EYE-BALL’s – “On the Hustings” – The Campaign Trail – Day 4

– EYE-BALL’s “On the Hustings” –
– The Campaign Trail – Day 4 –
| Author: No-Way José |8th Aug 2013 |
Policy Issue Debate: [Information on Policy issues you won’t hear during the current Election Campaign.]Previous Policy Issues: [Use links provided to read story in a new window and see relative polling data …]

  1. Day 2 Policy Issue: Corruption in Politics
  2. Day 3 Policy Issue: Judicial Appointments

Day 4 Policy Issue: Government Limit on Borrowings – i.e. Debt to GDP ratio …[EYE-BALL Guru][click on Debt/GDP chart image to enlarge in a new window.]

The debate on ‘better Economic Management’ during the campaign will rage on and it will be about ‘they said, he said’.

it will be about the economic record under Howard, and the economic record under Rudd/Gillard Governments. If any one did research on economic management from the Government’s perspective it is all after the fact.

The Australian Constitution has this to say on how a Government is allowed to manage its finances:  See PDF version … see Word Version

On Taxation: [Revenues]

Chapter I The Parliament – Part V Powers of the Parliament –

Section 53 – Powers of the Houses in respect of legislation:

Proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation, shall not originate in the Senate. But a proposed law shall not be taken to appropriate revenue or moneys, or to impose taxation, by reason only of its containing provisions for the imposition or appropriation of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment or appropriation of fees for licences, or fees for services under the proposed law.

The Senate may not amend proposed laws imposing taxation, or proposed laws appropriating revenue or moneys for the ordinary annual services of the Government.

The Senate may not amend any proposed law so as to increase any proposed charge or burden on the people. The Senate may at any stage return to the House of Representatives any proposed law which the Senate may not amend, equesting, by message, the omission or amendment of any items or provisions therein. And the House of Representatives may, if it thinks fit, make any of such omissions or amendments, with or without modifications.

Except as provided in this section, the Senate shall have equal power with the House of Representatives in respect of all proposed laws.

Section 55 – Tax Bill:

Laws imposing taxation shall deal only with the imposition of taxation, and any provision therein dealing with any other matter shall be of no effect.

Laws imposing taxation, except laws imposing duties of customs or of excise, shall deal with one subject of taxation only; but laws imposing duties of customs shall deal with duties of customs only, and laws imposing duties of excise shall deal with duties of excise only.

On Expenditires: [Spending]

Chapter IV – Finance and Trade –

81 – Consolidated Revenue Fund

All revenues or moneys raised or received by the Executive Government of the Commonwealth shall form one Consolidated Revenue Fund, to be appropriated for the purposes of the Commonwealth in the manner and subject to the charges and liabilities imposed by this Constitution.

82 – Expenditure charged thereon

The costs, charges, and expenses incident to the collection, management, and receipt of the Consolidated Revenue Fund shall form the first charge thereon; and the revenue of the Commonwealth shall in the first instance be applied to the payment of the expenditure of the Commonwealth.

83 – Money to be appropriated by law

No money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the Commonwealth except under appropriation made by law.

But until the expiration of one month after the first meeting of the Parliament the Governor-General in Council may draw from the Treasury and expend such moneys as may be necessary for the maintenance of any department transferred to the Commonwealth and for the holding of the first elections for the Parliament.

The Constitution places all expenditure and revenue to be provided for under legislative process – meaning that all current and new expenditure is subject to existing and new laws under the Government of the day.

In other words if the Government can pass legislation through the HOR and the Senate, then there is no restrictiveness on any Government spending initiatives, nor taxation revenue collect at its own will.

The policy debate wanted is whether these rules should still apply given they were written at a time where Politicians had to get themselves elected, were deemed to be ‘of the people’ and ‘for the people’,  and acted frugally when it came to the public purse.   Since then society had changed in many ways, the advent of television and the ease in which the politician can reach the masses, and the modern method of the ‘candy store’ giveaways during election campaigns to get elected..

Since the GFC, all we know is that the world is in a debt spiral where new debt is doubling the old debt every four – five years.   Obama inherited a 2008 Bush debt of US$7 trillion – five years later the debt is above US$16 trillion.  Rudd inherited zero debt, and now we have almost $300 billion of debt, and under Bowen’s new forecasts, likely to be $4-500 billion in the near future.

