Although it might be hard to conjure up an image of Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey and Helen Coonan doing the Coalition’s Budget Rap, it would not be difficult to imagine the words that would flow from their throats:
Deficit and debt,
Deficit and debt,
Deficit and debt as far as you can see
Labor deficit and debt that will leave us all at sea.
Do not expect to hear anything positive from Coalition members unless it is prized painfully from them by persistent journalists. Chris Uhlmann on ABC radio this morning did well to have Turnbull reluctantly concede that the loss to revenue of over $200 billion over four years resulting from the GFC would necessarily result in a deficit. Only the most determined interviewers will achieve any such concession. Gloom, disaster, devastation, irresponsibility, incompetence, profligate, reckless, panic, spin, ‘spendathon’, spending spree, cash splashes, casino economics, Pollyanna, nation-wrecking and other pejorative words and phrases will be Coalition members’ stock in trade.. [more]
Expect them to attribute virtually all the deficit and debt to the Rudd Government’s ‘reckless spending’, and expect them to insist, as Hockey did this morning, that Labor has accumulated a massive intergenerational debt that has done nothing. Yes, nothing, nothing at all. They will not let the increased retail sales, the unexpected fall in unemployment last month (admittedly probably temporary), the increase in business confidence, the boom in new housing and the opinion of many businessmen, business lobbies, economists and commentators that the economic stimuli have had a beneficial effect, to deflect them from insisting that the stimuli have done nothing. Only when confronted with this positive evidence by determined interviewers will they grudgingly concede that there might have been some effect, but hasten to add that it was minimal and a poor return for the money spend. Nor will they accept that the cash stimuli are still flowing through the economy, will likely do so for some months to come, and will therefore add to the benefit already accrued.
Today, Hockey made the preposterous statement that since the budgeted $22 billion infrastructure package was estimated to support 210,000 jobs, it would cost over $100,000 for each job, as if the money was to be expended solely on wages. No Joe it’s to be spent building things, a tiny proportion of which will be spent on wages. So Joe was being disingenuous; he couldn’t be stupid enough to believe that one.
The Coalition is using the Joseph Goebbels principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses.
It will be interesting to hear what Turnbull says in his Speech in Reply tomorrow night. Expect more shameless disingenuousness. Already Turnbull and Hockey can’t seem to agree on the Coalition’s approach. So it should be fun.