Fear Of The Known

They Believe In Their Own Bullshit

What really frightens me about the Liberals and the Nationals is no not just what they will do, but just how much they believe in their own utter bullshit about how they are better managers or that they are better managers of the economy. It’s true that they’re not going to come out and say “hey the ALP did a great job in riding through the GFC” but instead it’s been this huge diatribe about government debt. Well, there are two things bigger and scarier than Federal government debt in Australia and that is local council debt and private sector debt.

Here’s the vaunted Economist magazine’s Global Debt Clock page. yes, that’s Australia in red there, and the thing is Australia’s public debt is high. Yes, it’s true, but if you look at it, the figure sits at 27.1% of GDP. As of 31 August, the Federal Government component of it is 11.3%. It’s not comparable to places where the debt is sitting at 78.3% of GDP (the USA) or for that matter 232% (Japan). You should check out what other countries in red are suffering. It is true that the Federal budget position is worsening as revenue drops, but it is hardly the kind of crisis the Liberal is talking us up into. If after all that spending and all that alleged mismanaging, the debt is 11.3%, then hooray to the ALP.

More to the point, there’s something like 16% of GDP sitting on the shoulders of local councils – and nobody really knows how they’re going to pay that back. But I guess that’s not really a Federal issue to win votes so  you don’t see the Libs and Nats running around talking up that even bigger public debt.

Private debt is another matter entirely, and nobody wants to touch this because the economy is a house of cards built on confidence. Nobody wants us to lose the confidence we have in our economy but quite frankly we’ve not really made it through the property bubble and prices are heating up again in major cities. We’re nowhere near digesting the debt tied up in mortgages across the country, and we’ve started to look at housing as the next engine of growth after the mining boom tapers off. Except you don’t hear a peep out of the Libs or Nats about this too because they like the wealth effect of having inflated asset prices on people’s ledgers. They won’t be repealing negative gearing any time soon. They like inflated property prices, low disposal income. They like being asset-rich cash-poor, even if that ends up hurting growth prospects for the economy.

It’s a joke that they’re out in front with such shoddy economic thinking that even a novice can see is bullshit, but there they are believing in the self-flung shitstorm of bullshit. Somebody help us out here. We’re about to vote in the party of the property bubble again. And they haven’t learnt their lessons at all. They’re coming at us with the same rhetoric they came at us in the first place. If it’s the personal failing of Tony Abbott, that’s one thing but it’s not – the whole lot of the front-benchers are trotting out this bunkum. Their back-benchers? Staying out of the spotlight as much as they can so as not to put their foot in it.

So this is it. The inevitable moment when the born-to-rule club comes back into power to run their austerity program which will inevitably hurt the economy. Good grief Charlie Brown.


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