How bad are things, economically – really? Well, Peter Costello explains that only a non-leftist Liberal government can save us

 That bad                                                                                                                                             

Drawing on his experience, former long-­serving treasurer Peter Costello tells Inquirer he anticipates that federal government debt will reach one trillion dollars when the final COVID balance sheet is drawn. Costello says:

Now to reduce that debt, if you pay the debt off a budget surplus at about 1 or 2 per cent of GDP, that would take you about 25 years. But that’s 25 years of continuous surpluses. The only precedent in commonwealth history is the period between 1997 and 2007 when we had 10 continuous surpluses and paid off our debt.

“But given we haven’t balanced the budget since 2007 — that’s 13 ­deficits in a row — it is beyond ­belief we are going to snap out of this and do 20 surpluses in a row. It just won’t happen. We’re not going to pay off this debt. We’re not going to have 10 years of continuous surpluses, let alone 20 years. We will carry this debt for a long time — I would say for 20 years. That’s a generation.

“What flows from that is we will be a higher-spending country. We increased spending in 2009 in ­response to the GFC and we’ve never got it back to where it was. We have increased it again in 2020. That means we are going to be a higher-taxing country with higher deficits and higher debt. All of that adds to the fact we will be a lower productivity country and that’s the key point. We will be moving from what I regard as the Australian model to much more of a European model. The Australian paradigm is changing. It used to be that when we compared ourselves to Britain, France and Germany, sometimes even America, we were a low-tax, low-spend, low-deficit, low-debt, high-productivity, quite entrepreneurial nation. But now we’re moving much more into the middle league of debt countries.

“Now the public might like that. I’m not getting into the argument whether this is good or bad. A lot of people say this is good, that this is what people want. But this wasn’t my model. I don’t think it was the Keating model. My criticism is this is a low-productivity model and a low-productivity society.

“My point is the Australian model, by world standards, ever since we began opening up our economy, was a low-spend, lower-tax, lower-deficit and, in my time, lower-debt model, with a more open economy than Europe. We saw this as the key to higher productivity. But from 2009 onwards we moved another way — into a high-spend, higher-tax, higher-debt model, and the COVID crisis has amplified that move. If we want to go back that could take a generation. So the Australian model is changing.

“If the Liberal Party goes down this track, it will never run into ­opposition from Labor — because Labor will say we want more spending. That’s why it’s so easy to go down this path. If the Liberal Party isn’t pulling back on this path, nobody else is going to pull back. Labor will always position to the left.”

 
I’ll leave expert economic commentary to one of the site’s professors but it seems to me that a hubris of totalism (prefigured by school hall mania and the NBN) combined with a culturally habituated spiritual immaturity vis-à-vis the inevitability of death to produce this shocking degradation. The mission was always to do the very best we could for the vulnerable but to carry on. We forgot that our duty to future citizens is no less sacred than our responsibility to living compatriots.

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80 Responses to How bad are things, economically – really? Well, Peter Costello explains that only a non-leftist Liberal government can save us

  1. pbw

    We forgot that our duty to future citizens is no less sacred than our responsibility for our present compatriots.

    What is also forgotten is our duty (or debt) to the past.
    Our descendants will be unlikely to forget their debt to us.

  2. Tel

    What flows from that is we will be a higher-spending country.

    No, no, no … interest rates will eventually be driven up, and when that happens we will become a low spending country. All the tax money will go into paying the interest on that government debt, the other government programs will suddenly discover their budget is gone.

  3. Tel

    Our descendants will be unlikely to forget their debt to us.

    They will see it more as payback than debt, but what’s in a name?

  4. Rayvic

    P:eter Costello: “My point is the Australian model, by world standards, ever since we began opening up our economy, was a low-spend, lower-tax, lower-deficit and, in my time, lower-debt model, with a more open economy than Europe. We saw this as the key to higher productivity. But from 2009 onwards we moved another way — into a high-spend, higher-tax, higher-debt model, and the COVID crisis has amplified that move. If we want to go back that could take a generation. So the Australian model is changing. … My criticism is this is a low-productivity model and a low-productivity society.”

    It is difficult to disagree with the former treasurer.

  5. H B Bear

    How much of that debt occurred on the Lieboral watch?

    They are not the answer.

  6. H B Bear

    Low productivity is a global phenomenon. We have just joined them.

