Straw Poll – Best and Worst PMs since Federation – make your case here

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246 Responses to Straw Poll – Best and Worst PMs since Federation – make your case here

  1. Siltstone

    Come on Sinc, tell us how great Mal was.

  2. jjf

    Best Labor – Fisher, Curtain and Chifley
    Best Libs – Menzies and Howard

    Worst Labor – Rudd and Whitlam (Dishonourable mention Gillard)
    Worst Libs – Fraser and Turnbull

  3. Robber Baron

    McEwan by far…he did so little damage.

  4. Tim Neilson

    “Worst” is a large and high quality field, with Rudd, Gillard Turnbull, Keating and Whitlam all of genuine group 1 class.

    Rudd, Gillard and Whitlam must take the medals, and I’d give Rudd the gold, narrowly.

    Best? Menzies. Howard, Hawke, Curtin and Chifley would battle it out for the minor placings and I’d give them to Curtin and Howard.

  5. Tim Neilson

    McEwan by far…he did so little damage.

    Very good point.

    Perhaps there ought to be statues of Frank Forde in every city and major town.

  6. DaveR

    Best: Howard
    Worst: Rudd

  7. Fibro

    Best: Hawke with Keating economics
    Worst: Morrison with Morrison economics

  8. rickw

    Best: Howard

    Impossible, severely damaged the most important check in our democratic system.

    The People being Armed.

    Nothing that Krudd did had such far reaching ramifications.

  9. harrys on the boat

    Rudd is easily the worst.

    I’m sure there was a PM 100 years ago who didn’t fuck things up.

  10. The People being Armed.

    Last time I went bush, there were plenty about with guns.

  11. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    Best: Gorton.
    Worst: Howard.

    We will paying for Howard’s deception and folly for centuries to come.

  12. H B Bear

    Best Lieboral PM – first term of Hawke-Keating (although it pinched many policies from the Lieborals anyway)

    Worst – probably still Whitlam (although largely a product of his times. 70s was shit everywhere). KRudd and Gillard a very close second. KRudd on illegal boats is the greatest policy failure I have ever seen. Gillard’s NDIS will be the most economically destructive program ever introduced.

  13. A Lurker

    Best – I struggle to name one. Possibly Robert Menzies; and Bob Hawke wasn’t too bad either.

    Worst – Too many to name, with Fraser (bringing in the Lebanese), Morrison (not walking away from Paris), Rudd (weakening our borders) and Gillard (mangling the English language, pushing identity politics and kissing Obama) would have to be runners up; with Whitlam (multiculturalism) and Turnbull (killing our economy and bringing in ssm) sharing the podium.

  14. harrys on the boat

    Actually, after some research:

    Worst: Rudd
    Best: Forde

  15. sabena

    Best PM-Menzies
    Worst PM-Rudd
    By party
    Best PM(Liberal)-Menzies
    Best PM(Labor)-Hawke
    Worst PM(Liberal)-Turnbull
    Worst PM(Labor)-Rudd

  16. sabena

    Given the comments from Robber Baron,Tim Neilson and Harrys on the boat,you should take in acting PM’s into account as they don’t usually take any decisions.

  17. RobK

    Best (in anticipation ): Sir Les Patterson.

  18. J-man

    Do they have to be Australian

  19. stackja

    Billy Hughes was a ALP/Nationalist PM.
    Curtin had Ward/Evatt. Chifley had the CPA. Evatt lead the ALP to?
    Menzies inherited a mess and retired with Australia recognised around the world. Harold Holt had the job of following on from Menzies.
    Whitlam created the mess we have today.

  20. Fat Tony

    bemused
    #2805563, posted on August 30, 2018 at 3:37 pm
    The People being Armed.

    Last time I went bush, there were plenty about with guns.

    It won’t be fought in the bush – it will be in the cities.

    And every legal gun owner is licensed and every legal gun is registered. As soon as these weapons are needed, they will be confiscated by the police.

    Howard is the compleat arsehole for this alone.

  21. Can only go back to 1952 -those I have lived under and had to endure
    The worst is undoubtably Whitlam for the lasting mess in health (medicare), education (Dawkins), foreign policy (PNG, Indonesia), defense, immigration (Grassby) and finances
    He is followed up by Gillard (lies re-carbon tax, union control, education-Gonski, health -disability , defense, foreign policy -Rudd-UN, attempt to control press, and finances-royalty grab-punishing WA for mineral exports etc)
    Then comes Rudd (ETS-Kyoto-climate scam-pink bats, aborigines-apology-land grants-indigenous industry, border control-refugees-immigration, foreign policy, economics, blowing the Costello surplus)
    Then closely followed by Turnbull (Paris agreement, foreign policy-leaning to UN-critical of US,Trump, defense-$60million subs, dumping the trade union royal commission out come, abandoning changes to section 18c of discrimination act, increasing the deficient, not acting on public sector waste)

    The best PM was Menzies (opened up trade with Asia, encouraged oil&gas exploration& development, opened up the exports of iron ore, ran a tight ship with finances, encouraged investment of GM & ford to make cars here, had the right immigration policy-jobs first and immigrants to fill jobs)
    He is followed by Harold Holt who unfortunately did not survive a sufficient time but carried on policies from Menzies.
    John Howard made some mistakes with labour policies, gave in to environmentalists and did not fix the education mess but got the refugee and immigration under control plus but the government finances (through Costello) into surplus. He ranks third in the list of better PM’s.

    Under Hawke & Keating I was paying 19% interest on my house mortgage, In Keating’s time there was the stock market crash which cost me some savings and investment uncertainty. Fraser was just useless and he did not take advantage of his election successes to reign in unions -his period would have been worse without John Howard as treasurer. These rate close to zero ie neither +ve but maybe slightly -ve

  22. Damienski

    Length of service is only one indicator of the legacy left by a PM or a government. History will show that Howard’s legacy of entrenchment of entitlement and middle-class welfare will be the largest single factor that has tipped us onto a seemingly inevitable decline into the economic abyss.
    We need a bigger podium for worst. Howard shares it with Whitlam, Rudd and Gillard – although Curtin could be also included for being such a weak-kneed jellyback when our troops needed decisive action to break union strangleholds on wharves in Australia. He failed our valiant servicemen and women dreadfully.

  23. struth

    Whitlam was the worst.

    What he has put in place we are still suffering to this day.
    Aboriginal affairs atc.

    After that I’d say easy second is Malcom Turnbull.

    He purposefully attacked a party that help policies he detested, white anted it and in the process made what is supposed to be a partisan, oppositional parliament, a uniparty of leftism we can not now vote out without great difficulty.
    Actually, this traitorous UN PM , now jetting over to the UN immediately after being sacked, may have done as much harm in the long run as Whitlam.

    Yes the others were crooks and spent like drunken sailors, but as for leaving a legacy hard to clean up, impossible in some cases, those two I find the worst by far.

  24. Fat Tony

    struth
    #2805618, posted on August 30, 2018 at 4:38 pm
    Whitlam was the worst.

    What he has put in place we are still suffering to this day.
    Aboriginal affairs atc.

    After that I’d say easy second is Malcom Turnbull.

    Yeah but he had the potential to be our greatest evah prime minister….

  25. Best: Gold – Menzies; Silver – Deakin; Bronze – Howard
    Worst: Gold – Rudd; Silver – Whitlam; Bronze – Fraser

  26. Craig Mc

    Best: Howard/Costello, Hawke/Keating

    Worst: Whitlam (impossible to beat really), Gillard (definitely the worst person to be PM), Rudd (next worst person), Fraser, Turnbull.

    We have been cursed.

  27. J.H.

    The best….. Barton… Because it’s been downhill ever since.

    The worst… Shorten… Because it’s gonna be bad. Very bad.

  28. Neil

    Whitlam has to be a candidate for the worst. IN 1973-74 spending increased 4.2%. But in 1974-75 it increased by a whopping 19.9%. This was followed by a 15.7% spending increase in 1975-76. Socialist policies are expensive

    Best PM in my lifetime was Howard But you have to wonder what the point is in getting the budget back to surplus. The next Labor govt will just trash the budget again

  29. Dr Fred Lenin

    It’s a Triple Dead Heat for Worst , krudd ,giliard ,turnbuckle , the stewards couldn’t separate them in the finish photo. All winning bets will be paid a o e third of starting price . The last Liberal PM was Howard , pretty lefty greenies since . Unlike the Roman Empire twe have a definately date for the fall of Australia ,the day the krudsters took office , and its still falling to its demise .

  30. Tim Neilson

    Ubique
    #2805621, posted on August 30, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Deakin was our greatest statesman but not one of our greatest PMs.

    His greatest achievements were his role in Federation and his role in uniting the non-Labor political movements. But as PM he displayed a flabbergasting credulousness toward Big Government proposals, and we’re probably lucky he was largely hamstrung by the chaotic multi-party shambles in which his Federal career operated.

  31. Tim Neilson

    All winning bets will be paid a o e third of starting price .

    All winning bets will be paid at a suitable “fair share” of 1/3rd of starting price, in about 10 years time when the budget gets back into surplus through innovation, stimulus and investment in renewable energy.

    FIFY Fred.

  32. Roger

    Best: Deakin, a nation builder who brought the young Federation out from beneath the skirts of Mother England.

    Worst: Tie between Whitlam and Howard, both nation wreckers, Whitlam for obvious reasons and Howard for introducing the mass immigration ponzi, mandated renewable energy targets and bequeathing us Rudd-Gillard-Rudd.

  33. Neil

    and bequeathing us Rudd-Gillard-Rudd.

    Can’t blame Howard for that. Blame the Australian people who wanted change in 2007 and the 56% who
    want labor back

    Hawke/keating are candidates for second worst after Whitlam. Debt was $16B in 1983 and increased to $96B by 1996. If they did any good it was only by getting us into debt

  34. Roger

    Can’t blame Howard for that.

    Yes we can; his vanity prevented him from initiating a succession plan for Costello.

    The campaign was then horribly fought and he justly lost his own seat.

  35. Neil

    Yes we can; his vanity prevented him from initiating a succession plan for Costello

    And your stupidity cannot see that Australia wanted Rudd. Vanity? Not many PMs have a succession plan. If Howard did what you said he should he would have been accused of lying to the electorate.

    Australia wanted Rudd. Stop blaming Howard and blame the people who turned to the dark side and wanted a Rudd govt

  36. Fraser rates highly among the worst of PMs because he was gifted by Whitlam a commanding majority in both houses (91 – 36 in the House of Representatives!); and then squandered it, failing to achieve anything until he was unceremoniously booted out of office by Bob Hawke eight years later. Australia was crying out for economic and industrial reform in Fraser’s time but he achieved or attempted nothing of the sort.
    I recall Fraser claiming as an achievement the creation of the Office of Status of Women. He was also responsible for the Whale Protection Act of 1980 and the Human Rights Commission Act of 1981. Enough said.

  37. Fat Tony

    Australia wanted Rudd. Stop blaming Howard and blame the people who turned to the dark side and wanted a Rudd govt

    I think enough people didn’t want Workchoices

  38. Robbo

    Since WW2.

    Best Labor. Curtain, Chifley, Hawke
    Worst Labor. Whitlam, Rudd, Gillard. (add Shorten to the list after the next election)

    Best Liberal. Menzies, Howard.
    Worst Liberal. McMahon, Fraser, Turnbull.

    Promised Much But Delivered Little (all party’s) Keating, Holt, Gorton.

  39. 2dogs

    Best: Joseph Lyons
    Worst: Gough Whitlam

    Lyons was PM when Australia was hit by the great depression. It was hit harder than most countries, but recovered faster than other countries by the adoption of sound policies by Lyons.

    Whitlam wrecked things shamelessly.

