40 thoughts on “Mean and tricky

  1. Neil at 18.
    I think you have picked what the Government’s strategy is with the Medical Research Future Fund. I think the Government does hope they will get some part of the copayment scheme through the Senate, and they will be using the argument with the cross bench Senators that every concession that is made on the copayment scheme will be one less dollar for medical research. This is a false argument, but they will try and run it. Hopefully the cross bench Senators will be able to see the lies in the Government position.

  2. Under pressure to recognise the specific view point a particular disabled woman in question represented, the conservative guy on the Drum TV show today was insisting (repeatedly) on referring to her only as ‘a data point’ to make his argument about cuts.

  3. I can’t help thinking about the TPP in relation to the Medical Research Future Fund. Just a feeling they’re related.

  4. @Collin Street
    Interesting that he uses the price of a beer or a coffee as the comparator, as if that’s how low income people spend their money. Being discretionary spending, I think very often it is not true.

  5. And rather than end or reduce the funding for proselytizing of children in the State School system (from ABC ‘WorldToday’):

    TANYA NOLAN: While much of this week’s budget savings were found in education, there was one area of the sector that was spared.

    The Federal Government extended the school chaplains program for another four years at a cost of almost a quarter of a billion dollars.

    But before we get too forgetful, the ALP expanded this disgraceful infiltration much as they did with the LNP indigenous “intervention” and criminal treatment of refugees.

    These things made them unelectable, and as I’ve said often – everything happening now is the ALP’s fault.

    It’s curious and sad that Palmer has no problem dumping on both establishment duopoly parties but the Greens have decided to take the role of minor coalition partner with the ALP – I suggest they are and will be losing respect for taking that path.

  6. This is no doubt me just seeing patterns where none exist, but Western Australia and Queensland have come to conclusion that it would be cheaper to pay to set up renewable energy capacity and energy storage in remote communities than to continue to pay the considerable cost of keeping them connected to the grid. Could this budget be an attemt to destroy remote communities so they can roll up their grid connections without having to pay for local generating and storage capacity?

  7. It seems that it’s worse:

    Labor allowed secular student welfare workers to be funded under the scheme but the Federal Government has reversed the decision in the federal budget and will only pay for chaplains.

    The fundies have free rein over your kids, and worse still they won’t be getting any genuine counselling.

  8. Since you mention the chaplaincy program, I thought it might be worth mentioning that the High Court has recently been hearing a constitutional challenge to the emergency legislation that was adopted in an attempt to remedy the problem created for it by the unfavourable High Court ruling in the initial constitutional challenge.

    If that’s not clear enough, here’s the chronological sequence:
    1. Chaplaincy program introduced;
    2. High Court case challenges the validity of the program;
    3. High Court ruling invalidates the program, and a bunch of others affected by the same legal logic;
    4. Parliament legislates to validate all the invalidated programs, plus potentially others in the future;
    5. Another High Court case started to challenge the validity of the new legislation, and so by implication all the programs covered by it.

  9. I think this budget is more than mean. It is mean and dumb. This is not a choice between growing the cake and more equally sharing the cake. This budget does neither. It will not grow the cake, and the slices are far less equal.

    It says there is a debt crisis, yet launches into new spending. It talks about reform, but only considers spending while largely ignoring tax. Negative gearing, corporate profit transfers, trusts, super concessions all untouched.

    Moreover many of the reforms appear counterproductive, even in narrow terms of government outlays. Deterring GP visits will only increase more costly hospital visits. Dumb.

    It talks of investment, yet specifies investment types in a WA Inc style of picking winners. Why invest in roads not rail? Multiple recent (tolled tunnel) road projects have gone broke. Conversely recent rail and light rail lines completed in Perth, Sydney and Adelaide have had carriages bulging with passengers and demands for more rolling stock. I work in transport planning and the work will be welcome in my field, yet the way the money is being spent is still nuts. Meanwhile the NBN languishes.

    This is not only the Tea Party budget. It is the Sarah Palin budget.

  10. @Socrates

    I have to agree with you. The budget is indeed mean and stupid. The meanness we understand and know all too well. It comes from the western upper class’s insatiable greed, covetousness, will to power and their perverse enjoyment of grinding poor people into the dust.

    The level of stupity seems to be worse than at any time I can remember. The policies of the current anglophone elites, if unchecked, will indeed destroy the West. Their obsession with raising inequity ever higher, concentrating the wealth in fewer and fewer hands, will turn the whole EU (sans Germany perhaps) into a “Greater Greece”. Australia and North America won’t be far behind at this rate.

    Something deeper is going on too. The western elites are into an end-play strategy which has both economic and geostrategic parameters. However, the two parts of the plan are on the face of it incompatible. How they think that impoverishing their own people will help national stability and project national power in the long run I do not know.

    The US continues to de-industrialise, finacialise and “service-ise” its economy as does Australia. The long term result of this process will be Western nations that make little in the way of manufactured goods and depend on imports of same. The Chinese, while still heavily contained strategically, look on in bemusement, understanding the old Napoleonic dictum. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

  11. For too long I have been expecting this process of class warfare to cause major civil unrest here in Australia in the end .I’m just not sure if I will live long enough to see it or what comes after .Surely another 20 to 40 years of life should be enough .This budget is a major step in the direction of unrest .It may focus peoples minds -bad news for those who profit from mass political disengagement/disillusionment/distraction/trivialisation. Thought doesnt have to go far past 3 word slogans to become disruptive. Younger people are the future sooner or later whether anyone likes it or not ,and this budget is another kick to them.

  12. On the other hand, I have spoken with several people since the budget and the reporting of it, and they were entirely unaware of the content, even the major headline items. This certainly reminded me that for a number of people, they are too busy, tired, uninterested, etc, in politics and/or policy. Given that they vote too, they are unlikely to take the current fuss into account when the next election rolls around, simply because they weren’t even aware of what has happened in the budget.

    Also, as someone who has to see specialists on occasion, the $100 fee inserted into the budget has only just come to my attention. How many more of these bombs are buried in the detritus of the budget papers?

    Back to work…

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