Tony Makin strikes back

Last week the Minerals Council published a monograph by Tony Makin. A hard hitting analysis of the economic mismanagement of the previous government:

A blistering analysis released today undermines claims that 200,000 jobs were saved by the stimulus as based on “spurious” Treasury modelling and finds the rescue package weakened the economy. It also says stimulus spending such as the $16 billion Building the Education Revolution “failed to deliver as originally expected and left a loss of competitiveness as a lasting legacy” by increasing imports and drawing resources away from the tradeable sector.

Fairly uncontroversial you’d think. But no. As Henry Ergas explained yesterday, Treasury responded:

Last Wednesday, Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance and Acting Assistant Treasurer, launched a Minerals Council monograph by Professor Tony Makin on Australia’s declining international competitiveness.

Cormann unequivocally endorsed Makin’s finding that Labor’s stimulus spending had aggravated that decline, while making little contribution to Australia’s recovery from the global financial crisis.

Two days later, Treasury issued a press release directly contradicting its minister and criticising Makin’s conclusions. To make matters worse, the release was not cleared with the Treasurer’s office or that of the Acting Assistant Treasurer.

The Abbott government only has itself to blame – it should have sacked several senior Treasury staff on day one. But it didn’t – Martin Parkinson, for example, was allowed to stay on until December this year. This is a government that keeps telling us that the public will respect a government that makes tough decisions – yet has made very few, and can’t even sack Treasury officials who continue to advocate for the failed policies of its predecessor.

This morning Tony Makin comes back at them:

Treasury has clearly lost its way over recent years. It seems incapable of articulating a solution to our competitiveness and productivity problems, and has failed to understand why fiscal activism is a dangerous instrument to use when monetary policy can be used instead. Like latter-day Bourbons, Treasury has seemingly “learned nothing and forgotten nothing” about Keynesian demand management. By so fervently defending it, Treasury makes its own case for fundamental organisational change and renewal at the top.

He is quite right, of course. But don’t hold your breath. Even John Howard didn’t have the courage to sack Ken Henry in 2007, and Tony Abbott is no John Howard.

Already the Liberals are slinking away from a fight:

As the government fell silent on the contentious paper by economist Tony Makin, Labor treasury spokesman Chris Bowen used the new debate to accuse ministers of denying the need for policy action during the global financial crisis.

The [Treasury] statement was said to be issued without checking with ministers, but some in the government played that down on the grounds that it was primarily a dispute about economic theory rather than national policy.

The Liberals need to understand that disloyal servants will be the death of them. In Howard’s last year both the Treasury and RBA undermined his government – Abbott has just completed his first year and already Treasury is running amok.

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43 Responses to Tony Makin strikes back

  1. Alfonso says:

    It’s just the establishment playing games with itself, same ‘ol.
    Big govt welfare statist like our Tone don’t like causing public disrespect for the Public Service system.

  2. Toiling Mass says:

    Treasury joined in the sordid spending romp with those economic libertines the ALP, unheeding the unfolding disasters and even encouraging it.

    They have no credibility whatsoever.

  3. Greigoz says:

    The Liberals are quite happy to sit back and allow Treasury officials to write Labor’s economic attack script for the next election.

    So what – if Tony doesn’t care, why should we?

  4. Watching It Unfold says:

    They are all socialists…..pollies are requires to hang around in packs and committees, some socialists are more conservative than others. Libertarians and minimalists are rarer…..

  5. Blogstrop says:

    File under Long Marchers Now Squatters; Adverse Possession.

  6. Hugh says:

    They’re not Treasury officials. They’re “Debtury” officials. If you can’t bring yourself to giving these dangerous ignoramuses the flick, Mr Abbott, at least refer to them by an appropriate term.

  7. Petros says:

    Spot on, Sinc. Frigging pathetic. One term Tony in inaction.

