Jaded Gittins pleads for budget honesty

Via a demoralised Ross Gittins:

The mid-year budget update we’ll see next Monday presents the government and its econocrats with a threshold question: can their battered credibility withstand one more set of economic forecasts based on little more than naive optimism?

Or won’t it matter if first the industry experts, and then the Quiet Australians in voterland, get the message that budgets are largely works of fiction – based on political spin, with forecasts crafted to fit – and so are not to be believed?

…Three quarters into our run of five weak quarters, Scott Morrison fought the election on a claim to had delivered a Strong Economy. The two subsequent sets of national accounts have destroyed that masterpiece of the marketer’s art.

…But Morrison’s misrepresentations came bolstered by Treasury forecasts and projections showing the economy would quickly recover from weakness to strength, whereupon it would enter a five-year period of above-trend (3 per cent) annual growth before reverting to trend for the rest of a decade.

…See the problem Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and his troops face in preparing next Monday’s mid-year budget update? Do they keep playing the budgetary version of the with-one-bound-our-hero-broke-free game and leave themselves open to growing derision, or do they stop pretending, offer plausible forecasts and adopt a more defensible projection methodology, and start on the long road back to being respected and authoritative?

They will lie of course.

Eventually they may be held to account by the ballot box but maybe not. Labor is pretty hopeless. The media is compliant. Murdoch is 100% behind the Government and Nine is lobotimsed by Domain.

Only MB will hold their feet to the fire.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


    • Yep, it will be more extend and pretend. Its worked fine so far why would they change the story.

      Everything is still all Labors fault. No need to update that narrative. And best of all teh rates were lowered and teh thing was fixed.

      With house prices booming I reckon this budget update will be of no concern.

      • I think it’s the people who lean on “they’ll blame Labor” need to change their tune.

        It’s Labor’s fault.

        If not, who else was ever going to hold it all together and articulate to the electorate what LNP are doing to this country’s future via immigration?

        I blame Labor because Labor are to blame.

        • Labor are partially to blame, because they would have led us down exactly the same path. They were never going to take us any other way, to expect otherwise is delusional.

          • Exactly. Traditional Labor voters are hurting far more than LNP voters.

            Labor are to blame for not being an alternative. Labor are to blame for not calling out the biggest issues in Australia.

          • Actually, you and people like you are to blame, for believing our electoral system represents you and then bitching about labors failure when they fail to represent you. Open your eyes to the reality that the entire system has been set up to protect the interests of the wealthy and always has been, with the only solution a complete change away from westminster democracy to something that actually repesents the will of the people,
            or continue to whine about how the political parties are failing to represent you as people have done for centuries.

          • What you are saying is parties aren’t there for us, but you defend Labor like they’re an old mate of yours I’ve insulted.

            I’ve got a strategy. Break Labor to fix Australia’s politics.

            You’ve got a strategy to criticize that?

          • Yep, whatever party replaces labor will be more of the same. The system is what is broken, not the individual parties.
            unfortunately/fortunately depending on your opinion, peoples attantion is continually diverted towards the parties being broken so no attempt is ever made to fix the system, hence no matter what happens to labor, even if it’s replaced, nothing will actually change and the population as a whole will continue to get screwed over for the benefit of the politicians and their wealthy mates. That is politicians from all the magor parties, not just one in case you don’t realise.
            But feel free to continue to blame the labor party and get royally screwed over as generations past have.

          • If Labor are screwing you, why are you loyal to them?

            There is no way to change the system. It requires constitutional change and that’s not going to happen with LNP and Labor enjoying the fruits of it.

            The only option is to wreck one of the parties, and given LNP voters like what’s going on, it has to be Labor.

          • “There is no way to change the system. It requires constitutional change and that’s not going to happen with LNP and Labor enjoying the fruits of it.”
            This is exactly my point. There is no way to change the system from within the system. As long as the populace as a whole accepts the system they will be screwed by it. It will require a large chunk of the population demanding change for it to actually happen, demanding by force if necessary.
            Please explain to me how trashing one of the parties will actually change anything?
            Has replacing the democrats with the greens produced profound changes in the political landscape? Or did the ex democrats just move to another party and continue as before?

