fair go, converting economic success into real benefits for the majority of Australians.

    So explain this, if the “structural deficit” story was all well known in 2013 and locked in and nothing anyone could do about it, how could these morons have believed they were going to deliver years of surplus AND keep all their favorite spending programs? How is that remotely possible?

    Of course, it isn’t possible, because at that stage they hadn’t cooked up the “John Howard structural deficit” story, and they came up with that later. Really sad.

    Tony Abbott may have had his share of screw ups, but at least he took it on the chin and admitted his own responsibility. The ALP don’t even do that much… misdirection, confusion, rewriting history that can easily be checked.

  166. Tel

    Pretty sure Treasury would have advised cabinet at the time, Tel.

    And what? The World’s Greatest Treasurer just wasn’t listening… fell asleep during the meeting that day?

    Tell me it ain’t so.

    By the way, Sinc has already been through the commodity prices and the boom was chugging along after the GFC by many years, you can see the peak of the boom was around 2011 but even as it came down off the peak, the ALP had buckets of boom revenue to work with.

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2016/01/06/always-check-the-data-yourself/

    If you don’t trust that, take a look at Perth housing prices which are a reasonably good indicator of mining activity, or go for charts of house prices in key towns like Port Hedland or similar.

    It just doesn’t work to keep banging on with these stories when anyone can check the historical record. If you want to go full Orwell you have to be able to properly delete history and that’s quite hard to do in this Internet age.

  167. Iampeter

    Abbott understands the major policy issues of our time, and he stands on the right side of history.

    Abbott doesn’t know anything. Like most professional conservative politicians today he is not politically literate and will just say anything to anyone if it means getting through the next 5 mins of his life.
    In any other profession he would’ve been sacked long ago as opposed to have a career.
    This is the man who gave us Direct Action, agreed to sign us up to the Paris agreement and ran on a “no cuts zomg, of course no cuts” that would make any Labor leader proud. Not to mention his support for the Howard government which was the most left wing in this countries history and which destroys any logic behind his opposition to Turnbull who is nowhere near as bad.

    Supporting Abbott is even more stupid than mindlessly supporting Trump. At least Trump has the excuse of being a political novice. Abbot has no excuses. And supporting this confused leftist is inexcusable from anyone who claims to be an alternative to the left.

  168. Alan Austin

    Not at all, Tel.
    Heritage’s listing only shows economic freedom. That is just one variable.
    The others which must be considered – but which Heritage does not include – are wealth, income, employment, inflation, GDP growth and debt.
    Yes, Australia is now 5th on economic freedom.
    It is now 3rd on wealth.
    It is around 30th on inflation.
    It is 75th on jobless rate.
    It is 78th on gross debt.
    It is 100th on GDP growth.
    Overall, Australia is now outside the top 20 economies.

  169. Alan Austin

    Skepticism is a great virtue, Stackja.
    But can you find anything posted here which is not supported by the data?
    Go on. Push me.

  170. Lol. Even the worst conservative politician has more political nous than your stock standard Objectivist.

  171. pbw

    In the middle of the current Malcon-generated Liberal Party chaos, how did a troll* manage to hijack a thread called Tony Abbott for Prime Minister.
    * “They were genuine questions.” => troll, with 99% confidence.

  172. A Lurker

    In the middle of the current Malcon-generated Liberal Party chaos, how did a troll* manage to hijack a thread called Tony Abbott for Prime Minister.
    * “They were genuine questions.” => troll, with 99% confidence.

    Yup, his trollish behaviour was pretty obvious, along with his attempts to derail the original post.
    The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Leftists like this troll are living in mortal fear of an Abbott return. Also, the overnight vandalism of Dutton’s office points to more desperate acts from a fearful Left.

    Just goes to show that the Left simply are incapable of building or creating, only mindless destruction.
    Which is why I’ve all along labelled them as Termites.

  173. Neil

    But can you find anything posted here which is not supported by the data?
    Go on. Push me.

    Where did you get the $367B Treasury figure from?

    The Coalition left a wafer thin net surplus of just $22 billion in November 2007.
    As Treasury has since affirmed, it should have been around $367 billion.

    Since confirmed $367B? Where?

  174. Alan Austin

    Hi Neil,
    There have been a few documents surface over the years.
    Not all have been archived online, it seems.
    In a 2009 article, Peter Hartcher wrote this:

    “The big picture of Howard fiscal policy was much worse. As the Treasury reported last year, from the 2004-05 budget to the 2007 election the China boom and a robust economy added $334 billion in windfall gains to the budget surplus. Of this, the Howard government spent, or gave away in tax cuts, $314 billion, or 94 per cent.”

    With simple algebra, Neil, if 94% was wasted, and 6% was kept, then if the quantum left is $22 billion, then $345 billion must have been wasted. The total would then have been $22 bn + $345 bn =$367 bn.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rudds-challenge-how-to-resist-the-big-swoon-20090320-94dj.html?page=-1

    Unfortunately, Mr Hartcher does not have a link to his “Treasury report”.

    It could be this one, Neil, but it’s a pretty badly written treatise which does really make clear what the amounts wasted were over what precise periods.
    But it seems to be in the order of $300 to $400 billion.

    http://archive.treasury.gov.au/documents/1352/PDF/03_spending_growth.pdf

  175. Neil

    Yes Peter Hartcher got it wrong. This is what it said

    From the 2004-05 Budget to the 2007 Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook, parameter and other variations have added $391 billion to the budget surplus over the period 2004-05 to 2010-11, while new spending decisions (including income tax cuts) have reduced the surplus by $314 billion over the same period. Revenue variations contributed $334 billion to the budget surplus. Effectively, the additional revenue from the commodity boom has been spent, or provided as tax cuts (see Chart 16).

