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The Treasurer’s Shout

The Treasurer’s Shout

Friday 6 May, 2016
Fred Plodge, Australia’s leading public bar commentator on politics, argues that the budget process has become far too complicated and the Treasurer could see things much more clearly looking through the bottom of a schooner.
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Public Bar Politics - a FridayMash satirical series

Budgets come and budgets go. They usually cause one helluva fracas but everything soon blows over and gets watered down and we’re still in deficit with the chance of a surplus in ten years’ time but as long as the price of beer doesn’t go up life goes on pretty much as usual.

I have to laugh when politicians claim that a budget is fair to everyone when of course it isn’t because that’s an absolute bloody impossibility. And anyway no budget should be fair to bludgers, James Packer, Gina Rinehart and anyone who drinks cocktails.

Everyone has to live on a budget even the licensee at our pub and if I drink anything less than six schooners a night his budget gets stuffed and he has to cut down on expenses.

The government seems absolutely incapable of managing a budget. When yet another one starts going down the drain they come cap in hand to us for more money.

If I started drinking twelve schooners a night instead of six and asked the boss for a raise to cover the extra expense he’d tell me to get stuffed and go and join Alcoholics Anonymous.

So when the government starts spending at a level equivalent to twelve schooners a night and proposes a horror budget to pay for it it’s only right that the Senate’s reaction is similar to my boss.

Peter Costello produced surpluses but Wayne still seemed to do alright with a steady diet of deficits. In fact he made deficits such a regular feature in the federal budget that Joe found he had no option but to follow suit.

I can’t help feeling that budgeting is easy and Treasurers protest too much. You calculate your income then deduct expenses and lo and behold you’ve got the answer. Then as long as you stick to six schooners a night everything will be sweet.

The trouble with politicians is that they can’t tell whether the schooner is half-full or half-empty.

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About this Series
Fred Plodge is widely acclaimed as Australia’s premier pub commentator on politics and international affairs. Pub patrons throughout Sydney look to Fred as their most unfailingly reliable source of current affairs commentary. Fred’s insight seems to reach full potential after around six schooners and this has led to a feeling amongst patrons that by comparison the commentary from most politicians falls a few schooners short.

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