Europe is a basket case where many Nations have worse debt proportions than others and the P.I.I.G.S. have GDP/Debt rations from which they cannot recover if they remain in the EuroZone.   Debt is the evil curse the Government’s have embraced to prop up ailing economies.  In fact it has been irresponsible economic management and placed future generations in the position none of us want tem to be.

Surely the prudent thing to do would be to place restrictions on the Government of the day’s borrowing capacity – force the Government to act responsibly and cut spending via Constitutional change linked to say – the Debt to GDP ratio.

What we do know and as it stands now is this:

  • Our Government of the day has no limitation to the amount of borrowing it can enter into,
  • Our Government of the day can spend public monies without limitation relative to:
    • Debt/GDP ratios,
    • Without any limitation to percentage (%) increases during its term,
    • Without any limitation to sector funding, i.e. Education, Health, Defence, Welfare … etc
    • Without any limitation to Party policy advertising,
    • Without any limitation to MP and Senator remuneration increases,
    • Without any limitation to Foreign Aid donations,
  • Our Government of the day can also cut spending at its discretion on any matter including Defence, Health, Education, Welfare and the like.

In a world where the struggle of life is ever increasing through debt explosion, and the Bank’s providing limitless lending to people already in financial trouble, the obvious answer to the question: ‘where will it all end’ … is relatively obvious – ‘badly’.

Should not Government’s impose limitations on themselves and run budgets according to economic conditions?

The problem is that ‘economic conditions’ is a subjective argument not often agreed to by opposing political party’s.

Elections are won and lost on the basis of policies promised and the balancing of the costings for those policies left to balance once in Government.   Surely we must know that this is ridiculous and makes us all look pretty stupid in accepting the ‘candy’ handouts with our vote.

In a perfect world the onus of responsible ‘economic management’ would come from the Government – but when re-election is on the agenda, or a new Government wants to take control,  responsible ‘economic management’ becomes about ‘tagging’ the other guy whilst not getting ‘tagged’ yourself on economic management.

In that scenario who do we believe, the $70 billion hole in the Coalition policies promoted by the Government, or the confessed $50 billion hole by the Government?

In either case the taxpayers and the electorate are bound to get screwed either way as they have done across the globe for the last 40 odd years.

Should the people have a say in how much the Government can borrow during at term of office?

How would an economic stimulus package as Rudd instigated in the face of the GFC work if there were limits on borrowings in place?

Should a change of strategy against election policies render a Government out-of-order, and be forced to go back to the people to get approval and seek a mandate?

One thing is true – Governments have to be made accountable for the mistakes they make in relation to managing the finances of the Nation.

The referee who makes the decision of whether the Government has overstepped their boundaries has to be the GG under our current Constitution.   Therefore when a GG is selected, are they canvassed on the matter as to whether they would be prepared to out the Government over poor economic Management, and who would they receive advice from if such a decision had to be made?

It’s all too hard one might say.

But easily fixed if it was legislated that all Government borrowings were restricted as a ratio of GDP.    Meaning that if GDP growth stalled, then no new borrowings can be assumed.  If GDP growth fell, borrowings would need to be reduced.   If GDP growth grew, then the Government has opportunity to enact new expenditure policy.

The goal being that the Government is responsible for economic growth and it has to find ways to stimulate that growth away from new Government debt spending.

For far too long Government spending has underpinned GDP growth and as a result the World has become a toxic debt explosion waiting to happen – the GFC was a tremor compared to what is still to come.

This has been coming for many decades and it is a global problem.  Debt got us into the GFC problem, and the only solution Western Governments have been able to come up with in the last five years it to increase their debt exponentially.

All with a consequence of future taxpayers being responsible for the repayment of that debt, and the resulting reduced living standards that will ensure.

Please take a minute to register your opinion in the Poll below:   [EYE-BALL Guru] …