    The extra money arrived from 2004-2011 Hartcher misread the Treasury report. But use your brains. An extra $334B from 2004-07 is just impossible. That is an extra $100B/year. IMPOSSIBLE. It arrived over 8 years from 2004-2011

  176. Alan Austin

    Why is it impossible, Neil?
    It would be extraordinary, yes. But that is the point of the Treasury paper. It is reporting quite extraordinary events.
    Howard and Costello raked in tens of billions from the sale of Telstra and other assets.
    That paragraph in the Treasury report also refers to “additional revenue from the commodity boom” which it doesn’t quantify. Nor does it specify the time period over which that additional revenue was received.
    Besides, the report was published in 2009. How would they know what would happen in 2011?

  177. Neil

    Why is it impossible, Neil?

    Because it would show up in the budget papers in the revenue column. I see no huge increase in revenue in the budget papers. An extra $100b/year would show up in the budget. That is a HUGE increase in revenue

    Nor does it specify the time period over which that additional revenue was received.

    Yes it does it says from 2004-2011. It clearly says the extra $334B was from 2004-2011 Furthermore Chart 16 says most of that money arrived from 2008-2011 ie under Rudd/Gillard

    Besides, the report was published in 2009. How would they know what would happen in 2011?

    I guess it is called forecasting. I am sure Treasury does it all the time

  178. Kneel

    “Overall, Australia is now outside the top 20 economies.”

    Heh – and you want to keep the same basic policies, but go even harder at them?
    ‘Cause that’ll fix it, right?

  179. Alan Austin

    No, Neil, not really.

    It would not show up in the revenue column – because those hundreds of billions were “given away” in tax cuts as electoral bribes.

    That is the point of the report – and of virtually all academic and departmental critiques of the Howard/Costello mismanagement.

    The time frame 2004-2011 seems to relate to “parameter and other variations” and “new spending decisions”.

    But it is not really clear whether this time period also relates to “the additional revenue from the commodity boom”.

    Unfortunately, it is not a particularly well-written paragraph, is it?

  180. Neil

    It would not show up in the revenue column – because those hundreds of billions were “given away” in tax cuts as electoral bribes.

    It would show up in the first year of that burst in revenue before they were given away

    The time frame 2004-2011 seems to relate to “parameter and other variations” and “new spending decisions”.

    Nope. Chart 16 shows when the revenue arrives and the spending decisions that use that revenue and that is from 2004-2011.

    But you believe what you want to believe because it supposedly said bad things about Howard. Too bad that Peter Hartcher was too dumb to understand the paper. Hartcher did not understand that paragraph.

    But once again use your brains. If Howard got an extra $100B/year due to the mining boom so would have Swan. In fact he would have got more because the boom exploded from 2008-2013. If Howard got an extra $334B from 2004-07 Swan would have got an extra $668B because commodity prices almost doubled under Labor. That much extra revenue is just not possible

    http://www.rba.gov.au/chart-pack/commodity-prices.html

    The boom happened from 2008-2013 under Rudd/Gillard and Labor wasted the lot. Commodity prices are still higher than any time under Howard

  181. Alan Austin

    No, not really, Neil.

    The “revenue” would not show up anywhere because it was never collected. It was not money received from one source and paid to another group. It just never arrived – because of the company tax cuts, personal tax rate changes, the baby bonus and other regrettable budget decisions.

    Chart 16 does not reveal “the additional revenue from the commodity boom” for the same reason – it was never received.

    No, the Rudd Government could not gain anything from the mining boom. No-one could. There was no mechanism for the nation to benefit – apart from a few pennies in state royalties, and PAYE taxes from a modest number of Australian workers.

    That was why the centrepiece of the Henry Review into Australia’s tax system was a mineral resources rent tax of some sort.

    That was back then, and remains today, critical for Australia to get back into surplus and start to repay the debt.

  182. Mitch M.

    The only conclusion that can be drawn is that Leftists like this troll are living in mortal fear of an Abbott return. Also, the overnight vandalism of Dutton’s office points to more desperate acts from a fearful Left.

    You don’t have a clue. Atheists leftists were praying for Dutton because he is a proxy Abbott and Abbott’s white anting of Turnbull has revealed him to be a bitter, vindictive little man whom most of the country will be glad to see the back of. That’s why the party room chose Morrison because as much as I despise Morrison he has a much better chance than either of those losers to save the coalition from electoral ruin.

    The real question for Abbott and Co now is whether they choose to stay with this pitiful excuse for a political party or have the courage of their convictions and break free. I don’t think they will, I think they are that gutless they will sacrifice their conservative foundations in the probably vain hope that the coalition will be returned to power at the next election. Remember, for most people power is a stronger behavior modifier than principle.

  183. Neil

    No, the Rudd Government could not gain anything from the mining boom

    So Howard supposedly got $340B from the boom but Rudd got nothing from an even bigger boom? What?The boom stopped in 2007? Remember that Treasury paper was published in 2009 before commodity prices exploded

    Chart 16 does indeed show additional revenue from the boom. It also shows the supposed increased spending due to govt policies. They cancel each other out as shown in the flat like meaning the boom was spent

  184. Alan Austin

    Under both Howard and Rudd the budget gained very little from the so-called “mining boom”, Neil.

    Dr Ken Henry said this in 2009:

    “Current charging arrangements fail to collect a sufficient return for the community because they are unresponsive to changes in profits. Further, the current arrangements distort investment and production decisions, thereby lowering the community’s return from its resources.

    “The current arrangements should be replaced with a uniform resource rent-based tax, using the allowance for corporate capital method …

    “A rent-based tax would, over time, earn for the community a greater return from the use of its resources while still attracting private investment.”

    Yes, what little benefit there was to Treasury was handed back to rich families via the vote-buying decisions before the 20014 election:

    “This Budget delivers the largest package of assistance for families ever put in place by an Australian Government, at a cost of $19.2 billion over five years”. – Peter Costello, May 2004.

  185. stackja

    Why the faltering U.S. economy matters to Australia — and Malcolm’s mates

  186. Neil

    Under both Howard and Rudd the budget gained very little from the so-called “mining boom”, Neil.

    Well you must have change you mind because you said earlier Howard govt an extra $340B which he wasted

  187. Alan Austin

    Not at all, Neil.

