(Above: and more Tandberg here).
Remember all those politicians blathering on about the terrible burden the current selfish generation is imposing on the generations to come ...?
This caught the eye:
Student debts are expected to double to over $50 billion in four years if the federal government achieves its goal of deregulating university fees and expanding federal funding.
The Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), formerly known as HECS, will rise from $25 billion to $52 billion in 2018 according to the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), released on Monday. (here)
Yes, let's make sure the best and the brightest stay locked in debt, and develop the sort of bitterness already on view in many professions ... Has the pond mentioned the carping of medical graduates lately?
How about the mentally ill?
The dementia and severe behaviours supplement, which provides a payment of $16 a day to residential facilities for each eligible dementia patient, will be cut.
Yes, let the poor buggers wander off into the wilderness and have their eyes pecked out by crows. It'll be best for them and a social benefit for all ...
How about this?
Like Wayne Swan before him, Joe Hockey is likely to leave the Treasurer's office without having delivered a surplus. But more-important things are at stake. Like all treasurers he is determined not to be one who pushes the economy into recession. That's why he'll let the deficit blow out by $10 billion a year for now and pick up the pieces later. (here, with forced video).
Like Wayne Swan before him?
That reminds the pond of that old song:
Like the treasurer's treasurer before him
Brought up on building up a deficit
Fell in love with a gigantic blow out
And they married up and settled down
Natural way of life if you're lucky
For a big end of town Treasurer man ...
That was a sampling of some of yesterday's stories ...
Treasurer Joe Hockey has broken a pledge to impose tough new tax avoidance rules on multinational companies that shift billions of dollars in profits between Australia and their international subsidiaries. (and a lot more here).
Do go on:
John Passant, an outspoken tax expert from the Australian National University, recently wrote about the government's decision not to abolish section 25-90 deductions.
"It is unfortunate in the extreme that the Treasurer and Treasury have listened to a group of rent seekers being unjustly rewarded by not repealing section 25-90. But since this is a government of the 1% that is not surprising and we can conclude in fact that Hockey's bluster about addressing tax avoidance by his rich mates is just that – complete and utter bluster," he wrote.
How about unemployment? How's that shaping up?
Say what Gareth Hutchens? Budget warning: Treasury predicting thousands more job losses next year ...
... economists warn that Treasury's higher unemployment forecasts mean the number of unemployed will swell by thousands more than expected next year.
And younger workers are likely to carry much of the burden.
Ah well, they can always saddle themselves up with debt for life ...
And so it's time for end of year moaning and groaning, and so Ross Gittins unburdens himself in Has the Lucky Country lost its ardour and ambition? (forced video at end of link).
You mean Ross that we should all come up with spiffing ideas to make Tony Abbott and jolly Joe Hockey look good?
That's a tall order ...
And there's Greg Jericho having a moan in The Coalition's previous budget rhetoric has come back to haunt them ...
The pond loved the opening conceit:
The mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (Myefo) released yesterday was a case of the karma police arresting Joe Hockey and reading him his rights. The Myefo revealed a large write down in taxation revenue which saw the budget deficit for 2014-15 increase by $10.6bn – from $29.8bn to now, $40.3bn. Revenue problems were a habitual concern for Wayne Swan while treasurer. But during that time, Hockey never gave him any of the sympathy he now believes he is entitled.
The karma police! Maybe it should be the irony police ...
They also wheeled out their favourite line that “Labor has a spending problem, not a revenue problem”.
To support this they noted that revenue was “expected to be over $70bn higher than at the end of the Howard government, and with budget data for the first seven months of this financial year showing revenues up by almost five per cent relative to the same period in the previous financial year”.
So it must be a shock for Hockey to find that not only is revenue this year expected to be $84bn “higher than at the end of the Howard government” and higher than Labor, it is also expected to grow over the next four years by an average of 6.3% each year.
Of course nominal dollar terms can be misleading, but at no stage over the next four years is total government revenue ever expected to be lower than the 23.3% of GDP that was the high water mark under the Rudd and Gillard governments ...