Harry Growl’s Water Cooler Gossip: [Harry Growl] …

  • Story doing the rounds about Mr Abbott and Mr Rudd and many other male politicians concerns the new prostate test – all are taking the test to establish whether a rigid or ‘soft-cock’ awakening is an accurate measure for prostate problems …
  • Many have used the above scenario to have morning sex – politicians tweeting about this are set to rise …
  • Peter Beattie’s Federal nomination in the seat of ‘Forde’ boosts ALP chances in winning some marginal seats in QLD.   Beattie’s appearance as ‘gaunt’ and significant weight loss raised questions to his vim and vigor to a robust election campaign … perhaps he should use the test above to rule out  possible medical reasons …
  • Abbott was in Tasmania talking about State issues, and Rudd along side Beattie was in QLD talking about State issues under Newman … a new angle on Federal campaigns …
  •  Conroy, Swan, Emerson, Gillard, and other lesser members – i.e. Garrett, Clare and Lundy, and all a part of the Gillard tiger force are still absent from the campaign.   These names are obviously toxic for ALP … why has Abbott not used this to his advantage …  the NBN, Economic Management, and Trade, all portfolios under these previous Gillard Ministers and now serving as feather dusters awaiting their parliamentary pension for the rest of their lives …
  • Rudd must have counted the number of votes lost in recent days due to his ‘hair-tick’ because in front of the camera’s with Beattie, he never once touched his hair …
  • The journo’s travelling with both Leaders, Rudd and Abbott are having little games with themselves … whispers have emerged that News Fairfax Journo’s have made a pact to not sleep with anyone on the opposing team … the pool for the first journo to break ranks is growing each day … of course the incentive to break ranks for the pool is offset by a dare that is too much to publish hereto without obtaining reputable confirmations … more on this as advice comes to hand … oh .. by the way the pool is open to print and vision journo’s, all tech staff are excluded.

[Harry Growl] …

General Links to Election data and Information:

AEC’s Enrollment Drive: Linked here.

Today is Day 1 of the 34 day campaign and the immediate focus of the ALP and the Greens is to get as many un-enrolled electors enrolled … the deadline is seven (7) days and the AEC link to find more information about whether you are enrolled can be found here.  [EYE-BALL.]

ABC’s Vote Compass:  Linked here.

A brilliant on-line survey presented by the ABC’s Anthony Green will prove to be an election barometer never seen before.  His 30 question survey has gone ballistic this morning with 170,000 people logging on to give their responses.  His questions will decide the election issues seen as most important and the major party’s will be keenly seeking Green’s data to help them plan their election strategies. [EYE-BALL]

Anthony Green’s Election Blog: Linked here.

Party Policy links:

Campaign Speeches:

Link to the ABC’s 2013 Election coverage:

Final Comments from EYE-BALL:

This new election commentary page is provided as a service to subscribers and readers during the 2013 election campaign.

All and any abusive comments will be deleted without notice.

Satire and witty comments are appreciated … and in all seriousness, this Nation is a bee’s dick away from disaster, and if anyone thinks that Rudd or Abbott have the goods to be our PM and lead this Nation away from that disaster, please express your thoughts and reasons in the comments section below.  You never know, your comment might just make a difference.

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Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s

The EYE-BALL Opinion’s – On The Hustings …

  1. Des
    August 8, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    The two party system of government has to go. When one party controls both houses, irresponsible legislation and spending can occur. Better to have both houses with members who represent their electorates interests and not their party.

    Utopian dream, I know, but we can wish…

  2. August 9, 2013 at 10:11 am


    We can only dream as you say … in all reality Politicians have walked themselves to where they are. The look back from whence they came and see an overgrown unkempt archway and the way forward is as narrow as their mind limits will allow.

    They talk to us as if they have our interests at heart, yet … the concept of how to run a Nation is lost on all of them.

    Only a few have ever done an honest days work in the private sector at any time during their live – living a career in politics is not a career based in value orientated beliefs … being an MP with a 100,000 constituency is as real as it gets yet the Member has scant accountability to those constituents.

    An example – My Member has received upwards of 10 submissions from me in the last three years where his assistance has been sought to help achieve an outcome. i.e. some examples ….

    1. International Treaty re Mobile phone services being cut off during political crisis i.e. Egypt in 2011,
    2. Fraser Coast Aqua Therapy Association,
    3. Diabetic Lancets not being on the National Health Subsidy scheme,
    4. Telstra and the Broadband ADSL 1 v ADSL 2 services in Regional Australia,
    5. The AWU scandal and Gillard’s culpability,
    6. Electoral Funding, and None of the Above campaign,
    7. Climate Change,
    8. Parliamentary remunerations and super entitlements,
    9. Australia’s involvement in the Iraq/Afghanistan military conflict re the WMD basis the UN approved such action …
    10. The Craig Thompson and Peter Slipper fraud and the Opposition’s refusal to pursue the matter in the House. …

    … and the list could go on …

    Granted these are issues I felt strongly enough about to engage my Federal member to seek answers.