    This is the key phrase from the Treasury paper:

    “Revenue variations contributed $334 billion to the budget surplus. Effectively, the additional revenue from the commodity boom has been spent, or provided as tax cuts …”

    That refers to the 7-year period 2005 to 2011. It seems to be conveying that $334 billion – or $47.7 billion a year on average – should have been received and banked. But it wasn’t. It was never collected because of the 2004 decisions to cut the corporate and individual tax rates and, arguably, allowing tax avoidance and evasion. What little was collected went straight out in middle class welfare.

  188. Neil

    Yes but in an earlier post you said Howard got the money Now you are agreeing with me saying that it was from 2004-2011. Peter hartcher misread the paper. He said the money was from 2004-07 which is wrong

    2004 decisions? What about the Swan tax cuts he gave every year and boasted about? This from Swans last May 2013 budget. Swan even constructed a Table showing how much bigger his tax cuts were compared to Costello

    https://www.budget.gov.au/2013-14/content/overview/html/overview_41.htm

    The Government has delivered $47 billion of tax cuts in our first four years since coming to office. In addition, we have provided further tax cuts as assistance for the cost of living impact of the carbon price from 2012‑13. Even after accounting for the small increase in the Medicare levy in 2014‑15 we will be delivering total tax cuts of around $20 billion a year over the next four years compared to the 2007‑08 tax scales.

  189. Alan Austin

    Yes and no, Neil.

    No, I don’t recall saying Howard received the money. Pretty sure I have said the opposite a few times. Here, for example:

    “It would not show up in the revenue column – because those hundreds of billions were ‘given away’ in tax cuts as electoral bribes.
    “That is the point of the report – and of virtually all academic and departmental critiques of the Howard/Costello mismanagement.” (#2800392)

    And again, here:

    “The ‘revenue’ would not show up anywhere because it was never collected. It was not money received from one source and paid to another group. It just never arrived – because of the company tax cuts, personal tax rate changes, the baby bonus and other regrettable budget decisions.” (#2800792)

    Howard should have received the money – and left a healthy surplus in 2007. But he didn’t.

    Yes, the amount of $334 billion squandered referred to 2005-2011.

    Yes, Peter Hartcher may have misinterpreted the paper. But it is a confusing paragraph.

    No, Neil, I am not defending Mr Swan’s tax cuts at all.

  190. Neil

    Howard should have received the money – and left a healthy surplus in 2007. But he didn’t.

    Yes he did. His last budget was a $20B surplus. In fact he saved $50B in his last 3 budgets. And the govt has not run a surplus budget since

    Yes, the amount of $334 billion squandered referred to 2005-2011.

    At last!!! Peter Hartcher has generated great hatred against Howard for wasting that $334B which Howard never received. Peter hartcher should admit he got it wrong. But use your brains. If from 2004-07 that is an extra $100B/year. IMPOSSIBLE. And then what? It stopped. Swan would have also got the extra $100B/year because the boom did not stop in 2007

  191. Alan Austin

    Not at all, Neil.

    The last budget surplus Mr Costello actually brought in was in June 2007, just before he was unceremoniously tossed out of the job by an electorate justifiably angry at his appalling mismanagement.

    That surplus was a puny $17.19 billion – or just 1.6% of GDP – nowhere near comparable countries that year.

    Spain’s was 1.9% in June 2007, Estonia’s was 2.7%, Sweden’s was 3.4%, South Korea’s was 3.5%, Luxembourg was 4.2%, Iceland’s was 4.9%, Norway’s was 5.0%, Finland’s was 5.1%, Hong Kong’s was 7.3%, Chile’s was 8.8%, Singapore’s was 12.05%.

    Australia’s budget surplus in 2007 was extremely poor given global conditions, the mining boom and the health of the economy Mr Costello had inherited from his predecessor.

    At the time of the 2007 election, the net debt/surplus (as distinct from the budget surplus) was a minuscule surplus of $22.1 billion. As we have already seen from Treasury papers and comments from Treasury Secretaries it should have been vastly higher.

    Mr Costello’s legacy is not regarded with hatred, Neil. There is no evidence for that. It is just regarded by most economists who have studied these things as an era of great opportunity lost. But, as Peter Hartcher and others have affirmed, Mr Costello was not the primary cause of the disastrous outcomes. That was Mr Howard. Mr Costello just did not have the strength to stand up to the PM in the nation’s interest.

    Regarding the $334 billion, Neil, yes, that related to the seven years 2005 to 2011 – which is $48 billion per year. So that is an extra $48 billion for 2005, 2006 and 2007 which should have been added to that miserable $22.1 billion net surplus left in the cupboard.

    Then we must add in the revenue lost in the earlier years of the mining boom, prior to 2005. Even if it was only $35 billion per year lost between 2000 and 2005, that adds another $140 billion to the net surplus Mr Costello should have left for the incoming Government – just in case a global crisis arrived.

  192. Neil

    Howard/Costello was handed a trashed budget in 1996 and govt debt of $96B.

    Howard/Costello paid off $96B of debt started a $80B Future Fund and left $40B in the bank. They saved ($96B+$80B+$40B) more than $200B in just 11 years.

    I have yet to see a Labor govt save any money at any time. Labor only ever hands over a trashed budget and debt. Costello saves more than $200B and all you want to do is trash him.

    People forget the $80B in the Future Fund in 2007 which came from asset sales like Telstra and budget surpluses

    PS mining boom did not start until 2004 but exploded from 2008-2013 ie Rudd/Gillard and Labor wasted the lot

    http://www.rba.gov.au/chart-pack/commodity-prices.html

  193. Alan Austin

    Not at all, Neil.

    Australia’s economy was firmly on track towards structural surplus when the Howard Government took over.

    Don’t forget Mr Keating produced actual headline surpluses in 1987-88, again in 1988-89 and, to prove it was no fluke, yet again in 1989-90. This was a singular achievement in the developed world – even if Australia’s media refused to report it as such.

    The 1989-90 surplus was a thumping $5.94 billion – or 5.7% of GDP. Impressive!

    Economists and governments across the world were in absolute awe of the transformation and liberalisation of Australia’s economy during that period. World’s Best Treasurer. Remember, Neil?

