Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Economic insults et al in THE OZ TODAY

GS: A mere selection ex THE OZ TODAY BELOW


NBN blowout fears

HOW can the Labor government expect people to believe its claims regarding the cost of the National Broadband Network when it has deceived the public so many times before? Remember how often Wayne Swan promised a surplus and how often he slammed the Coalition's claims to the contrary before finally admitting that such an achievement was "unlikely"? This sounds remarkably similar to the NBN situation.
Julia Gillard has a record of cost blowouts and bungles. It would be no surprise if the NBN was to join the ranks of the botched jobs.
Given the fact that there has already been evidence of NBN cost blow-outs ("Swan's next $10 billion problem", 8/4), if there have been blowouts, perhaps Communications Minister Stephen Conroy should review his claims sooner rather than later in order to not deceive the public even further.
Thomas Baker, Camberwell, Vic

Underpants on Your Head on the cost of the NBN thingy
NO need to worry, it's all in the corporate plan, or the annual report, or something or other.
Senate estimates, October 20, 2008:
STEPHEN Conroy: You might have seen statements that the cost of the NBN was $25 billion.
Nick Minchin: I have seen that.
Conroy: The same individuals in the corporation now say it is between $10bn and $15bn. So there are lots of traps there to get drawn into, and we have steadfastly refused to comment on public speculation . . .
Stephen Conroy on 2UE, December 20, 2010:
CONROY: It's $35.7 billion.
Host, Michael Smith: $35bn? Plus how much are you paying Telstra?
Conroy: That's included. It's all included.
Smith: $35bn includes your $11bn you're paying to Telstra?
2UE May 19, 2011:
MICHAEL Smith: Were you wrong or right there? What's the go?
Conroy: I had confused two different aspects in the somewhat robust discussion we were having and the operating expenses and the operating revenue are separate.
Smith: You got it wrong by about . . .
Conroy: I'm saying you were right.
Smith: Yeah, I understand that. But jeez it worries me mate, with great respect to you, you were out by about $11 billion.
And on the ABC's AM, yesterday:
STEPHEN Conroy: The corporate plan, audited by the Auditor-General, is produced each year, and what you're seeing in that corporate plan is $37.4 billion is the cost of building the NBN not, as today the Coalition is claiming, $90bn.
I mean, the Coalition are a fact-free zone. They don't have any facts to support these claims. They rely on misleading statistics and misleading data to try and make these scare campaigns.
Sky News Agenda, yesterday:
STEPHEN Conroy: The point that I've been making, and I was making this morning, though I described it inaccurately this morning, was this is the annual report of the NBN Co. It is audited by the Auditor-General of Australia. The figures here are audited by the Auditor-General of Australia. This is the annual report.
Host, David Speers: You said the Auditor-General had audited the corporate plan.
Conroy: I meant the annual report. This is the annual report of the NBN. This is the annual report . . .
Speers: Not the corporate plan.
Conroy: No, I meant to say the annual report. This is the annual report that details expenses, it details income. So you can't make numbers up. You can't pretend numbers to the Auditor-General of Australia. This is the annual report.
Speers: But the Auditor-General is not looking at the assumptions and numbers and underlying modelling behind the annual report.
Conroy: No, but if we say we've signed a contract for X, it has to be the right number. You can't pretend that the cost is $37 billion if the cost is $90 billion. The Auditor-General might notice.
Speers: So it can't go more than $37.4 billion?
Conroy: No, we're saying these are the signed contracts.
Kevin Rudd, March 21, 2007:
TODAY, federal Labor has taken a historic decision to build a world-class national broadband network . . . We have put together a very clear-cut timetable for this. We want it to be done within five years.
Stephen Conroy on ABC1's Lateline, August 8, 2012:
WELL, the NBN has never been about one election. We said from the day we announced it, this is a nine to 10-year build.
Ben Cubby and Peter Hannam, Fairfax papers, yesterday:
AUSTRALIAN coalmining has become a "rogue industry" and must be phased out, according to prominent US environmentalist Bill McKibben, who is about to join a campaign against coal exports.
Joe Nocera, The New York Times, February 18:
THE strategy of activists like (Bill) McKibben . . . is utterly boneheaded.

