Monday, September 19, 2011

Consitutional budget deficit cap

Many governments are on a drunken spending spree. America is a stark example of how a great country can be brought to the brink of bankruptcy within one generation. Many other countries did the same and are also facing the same consequences of a potential meltdown. In the gloom and doom that fill the front pages of our newspapers these days, I am glad to read that there is still hope that politicians will do the right thing. Germany already has a legal limit on its budget deficit level, while France is still exploring the idea. Spain, instead of trying to spend its way out of trouble, is now moving closer to institute a cap on how much budget deficit the government is allowed to incur.

Unfortunately, that wisdom has not permeated the brains of Australia's Gillard and Swan. I wouldn't heap praises on the previous government of John Howard and Peter Costello either for keeping the budget deficit down, because they did so by selling state assets. Swan is just as blatant. While promising a return to surplus, he is simultaneously pushing the deficit to a record $250b, at a time of record tax revenue from the mining boom... and still promising to return to surplus next year. Oh wait, since time is running out, he is now looking at illegally "borrowing" from the Future Fund to keep his election promise. What a joker. Only that the laugh is at the expense of the future generations, who are now too young to defend themselves or to vote.

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