    You just said this, Neil: “I have yet to see a Labor govt save any money at any time.”

    Really? Did you follow the trajectory of that puny $22.1 billion net surplus left in November 2007 – after the election?

    By July 2008 Labor had built it up to $47.9 billion. That is, Labor in just eight months more than doubled the surplus the Coalition had built up in 12 years.

    Regarding the Future Fund, Neil, don’t forget that the Coalition sold assets worth well over $120 billion to end up with that $80B in the Future Fund in 2007. Not so impressive.

    The mining boom started around 2000. Just in the 14 months from December 1999 to January 2001, the iron ore price surged 8.9%. Remember John A Fraser, here:

    “We have a structural budget problem that arose before the global financial crisis. From the outset of the commodity price boom of the early 2000s, Government revenue grew faster than expected … But a very substantial amount of the revenue windfall was used to lock-in long-term spending commitments.”

    John Fraser, Treasury Secretary (appointed by Tony Abbott, January 2016)

  194. Neil

    The 1989-90 surplus was a thumping $5.94 billion – or 5.7% of GDP. Impressive!

    The budget papers say it was a $7B surplus but only 1.8% of GDP. Labor had 13 budgets during that time but took debt from $16B to $96B and we lost our AAA credit rating. Hawke/Keating increased our debt 5x

    Did you follow the trajectory of that puny $22.1 billion net surplus left in November 2007

    Puny? A $20B surplus is massive

    Regarding the Future Fund, Neil, don’t forget that the Coalition sold assets worth well over $120 billion to end up with that $80B in the Future Fund in 2007. Not so impressive.

    Howard/Costello has $70B of asset sales not $120B and that $70B was divided between paying off debt and/or put into the Future Fund. Remember Costello paid off $96B of debt as well

    From the outset of the commodity price boom of the early 2000s,

    Mining boom started from 2003-04

  195. .

    Neil.

    This Alan idiot will argue about made up nonsense like his outright lies and “structural deficits” forever.

    He’ll argue even when Abbott is gone. He would have defended Gillard at 27% approval ratings and after Abbott beat Rudd.

    How many lies do you need to catch him in to realise he’s not here for a debate, but for propaganda, He is just making things up now, his assertion that Wayne Swan wasn’t the Treasurer in May 2013 was enough for me (it is absurd, clear and obvious bullshit). So patently obvious he’s a bullshitter who doesn’t know what he’s on about or he’s just shit stirring.

    Leftists lie all the time, Neil. Peter Whiteford accused me of lying once for quoting Treasury figures that gainsaid his puerile analysis and childish ideology.

    I’ve seen “Professor” Juan Kwi-gon delete posts of his when he wants facts forgotten. He’s not an economist and should hand back his degree and pay back all of the public money he’s sucked out of the system.

    They don’t care about the truth or good governance. They just care about power, other people’s money and insisting on how others ought to live their lives.

  196. Alan Austin

    Calm down, Mr or Ms Anonymous.

    A section on ‘structural budget balance estimates’ with a really cool graph has featured in every May budget paper since 2014-15. See chart 11, page 3-30.

    The chart clearly shows the budget moving into structural deficit in 2005-06.

    Yes, Wayne Swan was treasurer in May 2013. He handed over to Chris Bowen on 27 June 2013.

    I may not be as smart as others here, but I am not an idiot, do not make things up and do not tell lies. I also know how to read a budget.

  197. .

    The chart clearly shows the budget moving into structural deficit in 2005-06.

    Who gives a crap? You can run a balanced budget regardless of the structural deficit.

    There are no excuses for the mess we are in now with our public debt.

  198. Neil

    do not make things up and do not tell lies.

    What would you call this statement?

    Regarding the Future Fund, Neil, don’t forget that the Coalition sold assets worth well over $120 billion

    The Coalition sold $70B of assets NOT $120B. And some ALP supporters tell falsehoods when they say it was all used to pay off debt. Some of that money was put into the Future Fund

    The chart clearly shows the budget moving into structural deficit in 2005-06.

    More recent Treasury data says the budget went into structural deficit under Labor just prior to the GFC if you believe that Treasury can measure a structural deficit

  199. Alan Austin

    Hi again Neil,

    Some of your facts are incorrect. But not all.

    The 1989-90 surplus was $5.94 billion. Please see page 11-5 of the 2018-19 May budget.

    You may be confusing the budget deficit/surplus with the headline cash balance. They are not the same.

    Yes, Howard/Costello sold the assets for $70 billion. But they were worth at least $120 billion. That is the amount that should have been realised. That is the point.

    No, a $22.1 billion surplus is NOT massive, Neil. It would be massive if it was a surplus of $341 billion.

    That is the deficit the current Government recorded in June – $341 billion. Massive.

  200. .

    You may be confusing the budget deficit/surplus with the headline cash balance. They are not the same.

    The Commonwealth Treasury used cash and not accrual accounting before the 1999-2000 budget. Please stop bullshitting you old decrepit fuckwit.

    http://archive.treasury.gov.au/documents/277/HTML/docshell.asp?URL=fpuab.asp

    The Commonwealth Government’s 1999-2000 Budget will complete the transition from cash to accrual budgeting.

  201. Neil

    The 1989-90 surplus was $5.94 billion.

    I was reading a older budget. The numbers vary slightly from year to year. But it says it was 1.5% of GDP not the 5.7% you claimed

    Yes, Howard/Costello sold the assets for $70 billion. But they were worth at least $120 billion.

    First time I have heard that. Who told you they were worth $120B

    But your denigration of Costello is infantile. He paid off $96B of debt, started a $80B Future Fund (now worth $120B) and left $40B in the bank. he saved more than $200B in just 11 years.

    I have never ever seen a Labor govt save any money. Not once. They all leave trashed budgets and finances. Hawke was handed $16B of debt and keating turned it into $96B. Costello took it down to minus $40B ie less than zero and Rudd/Gillard took it to plus $209B. An increase of $249B in 6 years from 2007-2013

  202. .