  8. Aussiepundit says:

    The [Treasury] statement was said to be issued without checking with ministers

    Abbott thought he’d come in and play nice. Be adult, all that crap.
    He did not comprehend the level of partisanship in the broader apparatus of government.

  9. johanna says:

    Letting these people conduct open warfare against the government is political suicide. Stupid, weak and naive are other expressions that come to mind.

    So, arguments about “theory” which contradict government policy in public are just fine now? If they let the second most senior Department gete away with it, prepare for lesser departments to follow suit. Good luck with reforming health, or education.

    Mind you, I doubt that Sir Scott would put up with this kind of behaviour from his lot for a nanosecond.

    Joe Hockey is a fool and/or a knave.

  10. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘but some in the government played that down on the grounds that it was primarily a dispute about economic theory rather than national policy.

    And that makes it different how?? And imagine the outraged squeals from the Treasury hierarchy, and the following swift disciplinary action, if a middle level Treasury analyst stood up at some public meeting or other, or wrote some article, disputing the economic theory of his bosses. Same principle, or lack of it.

  11. Rabz says:

    This so called government is composed of a cringe inducing, expedient pack of dishonest, hypocritical cowards who stand for absolutely nothing.

    Electoral oblivion awaits, you imbeciles.

  12. Pete says:

    Parkinson is to climate change what Henry was to the MRRT

    A complete misunderstanding of reality obscured by intellectual conceit.

    If that is at the top imagine the dross in the rest of the system

  13. Rabz says:

    Seriously, can anything be done to save the liberal party, or is it simply a hollowed out husk that is beyond redemption?

    I say this after reading a piece (on Quadrant online) on those morons in Victoriastan, who are also (quite rightly) headed for electoral oblivion.

    Absolutely bloody infuriating.

  14. Andrew says:

    Funny how in 2010 it was obvious to me that diverting every builder / tradesman in the country from mining to school halls was damaging at a time of all time record commodity prices and hyperinflation of qualified worker costs. Funny how with none of the resources of Treasury and a fraction the salary of the Wombat Botherer I could so confidently declare to everyone I know that the Stimulus had no positives and was almost certainly highly negative for long run GDP. Funny how I needed no fancy econometric models with dozens of PhDs running them. Funny how right after that I had an identical experience with the World’s Biggest Mining Tax, and then a year later with the World’s Biggest Carbon Tax.

    People said I was nuts when I said these were all lies and treasury was corrupt.

    Tripod I once told me to attribute stuff to incompetence rather than malice. But when EVERYONE makes the same mistakes every time and one guy with basic logic knows more than all these people, it really starts to look like they’re all doing it on purpose. Mining shrank in Q2. It’s probably in recession. Mission accomplished by the Fabian socialists – a recession during “rivers of gold” commodity prices better than Costello ever saw.

  15. Pickles says:

    And still in Victoria, ambulances are used as anti government mobile billboards.

  16. pete m says:

    Dear Tony and Joe,

    Grow a pair. Ask Simon, I’m sure he can help.

    Kind Regards,

  17. H B Bear says:

    Piss weak.

  18. Giorgio says:

    Steps should be taken to Privatise many of the Statist governments functions.can you imagine a private company with the contract to run Treasury and make a profit for its shareholders,letting the country run up billions in debt on stupid idealogical rubbish like the useless pollies have? I dont think so ,I can just see swannie trying to sell his bullshit to them ,they would tear him a new one ,he and his comrades would be in tears whenthey were thrown out of the meeting for stupidity.

  19. . says:

    Makin puts forward a strong, coherenet argument based in well reasoned theory and with robust empirical evidence.

    Treasury is now covering for Kevin Rudd, an egomaniac no one could work with, Julia Gillard, who is basically a crook from the Australian Communist movement and Wayne Swan, an uneducated ideologue so incompetent he lost his position at an Australian university AFTER he had tenure.

    Really guys? Hit the bricks. You’ve screwed up beyond all recognition.