  40. terry andrews

    Worst- Gillard $70 million of tax money to buy her 2 jobs. Rudd- egomaniac, financial disaster. Worst libs-Fraser, killed 100,000s in Rhodesia and East Timor. Turnbull- sociopath. Best- Howard

  41. 2dogs

    I should note, though, that I condemn Lyons’ refusal to accept WA secession.

  42. Dauf

    Best (that never was): Costello
    Worst: Rudd (started the whole narcissistic thing that Mal took to extremes). Been down hill since then

  43. Fat Tony

    faceache
    #2805692, posted on August 30, 2018 at 6:16 pm
    blimey, I dunno

    Getting a bit verbose there, faceache. Tone it down a bit, willya

  44. Jannie

    Left Best = Curtin and Hawke. Left Worst = Whitlam and Gillard.
    Right Best = Menzies and Howard. Right worst = Turnbull and Morrison.

    Maybe I should give Morrison the benefit of observation…Nah, he’s as bad as Turnbull.

  45. Damienski

    Best: Custard. (may be getting slightly ahead of oneself)

  46. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Worst Liberal – Fraser. Elected in a landslide, given a mandate in the form of a majority in both houses, he seemed almost too afraid of what the Left would say about him, to exercise that mandate.

  47. rickw

    And every legal gun owner is licensed and every legal gun is registered. As soon as these weapons are needed, they will be confiscated by the police.

    Ask the Safa’s how their gun registration is working out now the really need them.

  48. Pickles

    Gorton. Only PM to have been actually shot at. Loved getting on the piss. Voted himself out. Daylight second.

  49. Costello would have made an excellent PM but the ABC and Fairfax led such a sustained hatchet job on him for years that he never enjoyed any level of popular support, to the extent that John Howard was never really in a position to hand over the reins to him.
    Instead of Peter Costello, we ended up with Australia’s worst-ever PM, the narcissistic sociopath Kevin Rudd.
    It should be a matter of some pride to Western Australians that only they had the common sense to reject the media’s almost unanimous support for Rudd in the November 2007 federal election; with WA holding fast against the Rudd landslide to record a swing to the Coalition, including capturing the only two seats Labor lost in the whole election (Swan and Cowan).

  50. Hydra

    Turnbull is easily the worst prime minister any country in the world has ever had.

    Couldn’t string two words together about what he ate for breakfast let alone a policy.

  51. HGS

    The is a special place in hell for all PM.
    The sitting order unknown.

  52. Roger

    And your stupidity cannot see that Australia wanted Rudd.

    It was Howard’s job to dissuade them of that delusion, which ough tot have been quite easy, Rudd already being a known quantity in QLD, where he was known even among Labor supporters as Dr. Death.

    He failed, to the tune of about 5% of the electorate.

    And there’s no need to be abusive.

  53. Roger

    Right worst = Turnbull and Morrison.

    You’ll have to convince me they’re of the Right first.

  54. candy

    Since Federation – how can judge that if you didn’t live through it?

    I think Tony Abbott has been the best because he stopped the boats and began strict national security.
    Maybe the most significant policy for 25 years or so, looking as to how Europe and UK are.

    Worst – probably J. Gillard/Rudd, because they instituted financial booby traps to cripple all governments after theirs for years to come (Gonski, NIDS, NBN).

  55. Elle

    Best: Howard. Leaving out his promotion of Turnbull in 2007. No one is perfect.
    Worst: Rudd Gillard Rudd.

  56. Fat Tony

    Roger
    #2805749, posted on August 30, 2018 at 7:13 pm
    And your stupidity cannot see that Australia wanted Rudd.

    And there’s no need to be abusive.

    You’ll have to excuse Neil – a dog bit him once and he didn’t have a gun to defend himself.

    He’s been a bit……peculiar ever since.

  57. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Gorton. Only PM to have been actually shot at. Loved getting on the piss. Voted himself out. Daylight second.

    Started reducing Australian forces in Viet Nam, by declaring that one infantry battalion (8 RAR) would not be replaced at the end of it’s tour.

  58. Roger

    You’ll have to excuse Neil – a dog bit him once and he didn’t have a gun to defend himself.

    He’s been a bit……peculiar ever since.

    Noted, Tony.

  59. Des Deskperson

    ‘Gorton. Only PM to have been actually shot at.’

    Whitlam was involved in active service in the RAAF. How do you know he wasn’t shot at??

  60. DB

    Best: Howard (Lib); Hawke (Labor)
    Worst: Fraser and Turnbull (Lib); Whitlam, Rudd and Gillard (Labor)

  61. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    ‘Gorton. Only PM to have been actually shot at.’

    Stanley Bruce served on the front line, at Gallipoli, and was returned to Australia, wounded, in 1917.

  62. Rob

    The People being Armed.

    Last time I went bush, there were plenty about with guns.

    Not as many as south western Sydney.

  63. Barry

    I would have thought that Turnbull was our worst PM in that he stabbed the following in the back,Peter King to get Wentworth nomination ,then Nelson to get opposition leader,then Abbot to get PM,then spent his time frittering away the Libs majority. He was not able to combat our electricity prices because of his arrogant commitment to the Paris Agreement. Fancy then having no guts to actually not finally contest the PM spill and the resign from Parliament and fly off to New York,with no support for Morrison. What an arsehole.

  64. Des Deskperson

    A minor point, but the only PMs who have statues in Canberra are Barton, Menzies, Curtin and Chifley.

    This doesn’t necessarily say anything about their greatness.

    Barton is there because there is a large and not particularly attractive building named after him.

    Menzies is there because he is the real founder of Canberra as a city, as opposed to somewhere pollies fly in and fly out of. This would, of course, not necessarily recommend him to Cats.

    The Curtin/Chifley installation – life size statues of the two of them walking side by side on a Parliamentary Triangle footpath – was an initiative of the ACT Labor Government, paid for, of course, by the ACT taxpayer. According to Gillard, who unveiled it, the installation is about ‘two mates.. whose trust and sympathy speak to us still.. ‘.

    In fact they look like a couple of old-time closet gays trying furtively but also desperately to hook up on a ‘beat’. Curtin looks, in particular, like he is rather pathetically importuning Chifley to go home with him.

  65. Barry

    My comment re Malcolm does not appear to have been accepted. What did I do Wrong.

  66. Pickles

    Corrected. And if Gouge was shot at we would have heard.

  67. H B Bear

    Menzies is there because he is the real founder of Canberra as a city, as opposed to somewhere pollies fly in and fly out of. This would, of course, not necessarily recommend him to Cats.

    Damn right. Arguably one of the biggest mistakes ever made. How many hundreds of millions of dollars have been paid on relocation allowances, travel, away from home allowances and god knows what else over the years?

  68. H B Bear

    He’s been a bit……peculiar ever since.

    And don’t stand too close to him when he is waving his John Howard pom-poms. He is inclined to get overly enthusiastic.

  69. Julia Gillard was the best.

    This is evidenced by:

    • Australia attained the second highest median wealth in the world in 2012, according to Credit Suisse, and the highest in the world in 2013.
    • highest level of economic freedom in the OECD from 2010 to 2013, according to Heritage Foundation.
    • gained AAA credit ratings and positive outlooks with all three agencies in 2011 – for the first time in history.
    • started in 2011 the streak of productivity rises which lasted for 17 quarters, ending after Joe Hockey’s first budget.
    • hours worked per adult per month: 86.7.
    • initiated the royal commission into child sex abuse in institutions.
    • NDIS and many other social reforms.
    • voted a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
    • voted to chair the G20 group of the world’s 20 major economies.
    • asked to host the Pacific Island Forum.
    • world’s most famous speech from a national leader since John F Kennedy in Berlin in 1963.
    • Euromoney award for world’s best treasurer, 2011.
    • world’s best-performed economy for three years, according to the IAREM.
    • infrastructure minister of the year award from London-based publication Infrastructure Investor, 2012.
    • Ms Gillard received a record six standing ovations and ten seated rounds of applause for her historic speech to the US joint Congress in 2011.
    • Plus accolades from economists, diplomats, national leaders and finance ministers around the world for having the world’s best economic management through the GFC.

  70. Robber Baron

    The good burghers of the division of Bennelong thought Howard was such a great PM that they replaced him with an ABC bint who was replaced with a Liberal at the very first opportunity to do so.

    Howard was a terrible PM. He took away our freedoms.

  71. stackja

    H B Bear
    #2805808, posted on August 30, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Melbourne was the capital. Sydney wanted a change.

  72. Rohan

    Euromoney award for world’s best treasurer, 2011.

    And here I was thinking Wayne Goose was the self proclaimed worlds greatest treasurer. Those Eurowankers sure have very low standards.

  73. Sir Edmund Barton also deserves a mention here.
    He was the only Australian prime minister never to blame any of his problems on his predecessor, even in private.

  74. Caveman

    Harold Holt saw the writing on the wall and fukd off to Atlantis.

  75. Peter Castieau

    I’d say Menzies would be the best Liberal PM and a tie between AbbottSatan and Turnbull for (different reasons) worst.

    Hawke would be my pick for best Labor and Whitlam in a tie with Rudd for worst.

    I say Abbott in the worst category because he had the greatest electoral margin and wasted it.

    Damienski I am humbled by your suggestion.

  76. Procrustes

    “McEwan by far…he did so little damage.”

    What a load of tripe.

    McEwan’s influence was as a deputy PM. It was extensive and unremittingly negative.

    Black Jack was an evil protectionist who set back Australia as a dynamic economy for decades.

  77. Procrustes

    I would not count Turnbull as the worst PM. Rudd and Gillard have those honours in the post-Vietnam War period.

    Howard and Hawke are the best in the post WWII period as combining the best in economic management and social stability. Keating was a disappointment. The current ALP generation needs to get over their veneration of Whitlam and use Hawke as their role model.

    Anyway, they are all just different grades of awfulness.

  78. Candy

    Alan
    Why did Ms Gillard knife Rudd who was ahead in the polls, a popular leader?

  79. Econocrat

    Since I’ve voted (best to worst):

    Howard
    Abbott
    Keating
    Morrison
    Turbull
    Gillard
    Rudd

  80. Fat Tony

    Hi Alan!

    I see you’ve burped up your favourite set of facts again….

    Tell me mate, what do you think of wankers who use a selfie in a “deep thought” pose as an avatar?

    I think it tells me more than the wanker’s actual posts…..

    Bye Alan!

  81. It’s a trick question. The premise is that Australia has had a good PM. There are no good politicians.

  82. yarpos

    “Last time I went bush, there were plenty about with guns.”

    All nicely thinned out, duly recorded and confiscatable at political whim. Certainly not to be used for self protection which would certainly lead to criminal charges. So if you have a home invasion or car jacking, just suck it up and take whatever they dish out.

  83. Hi Fat Tony,

    Well, I think the facts are more important than the avatar.

    Cheers,

    AA

  84. md

    People can comment only on the PMs they have direct knowledge of. To comment on anyone earlier is simply to repeat the myths that have been built up around their prime ministerships.

    Worst PM?

    worst – Whitlam
    worse – fraser
    worse – hawke
    worse – keating
    worse – howard
    worse – rudd
    worse – gillard
    worse – abbott
    worse – turnbull
    soon to be worse – morrison

    So, who is the worst? Is it the one who set in train all of the social problems that have ruined our society? If so, the worst would be Whitlam. But worse than Whitlam is anyone who followed him and was in a position to roll back Whitlam’s and subsequent social policy atrocities but did NOTHING about it, or, worse, compounded the problems. And that’s every one of them since.

  85. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    If so, the worst would be Whitlam. But worse than Whitlam is anyone who followed him and was in a position to roll back Whitlam’s and subsequent social policy atrocities but did NOTHING about it, or, worse, compounded the problems. And that’s every one of them since.