    An increase of $249B in 6 years from 2007-2013

    Yet, left-wing Treasury shills called a “structural deficit”. So basically Costello followed Keynes and saved in the good times and this is not good enough, so the left smear him with lies from the “right” because they want big government and crippling debt

  203. Alan Austin

    The denigration of the mismanagement through the hapless Howard/Costello years is not directed only at the then treasurer, Neil.

    Yes, he made several destructive decisions himself, which are all on the record. But most critiques sheet home a large part of the blame to Mr Howard, who felt he had to spend profligately to win elections.

    Please look at Australia’s economy in the global context, Neil. Without this, your conclusions will be well astray.

    The period 2008 to 2013 was the worst global recession in 80 years. All developed countries had to take on debt. Australia took on very little compared with other countries. Gross debt peaked in 2013 at about 31% of GDP, then began to decline, or at least level off. It took off again in a big way in 2014 and 2015.

    The period 2015 to 2018 has been the strongest boom in trade, commerce, jobs and corporate profits since World War II. Most well-managed economies have been steadily repaying their debt since 2015.

    There is no evidence whatsoever that Labor governments “all leave trashed budgets and finances.”

    Australia’s economy at the time of the 2013 was the best-performed in the world at that time, Neil. Remember?

  204. Neil

    The denigration of the mismanagement through the hapless Howard/Costello years is not directed only at the then treasurer, Neil.

    By 2006 the Commonwealth was debt free. In 2007 we had net debt at minus $40B ie less than zero. How many countries in 2007 had zero debt? We were one of the few countries reducing debt from 1996-2007. Most were increasing their debt levels.

    And labor govts always leave trashed budgets. No evidence? All you have todo is open your eyes

  205. Tel

    I may not be as smart as others here, but I am not an idiot, do not make things up and do not tell lies.

    I guess truthiness is a relative concept these days, but using my own judgement I’d regard this as pretty darn dishonest (others are welcome to apply their own standards):

    The last budget surplus Mr Costello actually brought in was in June 2007, just before he was unceremoniously tossed out of the job by an electorate justifiably angry at his appalling mismanagement.

    If Kevin-oh-seven thought the electorate was responsive to a “budget mismanaged” story, then he wouldn’t have pulled out the “Proud Fiscal Conservative” vaudeville act. That 2007 election pivoted on Howard’s “Work Choices” legislation (nothing to do with economic management) and intense union campaigning. It might have also been influenced by public weariness with wars in the Middle East dragging on.

    If you can find anyone at all back in 2007 talking about Howard’s supposed “structural deficits” then everyone will be amazed. You will be hero undoubted around here. I’m not kidding.

    A section on ‘structural budget balance estimates’ with a really cool graph has featured in every May budget paper since 2014-15. See chart 11, page 3-30.

    Yup, in 2014 they suddenly discovered a “structural deficit” that had been snuffling around the place, invisible to everyone, since 7 years earlier. That makes sense. Here’s your story from before:

    Pretty sure Treasury would have advised cabinet at the time, Tel.

    We know from the recollections of Dr Ken Henry, as one example, that he worked extremely closely with the PM during the global financial crisis.

    See budget 2014 does not count as “at the time”. If you want to blame Howard & Costello then find someone who stood up when they made the decision.

    Kevin Rudd gave a budget reply speech in 2007 and he talked about broadband, he talked about education revolution, worker productivity and trade schools, he offered us a Superannuation Clearing House, and streamlining business regulations, and Climate Change and better water management, and he even said this:

    Mr Speaker, the foundations upon which our long-term economic stability is built is a conservative fiscal policy and the independence of the Reserve Bank.

    If elected, the government I will lead will be grounded in the discipline of not spending more than we earn. We will maintain a budget surplus on average over the economic cycle. We will also not increase taxation as a proportion of gross domestic product.

    Not a whisper about any Howard & Costello mismanagement, not a whisper about “structural deficit”.

    Then you keep coming up with this:

    No-one here has shown any assertion to be unsupported by the data.

    Here’s a brief list from just this page:
    * Your claim the know “optimum” interest rate has not been supported by anything.
    * Your claim that “No, the Rudd Government could not gain anything from the mining boom. No-one could” which has been disproven by commodity prices, government revenue figures, house prices in key mining regions.
    * You stubbornly refuse to accept that the mining boom remained strong well into the ALP government years.
    * Your claim about the budget surplus “As Treasury has since affirmed, it should have been around $367 billion” which is right out in fruit-loop territory when Australia’s GDP at the time was on the order of $1 trillion so expecting any government to deliver a surplus one third of GDP is not even worthy of consideration.
    * Your claim, “Gross debt had been stuck around $60 billion for four years. Swan reduced it to $52.4 billion within a year” is based on a cherry-picked figure August 2008 where the low debt only existed for a couple of months and not representative of anything. That’s the second time I’ve caught you at this cherry picking of debt figures, so it doesn’t look much like an accident.
    * You further quote John Fraser as follows:

    The mining boom started around 2000. Just in the 14 months from December 1999 to January 2001, the iron ore price surged 8.9%. Remember John A Fraser, here:

    “We have a structural budget problem that arose before the global financial crisis. From the outset of the commodity price boom of the early 2000s, Government revenue grew faster than expected … But a very substantial amount of the revenue windfall was used to lock-in long-term spending commitments.”

    Well in the very same document John Fraser says:

    Treasury assesses the long-term position of the budget by estimating the so-called “structural budget balance”.

    But in essence, the “structual budget balance” is an estimate of what the budget position would be in the absence of cyclical or temporary factors. For example, cyclically high unemployment raises government expenditure via higher unemployment benefits and lowers government revenue via lower labour income tax receipts.

    With the exception of unemployment benefits, government expenditure is assumed to be structural.

    MYEFO showed a structural budget deficit of around 1¾ per cent of GDP in 2015-16 compared with an underlying cash deficit of around 2¼ per cent of GDP. So based on these estimates, only around $9.9 billion of the $37.4 billion deficit is considered to be due to the weak cyclical state of the economy.

    Treasury’s estimates of the structural budget deficit have successively worsened over the past several years, in line with downgrades to the underlying cash balance.

