[Budget2015] Surplus?


Some gold from yesterday’s The Weekly show on the ABC with Charlie Pickering (and Tom Gleeson):

PICKERING: All jokes aside, we do need to get this budget back into surplus.
GLEESON: Surpluses are overrated, I reckon. They are. Everyone wants a surplus, but I don't see the point, because the reason why we pay tax is to get services. They're not running a business, they don't need to turn over a profit. If there's a surplus, it means that we have paid too much tax. So a surplus is just all of Australia, all of us, putting in money for pizza. Then we send Joe Hockey down to the shops...
[Laughter]
GLEESON: ... Which is risky.
[Laughter]
GLEESON: A surplus is him coming back, going, 'Hey, look, I've got some money left over.' ... Go back and get some garlic bread!

Put this simply, it makes perfect sense. But no one seems to understand it fully, me included, despite having read a dozen or so articles on the internet about present and past budgets promised by the various Treasurers we’ve had over the past half a decade. What is clear though is that the truth of a budget surplus is the opposite of what we are lead to believe.

I’ve long been dumbfounded that my parents continue to support the Coalition because of their ‘economic management’, and blame Labour for the deficit without consideration for the environment at the time and other external factors. All the while there is substantial indication of Howard/Costello Government mis-management.

Surplus has been accepted as indication of good economic management, with a focus on tax cuts, when there are plenty of un-met needs in Australia that can be addressed - the garlic bread we can buy in this case.

As Warwick Smith says on The Conversation, ‘there is no economic problem here, there are only political problems.’

Speaking of...

Speaking of The Weekly though, this show has been criticised for being a rip off of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight in the past. This doesn’t really bother me. We need more of these kinds of shows, in my opinion, and obviously this show addresses Australian issues rather than American ones. I also don’t need to subscribe to HBO for it.

That being said, let’s not forget John Oliver’s superb segment on Tony Abbott.

Thanks to hopefully checking the Ticketmaster website despite seating tickets being sold out, I managed to snag some General Admission standing tickets for Ruben and I and will be attending John Oliver’s live show on August 30.

But I wouldn’t pass up the chance to be part of The Weekly studio audience in the meantime either - anyone want to come with me? (Disclaimer: It’s in Victoria)