Can anyone explain to me
Joe Hockey’s drive for austerity
When Australia had seemed to be
Enjoying great prosperity?
But he says that’ll soon be ending
If Gillard keeps up all this spending.
A dreadful fate for Oz is pending
As we’re deeply into debt descending.
All these reforms are not required.
The public servants she has hired
When Tony’s PM he’ll have fired.
Those more senior will be retired.
Canberra businessmen are crying,
Say uncertainty underlying
Everything means no-one’s buying,
Fear the economy is dying.
Not if our Swannie has his way!
Making jobs for people every day,
Hoping they will spend their pay,
Promising more on Budget Day.
He’s told he risks popularity,
With concern for the economy
Not really a priority
For the great, silent majority.
Does Joe imagine belt tightening
For them won’t be so frightening?
One op, no pain or dieting?
Will September be enlightening?
Who knows the answer? What are the facts?
If more lose work and can’t pay tax
So Government revenue contracts
Won’t national debt shoot up to max?
I know nothing about economics but I have been trying to learn a few things, reading articles and by watching Treasurer Wayne Swan and Joe Hockey at press conferences. I was immediately struck by Joe Hockey’s new svelte appearance and was impressed, initially thinking he had taken himself in hand in the way he talks about this government needing to take our economy in hand and to restrain what he and Tony Abbott insist is catastrophic over spending. Remember Tony Abbott’s comment about a government that can’t manage itself, not being able to manage a country. I’ve always thought the same applied to him and his own household household mortgage debt as well as to his Shadow Treasurer’s obvious over over spending and self-indulgence on food and being unlikely to cope well with our national budget.
And, unsurprisingly, I now find that Joe Hockey has not really taken himself in hand nor has plans for a rigorous diet and lifelong self discipline. No, over the long Christmas break he went into some nice comfy private hospital bed for gastric by pass surgery and after a while on a liquid diet he has returned to solids, and soon he’ll be allowed to return to more fibrous solid food……such as steak, sausages and bread………Not much self denial there now is there?
And like most retired people on a limited income I try to pay off my credit card and stay out of debt, so Joe’s grim expressions and frowns as he warned about the size of our national debt might have alarmed me more if I hadn’t read this article about the Coalition’s plans to slash thousands of<a href=”http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/halfbaked-relocation-plan-to-fall-flat-20130511-2jej9.html#ixzz2T8gR97XS”> Canberra public servant</a> jobs.
<blockquote>Public servants have been an easy target for the Coalition for some time, with both Abbott and his shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, happy to talk about slashing as many as 20,000 jobs from the sector. For many Australians, Canberra-bashing is a good spectator sport and the opposition knows there are few votes to be lost – and possibly quite a few to be gained – by being seen to be tough on <strong>fat cat</strong> public servants.
Just how real a threat the mass axing is remains questionable, but the good citizens of the ACT still remember how their community was thrown into recession for some years following Howard’s public service clean-out between 1996 and 1998.
Yes, I remembered John Howard’s public service clean out but most of the damage was confined to Canberra businesses after the downsizing of so many government departments, except defence. Back then too there wasn’t this obsession with debt and deficits amongst both state and federal politicians. So thinking about Joe and austerity, and that of other Liberal premiers, and the debate about Oz being able to afford Labor’s reforms at a time of great prosperity and low unemployment, this jingle started through my head. I really would like to read your answers too, especially now that <a href=”http://www.the adviser.com.au/breaking-news/8673-pm-praises-strong-economy”>John Howard</a> has given the thumbs up to the Australian economy, and agreed with the Treasurer and the Prime Minister! We are in good shape it seems and not on the brink of catastrophe!
Sorry about deciding not to comment on the last couple of horror years, bus at last I can
Post Script, 23/10/2015, Celebrating downfall of FPM Tony Abbott, and resignation from political life as an MHR of former Treasurer, Joe Hockey. I regret though he seems to have exacted a price from PM Turnbull for ‘going quietly’ i.e. the Ambassadorship to Washington, replacing Kim Beazley, due to retire…….when……..? No mention of it on the Embassy site. Is PM Turnbull likely ask to him to resign so that he can be replaced a man the calibre of Hockey about whom there are many comments on social media and public feedback pages in the media, if not in MSM articles of the this quality by Greg Jericho. I just have to add a couple of those comments here. The first from Code Pink
This man must not be given a cushy, highly paid diplomatic position that allows him to continue to suck on the taxpayers teat. I don’t give a damn what ‘an affable bloke’ Hockey is, he is incompetent and incompetence should never be rewarded, particularly at this high level, we just end up with Australia in a muddle. Beazley has done a great job in Washington and to follow him up with this joke of a person will reflect very badly on Australia. I hope Turnbull thinks about that and not of the political expedience of getting him out of the country and keeping him in the privileged smugness to which he is accustomed.
And another from Westie
Well done Greg Jericho for a well researched essay. The Age of Entitlement is of course not over yet for Joe Hockey. He is now waiting for his ambassadorial appointment. No rigorous merit based test through the Department of Foreign Affairs just a nod from the government and a parliamentary pension matched by an ambassadorial salary, residence and expense allowance. How can the public ever take him seriously? Sadly both sides of government are complicit in these rorts. They feel entitled and to hell with notions of merit, fairness and equity.