  7. Roger

    We will carry this debt for a long time — I would say for 20 years.

    20 years? I think he’s being optimistic.

    Scotty ‘ll have to ramp up immigration.

  8. Neil

    How much of that debt occurred on the Lieboral watch?

    In 2007 govt debt was MINUS 3% of GDP ie less than zero, Rudd increased that to 13% of GDP by 2013 and it is at 19% now. And who knows what it will be after the current spending.

    But the day you have been handed a ALP mess and cleaned it up is the day you can comment.

    Howard was handed a trashed budget and debt at 18% of GDP. Within 12 months of being elected in 1996 Howard was running surplus budgets by cutting spending and reduced debt to ZERO by 2005

  9. 2dogs

    The only way out of this is constitutional change.

    Pass federal deficits down, not on.

    Make states flexible, including dissolution of insolvent states.

  10. egg_

    My criticism is this is a low-productivity model and a low-productivity society.”

    A sh1tholer Economy plus a bogus plague – what could possibly go wrong?

  11. Infidel Tiger King

    Don’t worry, we already know how they will fix it: mass unskilled and unassimilated immigration. Oh and more real estate ponzi.

  12. mh

    No, no, no … interest rates will eventually be driven up

    Tel, we don’t want ‘eventually’. Give a timeframe.
    The RBA has been lowering the cash rate for 12 years.
    Now the rate is 0.25 percent.

  13. Neil

    Since Whitlam trashed the budget in the early 1970’s which was the last time were were debt free, debt kept increasing until it reached 18% of GDP by 1996.

    Since 1972, Howard/Costello from 1996-2007 is the only govt to reduce govt debt

  14. Tezza

    Typically brilliant and incisive analysis from Costello.

    All he left out is how badly Australia has been served by its deep state and its political class.

    After 4 months, Costello is the first to cut through to the core of these issues.

    Where is Treasury? Where is Finance? All we have had is a delayed budget. We have finally been gifted belated revised economic forecasts from the RBA, creditably used by the Parliamentary Budget Office to produce a 3 page sketchy projection of debt trends. We still have no budget scorecard, even provisionally, on what the spending and debt service will add to, or the revenue declines subtract, over the forward estimates period.

    It’s banana republic stuff.

  15. Fisky

    All of that adds to the fact we will be a lower productivity country and that’s the key point. We will be moving from what I regard as the Australian model to much more of a European model.

    Costello is over a decade out of date here. Our per capita growth has been one of the worst in the OECD since the GFC, and the productivity slides started around 2003 under the Howard government. It wasn’t caused by big spending, but by Australia’s retooling into a ponzi economy based on housing and immigration. And dependence on China.

    This failed model was deliberately crafted by Howard, Costello and Downer in their last few years in power.

  16. Watch Your Back

    The only way to reduce this debt is by growth. The private sector will need to invest, create prosperity and viable businesses and jobs. There is no shortcut.

    It took the British until 1989, that is 45 years, to pay back Lendlease. The West Germans paid back the Marshall Fund loans much more quickly. Partly this is because they only borrowed 3% of GDP, but the main reason was a couple complete shift into a low tax, low regulation, high productivity, high growth economy.Poland and the Baltic States would be another example after 1990.

    Oh, and keep exporting coal!

  17. Tel

    Tel, we don’t want ‘eventually’. Give a timeframe.
    The RBA has been lowering the cash rate for 12 years.
    Now the rate is 0.25 percent.

    Our good retired treasurer Peter Costello already gave a timeframe: something between 20 years and 25 years into the future. No way can Australia keep nominal interest rates near zero for the next 20 years.

    There’s a few important rates that matter, because the official “cash rate” is not real in as much has it has no effect on real people. The important rates are: standard mortgage rates (currently hovering around 3% p/a using the comparison rate formula, give or take a bit); business overdraft rates (typically under 10% at the moment, again with some variation); and government bond rates (artificially driven low starting at 0.25% and going up to about 1.5% for the very long term bonds that no one ever buys).

    I put it to you that especially the mortgage rates simply have to go up, probably in the next 10 years. They just can’t keep going down. Government bonds don’t have a real market IMHO, but the banks buy them because they are expected to buy them, and perhaps some institutions buy them or various retirement funds are pressured into holding some. There’s a limit to how much that can happen.