    Harsh, but fair.

  86. Rob

    Australia has developed in spite of its politicians, not because of them.
    The best of our PMs are those who have kept their governments out of everyone’s way.

  87. Fat Tony

    Alan Austin
    #2805874, posted on August 30, 2018 at 9:12 pm
    Hi Fat Tony,

    Well, I think the facts are more important than the avatar.

    Cheers,

    AA

    Alan, the actual question was: Tell me mate, what do you think of wankers who use a selfie in a “deep thought” pose as an avatar?

  88. Tim Neilson

    • Australia attained the second highest median wealth in the world in 2012, according to Credit Suisse, and the highest in the world in 2013. Commodity prices – nothing to do with RGR
    • highest level of economic freedom in the OECD from 2010 to 2013, according to Heritage Foundation. OECD? FMD
    • gained AAA credit ratings and positive outlooks with all three agencies in 2011 – for the first time in history. Commodity prices.
    • started in 2011 the streak of productivity rises which lasted for 17 quarters, ending after Joe Hockey’s first budget. Commodity prices
    hours worked per adult per month: 86.7. Among those who were employed
    • initiated the royal commission into child sex abuse in institutions.Exempting government institutions – if you ever want to know where the real problems are, look what’s carved out of the terms of reference
    • NDIS and many other social reforms. I.e. bankrupting the nation for zero benefit to anyone
    • voted a seat on the United Nations Security Council. FMD
    • voted to chair the G20 group of the world’s 20 major economies. Rotation
    • asked to host the Pacific Island Forum. How much did we shell out to buy that?
    • world’s most famous speech from a national leader since John F Kennedy in Berlin in 1963. World’s greatest ever display of vomitous hypocrisy – The Hon Peter Slipper, Speaker of the House anyone?
    • Euromoney award for world’s best treasurer, 2011. Goose Swansteen – six promised surpluses, six delivered deficits
    • world’s best-performed economy for three years, according to the IAREM Commodity prices.
    • infrastructure minister of the year award from London-based publication Infrastructure Investor, 2012. Rent-seeking spivs award for taxpayer funded handouts to maaaates
    • Ms Gillard received a record six standing ovations and ten seated rounds of applause for her historic speech to the US joint Congress in 2011. You really know how to suck your own dick, don’t you
    • Plus accolades from economists, diplomats, national leaders and finance ministers around the world for having the world’s best economic management through the GFC. “economists, diplomats, national leaders and finance ministers”, I’d rather get accolades from small time pimps

    Seriously Alan, what a load of shit

  89. Diogenes

    Whilst i did nit experience him, my candidate for worst would be Billy Hughes.
    He was resonsible for the AFP.
    Removed many liberties to help him win the 2 conscription plebiscites , which he lost anyway.
    Conspired with the Welsh Pillock, Lloyd George to withold reinforcements, which nearly resulted in the Kaiserschlacht being sucessful ( had the Germans not stopped to loot because everything they had was in very short supply, WW1 may have had a different ending.
    The withholding of reinforcements , in retaliation for voting no, also meant very cohesive units were broken up.
    His government planned for the troops to be repatriated over 4 years. Luckily Monash had the clout to overrule and getvthe troops home earler.

    My best would be Lyons for the reasons given above.

    For those bagging Abbbott for not using his majority, remember any momentum he tried to build up in the 1st 6months, was knobbled by the supplemental Senate election in WA. If he had gone in too hard with that looming, WA would gave returned 6 ALP senators.

  90. struth

    One man’s facts seem to be fiction to millons.

  91. struth

    Abbott did an incredible amount of damage.
    Remember the horror of the Rudd Gillard Rudd years.
    Abbott got into office with so much political capital because of the disaster of RGR years and immediately through it all away.
    He hid in a corner sucking his thumb and let Mal have a ministry.
    Fmd.

  92. struth

    Threw it away.
    I blame half a bottle of red.

  93. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Abbott got into office with so much political capital because of the disaster of RGR years and immediately through it all away.

    Same as Malcolm Fraser.

  94. Hi Candy,

    That decision was not Ms Gillard’s alone, was it?

    It seems the majority of her colleagues believed the electoral fortunes of the Labor Government would be enhanced with a change of leader.

  95. Empire 5:5

    Robber Baron
    #2805537, posted on August 30, 2018 at 3:08 pm
    McEwan by far…he did so little damage.

    I haven’t read the whole fred, but surely Fadden and Forde get a guernsey on that basis?

    For character: Gorton best and Gillard worst.
    For achievement (in a strictly mediocre field): Menzies best and Whitlam worst.

    Nobody competes with Gough in the destruction of public goods division. Nobody.

  96. Fat Tony

    Hi Alan!

    You pose well, pity you can’t answer my question: Tell me mate, what do you think of wankers who use a selfie in a “deep thought” pose as an avatar?

    I suppose intelligence is not the same as appearance, no matter how much we wish for it.
    Quite sad really………..

  97. vagabond

    Oh Whitlam was the worst without peer. He set the gold standard for incompetence and malevolence. We would be nowhere near the mess we’re in now if not for that overblown pompous bigoted egotistical prick and his band of fools.

  98. Well, Fat Tony, I think someone who uses a selfie in a “deep thought” pose as an avatar will probably be disinclined to be distracted by red herrings.

    What do you think, Fat Tony, of people who refuse to deal with the facts on a serious matter but try to derail the thread with abusive personal comments?

  99. Empire 5:5

    Where did the pretentious paid by the pixel famefag upthread come from?

    Is it new?

    It looks like it’s pondering whether to amputate its junk and start out as a rugofarian.

    If this blog had a Leader Technologies type matching algorithm it would connect him with the house troll. We really need to work harder at bringing people together.

  100. Fat Tony

    Alan Austin
    #2805916, posted on August 30, 2018 at 9:59 pm
    Well, Fat Tony, I think someone who uses a selfie in a “deep thought” pose as an avatar will probably be disinclined to be distracted by red herrings.

    What do you think, Fat Tony, of people who refuse to deal with the facts on a serious matter but try to derail the thread with abusive personal comments?

    Oh…did you think I was referring to you??

    But it’s a reasonable question – there are quite a few intelligent people on this blog who remain anonymous – they let their arguments stand on their own. None of this “arguing from authority” crap.

    But, tell me Alan, why do you need to have your “thoughtful pose” avatar?
    Do you think it impresses people?
    Are we supposed to bow down reverently at your feet and kiss the hem of your robe?
    Have you got Mummy issues?

    Others have responded to the crap you have written – as Tim Nielsen above said:
    “Seriously Alan, what a load of shit”

  101. 132andBush

    Worst: Turnbull, because of the toxic effect on the libs and the conservative cause.
    The libs are now a moderately left of center party and definitely not conservative.
    All thanks to Turnbull and his cabal of sopping wet wankers.

    At least with any of the labor PMs everyone knew what they were getting!
    And perhaps with the exception of Fraser the same could be said of lib PMs.

    Turnbull should’ve been leading the labor party and THAT’S what makes him the worst.

  102. JC

    It pains me saying this, but the first two Hawke administrations were possibly the best government we’ve had.

  103. .

    Tony

    Alan is a “smart” troll who tries to win arguments with facts and yet is too stupid to discuss the issues. He’s out of his depth.

    He actually did not realise that the 2013/14 budget was made by Wayne Swan (denying the responsibility of the final fiscal blowout), and proceeded to continue on in lecturing us on the greatness of Gillard as an “economic manager”.

    This is like teaching your dog to sing Opera. It is not worth it.

  104. Fat Tony

    dot – I saw his “facts” being torn to shreds on some other threads.
    I’m just trying to find out why tossers put up avatars like his.
    You don’t, I don’t – Bruce of Newcastle has a pic of a maggie.
    Is it a personal failing of these “intelligentsia” types?
    I was kinda hoping for a response from Alan…….

  105. 132andBush

    Don’t bother with Alan, Tony.

    A middle aged man with a pierced ear and a flavor saver under his lip?

    SAD

  106. Empire 5:5

    vagabond
    #2805915, posted on August 30, 2018 at 9:58 pm
    Oh Whitlam was the worst without peer. He set the gold standard for incompetence and malevolence. We would be nowhere near the mess we’re in now if not for that overblown pompous bigoted egotistical prick and his band of fools.

    I will never tire of reading fact based invective for Gough. As a politician he made a great used car salesman.

    Brand spanking new they are…retreads!

  107. Fat Tony

    JC
    #2805928, posted on August 30, 2018 at 10:13 pm
    It pains me saying this, but the first two Hawke administrations were possibly the best government we’ve had.

    JC – how are Hawke and his key ministers faring financially now?
    Are they all multi-millionaires?
    (Honest question, cos I really don’t know)

  108. Empire 5:5

    JC
    #2805928, posted on August 30, 2018 at 10:13 pm
    It pains me saying this, but the first two Hawke administrations were possibly the best government we’ve had.

    For disentangling the state from the economy? Sure.

    For liberty and stewardship of the state? Terrible.

  109. Empire 5:5

    No offence Custard.

    All the best with the next ballot.

  110. Empire 5:5

    This is like teaching your dog to sing Opera. It is not worth it.

    I get your point, but it’s always folly to accept poor quality.

    We deserve the best trolling the enemy can offer and lately it’s just been pathetic low energy beta bullshit.

    What I wanna no is whatz da gummint gonna do ‘bout it?

  111. Fat Tony

    132andBush
    #2805938, posted on August 30, 2018 at 10:25 pm
    Don’t bother with Alan, Tony.

    A middle aged man with a pierced ear and a flavor saver under his lip?

    SAD

    I know he talks shit – I was just trying the Alinsky rule about personalising & ridiculing – seems to have worked – Alan appears to have departed.

  112. Not at all, Tim Neilson,

    If commodity prices were a significant factor in Australia’s economy becoming the world’s best from 2011 to 2013, then the other big minerals exporters would have experienced a bit of a boost also. They didn’t.

    Hours worked per adult is the percentage relative to the whole population, not just the employed. That is why this is the best measure of jobs there is.

    The facts speak for themselves, Tim.

  113. Crossie

    I will only give evaluation on Prime Ministers that I can remember somhere goes:

    Worst Prime Minister: Gough Whitlam
    Worst runner up Prime Minister: Malcolm Turnbull

    Best Prime Minister: John Howard
    Best runner up Prime Minister: Tony Abbott

    I am quite annoyed at John Howard for gifting us Malcolm but on the whole he did the right thing about keeping the borders closed.

    Gough Whitlam was the worst in my lifetime so far because he made it acceptable and profitable to be an unwed mother and thus sentenced hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Australian children to fatherlessness. The other Whitlam and Lionel Murphy innovation was the no fault divorce that contributed to the same outcome.

  114. Fat Tony

    Spoke too bloody soon…………

  115. Crossie

    The reason I chose Turnbull as second worst PM is mainly due to his treachery, we are used to these sort of things being done on the Labor side but expect morefrom our side.

    Turnbull corrupted everyone he touched. Perhaps I should rephrase that, Turnbull tempted all the corruptibles and they took the bait.

  116. Amused

    Whitlam was involved in active service in the RAAF. How do you know he wasn’t shot at??

    Whoever shot at him should be court-martialled for missing.

  117. Jimf

    Best: whoever had the least impact.
    Worst: Gough for setting in motion a runaway decline in societal lack of accountability, and Rudd for simply taking governmental generational theft and pain to another level.

  118. Fisky

    As the architect of the property immigration debt ponzi scheme that will soon devour the country, Howard takes the honours for worst ever.