    You can find MYEFO_2007 right here… https://www.budget.gov.au/2007-08/myefo/download/MYEFO200708.pdf

    You won’t find any discussion of any “structural deficit”, not a sausage. You won’t find warnings about deficits to come. So Treasury sure assessed it, and they decided it not even worth a mention. No discussion of cyclical factors, and for what it’s worth tax cuts are not government expenditure and never will be (even your mate John Fraser says the same if you read closely).

    So there’s a handful of things you got wrong.

  206. Alan Austin

    Not at all, Neil.

    The Commonwealth was not debt free in 2006. At June 2006, gross debt was $54.1 billion. Gross interest paid on the debt in 2005-06 was $4.63 billion. Net interest paid was $2.30 billion!

    Few countries, if any, had zero gross debt in 2007, Neil. Australia didn’t. But several countries carried lower levels of debt than Australia was carrying. These included: New Zealand, Luxembourg, Chile, Latvia, Brunei, Estonia, Russia, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria and Oman.

    Do you recall the status of Australia’s economy in September 2013, Neil?

    If any country anywhere at that time or any time before had a better profile, then when and where?

  207. stackja

    Crikey, The New Daily.

  208. Neil

    https://www.budget.gov.au/2018-19/content/bp1/download/bp1_bs11.pdf

    Table 4 says NET debt was minus $40B in 2007 ie less than zero. NET debt is the figure of interest

    Perhaps you do not know but there was discussion about whether the bond market should be closed under Howard since the govt did not need to borrow money. It was decided to keep $50-$55B on issue even though the govt did not need to borrow. This graph shows gross debt unchanged from 2003-2007 and started to increase when the govt started borrowing again. But NET debt being zero means we had money in the bank to cover our gross debt. It is like having a $200K mortgage but with $500K in the bank you are debt free

    https://www.austrade.gov.au/images/useruploadedimages/5723/iload39901___source.gif

    And Australia in 2007 was better than 2013

  209. Alan Austin

    Yes and no, Neil.

    Both net and gross debt are of interest. We must look at both.

    No, you are not reading that 2018-19 budget pdf correctly, Neil. It shows net debt was money-in-the-kitty of $24.3 billion at June 2007 – before the 2007 election.

    By June 2008 – seven months after the election, it had been built up to $40.0 billion.

    We know from the monthly reports from the Finance Department that this figure peaked at $47.9 billion in 2008, just before the GFC whacked Australia’s economy – and the whole of the developed world – in late 2008.

    No, Australia’s economy in 2007 was nowhere near as healthy as it was in 2013, Neil.

    This was the profile of Australia’s economy in 2013 after six years of Labor:

    * median wealth per adult $US219,505, highest in the world;
    * Heritage economic freedom score 82.0, highest in the OECD;
    * hours worked per adult per month: 86.7, just below highest on record;
    * ranking in the OECD on jobless rate: sixth;
    * productivity rising in a continuous 17-quarter streak;
    * optimum interest rates: 2.5%;
    * budget deficit $18.8 billion, down from $43.4 billion the previous year;
    * gross debt 28.6% of GDP;
    * net debt 10.4% of GDP;
    * value of the Aussie dollar: 92 U.S. cents;
    * economic growth in a 22-year positive streak
    * AAA ratings with positive outlooks with all three credit agencies, for the first time ever;
    * world’s best economy on the IAREM, for the third year in a row.

    World’s best-performed economy. By a street.

  210. Alan Austin

    Calm down, Tel.

    I can assure you every claim I have made is bolstered by the data – although that may be from sources of which you are unaware.

    My analysis and opinions are clearly different from yours – and from several others here, it seems. That does not mean any of us is telling lies.

    Specifically:

    * Yes, Peter Costello had mismanaged the economy. No, this was not headline news. But there was disquiet and anger nevertheless.

    * Mr Rudd did focus on economic issues in his 2007 campaign. His speeches highlight WorkChoices, wage levels, tax fairness, interest rates, inflation, housing costs, childcare costs, spending on health and education and the digital economy. These are all economic issues.

    * Mr Rudd tapped into anger at interest rates:

    “Mr Howard has already presided over ten interest rate rises in a row … And now with this latest irresponsible and desperate pre-election splurge, Mr Howard is putting his own interests ahead of working families by risking further increases in their mortgage rates.”

    * Mr Rudd also tapped into anger at Mr Howard’s wasteful spending:

    “I have no intention today of repeating Mr Howard’s irresponsible spending spree … Unlike Mr Howard, I don’t stand before you with a bag full of irresponsible promises that could put upward pressure on inflation. Today I am saying loud and clear that this sort of reckless spending must stop.”

    Some of your other points, Tel, distort what I have posted. Deliberately or not is not clear.

    For example, I did not suggest the annual budget surplus should have been around $367 billion. That was a reference to the accumulated net debt/surplus. They are entirely different data sets.

    Second example: I did not claim anyone was talking about structural deficits in 2007. They weren’t. We are talking about them now because, among other recent critiques, John A Fraser highlighted in a 2016 speech that the “structural budget problem” began at “the outset of the commodity price boom of the early 2000s”.

    Your other points, Tel, relate to my opinions which differ from yours. They do not expose lies, do they?

  211. Neil

    By June 2008 – seven months after the election, it had been built up to $40.0 billion.

    Now you say we were debt free. Wish you would make up your mind. In 2007 we were one of the few countries in human history to be debt free

    No, Australia’s economy in 2007 was nowhere near as healthy as it was in 2013, Neil.

    Yes it was. Unemployment in 2007 was at 4.3% and falling, we were debt free, we were running surplus budgets and the economy was booming. By 2013 unemployment was at 5.8% and rising, the budget was trashed and in large deficit and govt debt had exploded and looks like it is unstoppable. PLus Labor locked up 50,000 boat people

    All labor govts trash everything they touch. Always have and they always will

  212. Tel

    Alan your assurance is worth the same as Wayne Swan making regular assurance of a return to budget surplus.

    That’s the standard usage of the word “budget surplus” to mean annual surplus as opposed to annual deficit, the way just about everyone would use it.