    This is the note on the RBA balance sheet:

    ‘Australian dollar investments’ include outright holdings of Australian Government Securities (AGS) and securities issued by central borrowing authorities of state and territory governments. Securities sold but contracted for purchase under repurchase agreements are retained on the balance sheet in this category. Also included are Australian dollar securities purchased but contracted for sale under reverse repurchase agreements, being: eligible bank bills, certificates of deposit and debt securities of ADIs; Australian dollar-denominated securities issued by certain foreign governments, foreign government agencies and by highly rated supranational organisations; and selected Australian dollar domestic residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed commercial paper and corporate securities.

    That’s about half of their total assets right there. Governments can write bonds at no cost to themselves, the RBA buys bonds with freshly printed money and thus the balance sheet grows. I don’t believe they give a full breakdown of the split there, how much is mortgage backed paper from the banks, and how much is state vs Commonwealth. To some extent they can do this money printing to hold down interest rates on those bonds, but slowly inflation starts to win that battle.

  18. Neil

    This failed model was deliberately crafted by Howard, Costello and Downer in their last few years in power.

    You have a link for that statement?

  19. Behind Enemy Lines

    Anyone who thinks Australia has in recent years been a low-tax country is either fooling himself or lying outright. The usual OECD figures this claim is based on take no account of superannuation, which is Australia’s equivalent to the national pension schemes that all the other western countries have. If one either counts super on our part or discounts the national pension schemes on the part of overseas peers, Australia suddenly becomes one of the more heavily taxed countries. The key point being that we aren’t going to tax our way out of this debt, and since government is addicted to buying votes, we’ll probably end up paying this off the same way Britain paid off its WWI debt to the United States.

  20. Fisky

    You have a link for that statement?

    I am telling you that the productivity decline that Costello laments started under the Howard government. That is a fact. Would you like to go on the record as denying it?

  21. NoFixedAddress

    But from 2009 onwards we moved another way — into a high-spend, higher-tax, higher-debt model, and the COVID crisis has amplified that move. If we want to go back that could take a generation. So the Australian model is changing.

    If the Liberal Party goes down this track, it will never run into ­opposition from Labor — because Labor will say we want more spending. That’s why it’s so easy to go down this path. If the Liberal Party isn’t pulling back on this path, nobody else is going to pull back. Labor will always position to the left.”

    The significance of his comments are that he is the only member of the former Liberal Party of Australia that has the stature and runs on the board to highlight and acknowledge that what we now have is a “Liberal Party” in name only with no difference between it and “Labor”.

  22. Iampeter

    Well, Peter Costello explains that only a non-leftist Liberal government can save us

    Which is just hilarious coming from Costello, who was part of Australia’s most out of control and destructive left wing government.

    This failed model was deliberately crafted by Howard, Costello and Downer in their last few years in power.

    Except it’s the exact other way around, plus other points you’re missing. Howard et al, were exactly the kind of politicians people like you want, implementing exactly the kind of statist and nationalist policies you support.

    Conservatives trying to make heads or tail of what’s going on is just the best entertainment around.

    Don’t worry, we already know how they will fix it: mass unskilled and unassimilated immigration. Oh and more real estate ponzi.

    Yea, we wouldn’t want people who don’t understand or support Western civilization over here, would we?
    Like the kind of people who think the Enlightenment was a disaster, for example, right Infidel T?

  23. min

    Part of the problem in Victoriastan that has led to increase in covid19 cases which will put extra pressure on the economy is that we have illiterate migrants not only in English but their own language . The government did not make sure they got the message about how to manage living with the virus around. oreover these people are all unemployable as they cannot read signs in English.

  24. Roger

    The West Germans paid back the Marshall Fund loans much more quickly. Partly this is because they only borrowed 3% of GDP, but the main reason was a couple complete shift into a low tax, low regulation, high productivity, high growth economy.

    Would you believe British economists warned the West Germans that Ludwig Erhard’s radical approach to re-starting the economy would not work?

  25. Chris M

    We will carry this debt for a long time — I would say for 20 years. That’s a generation.

    It’s not ever going to be paid back – and not only do they know this, there is no intention to do so.

    Peter should be more to the point – our living standard will decline and continue to decline on this path. We’ll be more like the small to mid size Asian countries, maybe with the same type of corrupt busted-a$$ government but with the extra disadvantage of the failed ‘multiculture’ experiment tearing society apart. At least when we are mostly poor and struggling to survive the droning of the global warming nutcases will be a thing of the past.