  119. None

    I don’t know enough about political history to pick best and worst. I know Gillard -Rudd who really cannot be considered separately – would have to be among the worst with Whitlam. I think that destruction right by Gillard Rudd particularly with all the poison pills they left has irreversibly destroyed whole sectors of our economy. I also think Howard did a lot of damage in creating middle class welfare, taking pork-barrelling to new heights, legitimising Greenie lunacy by banning incandescent bulbs and promising to sign Kyoto, talking Malcolm into not resigning and just basically being a hubristic prick. Malcolm legalised sharia finance and homosexual marriage both of those along with the ponzi Immigration scheme will be inroads to Sharia law being recognised in Australia and so that is possibly the most disgusting unAustralian act, like revolting cancer that you could ever unleasg on a country.

  120. None

    Does this Allen troll know that Gillard was not the p.m. during the so-called GFC? And does this Allen troll also know that the GFC basically hit us only for about 6 weeks and the thing that did save us was China and flexible interest rates which meant our exchange rate could adjust quickly +Costello’s prudential regs? Does this troll really think pissing 96 billion dollars up the wall while being applauded by bunch of statust and socialist fuckwits overseas help create not the GFC but what effectively was a North Atlantic financial crisis, is somehow a fabulous achievement? No it’s fabulous self-delusion. Alan must be Wayne Swan’s love child.

  121. Ivan Denisovich

    I’m not counting those who served pre-WW2.
    Worst, in absolute terms – Whitlam, closely followed by Gillard and Rudd.
    Worst, in relative terms – Turnbull.
    Best – probably Menzies.

  122. Malcolm Thomas

    Best Labor (in living memory) – Hawke then Keating
    Worst Labor – Whitlam then Rudd

    Best Liberal – Howard then Menzies
    Worst Liberal – McMahon then Abbott

  123. Malcolm Thomas

    And JC is right, the first two Hawke Governments were the best Australia had ever had … and alas may ever have.

  124. rickw

    Wouldn’t it really have to be Fraser?

    Every economic and planning fuck up can be fixed with relative ease.

    But suburbs full of muslim lebs, how are you going to fix that?

  125. Why are you called None, None?
    Because None of your assertions are true?
    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, third highest in the world;
    * hours worked per adult per month: 86.7;
    * 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, None?

  126. iain russell

    Ming best, Krudd worst. I watched in horror from abroad as Australia voted in that pompous, preening pseud, prat and plonker in ’07 – and despaired.

  127. 2dogs

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

    If one was being fair-minded, one might choose to compare each of those figures with what they were in 2007. Just to assess what the impact of those six years of Labor were.

  128. Tel

    Correct?

    Bing! Repetition.
    Bing! Bing! Bing!

    No not correct, but you will barge ahead anyway. Because pasting requires so little effort.

    What is an “optimum interest rate”?

  129. Neil

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

    Australia in 2007. DEbt free, unemployment at 4.3% and falling and a booming economy. Within 12 months of Rudd being elected we were running deficit budgets again. Every major problem can be placed to Rudd/Gillard

  130. Tel

    Neil #2806093, I’m sure you already explained that to him.

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

    That’s a crock, the debt has gone up almost linearly for a decade or there about.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/australia/government-debt-to-gdp

    The only good numbers you can get out of 2013 is by finding a couple of months in the leadup to the election where the ALP tried to pretty up the books as a bit of propaganda. The long term trend is unmistakable. If there was some genuine halving of the annual budget deficit then it would show up in the trend for sure, we would be able to point to which government spending programs were cut that year. Instead we have a couple of cherry picked months and endless hammering over and over with the same thickhead repetition. Repeat a lie enough times it doesn’t become true, not around here anyhow.

  131. LNP insider

    Those who nominated Joseph Lyons have some i derstanding of history.

    If you had some sort of Australian Mt Rushmore it would have to be Barton, Lyons, Curtin, Menzies.

  132. LNP insider

    Also good were Deakin, Fischer Gorton, Holt, Hawke, Howard. You can argue about Cook and Chifley as well.

  133. Dr Faustus

    * budget deficit $18.8 billion, down from $43.4 billion the previous year;
    That’s a crock, the debt has gone up almost linearly for a decade or there about.

    Most certainly is a crock.

    Swan’s fantasy 2013 $18bn Budget deficit blossomed under Bowen to $30 bn – eventually topping out at about $48bn. Sure Fat Bladder was at the wheel as the last $18 billion washed down the pipes, but almost the whole lot was down to Labor spends.

    Bowen will have a second lash in a few months’ time.
    Hopefully our OECD Happiness Ranking will sustain us.

  134. Angus Black

    Best: Hawke, Menzies

    Worst: Whitlam, Gillard, Turnbull, Rudd and (sadly – because he basically invented middle-class Welfare & the churn) Howard.

  135. Ken Mansell

    Curtin… Arrested and jailed for opposing conscription during WWI and implements conscription when prime minister during WWII.

  136. Neil

    . Sure Fat Bladder was at the wheel as the last $18 billion washed down the pipes, but almost the whole lot was down to Labor spends.

    Once a budget is passed through the Senate the spending decisions are locked in for 12 months. Therefore the Coalition could not change the spending decisions from Swans May 2013 budget without legislation. And the Coalition did not have the numbers in the Senate to do that. Whoever brings down the May budget owns the budget

  137. Habib

    Hell of a field for worst, not even a favourite for best. Sort of an inverse Melbourne Cup. For malfeasant mongs. Ming was before my time so i can’t really comment, a protectionist and busybody who didn’t fuck up too much. Limping home. Harold Holt was probably better as he was eaten by a shark/kidnapped by Chicom sub/copulated to death by a horny Humbolt squid before he could fuck up too much. Did create the jetset-with-entourage bullshit that costs us more than a submarine program now, but also ironically gave his name to a VLF sub-sea communication centre, a sort of electric Ouija board. Worst? Where to start?

  138. Habib

    Artie Fadden has wound in the odds so quick the wheel was smoking, mostly because he was in the chair for under 40 days, and even Gillard, Rudd and Turnbull surgically conjoined probably couldn’t have fucked things up too badly in that amount of time.

  139. Habib

    A middle aged man with a pierced ear and a flavor saver under his lip? I’ve always referred to them as a “bollock buffer”.

  140. Robbo

    @ Alan Austin
    ” Well, Fat Tony, I think someone who uses a selfie in a “deep thought” pose as an avatar will probably be disinclined to be distracted by red herrings.”

    Well Alan Austin I think you are a wanker and i bet I am not alone in thinking that. No wonder you are so rapt in Gillard. Birds of a feather fly together.

  141. Hi again Neil,

    No, Australia’s economy overall was quite lacklustre in 2007, even though some indicators were closer to the optimum than in 2013.

    In 2007, the jobless rate was lower, gross and net debt were lower and the budget surplus was healthier. But most other important variables had strengthened considerably by 2013 – despite the worst global recession in 80 years!

    Median wealth per person was much higher, GDP per capita was well up, productivity was way higher, interest rates were way lower, the Aussie dollar was stronger, credit ratings were better, the stock market was well up and the trade balance was much healthier.

    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 and the Murdoch media want you to believe that “Every major problem can be placed to Rudd/Gillard”.

    But it just ain’t so.

    Don’t let them suck you in, Neil.

  142. Hi again Tel,

    Everyone is free to express an 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.

  143. Lysander

    Whitlam and Maocon were by far the worst. Gough because of his social policy, increased spending, racism and outright fraudulent behaviour. Mao because he had no other reason for having the job other than having the job. At least Gillard, Rudd etc.. had some “vision” (despite my vehement opposition to that vision).

    Hawke with Keating economics as best. Menzies in a photo finish.

  144. Tim Neilson

    Not at all, Tim Neilson,

    If commodity prices were a significant factor in Australia’s economy becoming the world’s best from 2011 to 2013, then the other big minerals exporters would have experienced a bit of a boost also. They didn’t.

    Hours worked per adult is the percentage relative to the whole population, not just the employed. That is why this is the best measure of jobs there is.

    The facts speak for themselves, Tim.

    They do indeed.

    You simply cannot be serious if you’re saying that commodity prices weren’t the predominant factor propping up the nation in the RGR years. It’s like saying that CPR can’t have saved the heart attack victim’s life because other people who had heart attacks and got CPR died.

    And there’s a reason that you go for the “hours worked” thing rather than the unemployment rate compared with Howard era unemployment, isn’t there Alan?

    Now let’s turn to Gillard’s real “achievements”.

    Debt, debt and more debt with zero benefit to show for it.

    Wilful mismanagement of the borders, resulting in tens of thousands of unskilled illiterate non-English speakers turning up uninvited. Gillard then gives all of them permanent residence, so they can use their new Australian passports to take extended holidays in the countries that they’re allegedly “refugees” from. And she gives them free housing free whitegoods free TV’s free everything even free money, all at the expense of the taxpayer. We’re still dealing with the mess, and will probably be doing so on a multigenerational basis.

  145. Everyone is free to express an 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.

    This has got to be one of the most insane things Spartacus has ever read on this site.

    Borrowers and lenders/savers are not an homogeneous group who all want the relative same rate. And a call to the “expert” authority of the RBA, the people who are actually manipulating interest rates, is like asking the CFMMEU whether they think they are good for the Australian economy.

    Interest rates are the price of money. The price (interest rates), whilst not entirely set by the Government, is heavily influenced by the government through the RBA. Your analogy of borrowers v savers would be like postulating on the government setting prices in the bread market. Too low and the bakers go out of business. Too high and the peasants start revolting.

    Here’s an idea. Let the market, through supply and demand for money/capital set the price rather than a bunch of pseudo clerics in Martin Place.

    Price is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of fact.

  146. Neil

    credit ratings were better

    Garbage. We have been AAA rated since 2003. And there are hundreds of ratings agencies not 3. You ALP supporters rave about Fitch give us AAA in 2011. Well why did Fitch not give us AAA in 2006 when debt was zero? Why not in 2007 when we had negative debt? Why did Fitch wait 8 years after S&Ps and Moody gave us AAA in 2003?

  147. Tim Neilson

    the budget surplus was healthier

    Alan, can you not understand why statements like this destroy whatever credibility you’re trying to establish?

    The budget surplus wasn’t “healthier” The budget surplus existed under Howard – it wasn’t less healthy under RGR/Goose Swansteen – it didn’t exist. It was a deficit – six in a row.
    It was an ex-surplus. It had shuffled off this mortal coil and joined the choir celestial.

  148. No, Tim Neilson, commodity prices were not a significant factor in budget revenue in Australia.

    The bonanza through the 2000s was not a minerals export boom. It was a building boom – employing tens of thousands of people to construct mines, towns, roads and infrastructure in the Pilbara and elsewhere.

    Please track iron ore prices and budget revenue. There is no correlation.

    Then please read Dr Ken Henry’s tax review:

    “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.”

  149. There are three main global ratings agencies, Neil.

    It is a significant advantage to have triple A ratings and positive outlooks with all three. Australia did not get this until November 2011.

    “Well why did Fitch not give us AAA in 2006 when debt was zero?”

    Because debt is only one variable the agencies consider. In 2006, Australia had below par performance on most other key indicators. These include median wealth per person, GDP per capita, productivity, interest rates, the value of the Aussie dollar and the disastrous string of trade deficits.

    “Why not in 2007 when we had negative debt?”

    Ditto.

    “Why did Fitch wait 8 years after S&Ps and Moody gave us AAA in 2003?”

    Ditto.

  150. Neil

    “It is a significant advantage to have triple A ratings and positive outlooks with all three.”

    Really? Who told you that? We have been AAA rated since February 2003. End of story. Any addition to that story is ALP propaganda

  151. Please read what is actually written, I am Spartacus.

    Nothing written here or anywhere else suggests support for government manipulation of interest rates.

