Mea culpa

You were right and I was wrong.

Not all of you. But people like Joe Cambria, Kirk Fletcher, Sinclair Davidson, Jim Fryar, Tim Andrews and Michael Sutcliffe were right all along. You warned me about the ALP. You said the days of Hawke/Keating/Walsh were over. I didn’t listen. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

Before the last 2007 election I suggested that Rudd would be a dull but safe Prime Minister who wouldn’t do much, and so would be fairly harmless. And there were people like Tanner and Emerson in the background to keep the party sane. These weren’t particularly high expectations… but they have turned out to be a massive over-estimate of the quality of the Rudd government. He has been a huge disappointment.

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Tax’n’spend

Well, it’s no surprise that the government is a little low on money.  Most media reports keep propagating the Rudd spin that this is all caused by the global economic crisis and “decreased revenues” – but they seem to ignore the $100b+ additional spending.  And spending is yet to increase further, with heavy borrowing and taxing to pay for it all.  The latest round:

THE nation’s big earners, on $150,000 a year or more, will be hit to pay for pension reform.

Yes, we’re back to class warfare…  Sure, we’re increasing taxes – but only on rich people, and it’s to pay for pensioners – so that’s ok.  Hopefully, we won’t go as far as the UK – who are increasing their top rate from 40% to 50% – but we have in common with the UK the absolute refusal of government to cut spending:

“Either you completely slash and burn everything government does and throw tens of thousands of extra people on to the unemployment queues and cut funding for hospitals and schools, or you engage in temporary borrowing,” he [Rudd] said.

Of course, he doesn’t necessarily need to cut funding to hospitals and schools (which are rightfully state responsibilities anyway), as there are many other areas with lots of fat.  Indeed, throwing tens of thousands of public servants on to the unemployment queues would be a net gain – though since most of these vote Labor, I doubt that will ever happen.

We’ll wait and see.  I’d like to think that they’re just trying to soften us up for a budget that won’t be all that bad, but I’m sure that’s just wishful thinking.

What’s Old is New Again

Protectionism is back:

Toyota will receive $35 million from the Federal Government in return for building a new hybrid car in Victoria from 2010.

The headline: “Toyota hybrid gets $35m aid”.  I wasn’t aware Toyota was in such dire straits as to require aid… Come on people, dig deep and give generously – there are starving corporations out there.

The $35 million comes from the $500 million green car innovation fund that Mr Rudd promised before the election.

That’s a relief – for a moment, I was worried it came from my taxes.

I guess Rudd considers this good politics.  He manages to suck up to unions, greenies and the Japanese in one go.

UPDATE:  With Victorian state government kicking some cash in too, they’re actually getting $70m.

UPDATE 2:  A lot more from Andrew Bolt.

UPDATE 3:  Seems Rudd is again ignoring a Productivity Commission report:

That report said the economy would be almost $600million a year better off if Labor proceeded with the former government’s plan to halve tariffs and get rid of car industry assistance, and that Rudd’s proudly touted $500million “green car fund” was essentially an expensive waste of time.

And it’s all the tip of the iceberg, I’m afraid:

Industry Minister Kim Carr (could we be about to have a Carr car plan?) leaves next week for talks with Ford chief executive Allan Mulally and GM chairman Rick Wagner about their possible Australian investments, with incentives from the green car fund.