  26. Would you believe British economists warned the West Germans that Ludwig Erhard’s radical approach to re-starting the economy would not work?

    Yes and it makes me uncomfortable to have similar or the same qualifications.

    These old crackpots ought to have handed back their diplomas.

  27. egg_

    Our per capita growth has been one of the worst in the OECD since the GFC

    It’s said that it took a decade to return to full employment post GFC.

  28. egg_

    We’ll be more like the small to mid size Asian countries

    Which we are.

  29. NoFixedAddress

    Chris M
    #3497457, posted on June 27, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    We will carry this debt for a long time — I would say for 20 years. That’s a generation.

    It’s not ever going to be paid back – and not only do they know this, there is no intention to do so.

    But the members of the ‘Chairman Mao Statue Builders Committee’ will enjoy their labour.

  30. Squirrel

    The fact that we now have a state government which answers to the name of Labor (Victoria), and another which answers to the name of LNP (NSW) both pushing for the “reform” of replacing property transaction taxes (stamp duty) with an annual land tax on the principal place of residence is a sign of how bad things are.

    I’m well aware the stamp duty/land tax trade-off is rated highly by current economic dogma and related modelling, but it’s so interesting that this particular policy has been cherry-picked for priority – could it possibly be because those state governments have committed to recurrent spending based on revenues derived from an unsustainable property boom, and now they want to keep gouging the same revenue from a property market which is going to be somewhat less effervescent in coming years?

    Boom-time revenues should be treated as such and used for repaying debt, building reserves for bad times, or spent on very carefully planned and evaluated infrastructure – not to fund entitlement schemes which are beyond our true means.

  31. Petros

    “Australians will become the white trash of Asia.”
    Lee Kwan Yew. 1980.

  32. Watch Your Back

    Roger, you’re right. The British economists of that time were Keynesians and socialists. They spent their Marshall Fund loans on nationalising industries and welfare.

    There’s an amusing story where a general administering the Marshall Fund went to see Erhard as a matter of urgency.

    He said: Minister, my economists are telling me your policies are misguided.

    Erhard: my economists are telling me the same thing!!

  33. Neil

    I am telling you that the productivity decline that Costello laments started under the Howard government. That is a fact. Would you like to go on the record as denying it?

    I would not mind a link for that statement.

    Which is just hilarious coming from Costello, who was part of Australia’s most out of control and destructive left wing government.

    Howard/Costello ran surplus budgets and reduced govt debt, something no govt has done since 1972

  34. Rockdoctor

    Squirrel
    #3497532, posted on June 27, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Agreed. Infrastructure in Sydney is bad enough without the handouts to the NRL in new stadiums or for public transport means that were ripped up for a reason in my parents youth. Try getting outside Sydney or coastal fringe Newcastle to Woolongong and the bottlenecks become a whole lot worse especially in safe Nationals seats. Land tax won’t fix this and with council rates will probably discourage occupier/ownership.

    As for Petros’s comment, IMO too late as we are already on the way to a South American future.

  35. Petros

    Funny you say that, Rockdoctor. I keep thinking that we are going to emulate Argentina.

  36. iamok

    Removing or reducing levels of govt would require a vote. If it got through parliament – IF – the largest employer group in Australia would never vote it through.

    I’ve been saying for a while – we are screwed folks. I cant see a way forward and away from becoming another socialist shithole.

  37. Fisky

    Also note Australia’s dreadful GDP per capita performance since 2013. Worse than Japan and barely even with Italy. Total disaster.

    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/12/imf-australian-economy-developed-worlds-worst/

  38. Fisky

    More evidence: GDP per capita change 2010-2018 – OECD 12.2%, Australia 9.6% (and we’ve only fallen further behind since then)

  39. EllenG

    Peter Costello put more cost in the budget than any other if the last ten treasurers. Costello presided over a fat revenue stream. A high tax revenue stream. He locked in costs for middle class welfare that we have yet to escape. He is a pissant who couldn’t get the numbers when everyone wanted Howard to retire. Worst of all he thinks the surpluses were both his own work and a good thing.

  40. Neil

    Fisky

    None of your links support this statement

    I am telling you that the productivity decline that Costello laments started under the Howard government. That is a fact. Would you like to go on the record as denying it?