  152. Tim Neilson

    Alan Austin
    #2806273, posted on August 31, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Alan, where did I say anything about commodity prices and budget revenue? I said that high commodity prices were a driver of what economic prosperity we had during RGR.

    Unlike you, I don’t equate national prosperity with how much money the government manages to confiscate from its citizens.

    Yes, exactly, there was an infrastructure boom. Congratulations for recognising that. And it was caused by high commodity prices. That delivered a considerable degree of prosperity while it lasted. The disastrous antics of RGR and Goose Swansteen landing us with colossal debt made no positive contribution whatsoever.

    And FFS, who cares what the wombat botherer thinks is a “sufficient” amount of money for governments to wrench out of the productive sector?

  153. Jim

    Best in order:
    Curtin, Howard, Hawke & Menzies
    Worst in order:
    Hughes, Fraser, Whitlam & Rudd

  154. Best Bob Hawke
    Worst Turnbull
    And before you sneer – I always (until Turnbull) voted Liberal

  155. Terry

    Worst: Turnbull (at least since Gough).

    A salesman selling turds in caviar packaging. It was all going so well until someone opened the packet.

    Quite an achievement being worst in a field that contains Rudd & Gillard.

    Best: Yet to come. Someone that rises from the ashes that Bill Shorten creates.

  156. Dr Faustus

    “It is a significant advantage to have triple A ratings and positive outlooks with all three.”

    That “significant advantage” is what kept the Whitlam Government struggling on as long as it did. Moody’s and S&P both put Australia on AAA in June 1975 – at the height of the Khemlani/Morosi affairs.

    A rolled-gold endorsement.

  157. Not at all, Tim Neilson,

    High commodity prices have not been the driver of economic prosperity since the changes to the tax regime during the early 2000s.

    Ken Henry makes this crystal clear in his tax review.

    Please track prices and see what you discover. If commodity prices determined economic prosperity, then the economy would be twice as healthy now – with iron ore prices close to $70 – as in 2004 when the price was $37.40.

    No, the Rudd/Gillard governments did not take on “massive debt”, Tim. Gross debt peaked in 2013 at 16.83% of GDP (on 2018 budget figures), then began to decline, or at least level off. That was close to the lowest in the developed world at the time.

    It took off again in a big way in 2014 and 2015. Gross debt today is still only 29.5% of GDP, still not “massive”.

    What little debt taken on during the global financial crisis most certainly did generate enormous benefit. It greatly expanded and enhanced the nation’s stock of productive assets. And, more importantly, built the strongest economy the world had ever seen. Extraordinary!

    Please look at the facts and figures, Tim, rather than Liberal Party talking points.

  158. Dear Alan Austin,

    You are either a fool or a troll. Or both.

    Please read what is actually written, I am Spartacus.

    Nothing written here or anywhere else suggests support for government manipulation of interest rates.

    Please read what Spartacus actually wrote, including when he QUOTED you. Your suggestion that there is an optimal interest rate and that it is based on opinion is by definition an invitation for someone to manipulate interest rates. And if you don’t support government manipulation of interest rates don’t quote the RBA for anything. Their purpose is to manipulate interest rates.

    If commodity prices determined economic prosperity, then the economy would be twice as healthy now – with iron ore prices close to $70 – as in 2004 when the price was $37.40.

    The Australian economy is not all commodities, plus there is the development cycle …. from setting up extraction systems to actually extracting. Not to mention the whole volume factor. Is volume 2x also?

    No, the Rudd/Gillard governments did not take on “massive debt”

    Are you on drugs? Debt went from net negative to positive. How is that not an increase in debt? And to measure debt as a % of GDP? Why not measure debt as a % of Canberra public servants. Both measures whilst interesting, are irrelevant. Especially as the debt was used to juice the GDP (you know, the G in C + I + G + X – M).

    What little debt taken on during the global financial crisis most certainly did generate enormous benefit.

    What productive value was delivered through pink bats, NDIS, NBN, school halls, $900 cheques, cash for clunkers?

  159. Johno

    Geogre Reid. The only genuine liberal to hold the job

  160. Calm down, I am Spartacus. No need for name-calling here.

    “Your suggestion that there is an optimal interest rate and that it is based on opinion is by definition an invitation for someone to manipulate interest rates.”

    Not at all. Throughout his career, John Howard made his opinion on interest rates the centrepiece of his electoral pitches. His 2001 campaign launch opines on interest rates in four unconnected paragraphs.

    Most other Coalition leaders did the same. Remember?

    Yes, agree on the development cycle. The boom from 2003 onwards was based on the expectation of future profits to be derived from iron ore sales at prices not below $30. It was not based on realised profits from mineral sales.

    Yes, minerals sales volumes are now at all-time record highs, as are profits and dividends:

    “We have reported another strong set of results with underlying EBITDA of $9.2 billion and operating cash flow of $5.2 billion. In a favourable market environment … we continue to deliver superior shareholder returns with a record interim dividend of $2.2 billion and a $1.0 billion top-up to our existing share buy-back programme.”

    ~ Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques, August 2018

    On the debt, again, please read what is written. Yes, extra borrowings were required to deal with the GFC. But the Rudd/Gillard administrations did not take on “massive debt”.

    The Abbott/Turnbull administrations have taken on much more debt than Labor did, but the total is still not “massive”.

    The benefits of those borrowings through the GFC are seen in:

    A. Extensive infrastructure and productive assets built, including:

    * new roads,
    * new railway lines,
    * new split level rail crossings,
    * extra port facilities,
    * new bridges,
    * energy and water infrastructure,
    * insulation in 1.1 million buildings,
    * hot water units in sports facilities across the land,
    * school and community buildings in every single town, suburb and rural region,
    * new community social housing,
    * new defence housing,
    * national park extensions.

    These assets are still there, and nearly all are either earning money or saving money.

    B. The strongest economy the world had ever seen. Refer to the profile of that economy, above at #2806063, posted on August 31, 2018 at 6:16 am.

  161. Correct, Dr Faustus.
    Independent economists abroad rated the Whitlam administration much more highly than did Australia’s media.
    They acknowledged the impact of the global energy crisis and the secondary banking emergency, which the local media conveniently ignored.
    Such is Australia’s doom.

  162. .

    Alan, you did not know or decided to present an alternate universe where Swan did not preside over the last ALP budget.

    I’m not calling you a liar but you are certainly deluded and out of your depth.

  163. Neil

    The Abbott/Turnbull administrations have taken on much more debt than Labor did

    Garbage. False. Incorrect

    Net debt was minus $40B in 2007 and Rudd/Gillard took that to plus $209B by 2013. And increase of $249B in debt over 6 years. It is currently now at $350B. That is an increase of $141B ($209B to $350B) under the Coalition.

    So Rudd/Gillard produced $249B of debt and the Coalition so far $141B

    And when the Coalition tries to cut spending to reduce the debt, labor blocks in the Senate

  164. The dates are pretty clear, Mr or Ms Dot.
    Mr Swan was treasurer until 27 June 2013. He was responsible for all decisions which impacted the final budget outcome up to that date.
    Mr Bowen was treasurer from 27 June 2013 until 18 September 2013. He was responsible for all decisions which impacted the final budget outcome between those dates.
    Mr Hockey was treasurer from 18 September 2013. He was responsible for all decisions which impacted the final budget from that date onwards.
    Clear enough?

  165. Neil

    Mr Hockey was treasurer from 18 September 2013. He was responsible for all decisions which impacted the final budget from that date onwards.

    Nope. My understanding is one the budget is legislated and passed by the Senate the spending decisions are locked in for 12 months. Unless the new govt has a mini-budget. It takes an act of Parliament to change a budget and the Coalition did not have the numbers in the Senate to make any changes to Swans budget

  166. candy

    Whitlam did Medicare which you can only say was a good thing.
    As things always go, it gets a bit ruined. There’s plenty folk earning an excellent salary around $60,000 and more going to bulk billing doctors, thereby taking the place of the disadvantage and poorer folk who simply need Medicare. this is a bit of a tragedy. Medicare was designed for those folk.

    I remember watching the memorial service for Gough Whitlam and the Labor people in and out of building abused nastily Tony Abbott – for what reason? At a memorial service, for God’s sake. Note to self then was never vote Labor because they are an abusive bunch although Bill Shorten seems a nice chap as does Chris Bowen. The rest you see in Question Time – abusive types.

  167. None

    Nope. My understanding is one the budget is legislated and passed by the Senate the spending decisions are locked in for 12 months. Unless the new govt has a mini-budget.

    There is also another budget process in November each year which gets ignored by the press but effectively that is what it is.

  168. .

    Yes, it is Alan, you are quite clearly off your head. The last ALP budget was presented in May 2013.

  169. None

    A. Extensive infrastructure and productive assets built, including:

    * new roads,
    * new railway lines,
    * new split level rail crossings,
    * extra port facilities,
    * new bridges,
    * energy and water infrastructure,
    * insulation in 1.1 million buildings,
    * hot water units in sports facilities across the land,
    * school and community buildings in every single town, suburb and rural region,
    * new community social housing,
    * new defence housing,
    * national park extensions.

    A good lot of roads trains was just normal infrastructure spending. The extras were total wastes eg. the $16b BER program was reviewed and found to be a vast waste and hugely inefficient. $1 million toilet blocks that school committees could build for less than $50K. Bonanza for rent seekers and rip off merchants.
    Free insulation on homes (many of them since knocked down) is not infrastructure spending nor a productive asset. It was the murder of 3 Australians and the destruction of an entire service sector.

    Hot water units in sports facilities do not contribute to wealth. Fucking waste of money.

    Wayne Swan’s own assessment of his $96 billion dollar piss against the wall: “depressingly little to show for it”.

  170. Again, Neil, you are just looking at net debt.
    We must look at both net debt and gross debt. Remember, it is gross debt on which interest must be paid.
    And again, Neil, your figures are wrong.
    Labor added $213.2 billion in gross debt.
    The Coalition has added $260.7 billion in gross debt – up to today.
    Labor added $183.4 billion in net debt.
    The Coalition has added $179.8 billion in net debt – up to the end of June. More since.
    The critical figure is interest paid.
    In Labor’s last full financial year, 2012-13, the total interest bill was $11.8 billion.
    In the Coalition’s last full financial year, 2017-18, the total interest bill was $16.6 billion.

  171. None

    I repeat. Does this Allen troll know that Gillard was not the p.m. during the so-called GFC?
    And does this Allen troll also know that the GFC basically hit us only for about 6 weeks and what saved us was China demand, flexible interest rates which meant our exchange rate could adjust quickly and Costello’s prudential regs?
    Does this troll really think pissing 96 billion dollars up the wall while being applauded by bunch of statist and socialist fuckwits overseas who helped create not the GFC but what effectively was a North Atlantic financial crisis, is somehow a fabulous achievement?
    No it’s fabulous self-delusion. Alan must be Wayne Swan’s love child.
    Only such a man would think $1 million toilet blocks in schools are a productive asset.

  172. Do you know how many economists outside Australia who have studied these things agree with you, None?
    That’s right. None.

    “Kevin Rudd put in place one of the best-designed Keynesian stimulus packages of any country in the world. He realized that it was important to act early, with money that would be spent quickly, but that there was a risk that the crisis would not be over soon. So the first part of the stimulus was cash grants, followed by investments, which would take longer to put into place. Rudd’s stimulus worked.”

    ~ Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Colombia University, Nobel Prize winner

  173. Nob

    Alan Austin
    #2806577, posted on August 31, 2018 at 5:07 pm
    Not at all, Tim Neilson,

    High commodity prices have not been the driver of economic prosperity since the changes to the tax regime during the early 2000s.