  20. Tim Neilson says:

    I can understand not sacking Parkinson et al. as reflecting a commitment to the non-political nature of the public service as part of the conventional separation of powers model.
    But surely that must work both ways?
    If the Liberals really are committed to the traditional separation of powers model surely it’s their duty – not their right, their duty – to sack whoever was involved with that press release.
    I think that Infidel Tiger had it right on a recent thread when he said (something like) the Libs’ only aspiration is that the progressives, while cornholing them every single day, occasionally give them a reacharound.

  21. Abbott thought he’d come in and play nice. Be adult, all that crap.
    He did not comprehend the level of partisanship in the broader apparatus of government.

    There’s absolutely no excuse for this behaviour by Abbott. He’s been in government since 1994 and previous to that he was an advisor. He knows the system.
    This is an act of political cowardice, and I will be tearing up my ballot paper – for the first time ever, rather than giving him or anyone else my vote.

  22. The lefties I know actually really believe their economic theories are correct etc., and remain frustrated as a result but blaming anything and everyone else for their failures but never ever considering the possibility that the theory might be the problem. Same mindset behind global warming.

    These people think with their hearts and feelings, which means they don’t actually think at all.

    This is the problem and we have had it since Plato’s time. It’s the demos and the bell curve – especially when the mode/median/mean of said curve gets political power.

  23. Clive 4 Evah says:

    Wayne Swan, an uneducated ideologue so incompetent he lost his position at an Australian university AFTER he had tenure

    The man was named the world’s greatest treasurer in 2011.

    What have you ever achieved of similar note?

  24. . says:

    Wayne Swan has created nothing of value in his life. If he wants to award himself nonsense awards no one cares about, fine.

  25. Montgomery Brewster says:

    And Baird has just hired Comley to run NSW DPC. . . .

  26. stackja says:

    I again offer this reminder of the ALP and Treasury:

    Wheeler, Sir Frederick Henry (1914–1994) by John Farquharson

    Sir Frederick Henry Wheeler was once described as a “legendary public servant and a master of guerrilla warfare in the bureaucracy.”

    He was also one of Canberra’s “seven dwarfs” — Allen Brown, H. C. “Nugget” Coombs, John Crawford, Harry Bland, Dick Randall and Roland Wilson — that remarkable group of top public servants who exercised enormous influence on policy formulation through the Menzies-Holt era of the 1950s and 1960s.

    But it was in the Khemlani loans affair, which led to the downfall of the Whitlam Labor Government, that Sir Frederick showed just how formidable was his talent for bureaucratic infighting. What shook Sir Frederick, as Secretary of the Treasury, was that for a brief period during 1974-75 Treasury lost control of the raising of loan funds on the international market, a function it had normally shared with the Reserve Bank. For the Government had turned to a small-time Pakistani commodity dealer, Tirath Hassaram Khemlani, who, through Mr Whitlam’s Minerals and Energy Minister, R. F. X. “Rex” Connor, was asked to tap newly-rich oil sheiks for funds to put together a $4 billion loan.

    While Sir Frederick was fighting to ensure the supremacy of Treasury’s authority in a vital area of Australian economic policy, he also saw inherent dangers for the Government if it persisted in using people such as Mr Khemlani, who in the eyes of Sir Frederick and the Treasury, was no more than an opportunistic “funny-money” man or “carpetbagger.”

    There is a story that at one stage when Sir Frederick started lecturing the Prime Minister on the dangers of the loans affair, Mr Whitlam’s response was, “Shut up. I’ve heard everything.”

    Sir Frederick was reported to have come back with, “Prime Minister, you will listen to me. I am drawing to your attention facts, your ignorance of which, will bring you down.” These proved to be prophetic words, as Mr Whitlam was to learn the hard way when Mr Connor revived the loan arrangement with Mr Khemlani after his authority to do so had been terminated.