    And if you are talking about our manufacturing industry, we used to make everything here in the late 1970’s and now our manufacturing industry has all gone. Just walk into a KMart store and 99% of the stuff comes from China

  41. NoFixedAddress

    iamok
    #3497560, posted on June 27, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    Removing or reducing levels of govt would require a vote. If it got through parliament – IF – the largest employer group in Australia would never vote it through.

    I’ve been saying for a while – we are screwed folks. I cant see a way forward and away from becoming another socialist shithole.

    Too late. We already are and have been for some time.

    It’s just that the Australian Politburo no longer have a need to cloak their activities from the “citizens”.

  42. mh

    I clicked on Fisky’s first link.

    There are many underlying reasons why:

    Crush-loading infrastructure via the immigration ponzi, thus diluting Australia’s capital stock and requiring expensive new infrastructure to be built that is less efficient than what was already in place;
    Massive over-investment in unproductive capital via the housing bubble;
    Massive mis-allocation into white elephant energy infrastructure;
    Over-inflated land costs; and
    Oligopolies and rent-seeking across almost all facets of the economy, thus destroying innovation, efficiency and good management.
    In short, Australia’s economic structure is stuffed. And as long as the economy relies on mass immigration and the housing ponzi to juice growth via consumption and pushing the capacity envelope, productivity will remain poor
    .

    I think MacroBusiness has taken a position!

  43. Fisky

    None of your links support this statement

    You didn’t notice that multifactor productivity growth (market sector) was negative throughout the third and fourth terms of the Howard government?? That’s weird. Maybe have another squiz –

    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/12/australias-visa-system-wrecking-productivity/

  44. Fisky

    The only reason Australia had any productivity growth at all in the last 17 years is thanks to the mining boom. We’re a failed economy running on the fumes of a property bubble.

  45. Fisky

    Costello was a good treasurer for about 2 terms, but the government really lost the plot after 2001. Howard ran his entire reelection strategy on goosing the property market (read “keeping interest rates low”) and middle class welfare.

  46. egg_

    we are already on the way to a South American future.

    The Greeks tried to shut down their Socialist State Broadcaster, ERT, with good reason.

  47. Neil

    You didn’t notice that multifactor productivity growth (market sector) was negative throughout the third and fourth terms of the Howard government?? That’s weird. Maybe have another squiz –

    If true so what? Unemployment went from 8% to 4% under Howard/Costello. U have to go back to the 1970’s to find an unemployment rate with a 4 in front of it.

    But it is a problem that we do not make anything here anymore. We are even importing things like garlic and frozen fish. Hard to blame that on Howard.

    Fact is unemployment was at 4% when Howard lost govt, the budget was a $20B surplus and the Commonwealth was debt free

  48. NoFixedAddress

    Fisky
    #3497598, posted on June 27, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    The only reason Australia had any productivity growth at all in the last 17 years is thanks to the mining boom. We’re a failed economy running on the fumes of a property bubble.

    But you totally ignore the social productivity.

    Look at the gains made in the State and Commonwealth Public Services.

    Look at how many Acts of Parliament have been passed by our hard working Parliamentarians in all States and the Commonwealth.

    The Court systems are models of efficiency.

    Look at the amount of Renewable Energy produced in Australia since year 1997.

    You display a lack of Faith in Our Glorious Future Fisky.

  49. Neil

    Peter Costello put more cost in the budget than any other if the last ten treasurers. Costello presided over a fat revenue stream. A high tax revenue stream

    Too funny. The lefties say Costello tax cuts destroyed the budget.

    Fact is since 1972 only Howard/Costello ran surplus budgets and reduced govt debt. We were debt free in 2007

    Fat revenue stream? U have a link for that garbage?

  50. Neil

    Costello presided over a fat revenue stream.

    Howard/Costello were running surplus budgets within 12 months of winning govt in 1996 with unemployment at 8% and no mining boom which did not start until 2004.

    GO AWAY and try and deceive somebody else with your comments.

    What fat revenue stream? Give me a link

  51. Robber Baron

    At some point the military will step in South American style to ensure the money for military spending on gender re-assignment surgery and climate change continues.

    Only death duties and superannuation confiscation can balance the budget.

  52. Crossie

    The mission was always to do the very best we could for the vulnerable but to carry on. We forgot that our duty to future citizens is no less sacred than our responsibility to living compatriots.

