Budget in a parallel universe

So I just read this sentence in The Age:

Her almost three-year-old government has played by the rules: It has kept the national budget in, or close to, surplus, has conducted monetary policy credibly and has done more than others to tax the carbon emissions heating up our planet.

Wow. Kept the budget in or close to surplus? Really?

Just to remind ourselves here is the underlying cash balance from the latest MYEFO with the current expected deficit for this year substituted for the published figure.

cash balance

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53 Responses to Budget in a parallel universe

  1. harrys on the boat

    You are fucking kidding me. To coin a phrase, no wonder Fairfax is going broke.

  2. Infidel Tiger

    I kept the patient close to alive.

  3. DiamondFootprint

    Well this government has been “in” or “close to” competent…

  4. Token

    It has kept the national budget in, or close to, surplus…

    Technically correct. Each year in the budget they have projected this.

    The reality when the actual results came in, the results were overstated by various multiples of $20 Billion.

    Will someone ask the economic illiterate who wrote the article whether they spend the bonus projected in their renumeration package or the amount paid by FauxFacts?

  5. Empire Strikes Back

    A similar claim was made in The Guardian a few weeks back, although there it was claimed surplus had been achieved.

    Who’s feeding the BS to these syndicated business journos? What’s the angle?

  6. Gab

    There’s nothing like the facts and the Age’s propaganda “It has kept the national budget in, or close to, surplus…” is nothing like the facts.

  7. Catfeesh?

    From the article…

    “William Pesek is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.”

    Does this mean that even Fairfax know this is a crock of shit?

  8. stackja

    Who’s feeding the BS to these syndicated business journos? What’s the angle?

    The Scotmans?

  9. Jock

    It appears Mr pesok from Blomberg is unaware that the federal government does not control monetary policy which is purportedly run by the Rba. I would suggest we refer to these “business” journalists/ commentators for what they are ….left wing.

  10. Bruce of Newcastle

    has done more than others to tax the carbon emissions heating up our planet

    Which are not heating up the planet last I noticed, and will not heat up the planet for at least the next couple decades, and probably longer.

    And our esteemed Minister for Climate Change says:

    We’re not leading the world

    Since we’re not even “in, or close to, surplus” that puts the Age on a batting average which surely would qualify for a Test berth.

    How can you be so wrong so many times in a single sentence? Don’t answer that I know its the Phage, its what they do.

  11. Splatacrobat

    If he is from Bloomberg then he is probably more used to seeing trillion dollar deficit figures. By comparison a $20 Billion dollar deficit would seem like a rounding error.

  12. Chez

    I laughed out loud when I read this article in The Age!

  13. Myrrdin Seren

    William Pesek is based in Tokyo and writes on economics, markets and politics throughout the Asia-Pacific region. His journalism awards include the 2010 Society of American Business Editors and Writers prize for commentary.

    Pesek earned a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Bernard M. Baruch College-City University of New York.

    A Bachelor’s in Business Journalism – let’s just savour that one for a while

  14. jupes

    … and has done more than others to tax the carbon emissions heating up our planet.

    They say this as if it’s a good thing. Seriously.

    Lack of warming notwithstanding, the CO2 tax will not change global temperature by one jot. It is utterly useless for its intended purpose.

    How do people with no functioning brain cells get a job as a reporter?

  15. Pickles

    Joe Hockey ought ask the treasurer to confirm the opinions in the article.

  16. Gab

    It’s a prerequisite at Fairfax.

  17. Ellen of Tasmania

    I kept the patient close to alive.

    Thanks, IT – made me laugh out loud.

  18. Cool Head

    TLS – good with money, good with other women’ husbands…

  19. Leigh Lowe

    I kept the patient close to alive.

    Yes, very apt.
    What is it with Bloomberg?
    Last week it was the “they diss me by .. well … using my name, the misogynists!”
    This week it is “we re-define hemorrhaging cash as close to surplus
    FFS

  20. Dr Faustus

    Mr Persek has obviously researched this article via a Google search on ‘Austria’.

    Anyone who can describe Wayne Swan as a “skilled Treasurer” is suffering from a typing skills deficiency.

  21. val majkus

    there is reality and then there is Wayne’s World

    Since it was apparently wasteful to run budget surpluses, build a savings fund and cut tax in 2006, Swan could show us how things should be done now we are in a real boom.