    But Sir Frederick and Treasury fought every step of the way to stop the deal going through. Just how he was able to bring it off is now a matter of public record. Over a critical period on December 20, 1974, as the Government sought to conclude the loan deal, Sir Frederick taperecorded his phone calls to ministers and senior public servants. Eight years later, in November 1982, in a remarkable “exclusive”, the now defunct National Times, published transcripts of Sir Frederick’s phone conversations.

    It also detailed how he continued the fight through the course of the subsequent attempt by Mr Connor to bring off a loan deal with Mr Khemlani. And Sir Frederick was just as blunt and forthright in expressing his view to his public service colleagues as he was to the Prime Minister. During the course of his phone calls, he:

    Told John Menadue, then permanent head of the Prime Minister’s Department, that it was “time he started to keep in touch with things”, that he “ought to get his head read”, and suggested that he “was utterly misguided.”
    Castigated the Attorney-General’s and Minerals and Energy Departments for failing to involve Treasury.
    Interrupted the Acting Prime Minister, Dr Jim Cairns, at a dinner at the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne and persuaded him to cancel an Executive Council meeting called to facilitate the Khemlani loan.

    When his own patch was involved, or some action taken or contemplated which he regarded as questionable or “not sound”, Sir Frederick was interventionist, eloquent, persuasive and resourceful. He intervened just as decisively as in the loans affair with his own minister (Dr Cairns), when he considered that Dr Cairns had contracted an agency relationship with Melbourne dentist and businessman George Harris for Mr Harris to raise funds for the Australian Government during an overseas trip.

    Sir Frederick sent two of Cairns’s letters (with the name blocked out) to the Attorney General’s Department for an opinion on the Cairns-Harris relationship. The department’s opinion was that an agency agreement did exist. But in the wash-up, Sir Frederick copped a rocket from the Solicitor-General, Maurice Byers, who considered Treasury’s action was “not consistent with responsible government.”

    In a similar fashion, during the loans affair, Sir Frederick had got Scotland Yard to run a check on Tirath Khemlani. The Yard didn’t turn up anything on the loan intermediary, but Sir Frederick, himself a stickler for propriety, got a blast in Parliament for his trouble. In some peoples’ eyes Treasury “disloyalty” under Sir Frederick “powerfully, perhaps decisively”, helped destroy the Labor Government.

    And in June 1975, after the Harris affair, which led to Dr Cairns being sacked as Treasurer, Sir Frederick was in the thick of it again, with the Prime Minister (Mr Whitlam) declaring that he was determined to shift Sir Frederick from secretaryship of the Treasury. In the event, he was to remain head of Treasury until he retired in 1979. Though his troubles were not all over with the advent of the Fraser Government, after the dismissal by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, of the Whitlam Government.

    Mr Fraser split the Treasury in November 1976, hiving off its finance wing to become the Department of Finance, despite Sir Frederick’s protestations.

    Throughout his long public career, 40 years of which were served at the Treasury, Sir Frederick always tended to be a private man. After retirement he took up business directorships with several companies, but refrained from making any substantive comments on the loans affair or any other aspects of his government service. Officially, he presented himself as a public servant of the old school, apolitical and strict in refusing to discuss public business, even in private conversation.

    Sir Frederick came to the Public Service via banking. He left Scotch College, Melbourne, at the age of 15, to get a job as a bank clerk with the State Savings Bank of Victoria. He studied commerce part-time at Melbourne University under Professor Douglas Copland. When Professor Copland became wartime Prices Commissioner and adviser to Prime Minister Robert Menzies, he took Sir Frederick, now something of a protege, with him.

    But soon after he arrived in Canberra, Sir Frederick was shifted from the Prices Commission to the Treasury to become personal assistant to the Secretary, Mr S. G. McFarlane.

