Saturday, May 05, 2007

Whose money?

Australian Federal Treasurer Peter Costello has been given a green light for tax cuts and other vote-winning spending when he delivers the Government's fourth pre-election Budget on Tuesday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia yesterday cut its inflation forecast for this year, a clear indication it will happily sit back on interest rates for at least the rest of the year. Expectations of a $15 billion cash surplus for this year and another $14 billion for next year underline how much money there is in play.

They call it the ‘war chest’ and talk about how they will use their bountiful surplus to fight the upcoming election. The opposition ALP remain mute of course, given that when they hold power the ‘war chest’ is theirs.

Whose money is it? Surely not those self serving bastards we somehow elect to govern on our behalf. The language suggests the money does not belong to the citizens of this nation, but the governing party.

Being an election year budget it will be full of supposed goodies to temp hungry voters. The reality of election year tax cuts is $2 or 3 a week in the average taxpayers pocket. I’m never quite sure how that transforms into votes.

What the approach ignores ids that ‘their’ money – our money, would be far more value if it was spent on essential health and education services. Even a fraction of the projected surplus (and a fraction is all the tax cuts represent) would go a long way in developing a much needed underpinning to the countries health and education infrastructure.

Not bloody likely, that is too sensible. Howard's latest backflip on industrial relations has given the Government a trigger for a second multimillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded advertising campaign promoting its workplace legislation before this year's federal election.

It is there money it seems and few are even aware that the country’s wealth is being diverted to free election campaign funds. I know Australia is not alone in this flagrant misuse of public funds. But like elsewhere there is barely a murmur of dissent.


Anonymous said...

It is there money it seems and few are even aware that the country’s wealth is being diverted to free election campaign funds.

Ah the joy of public financing of elections. We've got that here as well, but of course in our biggest elections no one ever takes the cash because of the restrictions that go with it.

Cartledge said...

"Ah the joy of public financing of elections." If only froggy! I can barely accept the corruption of the legislated public funding. Using ‘our’ money for faux ad campaigns really pisses me off. Especially when there are so many ways of applying that to real issues.
We don’t have a bona fide campaign in Australia just yet. Just the politically agreed effing waste of our money.
Tonight I am sitting here writing a soliloquy on the incredible consequences of this waste. I don’t think I’m a carer, but I really hope someone is.

Praguetwin said...

$14 billion sounds like an awful lot. How much of that can they actually spend? Are there restrictions?

I'd love some more details if you could spare them.

Cartledge said...

“$14 billion sounds like an awful lot. How much of that can they actually spend? Are there restrictions?”
PT, The quick answer: If it was ‘our’ money, which it indeed is, it should be spent on social infrastructure. ‘They’ have claimed it as a ‘war chest’ and will use it in two ways:
1/ they will offer the shallow inducements to voters.
2/ they will manipulate the markets.
The second has a lot to say about the ‘booming’ markets of recent times. You need big money to manipulate markets. It has little to do with the people our elected representatives are supposed to represent.
What we really need to look at is how our money is really used in manipulating the whole system.
We are being screwed over on a major level just so these second rate humans can retain their benefits of public office.

Reality-Based Educator said...

Here in the U.S., Dems are trying to restore "Pay as you go" rules to gov't spending after 6 years of Bush profligacy. Repubs, the party of "fiscal prudence" who have twice now run up the biggest fucking deficits in history (under darling Reagan and GWB) say Dems are bringing on "the biggest tax increase in history."


Cartledge said...

RBE, I'm reserving comment at the moment. The Aust budget came down last night and I am really looking into the various aspects of con.
All i need to do is understand economics.