    I can tell you that not one of the above or unlisted issues has been resolved or pursued to a point where I no longer have the need to make contact with the Members branch office to chase up what the latest news is on their handling of the matter. In fact I stopped ringing some time ago when it was announce the Member was retiring at this election.

    Where is the accountability of my Members responses to my requests .. am I deemed a ‘nutter’, or are my issues not important from the Members perspective.

    Surely my requests deserve an outcome to satisfy my needs – that is of course if my Member is my voice in the House as I seek answers to questions that I feel strongly about. When did representation become about the Members concerns as opposed to the constituency concerns?

    ‘For the people, of the people, and by the people’ – powerful and relevant words in times like these …

    MP’s do not respect the honor they have in representing their electorate and when you roll the tapes on the State, Local, and Federal Members criminal and lewd exposures, one can only shake the head and think how we allowed this all to happen.

    So Des … I hear and want what you want … how do we go about achieving it…

  3. August 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I absolutely agree.

    The 2 party system has bastardized all logic’s of democracy. What is a lobbyist? Does News Corp really get more than one vote one person? How is 2 party representative of the whole? Why are politicians disdainful of their constituency except for at election time? Is it realistic to try to rally against what we have got, form a new party, equally funded, break this terrible oligopoly on power.

    On Monday South Sydney Rabbitohs announced a Federal Government Grant for $16mio (maybe it was $17mio) for a “WORLD CLASS training facility at Heffron Park in Maroubra”. For those that don’t know, Bob Carr lives in Maroubra, and the Deputy PM is a rabid rabbit. Such a training facility should be littered throughout the country equally. One for somewhere around Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Temora etc. Might it be that Russell Crowe gets more than one vote one value for his associated interests?

    Maroubra is the seat of Kingsford Smith, heartland Labor, but slowly becoming small l Liberal. Is it not trite that in the case of Dr Yunupingu, his demise was partly attributed to the lack of a dialysis facility in Arnhem Land. He needed to be in Darwin for treatment?

    Then on the other hand, by day 4 of electioneering, Abbott has gone but to cutting red tape and taxes for businesses. Many businesses in Australia are thriving, yet some sectors are sick, even critical. We are slowly losing heavy industry like vehicle production, steel manufacture, petrol refinery and so on, manufacture was sent to Asia decades ago, yet we rely more on services like retail – Coles, Woolworths, Westfield, Westpac, CBA, ANZ, NAB, NRMA, Suncorp, QBE, Origin, AGL etc and when it comes to unemployment, the best he can do is $500 per fortnight for 6 months as a trial scheme only in Tasmania. 2500 places is but a drop in the ocean.

    The social divide is getting worse, and where is the balance?

  4. August 9, 2013 at 11:43 am

    One can only believe that electioneering is as bad as the used car salesman who promises all the hoot and whistles and then sells you the biggest lemon you can find.

    When the election is done – will the new PM count up all that he has promised, throw them all into a lotto mixed and pull out the ones he knows will matter, or will he toss them all overboard and claim that the budget just can’t afford any new policy spending.

    Believe it or not – this is what election campaigns have become. Talk tough on crime, promise better health care, education, and promise to clamp down on welfare cheats … it is all about touching the expose nerves of the electorate and in this campaign it has come down the the glamour and glitch of Rudd verses the stoic and grimness of Abbott.

    If only someone could show us a heartbeat …

  5. August 11, 2013 at 7:28 am

    For me so much of this is image v reality.

    In the early Hawke era, Richardson and Keating advocated a new left wing pragmatism. What is the point of ideology when in opposition you don’t get to implement your policies?

    This has manifest into criminal allegations against Ron Medich or Eddie Obeid and several others. Medich in time may well lead to Richardson himself. That is the scuttlebutt that surrounds the late Rene Rivkin and Alpine Offset Priniting.

    We simply see the ALP as confused, not really representative of their ideology. Peter Beattie is drafted into Forde because Des Hardman might not achieve winning the seat, and winning that seat is everything. Overnight the endorsed candidate for Hotham has been un- endorsed. I would have thought Hotham fairly safe.

    On the other side, there is this concept of trickle down effect. When the money class thrive, there is a trickle down (jobs) to lower socio economic demographics. I was raised to think this is the essence of class warfare. Un Australian. Yet here we are this is the only valid choice.

    We might try to achieve real goals and real outcomes or we can choose shallow virtues. There is no real choice. Whatsoever.

  6. Colin N Spencer
    August 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Well reasoned opinion & well researched.

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