Parliament resumes next week for what will be a testing year for the government and opposition.
Media reports indicate our national debt will hit $500 billion in coming weeks with no sign of slowing. The irresponsible approach by the opposition and populist Senate crossbench to proposed spending cuts loads our children and grandchildren with an economic burden they do not deserve.
Just ten years ago, Australia had no national debt and was running budget surpluses. Now I know things have changed on the global economic front but the only things that have changed here have been a revolving door of Prime Ministers and a parliament that refuses to live within its means.
The political class are either too timid or lack the knowledge to make the public case about the need to fix the budget.
Instead we have seen Orwellian newspeak, redefining new or increased tax proposals as ‘savings’. This is nonsensical and can only happen in the Canberra beltway bubble. To put it bluntly, whenever you hear the word ‘savings’ uttered by most politicians it most likely means a hit to your savings.
This country doesn’t have a ‘revenue problem’ or an ‘income gap’; successive governments are addicted to spending your money on convoluted, unproven and unnecessary schemes so they can pretend they are helping you. They know they most likely won’t be around, or held to account, when the chickens of this latest meddling scheme come home to roost.
The help often creates more problems than it solves.
And yet, this hasn’t stopped a contagion of cries for the government to do something about almost everything.
That ‘something’ almost always entails spending money we don’t have to prop up schemes and ideas that aren’t working.
According to government the answer to skyrocketing energy prices is to subsidise more inefficient and expensive wind turbines.
Worried about house prices being too high, some in government think that subsidising deposits for first home buyers will make them more affordable. In some instances, these same ‘public advocates’ privately acknowledge that if the subsidy was withdrawn the prices would decrease by a greater amount.
The continuing disappointment of our education outcomes is also a case in point. Bleeding hearts will insist it is due to a lack of funds but the more likely cause is the lack of focus on getting the basics right.
Why distract our kids with dangerous propaganda like ‘Safe Schools’ when they struggle to read, write or do mental arithmetic?
The myriad examples of how the dead hand of government intervention often creates more problems than it solves is easy to see for those willing to open their eyes to the challenges ahead.
It’s time we confronted those challenges, not by crying for more government intervention, tariffs, protection or subsidies, but by applying proven economic principles and actions.
Unfortunately there are too few in our body politic willing to take the path less travelled – a trustworthy track that has fallen out of use. For the sake of our nation, we must get back on track.