    But our gutless politicians, and every other country’s, were swayed by those frauds known as CMOs. On their advice we destroyed our economies. There is so much blame to go around but they will all retire with fabulous super while we pay and pay and pay. And then the next generation will pay and pay and pay.

  53. Peter Greagg

    Neil
    #3497647, posted on June 27, 2020 at 8:13 pm
    Costello presided over a fat revenue stream.

    Howard/Costello were running surplus budgets within 12 months of winning govt in 1996 with unemployment at 8% and no mining boom which did not start until 2004.

    GO AWAY and try and deceive somebody else with your comments.

    What fat revenue stream? Give me a link

    Keep up the good work.

  54. egg_

    our gutless politicians, and every other country’s, were swayed by those frauds known as CMOs.

    Methinks @rse covering Scotty-from-Marketing is not so naive.

  55. egg_

    Howard/Costello were running surplus budgets within 12 months of winning govt in 1996 with unemployment at 8% and no mining boom which did not start until 2004.

    Spot on.

    Howard got all of the unpopular hard stuff done in his first year, with time to spare for re-election.

    ScoMo is a dunce.

  56. Rebel with cause

    Eventually you run out of other people’s money.

    Most of the budget will go to debt repayment, healthcare and the aged pension going forward with very little left for anything else. Maybe that will be a good thing.

  57. Visiting American

    Didn’t Costello introduce a VAT?

  58. Jimf

    Every nation in the world is now running , and will forever run, perennial debt based economies. No one can balance the books. And that’s just how the world’s creditors like it . Is it all making sense now?

  59. Procrustes

    Well most of the blame can be laid at the feet of the one time “World’s Greatest Treasurer”, Wayne Swan. For it was he who created a step change upwards in the size of government, and kept pushing out new commitments beyond the forward estimates that the pusillanimous Libs have been unable or unwilling to tackle.

    Someone needs to grow a spine and get a firm grip on public spending.

  60. Fisky

    If true so what? Unemployment went from 8% to 4% under Howard/Costello. U have to go back to the 1970’s to find an unemployment rate with a 4 in front of it.

    But it is a problem that we do not make anything here anymore. We are even importing things like garlic and frozen fish. Hard to blame that on Howard.

    Are you kidding? Manufacturing totally fell through the floor under Howard! It was a bust. Even Keating did better than Howard on manufacturing. Terrible!

  61. Colin Suttie

    The debt will not be paid off. Not over 20 years, not ever. Just as the electorate loves the destructive lockdowns, they also love government handouts and middle-class welfare. We are ruled by Karens and statists now, there is no going back.

    Any attempt to reduce government debt will be met by howls from the left and the media (but I repeat myself) about the evils of “austerity” – look how successfully they pinned this label to the Conservative party in the UK, for a slightly reduced increase in government spending. I don’t even see how they’re going to wind up the allegedly temporary Covid relief programs.

  62. mh

    When the Coalition government announced that Jobkeeper would cost 70 Billion less than expected, Labor were in despair!

    Labor also wants Jobkeeper forever!

  63. Iampeter

    Howard/Costello ran surplus budgets and reduced govt debt, something no govt has done since 1972

    Howard/Costello, oversaw the greatest expansion of the welfare and regulatory state in Australia’s history. So much so that we are still feeling the consequences decades later and will continue to do so for decades to come.
    They built the green bureaucracy. They built middle class welfare. They created the property bubble. They forcibly disarmed Australian citizens. They created fake “tax cuts” while printing the difference.
    Also, they took a break from implementing every progressive statist policy to implement every conservative statist policy too, by regulating immigration and [email protected] weddings.
    Australia has never, before or since, seen a bunch of central planners like the Howard government.

    Basically they were DECADES ahead of who you would call “leftists” today on EVERY issue.
    And conservatives just kept electing them.

    Please stop with this “reduce debt and budget surplus” nonsense.

    Howard/Costello were the end of conservatives as a viable alternative to the left in Australia, just as Trump is globally.

  64. Pretty good Peter but the jury’s still out on Trump.

    He hasn’t tried to pay debt down at all.

    “Oh you need a businessman not someone who understands economics in office”

    Slowly, this is becoming more and more of an error.

  65. mh

    They created the property bubble.

