Sunday, 5 August 2012



• If the Commonwealth Bank of Australia still in public ownership, the Treasure's surplus would have been assisted by a dividend of almost exactly $5,000 million - in just one year, nearly as much as Cheating flogged it for.

• $100 billion to fill the Libs backhole.

• Australia has approximately 1 public servant for every 12 citizen. Canada about the same. The UK is 1 in 11 and the US is 1 in 13, though if you exclude Defence Force personal this changes dramatically for the US where it becomes 1 in 18. This is across all tiers of government.

Historical comparisons are hard to make given that privatisation has resulted in a number of public enterprises being handed over to the private sector when these workers would have been included in the public service numbers. In terms of cost Federal public servants cost around $17B a year or between 4-5% of the federal budget. State/Local governments clearly vary as the cost to their budget is the cost of delivering the services.

Middle class welfare has expanded dramatically over the last 12 years. Read this excellent summary. Note the waste under Howard and how we could have had a larger sovereign wealth fund if it wasn't for popularism.

So Public service numbers aren't that high and as a percentage of GDP total tax take is around 30% in Australia, 28% in the US, 33% in Canada. I don't think we are over taxed. People today work longer hours, people today require both parents to work, Oh to have someone stay at home with the kids is now unaffordable.

• I think the ancient Greeks and Romans would probably consider us to be slaves. The idea of 'having to work' to pay off debt would be abhorrent to them.

• The economic modelling firm Macroeconomics estimates that over the decade 2005 to 2015 the Government will have received $259 billion in windfall revenues from the commodity price boom, however the budget forecasts predict we will end that decade worse than we started, with nearly $130 billion in extra debt. This despite being managed by the world's greatest treasurer for most of this time, and having an economy that we are told is the envy of the rest of the world.

Both sides of politics are simply spending our children's prosperity in trying to buy our votes - and we don't complain.

We have a profligate government, and an opposition that have spent the last few years telling us that our major problems are a peaceful invasion of boat people, a carbon tax that will wipe towns off the map, HSU mismanagement and the exploits of Peter Slipper.

Imagine if we had saved that $259 billion: we could pay cash for the NBN ($36b), Melb-Syd-Brisband fast train (est $90b), GFC (say $100b) and there would still be $33b left over, and no debt increase!

We have had a fundamental failure in leadership, and a fundamental failure of the population to hold them to account.

• From rear-view to looking forward... a video

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