    So he found himself thrown into the country’s top economic policy arena. Under Mr McFarlane, Sir Frederick served as secretary of the influential Financial and Economic Policy Committee, which included the cream of Australia’s economic minds of the day — L. F. Giblin, Mr Copland, Mr Brigden and Roland Wilson (then Commonwealth Statistician and adviser to the Treasury). But it was under Mr Chifley, as Treasurer and then as Prime Minister, that Sir Frederick’s career at Treasury really began to flourish.

    Mr Chifley was said to have admired his integrity and ability, and it was under Mr Chifley’s auspices that he emerged as a significant figure at the Treasury. It was Mr Chifley who selected him as one of three officials to negotiate Australia’s entry into the International Monetary Fund (the Bretton Woods agreement). After Mr Chifley’s defeat, he continued to serve in the Treasury under the Menzies’ Government and, despite being relatively young, was in the race to become its head. He missed out to Roland Wilson.

    Looking around for a new job outside Treasury, Sir Frederick found it in 1952 in Geneva as treasurer of the International Labour Organisation, from whence he returned to Canberra to become chairman of the Public Service Board in 1960. During his decade there he wrought many changes, and his first years have been described as the liveliest in the board’s history.

    Sir Frederick got the opportunity to go back to his first love, the Treasury, in 1971 — this time as permanent head. Billy McMahon, as Prime Minister, did not always like the advice given him by the Treasury and was not averse to saying so publicly. But Sir Frederick adhered to what Mr Chifley admired in him — the practice of giving advice that he was convinced was sound, but not necessarily the advice the recipient might prefer to hear.

    While Sir Frederick always sought to give what he considered sound advice, and put his views strongly, he did not operate as a “one-man band”. It usually grew out of mutual discussion. The consultative habit was the product of Sir Frederick having been among a group of advisers who grew up around Mr Chifley in the early 1940s who became known as the “official family”.

    The late Professor L. F. (“Fin”) Crisp, Mr Chifley’s biographer, has written of Sir Frederick’s role in this group: “Wheeler was one of the originals of what we have called the ‘offsiders’ group. When, in the late 1940s, several of that group wandered away to other pastures, he maintained a small group from within, and a little outside, the ‘official family’ which met from time to time to look over the field of economic problems …”

    His devotion to work was legendary and must have placed some restriction on family life with his wife, Peggy, who died in 1975, his son and two daughters. At the Public Service Board he often held informal meetings starting around 5.30 pm and continuing indefinitely, even until midnight. When some of those attending got restive or had to excuse themselves, he would let them go but convey the impression that they might be missing out on something worthwhile during the remainder of the meeting.

    Frank Crean who, as a Labor Treasurer, worked with Sir Frederick had no complaints. He scorned talk that Treasury under Sir Frederick was somehow anti-Labor and rated Sir Frederick as “one of Australia’s greatest public servants,” or, as a former colleague once said, “Fred was the super-professional of us all … in so far as we could measure up to him that was it.” Whatever the judgment of time, the former bank clerk certainly learned to take the rough with the smooth without complaining publicly.
    Original publication
    Canberra Times, 7 August 1994

  27. . says:

    Bloody hell. Sir Fred should have been Governor-General! What an incredible career.

  28. johanna says:

    stackja – thanks so much for that quote. Notice that governments of both persuasions trusted Wheeler and valued his advice, even if they didn’t always take it. Notice also that he didn’t take his policy debates into the public arena.

    Senior bureaucrats have always been players – they wouldn’t be doing their job properly if they weren’t. But there are right and wrong ways of doing this, and Martin Parkinson’s way of being a player, not for the first time, is utterly wrong and ethically indefensible.

  29. Des Deskperson says:

    I can understand not sacking Parkinson et al. as reflecting a commitment to the non-political nature of the public service as part of the conventional separation of powers model’.