    He could, but apparently he will not, because last week he gave a pre-budget speech lamenting how hard everything had become and saying that we should not expect too much, not even a balanced budget in May, let alone a substantial contribution to the Future Fund. And although he has found a way of sharing the pain of the Queensland floods with a flood levy, we should not expect to share the prosperity of the mining boom through any tax cuts.

    There is reality. Then there is Wayne’s world.

    In Wayne’s world a boom is something that happens to others, not to him. In his world, others find rivers of gold, but for him the river never rises.

    In Wayne’s world, Labor is a superior economic manager that runs into bad luck all the time, while Liberals are poor financial managers who waste opportunities and somehow get good outcomes when the dice fall their way. It’s a weird place inside Wayne’s world.

    In that world, the government will not waste the proceeds of a mining boom on things like a more competitive tax system or a sovereign wealth fund when it can spend on insulation batts and local school halls.

    In this parallel reality, no one bothers to ask how we managed to balance the budget and pay off government debt when there was no boom, and why we can’t do either now that our trading conditions are at the peak of the cycle.

    also brought to you by Fairfax

  22. Luke

    You’ll find during the election campaign proper that Labor politicians and ABC, Fauxfaxs and other lefties will start repeating this claim and citing each other when challenged by conservatives.

    They are determined to rewrite history.

  23. NoFixedAddress

    Give the author of this piece a break….

    Comedy writers have to start somewhere and what better subject than the Right Honorable Julia Gillard and her alp government….

  24. H B Bear

    Come back Our Jessica. We miss you.

  25. lem

    They only get away with it because the victims of the crime, those infants currently at the breast, have no means to pursue a suit.

  26. Ant

    Which rules has she been playing by? Seems like that there are rules and then, for the Left, there are…”rules”.

  27. Token

    You’ll find during the election campaign proper that Labor politicians and ABC, Fauxfaxs and other lefties will start repeating this claim and citing each other when challenged by conservatives.

    Good point Luke:

    It makes sense that this story is a plant to be used in Election Advertising where the Liars Party can reference the Bloomberg brand for an endorsement of their “financial skills”.

    You know the type, a newspaper headline and date.

  28. Bazza

    William Peesock is an obvious lightweight from Bloomberg brought in to do a puff piece with Gillard. McTernan has some wacky economic pygmies as friends.

  29. Tom

    The author is a production-line business school clown who has no idea of the fundamentals of the Australian economy or government and is reciting what turns out to be a leftwing political mantra. If you read down, you find this classic of economic illiteracy:

    The government should be taking advantage of the lowest benchmark rates in 53 years to borrow and invest.

    Did you even inquire about the situation in regard to government borrowings, fuckknuckle? We’e now $266 billion into a $300 billion national credit limit with nothing to show for it: no infrastructure, no investment in future economic activity — unless you count a notional government monopoly called the NBN that’s obsolete before it’s finished. Instead, hundreds of billions have been wasted on borrowings to finance a ballooning welfare bill and other recurrent spending in the greatest bonfire of the common wealth in Australian history.

  30. Bruce

    Careful what you wish for from your favourite senior business editor, H B, she was enthusing about shopping on Monday:

    AM I the only one who gets an adrenaline rush every time a Target or Kmart ad appears on TV?

    Yes, Jessica, you are.

  31. say ANYTHING to stay in power

    Saying Gillard’s government has kept the budgets in or close to surplus for three years without saying that those budgets turned out to be utter nonsense and we now have instead a quarter of a TRILLION dollar deficit, is just another bare faced lie by The Age which has become nothing more than a propaganda rag for the INGRALP government. How anyone would actually read the Age, leave alone pay money to access it’s claptrap is beyond me. The Fairfax papers are pale shadows of what they once were. Once the classy ads dried up the political output fell into the hands of a pack of far left radicals who thrive on hate and lies. Watch for more outlandish lies from Swan and co before long saying we don’t have any deficit at all but a surplus, and it’s all made up nonsense by Murdoch and Abbott. Gillard will say ANYTHING to stay in power.

  32. Filbert

    What really angers me beyond belief is that the ALP can come into power, destroy the economy and then walk away multi-millionaires.
    Why is there no onus of responsibility?
    These vandals should be jailed for what they have done to us.