            PS where did I ever say labor was good?

          • I partially agree with you. The system is clearly broken, but how are going to get Australians to revolt?

            Far more likely is selling to the electorate Labor is selling them out. Its not going to fix it, but it will shake them up, and to save their positions individual MPs will demand Labor change.

          • The core of the problem is that politicians aren’t actually chosen by the electorate.
            As long as you can get your party to give you preselection for a seat, you’re good to go. That’s why the electorates opinion is of minimal importance.
            Get preselection for a safe seat and you’re set for life.
            Guess what it costs to achieve this preselection. It ain’t putting the electorates desires first, I guarantee you.

          • If you have a plan to change that I’m right with you.

            The reality is, it isn’t possible to change because the very people at the core of the problem make the rules.

            IMO, there’s only one solution short of revolution and that’s wrecking the Labor party.

            I’m all ears if you’ve got a genuine alternative plan.

          • Ditto.

            I think you’re missing my point.

            No matter how we look at what’s happened to Labor, we are still a democracy.

            If a majority voted for xyz candidate in ABC electorate they win.

            Meaning until the mega wealthy get to them, they’re there for us. The system isn’t broken as much as we are disorganized.

            You still haven’t outlined your plan.

          • If 75% of Aussies think politicians are scum, there may lie the way to a change.
            If 75% of the electorate cast informal votes and wrote “I am not voting for any of the above until there is a national convention on our Democracy” chnage maybe forth coming.
            Some might say ” the candidates will vote themselves in”. So what ?
            The Pollies cannot claim a mandate.
            Apart from revolutionary insurrection , which Aussies don’t do , the above might work.
            The other method of bringing forth change would be to collapse house prices , this may bring out the quiet Revolutionary in Aussies.

          • “If a majority voted for xyz candidate in ABC electorate they win.”
            On the surface this is true and is why westminster democracy has been successful for centuries at preventing unrest in the masses.
            But let’s look a little deeper and at why your until actually has cause and effect arse about.
            How much do you think it costs in time and money to actually win a seat in parliament at an election?
            For a little context Hung low or whatever her name is provided $100,000 in “additional” funding to help win her seat last election. The reality is by the time someone is elected to parliament they have been well and truly bought and paid for, or are extremely wealthy, or probably both.
            Maybe you think I’m wrong about this, if so I suggest you find out first hand by running at the next election and seeing how many votes the time and money you can afford to contribute actually gets you.
            This is the same reason parties like sustainable australia party that would seem to represent the views of common australians but go against the interests of the wealthy do so poorly at elections. They simply don’t have the resoures required to run a successful campaign.

          • “The Pollies cannot claim a mandate.”
            Sure they can. Most of em would even do it with a straight face.

          • Look, I’m pretty much entirely agreeing with you. I’ve seen it all. I saw what’s happened to SA, but it’s more the electorates fault isn t it?

            SA were pretty weak and weren’t really selling much.

            Imagine if Hansooon had a brain, tempered her red neck and didn’t side with LNP so much? She’d be running the country.

            I still think pointing the finger at Labor is the best option. Once people finally get it through their heads how disgusting this party is, they can’t unsee it.

          • Probably a bit late to reply to this but anyway:-
            “I saw what’s happened to SA, but it’s more the electorates fault isn t it?”
            This is again repeating it’s not the systems fault it’s the fault of the people which is what has made the system such a success for the wealthy running society. How is it the electorates fault, and if it happens continuously just maybe it may be inherent in the system?

            “SA were pretty weak and weren’t really selling much.”
            because they don’t have corporate donors to fund a team of spin doctors and policy specialists, never mind the pollsters and assorted others, or teams of narcissistic A’holes falling over each other for a chance to enter parliament to partake of the trough of riches available to those with no morals.

