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Feb 5, 2009

I was wrong: Turnbull got it, second grab.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul. George Bernard Shaw.

In the last post I was scathing about Malcolm Turnbull when the SMH indicated that he would not oppose the latest stimulus package, saying, “He couldn’t find his arse with three grabs.”

After sending mixed signals yesterday Malcolm Turnbull is taking the unprecedented step for his opposition of opposing the Rudd government on the $42 billion stimulus package. Turnbull has tended to wilt in the face of the government in the past rather than face up to them or even push for alternatives. It has been so bad recently that Senator Barnaby Joyce was criticized for voting against a piece of legislation the Liberals had decided to support, on the basis that they would be criticized for it.

Kevin Rudd is the master of populism and therefore presents a difficult target, especially for an opposition that has lost its way and has few genuine beliefs in anything in the way of principles, other than getting elected back into office. On their past record they appear to have lost all touch with the principle of smaller less interventionist fiscally responsible government. The Howard government took the country on an unprecedented spending spree, which Rudd appears to be hoping to surpass in his first term.

On this issue it is particularly difficult for the Liberals as Rudd is promising the majority of families a ‘gift’ of $950 with the admonition to go forth and splurge. When he was asked how he would fund it, he said: "We'll have to borrow it. That's the bottom line." He is not telling the recipients the fact that they are going to have to pay it back, with interest. If the Liberals are able to block this they will suffer some initial electoral damage, but when the package is logically analyzed it would be irresponsible to pass it.

Turnbull was however disappointing on the 7:30 report, especially in his inability to address the claim that most of the deficit was the result of a fall in government revenue. In society if our earnings drop we have the sense to cut back and reduce our expenditure. Turnbull failed completely to address the issue that when people are carrying a responsible act of financial common sense, the government should tighten its belt and reduce its cost to those people.

I guess Keynesianism does that to you.

Meanwhile, the government is ramping up the rhetoric, which is the only way to go when their best idea is a knee-jerk reaction to a panic attack. Rudd is referring to traitors, treason, treachery, and is declaring a national emergency. Anna Bligh is wanting to put the economy on a “war footing,” especially if it means a big slice of the funding. These idiots are getting just too extreme.

The stupidity of the stimulus is made evident by the auto bailout. With the prospect of harder economic times, the people are reassessing their priorities and have among other things, put off buying that new car, causing hardship for the auto industry. The government has responded by borrowing money in their names and giving it to those companies. The net effect is that we end up paying the same amount or more out but we don’t get the car. Cool Kevvy.

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