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What Joe Hockey should have said: “You get your lift years and your lean years”


Joesph Hockey needs to take a page out of his namesake with the technicolor dream coat.
In the bible, Joesph interpreted the Egyptian’s pharaoh’s dream. Years of plenty. And years of famine. We as a nation had stored for such an event. So its bizarre when you hear the coalition and Joe attacking the ALP for using the stocks piled up in the years of plenty to address the GFC: A 2008 event that is STILL affecting economies around the world and one where interest rates remain at global lows going into 2015.
The coalition spent a good deal of their opposition years saying the GFC was not real. And now they have a problem when they realise that our economy, being a trading economy, takes a hit when the people we trade with take a hit. Instead they blamed Wayne Swan for things they are now using as excuses for why its all going wrong under them.
And this is the calamity that the coalition really face. The lean years are longer than the stores supplied in the plenty years. This is partially because Howard used some of the wealth in middle class welfare and neither the Rudd nor Gillard govt removed any of it (although Gillard tried on private health). The Abbott govt is not prepared to take on middle class welfare either spruiking more via a gold plated PPL. But the biggest factor was the GFC itself and the length of time it has taken some economies to restart.
The biggest problem the coalition are facing is their policy is at odds with the biblical parable. During the lift years, you can lean on people a little. After all they can afford it. But during the lean years you have to LIFT people up. Its now lean years. Has been for a while. Instead of trying to lift up the unemployed, the coalition lean on them. Instead of lifting pensions, they are leaning on them – changing indexation rates and charging them for a copayment.Students? Lean. Science? Lean. Public service? Lean. ABC and SBS? Lean.
And lets be absolutely clear here. A GP price signal is meant to DETER people from getting medical aid. Its not designed to help pay for medicare so much as reduce the money spent on medicare. Doctors in remote or lower socioeconomic areas would be the one the government really leans on with this policy. Now the idea of a medical research fund is a good idea. But you don’t pay for it by trying to stop people from going to the doctor. The coalition make the claim that the medicare levy only raises 10 bn and medicare costs 20 bn. But thats because states pay half the cost! A deception to try and sell policy you think is good and important is a bad start in my opinion. And according to the polls, 55% of the nation agree with me.
Universities is another problem the coalition have. It costs to run them the coalition say and the student get all the benefits with higher wages. This ignores the fact that people on higher wages pay more tax and pay a larger medicare levy. And graduates are essential to a economy. They provide essential medical and education services. They provide the educators and the scientists that the coalition will need for their medical research fund. So saying the govt gets no benefit from graduates is a total fallacy. The benefit a govt gets from a university sector is way larger than the 50/50 split Pyne is trying to sell. And knowing that students will be vital to any economy and any nation, the coalition deceive about who gains to try and justify leaning on people in lean times yet again.
Joe Hockey really should have said lift years and lean years instead of lifters and leaners. But he should also learn there is a time to lift and a time to lean on an electorate.


A. Ghebranious December 2014

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