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Clearing up Liberal Government myths
3851 posts
Stolen from SA, but quite relevant to the discussion we've had here about budget crisis and the myth that Liberal governments are an economic messiah.

"The Howard Government got us out of debt, and they were responsible for our AAA credit rating, not Kevin Rudd."

AAA credit rating really doesn't mean all that much, but if you put stock in it, Fitch upgraded Australia to AAA in 2011 - substantially after Howard left.
Here's another relevant link:

By the IMF's judgement, Howard was the most profligate spender in recent history, which is shown pretty clearly in this graph: (Chart 2). Tax receipts and government spending both went down significantly in 2007 after Rudd took over - even taking into account accumulated (necessary) infrastructure maintenance expenditure that was generally left to the side during the Howard era, and even though this period encompassed the GFC.

"Got us out of debt" is a pretty shallow glance at the situation. How did Howard manage to do this, while being both higher taxing and higher spending than the 07-13 government? Well, this is how: (Howard was in 96-07, so anything between those dates was generally driven by him and Costello).

Some key ones:
Phase 1 Airports Melbourne Airport Brisbane Airport Perth Airport

April 1998 Phase 2 Airports (Adelaide; Alice Springs; Canberra; Coolangatta; Darwin; Hobart; Launceston; Mt Isa; Parafield; Tennant Creek; and Townsville; Archerfield; Jandakot and Moorabbin)

June 2002 Sale of Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport ($1355m of SACL debt repaid in addition)

July 1996 Commonwealth Bank Secondary Public Share Offer (3) and share buy back

And the big three:

November 1997 Telstra 1 $14.2b (plus $3 billion payment to the Commonwealth from retained earnings)
October 1999 Telstra 2 $16.0b
November 2006 Telstra 3 $15.4b

For a grand total of approximately $62b. Turns out it's pretty easy to "get out of debt" when you sell $62b worth of stuff. Now, some of that were generally loss-makers and only turned a profit after being privatised. Some of them were profit-makers (CBA, Telstra) and were a massive long-term loss to the nation (both its tax coffers, and general services). Turns out selling your entire communications network for a pretty low price is a bad idea. And then there's this, too:

Howard and Costello picked up this image of being magical economic managers, and I'm not entirely sure where. At best, they were merely competent - but you could pretty easily make a case that they did substantial long-term damage to the Australian economy in the time they were in. Between the sale of long-term profit-makers for short-term gain, and the 50% capital gains tax discount (which did horrendous things to our property market), blugh.
10:43am 20/09/13 Permalink
10:43am 20/09/13 Permalink
6230 posts
This really didn't need a new thread given how many current politics threads are floating around...
10:56am 20/09/13 Permalink
3852 posts
Couldn't find anywhere relevant to post it since the Election thread is closed, so its new thread time.
10:58am 20/09/13 Permalink
6231 posts
Doesn't look locked to me?

Also on the IMF study you're citing above I've posted on that before:

Also, have to say it's pretty lame you're copying/pasting a post from another forum just to keep the political s***-fighting going here. The election is over, can't we have at least a few weeks without this crap?
11:02am 20/09/13 Permalink
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
37383 posts
11:10am 20/09/13 Permalink
11:10am 20/09/13 Permalink
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