    Ken Henry makes this crystal clear in his tax review.

    Please track prices and see what you discover. If commodity prices determined economic prosperity, then the economy would be twice as healthy now – with iron ore prices close to $70 – as in 2004 when the price was $37.40.

    Nonsense.
    2004 was the beginning of the boom, which peaked at $168 in 2011 .
    It took 2-3 years before the boom worked its way through to extra revenue for the nation.
    It was about that point that costs in Australia really rocketed, not helped by wasteful state spending.
    Today’s recovery to $70 from the slumps of 2014/15 is modest by comparison.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/282830/iron-ore-prices-since-2003/

    Australia’s iron ore exports to the Bg 3: China, Japan, Korea, all declined massively since the peak.
    http://www.worldstopexports.com/iron-ore-imports-by-country/

  174. Neil

    We must look at both net debt and gross debt. Remember, it is gross debt on which interest must be paid.

    We have been through this before. Costello could have taken GROSS debt to zero but was advised by Treasury to keep borrowing even though the govt did not need to. That is why we had gross debt in 2007. So Costello made sure we had $50-$50B of bonds on issue

    My numbers are correct. Net debt tells the true story much to your disappointment

  175. Nob

    Alan Austin
    #2806724, posted on August 31, 2018 at 7:46 pm
    Do you know how many economists outside Australia who have studied these things agree with you, None?
    That’s right. None.

    “Kevin Rudd put in place one of the best-designed Keynesian stimulus packages of any country in the world. He realized that it was important to act early, with money that would be spent quickly, but that there was a risk that the crisis would not be over soon. So the first part of the stimulus was cash grants, followed by investments, which would take longer to put into place. Rudd’s stimulus worked.”

    ~ Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Colombia University, Nobel Prize winner

    The same Stiglitz who thought that Venezuela was a model to follow?

  176. And the same stiglitz who said that Costa Rica is a model economy also.

  177. The best designed Keynesian stimulus is like saying the best combination of leeches to treat cancer.

  178. .

    Independent economists abroad

    ~ Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Colombia University, Nobel Prize winner

    An Open Letter to Joseph Stiglitz, by Kenneth Rogoff, Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department, IMF

    July 2, 2002

    An Open Letter1
    By Kenneth Rogoff,
    Economic Counsellor and Director of Research,
    International Monetary Fund

    To Joseph Stiglitz,
    Author of Globalization and Its Discontents
    (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, June 2002)

    Washington D.C., July 2, 2002

    https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2015/09/28/04/54/vc070202

    Let’s look at Stiglitzian prescriptions for helping a distressed emerging market debtor, the ideas you put forth as superior to existing practice. Governments typically come to the IMF for financial assistance when they are having trouble finding buyers for their debt and when the value of their money is falling. The Stiglitzian prescription is to raise the profile of fiscal deficits, that is, to issue more debt and to print more money. You seem to believe that if a distressed government issues more currency, its citizens will suddenly think it more valuable. You seem to believe that when investors are no longer willing to hold a government’s debt, all that needs to be done is to increase the supply and it will sell like hot cakes. We at the IMF—no, make that we on the Planet Earth—have considerable experience suggesting otherwise. We earthlings have found that when a country in fiscal distress tries to escape by printing more money, inflation rises, often uncontrollably. Uncontrolled inflation strangles growth, hurting the entire populace but, especially the indigent. The laws of economics may be different in your part of the gamma quadrant, but around here we find that when an almost bankrupt government fails to credibly constrain the time profile of its fiscal deficits, things generally get worse instead of better.

  179. Hi again Nob, I am Spartacus, Dot and lurkers,

    No, it is not just Nobel Prize-winning economists who credit Australia’s Government with the best response in the world to the global financial crisis in 2008.

    Many people of profound intelligence, wisdom, insight and awareness have praised Australia:

    “I hear good things about the way Australia is being run and running. Your financial genius just got a nice award. He was voted the best [treasurer] in the world at this time.”

    ~ Donald Trump, 2011

    The bottom line is this, lads – the best-performed economy the world had ever seen was Australia’s in September 2013. Please keep that in mind.

  180. Neil

    The bottom line is this, lads – the best-performed economy the world had ever seen was Australia’s in September 2013. Please keep that in mind

    Just say Howard did not win govt in 1996. Govt debt went from 7% of GDP in 1983 to 18% by 1996 and we lost our AAA credit rating. If Labor was still in govt debt would have doubled to 40% of GDP by 2007. And then where would have Swan got his money from to stimulus spend?

    The only reason Swan had money to spend was because Howard/Costello reduced govt debt from 18% of GDP in 1996 to zero by 2007

  181. .

    Alan finally scores a direct hit.

    1/397 ain’t bad.

  182. No, not really, Neil.

    1996 to 2007 included that phenomenal construction boom, with tens of thousands of new workers on six-figure salaries. Billions of dollars should have poured into the government’s coffers over that period. But it didn’t.

    Instead, most of that potential revenue disappeared via the baby bonus, reduced company tax collections, lower personal tax collections, lower capital gains taxes, the scrapped fuel excise indexation, changed super tax rates, changed franking credits regime and other forms of welfare for the middle class and the rich.

    To make matters worse, the Coalition flogged off valuable income-earning assets at bargain basement prices.

    Had those destructive decisions not been taken, the accumulated money in the kitty by June 2007 would have been around $300 billion, instead of the puny $24.3 billion the Howard Government actually left.

  183. Neil

    Alan

    Name me one labor govt that has saved money? In 1983 debt was 7% of GDP. By 1996 that had almost tripled to 18% and we had lost our AAA credit rating.

    How much money did Rudd/Gillard save. That horrible govt increased debt by $249B in 6 years

    And one reason Howard lost govt was that he was running surplus budgets. Australians do not like that.

  184. Tim Neilson

    Poor old Alan, still deluding himself.
    Let’s take it step by step.

    High commodity prices have not been the driver of economic prosperity since the changes to the tax regime during the early 2000s.

    Ken Henry makes this crystal clear in his tax review.

    Still conflating two different issues, government confiscation and national prosperity.

    Please track prices and see what you discover. If commodity prices determined economic prosperity, then the economy would be twice as healthy now – with iron ore prices close to $70 – as in 2004 when the price was $37.40.

    There is such a thing as a lagging indicator. RGR inherited Howard prosperity and it took them a while to destroy it. RGR had better commodity prices than Howard but managed to shatter national prosperity to the extent that we’re still trying to recover (not aided by the fact that we’ve had only six months of good government since Rudd Mk II got the well deserved electoral pineapple).

    No, the Rudd/Gillard governments did not take on “massive debt”, Tim. Gross debt peaked in 2013 at 16.83% of GDP (on 2018 budget figures), then began to decline, or at least level off. That was close to the lowest in the developed world at the time.

    Yes,precisely. National debt which was negative when RGR took over peaked in 2013. No-one here is defending Turnbull, or even Abbott post his first six months.

    It took off again in a big way in 2014 and 2015. Gross debt today is still only 29.5% of GDP, still not “massive”.

    See above.

    What little debt taken on during the global financial crisis most certainly did generate enormous benefit.
    Bullshit.
    It greatly expanded and enhanced the nation’s stock of productive assets. And, more importantly, built the strongest economy the world had ever seen. Extraordinary!
    Private debt, motivated by the commodity boom, may have expanded productive assets. Government debt didn’t. Pink batts, school halls etc were not just the equivalent of a bonfire of banknotes, they were counterproductive. And if the economy was so strong, why couldn’t Goose Swansteen deliver something better than a $48 billion deficit in his last budget?

  185. Tim Neilson

    Instead, most of that potential revenue disappeared via the baby bonus, reduced company tax collections, lower personal tax collections, lower capital gains taxes, the scrapped fuel excise indexation, changed super tax rates, changed franking credits regime and other forms of welfare for the middle class and the rich.

    This is exactly correct! Governments have a moral obligation to maximise confiscation from citizens! Allowing people to keep their own money is wrong!
    You KNOW it makes sense!!!!

  186. Hi again Neil,

    Labor governments have a much stronger record of saving money than the Coalition does – when we allow for the prevailing global conditions.

    The Whitlam Government brought in three consecutive budget surpluses and increased the accumulated money in the kitty from around $500 million to nearly two billion.

    That was during the worst global economic crisis since the 1930s. Incredibly good outcomes.

    The Hawke Government brought in three consecutive budget surpluses in the late 1980s and reduced the net debt from $29.1 billion to $16.1 billion in three years.

    The Rudd Government inherited a poor economy in November 2007 but soon fixed it. In their first nine months, 225,500 new jobs were created. They reduced the gross debt from $58.5 billion to $52.4 billion within a year and increased the net money in the bank from a puny $22.1 billion to $47.9 billion.

    Peter Costello had set the 2007-08 budget parameters for a surplus of $10.6 billion. Swan re-jigged things and brought in an actual surplus of $19.8 billion — the highest in Australia’s history. In just seven months.

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

    These are excellent outcomes relative to the rest of the world, Neil.

    In contrast, the performance of Coalition governments relative to the rest of the world since the Menzies era have invariably been dismal.

  187. So, Tim Neilson, are we in agreement that the middle class welfare through the last six years or so of the Howard Government returned to taxpayers around $280 billion of potential revenue foregone?

  188. Nob

    the best-performed economy the world had ever seen was Australia’s in September 2013.

    Sounds like a winner to me:
    We were good in September 2013!

    Alan, you sound like a Labor Party bot.

    I don’t even know what you mean, or even what you think you mean, by such empty sloganeering.

    I don’t know about the others but I don’t support or defend any party.

    A government doesn’t create or run an economy.

    That’s us, the productive people, who do that.

    No productivity, no lovely tax money for politicians, bureaucrats and cronies to play with.

  189. Yes, agree with that, Nob.
    Productivity is absolutely critical.
    But it is not empty sloganeering.
    The facts and figures are all on the public record.
    Refer #2806063, posted on August 31, 2018 at 6:16 am, above.

  190. Nob

    Only if you’re dumb enough to think that economic performance is something done by governments, rather than thwarted by government, and shows itself immediately in statistics gathered by plodding civil servants.

  191. In a mixed economy it is both government and the private sector, Nob.
    That’s what mixed economy means.
    We both lived through the global financial crisis, otherwise known as the Great Depression.
    Those countries where governments intervened experienced far fewer recession-related deaths than those countries where they didn’t.
    The fatalities were measured in multiple thousands.

    https://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5239

  192. struth

    We had a surplus until labor got in and wrecked the joint.
    Pissed billions up against the wall.
    Combined with union and OH&S the spends on infrastructure gave us comparatively nothing.
    Then Alan comes along and quotes Academic knob Jockies opinion from overseas as proof of a good economy.
    Trump saying that was just blowing smoke up our arse and if you are too dumb to see that you really should not be on this blog.
    We have standards.
    Economic health is not found by looking at government take and spend as the more the better.
    The opposite is true.

  193. Not at all, Struth.
    Please read what is written.
    The proof that Australia had the best-performed economy in the world from 2010 to 2013 is not found in any commentary. Not even from someone with the profound wisdom and finely-honed analytical skills of Mr Trump.
    It is in the hard, cold, verifiable facts and figures.
    These include the fact that suicides and other recession-related fatalities did not soar in Australia in 2008 and 2009 as they did in comparable countries.

  194. struth

    People with a wider outlook than you Alan will tell you that Hitler had Germany going before he invaded Poland..
    Socialism is over when other people’s money runs out.
    Adults and those that care for a future for their children realise what true wealth is and how it is created.
    Your semantics here labouring over destorted figures without taking in the bigger picture is telling and reinforces our view as it also will to many a lurker.
    You do yourself and your side no favours, so please continue.