Last Post, April 9

IF Tony Abbott, who has an economics degree from Oxford University, is an "economic simpleton", what does this make Julia Gillard, the author of this insult, who is on the record saying she was not keen on studying home economics at Unley High School.
Trevor Farrant, Hackney, SA
Julia Gillard calls Tony Abbott an "economic simpleton", yet if we re-elect Gillard our $270 billion debt will grow to half a trillion in the next three years with an annual interest bill of $16bn. Who's the economic simpleton?
Peter Troy, Kingston, Tas
Would you trust someone to run the economy who thinks the tax on superannuation of the wealthy is like the financial measures forced on the people of Cyprus?
Henry Herzog, St Kilda, Vic
Julia Gillard's personal ratings in the opinion polls always improve after she has been out of the country attending foreign meetings. Perhaps she should spend more time away from home.
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Mac Bignell, Morpeth, NSW
Julia Gillard tells other countries they must work together to resolve conflicts. Her attempts at class war, mining war and gender war are just a few examples of working together.
Bill Dobell, Sebastopol, Vic
How interesting to read that the Greens have been using the 457 visa system ("Will work for food: no wonder the Greens offered the job to foreigners", 8/4).
Hilary Mercer, Rockhampton, Qld
Why is the tone of political discourse in Australia so hysterical when we have had more than 20 years of continuous economic growth and unemployment is relatively low?
J. Allen, Adelaide, SA
Further to George Finlay's comment (Letters, 8/4) about the "rolled gold" surplus, I would like to explain to Wayne Swan that rolled gold is not solid gold - as he appears to believe - but a thin layer of gold on top of metal alloy. However, given the demise of the surplus, perhaps he knew all along.
Margaret Taylor, North Lakes, Qld
Given the federal government's track record of broken promises, if I was to get money from them for a kidney, I'd make sure I got the money up front.
John Rogers, Karrinyup, WA
Perhaps it's time to cut North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un some slack - after all, he's young and naive.
Lawrence Gribben, Carseldine, Qld
Qantas bans pork - certainly a rash decision. I believe it's a case of pigs might fly. What next, no flying kangaroo patties?
Peter J. Sullivan, Burleigh Heads, Qld

Economic insults should be on the other foot

THE terms "economic illiterate" and "economic simpleton" are those one might think have been used to describe Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan who have put Australia into record debt, launched the National Broadband Network without a business plan that could now cost $90 billion, repeatedly promised but never delivered a budget surplus and who virtually invited people-smugglers to send us about 100 asylum-seekers a day.
But no, Gillard applies those terms to Tony Abbott who will probably inherit the mess created by her government's incompetence.
Brian Whybrow, Kambah, ACT
IT is depressing to note the absence of dignity and non-observance of international diplomatic protocols by our leader on a visit to China.
Julie Bishop told the world that Julia Gillard's visit was because it is an election year, in the process degrading the Prime Minister when a show of support was called for in the national interest. Then Gillard resorted to customary name-calling of Tony Abbott. There seems to be little awareness of the damage that can be done to our national image with such mud-slinging over domestic policy in a huge international forum.
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If our politicians can't leave the hick-town-style parliamentary question time behaviour behind them in a bipartisan fashion, then they should stay at home.
Harry Mansson, Clareville, NSW
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard refers to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as an "economic simpleton" in spite of his degree in economics and postgraduate study as a Rhodes scholar in Oxford. Now we know how the Prime Minister regards the value of a university education.
Edmond A. Adler, Coolbinia, WA
JULIA Gillard's latest attack on Tony Abbott - this time on his economic credentials - betrays a terrifying self-assurance in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Where on earth does Gillard get the impression that she has any clue whatsoever about managing the economy?
Her economic legacy - exemplified by the carbon tax - will be billions of dollars of debt, racked up over a few short years. Her Treasurer will equally be remembered for his mediocrity - a footnote in the history of the economic and political vandals in the 43rd parliament.
Royston Mitchell, Golden Grove, SA
PATRICIA M. Smith (Letters, 8/4) makes fair comment on Julia Gillard's outlandishly parochial world in her criticism of Tony Abbott while on a trade and good relations visit to China.
But no one has ever accused the Prime Minister of being blessed with refinement. She comes across as rough as guts, especially when she dishes out the insults in parliament.
David W. Hall, Labrador, Qld
FULL marks for pursuing the cause, but Cut & Paste has verballed me in asking what the cast on Insiders' couch would say if Tony Abbott called Julia Gillard an economic simpleton.
It goes on to quote me as saying that Abbott's comparison of Labor's tax hike on super with the Cyprus raid on bank deposits was "clearly hyperbole which clearly goes too far".
That seems to indicate that I went along with some sort of Sunday morning ABC group-think against the Opposition Leader. I also said: "Tony Abbott knows how to push things right to the limit. He is not an economic simpleton. He knows what he is talking about".
And I said the past week or so had shown that superannuation has become such a large honey pot that it is becoming a bit irresistible for governments trying to fix their budgetary problems.
Michael Stutchbury, editor-in-chief, The Australian Financial Review, Pyrmont, NSW

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