    Tim, as I pointed out in a comment on another post yesterday, portfolio secretaries are, for better or worse, political appointments for all practical purposes. They’re exempted from the merit based selection processes that apply to all other public servants, the Minister’s views have to be taken into account in their appointment and they can be sacked at any time for any reason. It would be honest to
    formally acknowledge this

    There is a good case, in terms of effective government, for having Secretaries who can work with a Minister and who understand his or her concerns and priorities. And a political appointment shouldn’t and doesn’t mean one sided political partisanship in policy development and programme management. Secretaries are still covered by the APS values that stress impartial and frank advice.

    And while someone like Wheeler would doubtless still be an ornament to the APS today, many of his contemporaries were arrogant and vicious bullies.

  30. Rob MW says:

    “The man was named the world’s greatest treasurer in 2011.
    What have you ever achieved of similar note?”

    Dear Clive,

    Using your link I would say without a shadow of doubt that Dot learnt how to read. You should try it; advancing one’s vocational experience is one of life’s small pleasures.

    I also assume that Dot at least knows how to do elementary maths, something that the goose Swan apparently has/had an objectivity problem with, notwithstanding, the absolutely incredible goose Swan pie-chart depicting all the tax that miners pay but absent ‘Company Tax’ and in which the goose was unable to explain to the media why corporate miners failed to pay any company tax, thru the company tax absence recorded on the gooses pie-chart, yet were expected to pay a super-profits tax. The mind boggles.

    Any attributes above that level of incompetence is indeed an achievement of not similar note, but of a higher note and easily achieved by any post-modern moron.

    No disrespect intended towards any pre-school number-cruncher who twerks to Bruce Springsteen music.

  31. Viva says:

    Labor – the far enemy. Treasury – the near enemy.

    The Libs know this well – why do you think they were reluctant to submit their costings to this mob before the election?

  32. Blogstrop says:

    Des, yesterday you weren’t sure that the situation under people like Wheeler were any better.

  33. Crossie says:

    The Liberals are quite happy to sit back and allow Treasury officials to write Labor’s economic attack script for the next election.

    So what – if Tony doesn’t care, why should we?

    We should care because it ultimately comes out of our pockets.

  34. Des Deskperson says:

    ‘Des, yesterday you weren’t sure that the situation under people like Wheeler were any better’

    Blogstrop, if Wheeler really was the model of integrity, professionalism, integrity and energy that his mates say he was, then he would, of course, be an ornament to any system of public administration, including even a Caliphate.

    My point was that if, on the other hand, he’d been incompetent, lazy, impervious to reason, devious or downright bonkers, the old culture of permanence would still have protected him indefinitely. Under the old 1922 Public Service Act, it was almost impossible to terminate a Secretary without his/her consent, and even in the nineties, I understand that there were still Secretaries hanging around on the public payroll, even though their departments had been abolished in the 1987 rationalisation.

    As for Wheeler, he may have been a marvel, but I didn’t much like the bit about him keeping his staff hanging around in long after-hours meetings with not very subtle threats about what might happen if they wanted to go home.

  35. Token says:

    The man was named the world’s greatest treasurer in 2011.

    What have you ever achieved of similar note?

    What an acolate, he was voted the least inept Keynesian in the world by very inept Keynesians.

  36. Crossie says:

    Labor – the far enemy. Treasury – the near enemy.

    The Libs know this well – why do you think they were reluctant to submit their costings to this mob before the election?

    So why are they keeping them on? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to remove them?

  37. gary says:

    No doubt interest rates will go up significantly just before the next federal election, just like in 2007 (rises on 8 Aug, 2007 and 7 Nov, 2007 – the election was on 24 Nov, 2007). Of course in 2008 the RBA then had to rapidly lower interest rates. This assumption assumes no change in leadership at the RBA before the next election.