  195. Tom

    Struth, you should know trolls don’t recognise facts or logic. They alone possess perfect unchallengeable knowledge because shut up. The latest Cat clown is just another version of Steve from Brisbane and Googleory.

  196. struth

    No we mention Hitler here all the time.
    He was your classic left wing racist after all.
    National SOCIALIST workers party.

    You know, like Gillard and you.

    He um would have been seen to have got his economy moving before the war but it was the way he did it which couldn’t last.
    It wasn’t real wealth generation.
    He is an excellent example of left wing failure.
    I could have mentioned every other failure from Russia to Venezuela.
    All like you, with no understanding of real wealth creation and what causes it..

  197. struth

    Sorry Tom.
    But I had to do something while you slept in.

  198. Tintarella di Luna

    He um would have been seen to have got his economy moving before the war but it was the way he did it which couldn’t last.

    Ah there is the kernel of hope of the Socialism Set — it wasn’t done properly — I like Ben Shapiro’s explanation

  199. Neil

    They reduced the gross debt from $58.5 billion to $52.4 billion within a year

    Alan

    Can you read English. I have told you why we had gross debt. The Australian govt in 2007 was not interested in reducing GROSS debt. Costello could have taken it to ZERO if he wanted. After a investigation by Treasury the conclusion was to keep the bond market open and always have $50-$55B on issue even though the govt did not need the money.

    But NET debt was minus $40B in 2007 That takes into account gross debt. Do you comprehend the difference between net and gross?

    I can give you a link to the review by Treasury to always have some gross debt

  200. bollux

    Abbott worst for the squandered opportunity. Any lefties in any order after that. Anyone who thinks Keating was a good manager wasn’t alive in 1991-2. Anyone using Ken Henry and Joseph Stiglitz as reliable commentary, isn’t trying to be helpful. Swans’ surpluses were the best the ALP could do, no surprises there. Alan Austin must have been CFO for Babcock & Brown.

  201. Ubique

    Australia during the GFC was saved by an explosion in Chinese demand for minerals and other commodities. The Rudd-Swan disastrous duumbvirate had nothing to do with it.
    https://www.austrade.gov.au/images/useruploadedimages/5723/iload39714___source.gif

  202. .

    China also did their own stimulus in roads, rail etc, along with our dollar dropping off monetary accommodation by our own CB.

    The stimulus really only put pressure against the dollar to appreciate too early and it retarded any recovery.

  203. Neil

    This is the link to the review that Treasury decided to keep the bond market open and to always have some GROSS debt even though under Howard we did not need to borrow

    https://www.budget.gov.au/2003-04/bp1/html/bst7.htm

    The Government indicated in the 2002-03 Budget that it would consider the future of the Commonwealth Government Securities (CGS) market, in consultation with key stakeholders. Following a public review, the Government has decided to maintain the CGS market. This will entail ensuring sufficient CGS remains on issue to support the Treasury bond futures market.
    Financial assets will continue to be held on deposit with the Reserve Bank of Australia to meet short-term liquidity needs. These needs are assessed to be up to $25 billion over the course of a year.

  204. Eyrie

    “I think enough people didn’t want Workchoices”.
    Nah, the bogans got bored with prosperity and dull politics.
    Were they not entertained by R-G-R-A-T?

  205. Tim Neilson

    So, Tim Neilson, are we in agreement that the middle class welfare through the last six years or so of the Howard Government returned to taxpayers around $280 billion of potential revenue foregone?

    Poor old Alan, still unable to understand that national prosperity and government confiscation aren’t the same thing.

    Would you say that not having a 45% company tax rate, or a 20% GST rate, or a 66% top marginal tax rate, equals “potential revenue foregone”?
    In that sense, any decision by a government to allow citizens to keep some of their own money is “potential revenue foregone”.
    If Howard did leave citizens with $280 billion more in their pockets than they would otherwise have had, good on him. It contributed mightily to the prosperity we enjoyed at that time (which, alas, led to complacency and the election of the disastrous RGR).

  206. So we are agreed then, Tim?
    This is good. We are making progress.

  207. Neil, are you saying that if Treasury approves a particular state of affairs, then you approve of it also?
    You do realise that Treasury approved all the borrowings during the global financial crisis, don’t you?

  208. Neil

    So an extra $280B over 6 years is approx. an extra $45B/year for the govt. So Costello’s last budget surplus should have been $65B for the 2007 budget according to you? Impossible.

    Why so hard on Howard? hawke/Keating took govt debt from 7% to 18% of GDP. Howard/Costello took it back down to zero. Then Rudd/Gillard started a runaway debt truck taking debt up to 13% of GDP

    Howard saved during 1996-2007. In my lifetime labor has never saved one cent

  209. Neil

    Neil, are you saying that if Treasury approves a particular state of affairs, then you approve of it also?

    Treasury advice was not to take GROSS debt to zero which Costello could have done but to keep $50-$55B on issue even though the govt did not need the money. That is why we had some gross debt because but zero net debt. Some organisations like to put some of their money in govt bonds so Costello kept borrowing but reinvested the borrowed money. here is the link to the Treasury review about not closing down the bond market

    https://www.budget.gov.au/2003-04/bp1/html/bst7.htm

    You do realise that Treasury approved all the borrowings during the global financial crisis, don’t you?

    What? We had no option to borrow. perhaps you mean Treasury approved of the fiscal stimulus. I am sure they did. But if Costello was Treasurer he would have told them that their policy was a load of rubbish and he would not have done stimulus spending

  210. Almost correct, Neil.

    Mr Costello’s last budget surplus in 2006-07 should have been $86 billion.

    Instead, about 80% was not collected. It disappeared via the baby bonus, franking credits, reduced company taxes, reduced personal taxes, reduced capital gains taxes, reduce fuel excise and reduced super tax.

    This is why the country was left with a puny $22.1 billion in the kitty at the time of the 2007 election, instead of a healthy $300 billion.

    Please look at the budgets and the accumulation of debt/savings in the global context, Neil. Your failure to do this is why you make so many ludicrous claims.

    You cannot compare what happens between regimes in Australia without noting what was happening to comparable economies as a result of the global conditions.

    Also, please have a sideways look at your last post, Neil. You seem to be saying that the Coalition is wise to accept the advice of Treasury but Labor is foolish to do so.

  211. Neil

    Mr Costello’s last budget surplus in 2006-07 should have been $86 billion.

    How come the Coalition have to run surplus budgets? Why cannot Labor do it? If Costello was running the surplus budgets you say the Coalition would have lost office in 2004 because Australians do not like govts saving money. Anyway that $86B figure just shows how deluded you are

    Also, please have a sideways look at your last post, Neil. You seem to be saying that the Coalition is wise to accept the advice of Treasury but Labor is foolish to do so.

    I was trying to say Costello was smart but Swan was dumb. Costello could tell good advice from bad. Swan was too stupid to do that.

    But saying that Costello’s last budget should have been a $86B surplus shows how unfair you actually are

  212. Fat Tony

    Hi Alan!

    Tell me Alan, why do you need to have your “thoughtful pose” avatar?
    Do you think it impresses people?
    Are we supposed to bow down reverently at your feet and kiss the hem of your robe?
    Have you got Mummy issues?

    Just askin’ – not too difficult a question for someone of your supposed intellect

  213. Budget surpluses or deficits should be determined by the economic conditions, Neil.

    Australia was in deficit in 2008-09 and through to 2013-14 along with most of the developed world. Countries with deficit budgets back then included New Zealand, Malta, Iceland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lithuania and Greece.

    That was during the worst global recession in 80 years.

    There is no excuse for any developed country to be delivering budget deficits since 2015. The world is now in the strongest global boom in trade, jobs, corporate profits and executive salaries since World War II.

    All those eleven countries delivered budget surpluses in 2016 and 2017. Even Greece. It is a great shame that Australia is still in budget deficit.

    The record, Neil, if you go back and check, is that Labor has always performed better than the Coalition relative to the rest of the world.

  214. Fat Tony

    Hi Alan!

    I’m still waiting for your reply – been 2(?) days now – and I’m not getting any younger

  215. Neil

    Alan

    According to you Costello’s budget surplus would have been bigger if not for this

    It disappeared via the baby bonus, franking credits, reduced company taxes, reduced personal taxes, reduced capital gains taxes, reduce fuel excise and reduced super tax.

    Why didn’t Swan reverse those things?

  216. jupes

    Best: Billy Hughes. He was our Trump:

    Carl Bridge, director of the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at Kings College London, is the author of the volume dealing with William Hughes (better known as W.M. Hughes or William Morris Hughes or Billy Hughes), the diminutive Welsh–Australian prime minister who battled on behalf of Australia’s interests at the Peace Conference, and who returned from Paris having achieved, on paper at least, most of the war aims he had been proclaiming since its outbreak. To do so, Hughes defied the architect of the “new world order,” the American president Woodrow Wilson, helped guarantee that Germany would be held responsible for the full costs of the war, doomed the “racial equality” clause in the Peace Treaty, scuttled Japanese ambitions in the South Pacific, and helped to give a new lease of life to the British Empire as an imperial trading and defence bloc. Carl Bridge describes the Peace Conference as Hughes’s “finest hour,” dismissing, as did Hughes, “the short-term opprobrium of the right-thinking liberal internationalists.”

    Hughes is fondly remembered by some in Australia for chastening Wilson at the Peace Conference with the declaration, “I speak for 60,000 dead,” … Arriving in Britain in March 1916, when national morale was low, Hughes was immediately coopted by munitions minister Lloyd George and newspaper magnate Lord Northcliffe (at the instigation of the Australian journalist Keith Murdoch) to set off on a “Wake Up England!” speaking tour … Guided by Hughes, and ignoring the advice of Treasury official John Maynard Keynes, the committee reported that Germany should pay the total costs of the war to the Allies: £24,000,000,000, a grotesque amount that Lloyd George announced in his last speech of the election campaign, less than a month before the Paris Peace Conference. He won the election in a landslide … his larrikinism (his habit of saving half-smoked cigarettes behind his ear was noted at Versailles) … Hughes’s imperial patriotism was visceral, but, as Bridge shows, it was also far-sighted and pragmatic … he saw the White Australia policy as integral to this imperial vision. … Before the war, as deputy leader and attorney-general in the federal government, he introduced compulsory military training and bought a small fleet of warships and a submarine to establish the Australian Navy as an arm of the British Navy …

    etc etc. If only we had someone governing in the national interest a century after the great man.

    Worst: The Lying Slapper. She may not have created the most damage, but she definitely was the most incompetent. Surely everyone remembers that, it wasn’t too long ago.

  217. Mr Swan did reverse some of those things, Neil.
    He imposed an income test for Family Tax Benefits Part B.
    The baby bonus was only paid to families with income below $150,000 a year.
    The tax rate for luxury vehicles increased from 25 per cent to 33 per cent.
    Tax rules for employee share schemes were amended to prevent tax evasion.
    Plus various other adjustments.
    And that was just in his first budget. Other reforms were brought in later.

  218. Neil

    Then why didn’t Swan run surplus budgets? GFC was over by 2010.

  219. Fat Tony

    Hi Alan! Me still waiting for your answer…..

  220. sdfc

    The GFC is still with us. They’ve just papered over the cracks.

  221. Depends how we define the global financial crisis, Neil, sdfc and lurkers.
    Most of the developed world – which for our purposes we can regard as the 35 OECD countries – went into recession in 2008.
    Some emerged in 2009, but not many. They gradually recovered through to 2013.
    The last OECD countries emerged from recession in 2013 – Italy, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal. So that’s when we can safely say the global situation had recovered.
    2014 was a transition year, before the strong global boom in trade and profits really took off in 2015.