    So Howard/Costello created an Australian property bubble “decades” ago.
    The term bubble is used is because it bursts.
    So will it burst?

  66. mh

    Also, they took a break from implementing every progressive statist policy to implement every conservative statist policy too, by regulating immigration and [email protected] weddings.

    Howard/Costello implemented regulation of immigration?

    So immigration was unregulated under Hawke/Keating?

  67. Neil

    They created fake “tax cuts” while printing the difference.

    What does that mean?

    But i suspect the current debt will never be paid off unless in some way it could be inflated away. Hyperinflation could be the solution to our govt debt

  68. Petros

    How much of the housing price rise at the turn of the century could be due to superannuation investment?

  69. John A

    Jimf #3497742, posted on June 27, 2020, at 11:31 pm

    Every nation in the world is now running, and will forever run, perennial debt-based economies. No one can balance the books. And that’s just how the world’s creditors like it. Is it all making sense now?

    Except for the fact that debt and the inflation that goes with it are the enemies of creditors and the friends of debtors.

  70. Iampeter

    Pretty good Peter but the jury’s still out on Trump.

    This evasion is exactly how we ended up with a decade of the Howard disaster. The jury is NOT still out on Trump. He is an unmitigated, left wing disaster, the likes of which we’ve never seen in the Whitehouse.

    So Howard/Costello created an Australian property bubble “decades” ago.
    The term bubble is used is because it bursts.
    So will it burst?

    Well, it started bursting in 2008 but was reinflated. It’s overdue for another burst now and the pandemic will provide cover for our politicians. But what’s the point of the question?

    Howard/Costello implemented regulation of immigration?
    So immigration was unregulated under Hawke/Keating?

    No, Howard/Costello just increased regulations on immigration. They were more left wing than Hawke/Keating. Again, what’s the point of the question?

    What does that mean?

    To have a tax cut you have to first cut government spending and then return the saved money back to taxpayers in a permanent fashion by reducing taxes.
    But because we have central banks that separate the supply of money from real loan-able funds, governments have been scamming voters by cutting taxes without actually cutting any spending. They get away with this by using the central banks to provide them the difference and then some. In other words, taxes might go down but gov spending keeps going up, creating an EVEN BIGGER problem than if they just raised taxes to pay for their spending.
    This farce is not “tax cuts.”

  71. mh

    Well, it started bursting in 2008 but was reinflated.

    Which cities and how.

    No, Howard/Costello just increased regulations on immigration. They were more left wing than Hawke/Keating.

    Details please.

  72. Neil

    To have a tax cut you have to first cut government spending and then return the saved money back to taxpayers in a permanent fashion by reducing taxes.

    All i know is Howard/Costello ran surplus budgets and reduced govt debt, something no govt has done since 1972

  73. Iampeter

    Which cities and how.

    Hmm, what?

    Details please.

    Details about what?
    Look, we both know you’re an InfoWars sperg who doesn’t really anything about this and I’m not really here to help you pretend otherwise.

    All i know is Howard/Costello ran surplus budgets and reduced govt debt, something no govt has done since 1972

    Well yea, but they didn’t do so by cutting government spending and deregulation.
    They did this by growing the government to levels we’ve never seen before or since.

  74. Neil

    Well yea, but they didn’t do so by cutting government spending and deregulation.

    Well then how did Howard/Costello do it? Howard was running surplus budgets within 12 months of winning govt in 1996 by cutting spending. Unemployment was still at the level he was handed when Howard ran his first surplus budget- 8%.

    If Howard grew the budget how did he run his first surplus budget within 12 months of winning govt?

  75. Neil

    The debt is being inflated away.

    You cannot cheat your way out of debt.

    Simone always pays.

  76. Neil

    Since 1972 Howard/Costello is the only govt to reduce govt debt. DEbt is not being inflated away but is getting bigger all the time. But hyperinflation may be the only solution to our current debt problem

  77. Someone.

    LOL

    Sure I changed the stupid auto correct.

    The debt is being inflated away, yet it continues to grow.

    The true extent (cost) of government is the sum of the cost of regulation, tax inefficiencies, GBE inefficiencies, forced savings and government saving and total spending.

    The nominal level of debt whilst shocking, is like the tip of the iceberg.

  78. mh

    So Iampeter cannot point to any regulation increases on immigration introduced by the Howard/Costello government, despite telling us that’s exactly what happened.

    Sad.

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