  38. gabrianga says:

    1 Who authorised the Press Release.

    2 Who issued it.

    3 Get rid of them.

    To allow your Minister to be attacked by his Department and allowing that twat Bowen to criticise is not Prime Ministerial Mr Abbott and action immediate, must be taken or it will spread through the Laborites in the APS like a mini Ebola

  39. Des Deskperson says:

    Actually, the more I think about Wheeler and his after hour meetings where you could leave if you like but if you did you were finished, the more I dislike him. Prima facie, he comes across as a manipulative bully, or inefficient, or both.

    As for his mates who wrote it up as a charming little peccadillo rather than a serious lapse of integrity, can you really trust their judgement when it comes to their account of his other alleged accomplishments?

  40. Tel says:

    Point Deer, Call Horse.

  41. hyperlinkes are kewl says:

    In Howard’s last year both the Treasury and RBA undermined his government

    What’s the basis for this ?

  42. Aussiepundit says:

    So why are they keeping them on? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to remove them?

    The reason is that Abbott has a misguided sense of honour, and wishes to treat his enemies well.

  43. truth says:

    This is all very well—to slam TA for not sacking Parkinson et al—but , despite his baleful record—- since the election, Parkinson [ despite his passion for carbon pricing, which was what saw him chosen for the post] , has been the only one apart from the Budget Office head—to go public in support of the government’s claim that the budget was in crisis and drastic measures have to be taken now rather than later.

    Almost everyone else was [ and still are] pretending to buy the fiction that there was nothing wrong with the budget and the economy—- and consequently Labor gained enormous momentum in the opinion polls

    Did Professor Makin —or any other business people or academics speak publicly in support of the urgent need for spending cuts and productivity measures? I don’t think so—not that I’ve seen anyway—not even Judith Sloan, [who played it down]— and delivered some serious kicks at Abbott et al along with it.

    With regard to voices in the MSM and on television where it really counts as far as getting consumers/voters on side—- this government has been absolutely on its own except for one or two blogs and their commenters—friendless—sneered at for trying to shore up Medicare—for making it possible for highly-paid women to be treated as equal to everyone else when it comes to taking an economic hit in order to have a family—for it’s higher education policy and education in general—for the co-payment —even carbon tax, mining tax etc.

    How about some business people and academics—and academic commentators like Judith Sloan —getting themselves informed on the real status of climate change—the alternative science—the failure of the models—the low sensitivity—the absolute madness of the consensus claims that were set in concrete decades ago [ we’re told], before most of the science was even undertaken.

    The political pundits in this country have been the most supine and craven of lemmings when it comes to the issue that threatens to bankrupt the country—just lapping up the LW propaganda—the flogging it to the already brainwashed electorate.

    Business wanted the government to get rid of the carbon tax and other CAGW imposts for them—but except for one or two like David Murray and Maurice Newman— they offer no support—just carp or lie low with a foot in each camp.

    What about the business and academic community helping a bit by giving some moral and vocal support to the government when it proposes or introduces policies that are difficult to explain, but are very helpful to them, their business or industry and the economy.

    The business community comprehensively threw Howard under the bus on Work Choices, so that even to mouth the words now would be the kiss of death for the Abbott government.

    We saw all kinds of Labor academics and economists wheeled out by Labor’s MSM to tell fairy stories, under the guise of ‘independent experts’—– and nothing to counter them from business people .

    Is it any wonder that Tony Abbott and team have trouble being tough enough—they’re assaulted from every side and supported from none—and the most powerful entity in the country—the airhead collective of the MSM—is almost completely in the Labor camp and pretending that the last six years of disaster never happened.

    Howard was helpless against a partisan Treasury and RBA in 2007 because the MSM ‘journalists’ were barrackers for Rudd and turned every point he tried to make into a slogan and charge of ‘negative politics’, while allowing Rudd to lie his way around the country—facilitating him in his lies and in the cover-up of his disastrous record in governance in QLD—in order to deceive the Australian people instead of informing them—because they wanted the madness of Rudd.

    TA knows he has to tread on eggshells or the very same fate as that of JH will befall him—and you can’t reform and restore economies if you’re not in government.

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