    Some of your other points, Tel, distort what I have posted. Deliberately or not is not clear.

    For example, I did not suggest the annual budget surplus should have been around $367 billion. That was a reference to the accumulated net debt/surplus. They are entirely different data sets.

    I didn’t misrepresent you, it’s your job to explain yourself clearly, stop blaming other people. Here’s where you introduced this magic number (scroll up, the history is right there):

    Alan Austin #2799020:

    The Coalition left a wafer thin net surplus of just $22 billion in November 2007.
    As Treasury has since affirmed, it should have been around $367 billion.

    Have you made it clear you are talking about an aggregate of a bunch of years? Can’t see any mention. Did you make it clear which “data set” you are talking about? Something from Treasury. Neil chased you round and round for a source and finally you came up with Peter Hartcher as your data set, and you still won’t admit you have no idea which years this number relates to. Yet despite that, you give “assurance” as if that means anything.

    * Mr Rudd also tapped into anger at Mr Howard’s wasteful spending:

    “I have no intention today of repeating Mr Howard’s irresponsible spending spree … Unlike Mr Howard, I don’t stand before you with a bag full of irresponsible promises that could put upward pressure on inflation. Today I am saying loud and clear that this sort of reckless spending must stop.”

    There was no anger at “wasteful spending”, Howard had offered tax cuts (not even large tax cuts) and no one gets angry at paying less tax. Rudd dishonestly attempted to pretend that taking less money out of people’s hands is really government spending. No it isn’t. In the same speech Rudd claimed to be an “economic conservative” which was an outright lie. The fact that Rudd needed to cloak himself like that proved that he knew (and everyone knew) there was no public anger over general economic conditions in 2007. Yes interest rates were rising, they always rise when the economy heats up, that’s normal and supposedly operates independent of government. What’s more the government revenue kept going up, which is clear from the data.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/australia/government-revenues

    If Howard’s tax cuts had seriously impacted revenue then it would show as a dip in 2007, but actually revenue kept going up into 2008, and only very gently dipped after the GFC, then surged back in 2013 with the mining boom. It’s right there in the chart. Plenty of revenue.

    * Mr Rudd did focus on economic issues in his 2007 campaign. His speeches highlight WorkChoices, wage levels, tax fairness, interest rates, inflation, housing costs, childcare costs, spending on health and education and the digital economy. These are all economic issues.

    They are envy-politics issues, look for the key words “fairness”, “fair go”, “fair dinkum” , “safety net” and that old time classic “working families”. Nothing about any structural deficit though.

    Your other points, Tel, relate to my opinions which differ from yours. They do not expose lies, do they?

    As I mentioned, truthiness is relative these days. No one can achieve perfection so if you want to make every single thing into a difference of opinion then you can do that. In my personal subjective opinion you are using a mix of: cherry picked data; vague handwaving definitions; poor quality reference; unbacked assertions (e.g. “Yes, Peter Costello had mismanaged the economy. No, this was not headline news. But there was disquiet and anger nevertheless.”); and when people point out huge holes in your story you simply ignore anything that doesn’t fit your narrative.

    You ignore the logical problem that this “structural deficit” was only discovered many years after it happened.

    You ignore that Wayne Swan gave proud speeches apparently believing that a return to surplus was just about to happen, and then it didn’t happen, which has got to imply poor understanding of the situation at the very least, yet you keep on declaring Swan was a wonderful economic manager.

    When all else fails, you hit the big reset button and simply repeat yourself over and over.

    You have been questioned multiple times how you know that 2.5% is an “optimum interest rate” … no answer just keep repeating the assertion.

    None of those things (in my subjective judgement) are the behaviours I associate with a person wanting a genuine honest discussion. If you don’t want to think of yourself as a liar, that’s fine, your choice to dig deep and contemplate that, but you know my opinion, and you probably have some idea of what others are thinking in this thread.

    Further repetitions on the same issues won’t get a response from me, now that you have used “calm down” as an argument I know you don’t have any real material left.

  213. Alan Austin

    You are partly correct, Neil. But not entirely.

    Australia in 2007 was free of net debt, but not free of gross debt. You were still paying out interest on that debt.

    No, many other countries were free of net debt in 2007. The IMF lists 16. There are more the IMF doesn’t list.

    Do you know them, Neil? I suspect you don’t.

    The main reality here you seem misunderstand is that Australia’s net money-in-the-kitty in November 2007 was puny. Just $22.1 billion. It should have been well above $300 billion and above 30% of GDP.

    Several of those 15 other countries with net money in the cupboard had accumulated savings above 30% of GDP.

    Regarding Australia’s economy in 2007, Neil, yes, some indicators were closer to the optimum than they were in 2013. But not many.

    The jobless rate was lower, gross and net debt were lower and the budget surplus was healthier. (Australia and the rest of the world in 2013 were still emerging from the deepest global recession in 80 years, after all.)

    Counterbalancing those, however, were lower median wealth per person, lower GDP per capita, lower Heritage economic freedom score, much lower productivity, much higher interest rates, lower value of the Aussie dollar, lower credit rating, a weaker stock market and a disastrous trade balance.

    Australia’s overall ranking was 9th best economy in the world in 2007, behind Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Singapore, Taiwan, Finland, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

    In 2013, Australia’s economy was the best-performed by a huge margin.

    Yes, the Liberal Party, the IPA and the Murdoch media want you to believe that “All labor govts trash everything they touch”.

    But it just ain’t so.

    Don’t let them suck you in, Neil.

  214. Alan Austin

    Hi again Tel,

    No, those points in your last missive are mistaken.

    1. “Alan Austin #2799020: The Coalition left a wafer thin net surplus of just $22 billion in November 2007. As Treasury has since affirmed, it should have been around $367 billion.
    Have you made it clear you are talking about an aggregate of a bunch of years?”

    Yes, it is clear from the reference to “November 2007” that this is referring to the accumulating net deficit/surplus – or money-in-the-kitty – and not the budget surplus.

    The former is calculated monthly. The latter is only released once a year for 30 June.

