Stimulating discussion

There’s a bunch of interesting commentary on the current stimulus package and associated bickering. It’s stimulating, if you’re into that sort of thing.

The Libs are taking the high “unpopular road” looking to block it. Claiming they’re doing the right thing, while the Labor Party is politicking “like a scared soldier firing all their ammo at once” – not a bad quote there from Turnbull.

It’s a dangerous game keeping money from voters while calling for lower taxes. Looks a bit like protecting the wealthy. Trickle down economics. I know I’ll be annoyed if they block it.

If Rudd wanted to score maximum points out of this politically he should have gone with a much bigger figure than $950. Say $3000. Something the coalition would have to block, rather than just grandstanding. Then when they blocked it and triggered a double dissolution the coalition would have to try dislodging a popular PM, having just robbed the voters of $3000. Political suicide. How much is a vote worth I wonder…

Articles from the SMH are written by, or quote, the following people:

Peter Costello

“Rudd, the fiscal conservative of last year, was attacking the Coalition government because it hadn’t cut spending enough. He promised to do more. He wasn’t worried about all those “neo-liberal” ideas on careful spending, balanced budgets and low debt. He was complaining it hadn’t gone far enough.”

Costello Re: the last stimulus package…

“If the purpose of the payment was to boost sales at Woolworths, the Government should have bought the goods and distributed them to pensioners and families. But it is a low-quality use of $10 billion.”

And more commentary from Annabel Crabb… on parliament yesterday…

“Hilarious nerd insults were exchanged.Rudd accused Turnbull of fancying Milton Friedman, and Turnbull retaliated by calling Rudd “Whitlamite”, the nastiest word in the Liberal nerd insult dictionary.

Then Lindsay Tanner accused Julie Bishop of having a soft spot for the Reagan-era economist Arthur Laffer.

Really, they all sounded like back row hecklers at a second-year economics open mike night.

Debate was then suspended for several minutes while a noisy band of protesters shrieked: “Human rights for all. Stop the intervention.”

In case you were wondering, they were not talking about the socialist state’s intervention in the free market.”

Even Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, out here on an Australian tour, weighed in with this sterling commentary:

“”He (Rudd) genuinely looked terrified. The poor man, he’s actually seen the books.“[In the UK] we’ve got this one-eyed Scottish idiot, he keeps telling us everything’s fine and he’s saved the world and we know he’s lying, but he’s smooth at telling us.”

The last word goes to Economics columnist Ross Gittins – who explains that this stimulus is unusual but might work.

“But it will be the most anticipated recession we’ve had. Normally we get the recession and then the response to it. This time we’re getting the cure before we’ve seen all the symptoms.

Why? Because so much of the global recession we are caught up in emanates from the Wall Street debacle. Since the crisis reached its peak in October we’ve been able to see its consequences coming, like a slow-motion tsunami rolling across the Pacific.”


Leah says:

My thought is: of course the stimulus package will be beneficial for the economy, but at what cost? A $20billion+ deficit for future generations (us) to pay off? Of course I’m not going to turn away any money thrown my way, but I’m not sure it’s a good idea for it to be getting thrown my way in the first place.