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Aug 8, 2013

The Liberal Democrats get their day in the sun

It is highly unusual for a minor party to get much in the way of publicity these days, especially during elections when their voices tend to be drowned out by the clamour from the majors, even if they were published in the first place.  Most of the media tend to pretend that they don’t exist, or think they are not interesting enough to warrant space.
Small parties rarely receive any electoral funding as opposed to the tens of millions awarded to Labor, the Coalition, and the Greens, therefore they have little chance of coming up with an advertising budget.
It was therefore gratifying to get some space allocated to us in an article in the Australian, slamming the incredible wastage of taxpayer money and its damage to the economy at large and the debt being handed down to future generations: 
... The government's formal intergenerational reports, undertaken by the Treasury, paint a depressing enough picture of the government's structural budget position out to 2050, but they naively assume future politicians do not impose new spending commitments. Carling shows that across the decade to 2010-11, government spending grew 4 per cent a year in real terms, three-quarters of which was a result of the addition of new spending programs, not the expansion of existing programs. 
Not many political parties have the courage to promise to cut spending or agencies before an election, although the fledgling Liberal Democratic Party is one exception. 
Its treasurer, David Leyonhjelm, who will stand for a NSW senate seat, tells The Australian his party's platform is to limit the federal government to defence, immigration, basic public services (such as passport services, regulation of hazardous materials, air and sea transport regulation), and assistance to the least well off. 
"The big parties just argue about how to spend our taxes, not whether to collect and spend them in the first place," he says. 
Certainly, too many Australians are quick to complain about big government and the regulatory burden but recoil when programs or bodies are suggested for the chop. 
Apologists for the government cite Australia's AAA credit rating and the projected return to a surplus of $4bn in 2017. Ratings agencies have been widely discredited and most European countries and the US were rated AAA before the global financial crisis, along with the mortgage-backed securities that were in reality a ticking time-bomb under the financial system. ...
It also has to be mentioned that the ratings agencies who give us a AAA rating are the same ones which gave the same rating to the mortgage backed securities at the root of the GFC.

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