  33. PEB

    Hopefully TLS will get hers if the Victoria police investigation turns up some of the evidence that seems to have gone missing.

  34. MattR

    Is fairfax living in another universe? Do they really not understand why they are dying a slow (fast?) death?

  35. Leigh Lowe

    I just popped into the ANZ and asked them if we could call it quits because my mortgage was “paid off, or close to paid off“.
    They told me to fuck off and keep paying until it was absolutely zero.
    Economic simpletons!

  36. Kidding Me

    Bloody outrageous a disgrace.

  37. MattR

    They told me to fuck off and keep paying until it was absolutely zero.
    Economic simpletons!

    Hahaha, don’t they get it! Close to doing is the same as doing! Just ask Master Yoda!

  38. Alan

    If you have any doubts about Bloomberg’s Left leaning read any article contributed by Jason Scott who can be contacted in Canberra.

  39. JohnA

    “The patient was at death’s door, but they managed to pull him through!”

    Question: whose rules?

  40. Gbees

    Where’s the press council (ACMA) when you need it? Didn’t it go after Alan Jones for having a decimal point in the wrong place on his estimate of CO2 in the atmosphere produced by humans?

  41. Borisgodunov

    Punish the fascist marxistidiots ,strip every cent off them ,no rewardsf
    Fof being in parliament,no homes,no overseas bank accounts,and the rest of their lives in a camp where theywill become Real Labour people.Work them hard 16 hour days ,no days off ,and visits from young uni labor types to illustrate the future or them if they persist in marxist folly!

  42. John Comnenus

    Fairfax has played by the rules and kept the business in or close to profit. Bwahahaha

  43. Alan

    Wayne has another billion dollars plus loss to account for in net debt because of the price fall for the 80 tonnes of our gold reserves. There will also be a substantial fall in tax receipts from the gold miners. I hope this is recognised in the May Budget. If they were the only contributers to the deficit then maybe you might call it close to surplus, alas they are not.

  44. Alfonso

    She threatened to label the Pesek misogynist. So he rolled over, must be an industrial grade threat for journos if it also led to Goose glorification.

  45. Bloomberg…Bloomberg…Isn’t he the mayor who measured the soda sizes but forgot the bottled water? Didn’t his journalists assure us that only stupid people couldn’t see the connection between Sandy and AGW…even though Sandy was not even a category cyclone at landfall? Even though NY is in a hurricane belt notorious since the 1600s?

    Now a Bloomberg journalist thinks a deficit is a sum that is “close to surplus”? Maybe the guy could be paid nothing or have money deducted from his account. Then he too could be “close to surplus” – every week, or just as long as he likes!

    Of course, we’re the lucky country. We have consistently made our luck by ignoring educated dopes like Donald Horne and William Pesek. To the extent we listen to these people, we descend into bad luck.

  46. inedible hyperbowl

    The ABC line will be:
    I think that this surplus/deficit discussion is focusing too much on rich white people. There are more significant economic issues for Australians to address, such as the economy of Zimbabwe.

    (No apology to Virginia)

  47. Apoxonbothyourhouses

    “Honorable Julia Gillard and her alp government….”

    You jest Sir; did you not mean halpless government

  48. Ian

    “…has conducted monetary policy credibly…”

    And there I was thinking that was the job of the (independent) RBA.

  49. Lawrie

    I despair when I read the lying left but laugh as I read the witty comments. That’s balance for you. I originally thought Bloomberg was doing satire but realised the left are a humour free zone.

  50. Peter Sommerville

    The Age is building a history of misreporting. A sad fact.

  51. John Williams

    Every cloud has a silver lining.
    Fear unemployment no more dudes.
    If this f’wit can get a job the rest will never see a dole queue.

  52. Gowest

    It is a bit cheeky of a Bloomburg journo to tell us to stop depending on china when the currency wars between Japan, USA, China and Europe are the source of our 25% change in terms of trade.
    Tell Obama and BOJ to stop printing – that will help us much more.
    He manages to publish the business communities frustration and then goes on to claim that government spending like drunk sailors should have helped???
    Apparently he has also not noticed the big Australian buying overseas assetts.
    Sounds like this one is indirectly expressing sour grapes that the swan/gillard economic pygmies might be removed soon!

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