    2. “Neil chased you round and round for a source and finally you came up with Peter Hartcher as your data set, and you still won’t admit you have no idea which years this number relates to.”

    Nonsense, Tel. Peter Hartcher was just one commentator on Treasury’s critique of Mr Costello’s wasteful administration. He was not the data set.

    The data set for annual budget deficits is in table 1 on pages 11-5 and 11-6 of the May 2018 budget – as most participants here understand.

    The data set for the cumulative net deficits/surpluses – or money-in-the-kitty – is table 4 on pages 11-11 and 11-12 of that document.

    The data set for the cumulative gross deficits/surpluses is table 5 on pages 11-13 and 11-14 of that document.

    That figure of $367 billion relates to November 2007, as should be clear to those who are not confused by annual budget deficits and cumulative net debt.

    3. “There was no anger at “wasteful spending”, Howard had offered tax cuts (not even large tax cuts) and no one gets angry at paying less tax.”

    The spending the electorate was justifiably outraged at was not just the tax cuts. Richard Denniss has a helpful analysis of this in his article “Peter Costello’s five most ‘profligate’ decisions as treasurer cost the budget $56bn a year”. Easily googled.

    4. “Yes interest rates were rising, they always rise when the economy heats up, that’s normal and supposedly operates independent of government.”

    That was not the narrative at the time, Tel. Throughout the Hawke, Keating and Howard periods the incessant mantra from the Liberal Party and the Murdoch media was “Interest rates will always be lower under the Coalition.” This was repeated ad nauseum. Remember?

    They abandoned that slogan when interest rates blew out from 4.25% in 2002 to 6.75% in 2007.

    5. “You ignore the logical problem that this “structural deficit” was only discovered many years after it happened.”

    Nonsense. This is not a logical problem. It is the way Treasury and others understand how the destructive decisions of the Howard era partially reversed the reforms of the Keating period and exacerbated the challenges later governments had to face.

    6. “You have been questioned multiple times how you know that 2.5% is an “optimum interest rate” … no answer just keep repeating the assertion.”

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion on what optimum interest rates are at any point in time. Too low and there is inadequate return for retirees and others dependent on interest on their savings. Too high and costs blow out for borrowers.

    The estimate of 2.5% for 2013 is pretty right, and is consistent with the Reserve Bank’s analysis and targets back then.

  215. Neil

    Australia in 2007 was free of net debt, but not free of gross debt. You were still paying out interest on that debt.

    We were debt free in 2007. If you have a $200,000 mortgage but $500,000 in the bank you are debt free. Gross debt is $200,000 but net debt is minus $300,000. Costello could have taken GROSS debt to zero if he wanted but was advised to keep $50-$55B on issue all the time because some organisations like Super funds like to put some money in govt bonds. And no major country I know of was debt free in 2007

    was puny. Just $22.1 billion. It should have been well above $300 billion and above 30% of GDP.

    Puny?? Why?? Did Hawke/Keating leave money in the bank? They were handed net debt of $16B and quintupled it to $96B. And why should it have been above $300B under Costello? Where would they get this extra $300B from.

    I think we have already agreed that the extra $334B from the mining boom was from 2004-2011.It was Rudd/Gillard who wasted the boom

    And all Labor govts trash everything the touch. Hawke/Keating took debt from $16B to $96B. Costello took it from $96B to minus $40B ie less than zero. And Rudd/Gillard took it from minus $40B to $209B an increase of $249B in 6 years

  216. No, not really, Neil.

    1. “We were debt free in 2007. If you have a $200,000 mortgage but $500,000 in the bank you are debt free.”

    Yes and no. You are net debt free, but still carrying gross debt. Importantly, you are still forking out hard-earned dollars in interest. This may be great for the big businesses gaining that easy income, but it is not good for the budget bottom line.

    In the year to June 2005, net interest paid out was $2.50 billion.
    In the year to June 2006, net interest paid out was $2.30 billion.
    In the year to June 2007, net interest paid out was $228 million.

    Fortunately, this changed after the 2007 election, when the focus shifted from serving big business to serving the majority of the Australian people.

    In the year to June 2008, net interest received in was $1.02 billion.
    In the year to June 2009, net interest received in was $1.20 billion.

    2. “(Money-in-the-kitty) was puny. Just $22.1 billion. It should have been well above $300 billion and above 30% of GDP.
    Puny?? Why?? Did Hawke/Keating leave money in the bank?”

    Yes, $22.1 billion was shamefully low. It was just 2.0% of GDP (from 2018 budget pepers). They should have left more than 30% of GDP – more than $300 billion.

    According to IMF figures for 2007, Chile had 13.0% of GDP in net money in the bank, Kazakhstan had 14.4%, Saudi Arabia had 15.9%, Sweden had 17.4%, Algeria had 20.9%, Finland had 72.5%, Libya had 86.1%, the United Arab Emirates had 100.8% and Norway had a thumping 138.8% in net surplus.

    There is a good word for Australia’s 2.0%, Neil. Puny.

    3. No, Hawke and Keating did not leave net money-in-the-kitty. But they completely restructured the economy, putting the joint back into structural surplus and setting it up for all those years of headline surpluses to come.

    Also, Hawke and Keating had to deal with a series of global crises, including Black Monday in 1987, the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s and the early 1990s global recession.

    4. “And why should it have been above $300B under Costello? Where would they get this extra $300B from.”

    Several sources, Neil. The key destructive decisions which lost that $300+ billion included cutting company tax rates, changing personal tax rates, changing capital gains taxes, scrapping the fuel excise indexation, changing the super tax rates, changing the franking credits regime, the baby bonus and flogging off assets at bargain basement prices.

    If Mr Costello had just left the settings where Mr Keating had placed them, the money would have flowed in – as it did in Norway.

    5. “It was Rudd/Gillard who wasted the boom. And all Labor govts trash everything the touch.”

    Rudd and Gillard presided over the worst global downturn in 80 years, Neil. And yet they generated not only the best-performed economy in the world at the time, but the best the world had ever seen. Extraordinary!

    Happy to post the profile of the 2013 economy again, if you like.

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