            “Imagine if Hansooon had a brain, tempered her red neck and didn’t side with LNP so much? She’d be running the country.”
            No, she’d be sustainable australia because like them she would simply receive no mainstream media mention because she no longer would serve the purpose of poisoning reform with extreme views.

            Ultimately I will ask this question. How many political parties entered candidates in enough seats to actually be able to form a government? Answer, I don’t actually know but it is highly likely that only liberal and labor actually did. I doubt the nationals did, greens definitely didn’t, and below that no-one would go even close. Given this circumstance how is it the electorates fault that lab/lib form government when quite literally THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE AVAILABLE.
            You may want to argue the fact that there is no alternative available is the electorates fault, but throughout the world westminster democracy creates 2 party outcomes. It is inherent. And they are usually really close to each other policy wise as well.It is by design.
            The stories/indoctrination taught to the masses in childhood about “democracy” don’t actually hold up to close inspection if you look at the actual outcomes it produces.
            It’s all the electorates fault, let’s keep doing the same thing and hope for a different outcome.

            The only viable plan as I see it, convince enough people that representative democracy isn’t the nirvana they’ve been led to believe and push for change. Probably not achievable given current reality, but still more likely to suceed than trying to convinve people Labor party bad. They already know that, 75% scum and all that.

          • Look at the way the Senate is now acting. Lambie and Hanson pulling strings.

            Replace enough of LNP and Labor and we’ve got improved democracy.

            You can’t educate Australians. Theyre too dumb.

            Don’t you think it’s also a good idea at the same time decimate the parties causing all the problems?

            Don’t forget it doesn’t matter who forms government. With enough Lambies and Hanson’s the government will do what it’s told.

            I’m still convinced the best way forward is wrecking Labor. Eventually they’re either gone (Replaced by better democracy) or lust for power will make them change to become electable.

        • I got lost in the bjw678/Rich4 echo chamber. They should have got Gerald H or Janet Alb to put in plain English. They all sing from the same hymn sheet.

          • On the contrary. Two people who want the same thing with different ideas of how to get there is the opposite to an echo chamber.

  1. Everything’s going to be great! Just wait until the bushfires create an ember attack on Sydney and ignite all those buildings with flammable cladding.

    GDP will go through the roof:
    – No tradie will be without a 10 year pipeline of work in the rebuild
    – New toxic waste dumps and a monster new fleet of trucks to move it all driven by newly minted PRs
    – Funeral services and florists will be millionaires almost overnight
    – Banks will be hiring like crazy to sell new mortgages
    – insurers hiring like crazy to deny everyone their claims
    – Building supply companies will grow like Topsy
    – We’ll need so many more migration agents to handle the flood of new immigrant home buyers snapping up suddenly available prime real estate
    – health providers will be hiring forever to catch up with respiratory illness and depression

    What’s not to love in our rosy red future?

  2. proofreadersMEMBER

    Ross needs to be sent to an LNP re-education camp and as for MB, HnH and UE … there is no hope? Everyone should chill out and partake in the ScoMo and Josh Rainbowberg kool-aid.

    • Hill Billy 55MEMBER

      But the Kool-aid is imported. That’ll trash the numbers if the unwashed are invited to the party ’cause we know they all drink too much. One has to have standards you know!

  3. Jumping jack flash

    Quiet Australians care not for budget mumbo jumbo. Many would not even know who the PM was, fewer the Treasurer. Many more do not know what GDP is.

    All the average “Quiet Australian” cares about is being able to obtain as much debt that is required when they require it.

    Libs are seen as the bank whisperers, the debt facilitators, the conveyancers of credit, and the masters of interest rates. This is why they will continue to succeed while debt coninues to be completely necessary.

    Libs are also the curators of career progressives – nobody wants to be a “worker”, it doesn’t pay enough. You have to get a better job that pays more to be able to obtain the required amounts of debt. The libs’ll take care of it. They’re the mature ones. They all wear nice suits and have nice hair. Except for Dutto maybe.

    Labor is all about scrounging around for workers rights. Who cares? We need to be mum and dad investors and to do that requires debt.