  222. Neil

    Alan

    The only point we have changed your mind on is that treasury paper which said the govt got an extra $334B from 2004-2011 NOT from 2004-2007.

    Your opinions would be different if you did not know which party was in govt. Debt went from 7% to 18% of GDP from 1983-1996 and we lost our AAA rating plus we had more than 2 years of double digit unemployment under that govt. Plus money from asset sales like Qantas. Comm. bank, CSL were used for recurrent spending for pensions etc and NOT used to pay off debt like Costello did with his asset sales. If Howard had been in power you would be saying what a disaster 1983-1996 was

    Your opinions depend on who is in govt

  223. Not at all, Neil.
    We must look at changes in the economic variables over time within Australia. AND we must also look at comparisons with other countries.
    This is where you always come unglued.
    As an example, the jobless rate in Australia in mid 2013 was 5.6%. That ranked sixth among the 35 OECD nations.
    The jobless rate in Australia in mid 2018 was 5.4%.
    Better? Yes, marginally. But that now ranks sixteenth among OECD nations.
    We can do the same with debt, annual budget surpluses, inflation, interest rates, retail sales growth, GDP growth and a few others.
    Regarding the latter, annual GDP growth in Australia was highest in the OECD for some quarters in 2009.
    It now ranks 14th.

  224. .

    he saw the White Australia policy as integral to this imperial vision.

    Jesus christ you genetic fucking loser.

    Still banging on about how great the WAP was, without having the balls (which you don’t have and never had) to come out and say you support it.

    Pathetic.

  225. Neil

    And we were one of the few Western Countries to be paying off debt from 1996-2007. If Labor was not tossed out in 1996 debt would have doubled and we would have hit the GFC with NET debt at 40% of GDP.

    Hawke/Keating took debt from 7% to 18% of GDP. It would have doubled again because Labor in my lifetime has not paid back one cent in debt. It is not in Labors DNA to run surplus budget.

    And how many countries had 30 months of double digit unemployment in the early 90’s like we did?

  226. Nonsense, Neil. That is absolutely false!

    Where are you getting your information from? The Australian? The Liberal Party? The IPA?

    The highest post-Menzies gross debt Australia ever accumulated BJH (before Joe Hockey) was 31.7% in 1994. That was right at the end of the early 1990s global recession.

    Correct?

    That year, gross debt in New Zealand was 45.3%.
    Gross debt here in France was 49.4%.
    Gross debt in Germany was 57.5%.
    Gross debt in Spain was 58.6%.
    Gross debt in the USA was 64.5%.
    Gross debt in Ireland was 88.8%.
    Gross debt in Canada was 97.8%.
    Gross debt in Japan was 99%.
    Gross debt in Italy was 102%.
    Gross debt in Belgium was 132.3%.

    The Hawke/Keating Government had very low debt relative to the rest of the world. Not the lowest, but close to.

    So repayments were never a great challenge in Australia, once the economy was back in structural surplus – which Mr Keating achieved in 1995.

    If Peter Costello had not changed Mr Keating’s settings, the money in the bank at the time of the 2007 election would have been $308 billion, instead of a puny $22.1 billion.

    Please look at the actual data, Neil.

  227. Neil

    If Peter Costello had not changed Mr Keating’s settings, the money in the bank at the time of the 2007 election would have been $308 billion, instead of a puny $22.1 billion

    Absurd and unprovable. How many times do I have to tell you. Debt ALWAYS goes up under Labor for the simple reason they cannot control their spending.

    DEbt tripled under Hawke/keating and we lost our AAA credit rating

  228. jupes

    Still banging on about how great the WAP was, without having the balls (which you don’t have and never had) to come out and say you support it.

    No. While I don’t support an immigration policy based on race, you have to admit that the WAP was a far superior policy than multiculturalism and the non-discriminatory immigration policy that is currently fucking up Australia.

    Back in the day you could park your car at the MCG and the bollard industry was in recession.

  229. “And how many countries had 30 months of double digit unemployment in the early 90’s like we did?”

    Again, Neil, the actual data shows that Australia during the 1990s was one the world’s best-managed economies.

    In the early 1990s, Australia had 30 months with the jobless rate above 10%, peaking at 11.2%. That was only two and a half years – during the worst global recession since the 1930s up to that point.

    Spain went right through the 90s with the jobless rate above 10% every month, peaking at 24.5%
    Poland had more than 16 years with the jobless rate above 10%, peaking at 20.7%.
    Bulgaria had more than 14 years with the jobless rate above 10%, peaking at 19.3%.
    Slovakia had more than 13 years with the jobless rate above 10%, peaking at 19.8%.
    Ireland had more than ten years with the jobless rate above 10%, peaking at 17.3%.
    Finland had 90 months with the jobless rate above 10%, peaking at 19.9%.
    Italy had 81 months with the jobless rate above 10%, peaking at 11.5%
    Canada had 44 months with the jobless rate above 10%, peaking at 12.1%.
    New Zealand had fewer months above 10% than Australia did, but also peaked at 11.2%.

    The bottom line is this, Neil:
    Everything you believe about Australia’s economy appears to be untrue. So you have evidently heard it from liars.
    I’m guessing the Murdoch media and the Liberal Party. Correct?
    Henceforward, Neil, whenever you read anything about the economy from these sources, always believe the opposite.
    This basic principle will serve you well.

  230. “How many times do I have to tell you. Debt ALWAYS goes up under Labor for the simple reason they cannot control their spending.”

    You are doing it again, Neil. You are revealing to this forum that what you believe is just not true. (Fortunately, this is a very supportive and non-judgmental group.)

    Please look at the actual record on government spending.

    In Mr Whitlam’s last FBO (final budget outcome), 1974-75, government spending was a miserly 21.7% of GDP. It averaged just 19.7% over his three years.

    In the last year of the Fraser Government, 1982-83, government spending had jumped to 25.8% of GDP. Just extraordinary profligacy and waste!

    In the last year of Bob Hawke’s Libertarian Government, 1989-90, government spending was back down to a reasonable 22.9% of GDP. Not as good as Gough, no, but not too shabby!

    It then fluctuated dramatically through the Keating, Howard, Rudd and Gillard years, peaking at 25.9% in 2009-10, at the depths of the global financial crisis.

    It then settled back to 23.9% in Labor’s last FBO in 2012-13.

    Since then, with the global boom in trade, jobs, profits and corporate salaries, it should have fallen back well below 19.7% – the average during the Whitlam years.

    Instead, it has blown out above 25% for every FBO since the Coalition was elected in 2013.
    Under this regime, it is not forecast to drop below 25% until 2020-21 – if you are lucky.

    The conclusions are clear: spending is always lower under Labor governments.

    So the general principle is affirmed by this data along with all the other data, Neil: Everything you believe about the economy is the opposite of the truth.

  231. Neil

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

    Table 1 says Whitlam took spending from 19% of GDP to 24%. Spending increases were 20% in 74-75 and 16% In 75-76

    Everything you believe about the economy is the opposite of the truth.

  232. You are not reading the data correctly, Neil.
    Over the full financial year 1972-73, spending was 18.9% of GDP. The Whitlam Government controlled the economy for the last six months of that year, so were responsible for the final budget outcome.
    Through 1973-74, spending was 18.4% of GDP.
    Through 1974-75, spending rose to 21.7% of GDP.
    The budget for 1975-76 was announced in August 1975, but the Government lost office in November. So responsibility for the final budget outcome for that year was the Fraser Government’s.
    Yes, spending increased by 19.9% in 1974-75. But revenue increased 22.0%. So the Government still fulfilled a budget surplus.
    Incidentally, Neil, most comparable countries delivered pretty deep budget deficits in 1974-75, including Canada, France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the USA. Australia’s results were pretty impressive in global terms that year.

  233. Neil

    Through 1973-74, spending was 18.4% of GDP.
    Through 1974-75, spending rose to 21.7% of GDP.

    That is a HUGE increase in spending

    So responsibility for the final budget outcome for that year was the Fraser Government’s

    Whoever brings down the budget owns the budget. Spending decisions once passed through the Senate are legislated for 12 months

    Spending went from 18.9% to 24.3% of GDP under Whitlam. Gough trashed the budget leaving a MESS like ALL ALP govts do

  234. Tel

    https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NE.CON.GOVT.ZS?locations=AU

    The World Bank data gives an easy visualization of Australia Commonwealth spending. It was rising already at a steady rave even BEFORE Whitlam but then in the last year of the Whitlam government (1975) the spending just went ballistic, gobbling up an additional 2.3% of Australia’s GDP in just one year. Maybe we can blame Whitlam for 1976 as well since Fraser didn’t have much time to do anything about those spending commitments, but anyway Fraser was pretty much useless, failed to turn the ship around, hardly even made the attempt.

    Government spending has been high ever since, it came down a little bit under Hawke, went up again under Keating then down again toward the end of the Keating years (recession we had-to-have TM), very slowly came down during Howard, then turned around after the GFC and it’s been heading up ever since.

    Certainly Whitlam was the major turning point, but I suspect it might have happened gradually anyhow, even without Whitlam, although that’s all speculative. One government spending, Whitlam is surely worst but those that followed could have done something to fix that and chose not to, so they share the blame.

  235. Tel

    Whoever brings down the budget owns the budget. Spending decisions once passed through the Senate are legislated for 12 months

    Yeah I agree, it’s fair to blame Whitlam for the spending of 1976 but let’s also admit that Fraser was a hopeless tool, inept in every way, and those were his good points.

  236. Yes and no, Tel.
    An incoming government always has the option of reversing budget measures which they believe to be destructive. So the outcome in June 1976 is certainly Mr Fraser’s to own.
    Yes, the economy deteriorated rapidly under Mr Fraser. On virtually all variables.
    Although to be fair, he had the misfortune of having the worst Treasurer since Federation – before Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison.
    They never managed to get spending back below 23.4% of GDP.

  237. Fat Tony

    Hi Alan!

    I see you’ve lost the “thoughtful pose” avatar……

  238. Tel

    Split the difference if you like, Whitlam can have half of 1976 since it was his budget. I can’t be more fair than that. Still makes him the worst on spending, by a long shot.

    They never managed to get spending back below 23.4% of GDP.

    Have you ever noticed how it’s quite easy to break a beer glass, but much more difficult to get those little pieces to stick back together again and hold beer afterwards? It’s almost like the universe is making life difficult for us.

    https://mises.org/library/fed-and-ratchet-effect

    One of economic historian Bob Higgs’s outstanding contributions is the “ratchet effect.” During a crisis, the size and scope of government grow tremendously. After the crisis subsides, government shrinks, but not to the precrisis level. In consequence, leviathan expands over the decades, leaping from one crisis to the next.

    We see Higgs’s thesis of the ratchet effect on brilliant display with the Federal Reserve in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008. The recent Fed announcement, signaling a major shift in policy, shows that Ben Bernanke has no intention of giving up his newly acquired influence.

  239. Neil

    An incoming government always has the option of reversing budget measures which they believe to be destructive

    Really? Hockeys first 2014 budget was blocked by the Senate. I read somewhere that some of the budget still has not passed. A govt can always be blocked by a hostile Senate

    But at least you admitted Whitlam increased spending from 18.4% to 21.7% of GDP. That is a HUGE increase. Socialists never can control their spending. That is why debt ALWAYS goes up under Labor govt. And Whitlam actually took spending to 24.3% of GDP

  240. It is certainly quite possible to reduce spending from one year to the next, Tel.
    Good governments can do this when needed, and can persuade the Senate to approve the cuts, if the rationale is sound enough.
    Spending was cut by more than one percentage point of GDP in 1986-87 and by more than three points in 1988-89.
    Spending was cut in actual dollars – as well as by 3.2% of GDP – in 2012-13.

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