There's a graph too, but soon enough Jericho shows he's a candidate for the karma police himself:
Clearly comparing the budget revenue and expenditure as Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott did while they were in opposition is utterly moronic. Nominal figures ignore inflation and growth of the population and the economy itself. It is apt that their words should come back to haunt them.
But it would be in all our interests, given the challenges that approach the government and our economy, from the ageing population to the end of the mining boom, if our treasurer would now adopt a more intelligent rhetoric.
But Mr Jericho, haven't you heard there's no allowance for dementia ...
Meanwhile, over in Murdoch la la land, the country continues to be in the best of hands.
Finally, too much has already been said by too many who know too little and show too little empathy or understanding ... but this nauseating effort by Daily Terror editor at lar..., John Lehmann, shouldn't pass unnoticed:
In the pond's experience, the moment someone says "Let's be honest" - usually a real estate agent or a used car salesman - it's the prelude to a gigantic whopper, a richly contrived lie ...
And so it is with Lehmann ...
The specious, disingenuous logic deployed by Lehmann in the nauseating Let's be honest: Man Haron Monis was an IS terrorist - you have been warned it's nauseating - is that if you fly an army flag, you must be an army man.
Well the pond might have been influenced by Paul Keating, but it's never been a paid up member of the Labor party.
Now we can ignore the factual errors, like Lehmann saying it was the first Islamic terror attack against Australian civilians on home soil.
That just proves he's ignorant, and willing to disrespect the four people shot and the seven wounded in the Battle of Broken Hill, back in 1915. (Greg Hunt it here).
What's compelling is how Lehmann unravels his own logic. It turns out that Monis wasn't so much an actual IS terrorist, as "following the IS playbook to the letter".
Then it turns out that perhaps "he saw himself acting on behalf of IS".
Then this monstrous stupidity:
There is no need to fill in a membership form to join IS’ bloodthirsty quest; no need to declare if you are single or part of a group; no need to wait for an instruction to attack.
Now the pond has no idea why Lehmann and the Daily Telegraph think it's their business to promote and pump up the work of terrorists and the Daesh ... or why they seek to elevate a lone wolf terrorist to the ranks of Daesh, and spread the fear ...
Likely enough, Lehmann is attempting to prepare the groundwork for the Terror to defend its outrageous and offensive afternoon edition, with its egregious cover ...
But by the end of his piece, Lehmann limps to this conclusion:
He was a terrorist, clearly influenced by IS. Let’s be honest.
Uh huh. So he's gone from being an IS terrorist, to a terrorist clearly influenced by IS.
Okay, let's be brutally honest, Mr Lehmann.
You're a pathetic, dissembling spreader of a fog of innuendo, distortions and lies.
Oh and you're a fuckwit to boot ...
Why don't you persuade the Daily Terror from going about the business of pumping up the volume for the Daesh?
Even the reptiles in their front page 'lone wolf' coverage ...
... didn't dare go where Lehmann and their tabloid brethren had gone ...
Yep, it's a lone wolf member of Daesh, and never mind how lone wolves join a gang.
The reptiles even declared Monis was a self-declared radical sheik (many of the commentariat have been declaring he was an actual, real sheik)... and quoted Tony Abbott:
The Prime Minister acknowledged that Australia had been “brushed by terrorism’’ after the 16-hour siege but stopped short of labelling the attack a dedicated act of Islamist terrorism. Instead, he described Monis as a “weird’’ individual who had become enthralled by extremist ideology and said the national security committee had questioned why he was not being monitored by security agencies. “It’s pretty obvious that the perpetrator was a deeply disturbed individual (with) a long history of crime, a long history of mental instability and infatuation with extremism,’’ Mr Abbott said. (no link, you know how to google to avoid the begging letter from the paupers of the press).
That's the real story Mr Lehmann. Here's a man wandering around as bold as brass, and meanwhile the security agencies want to disappear into metadata land and destroy the privacy of everyone, while incapable of looking at the bleeding obvious staring them in the face.
Meanwhile, your pathetic, wretched paper jumped the gun, and did the work of terrorists by distorting and enabling Monis's behaviour ... and now you seek to retrospectively dress the rag in righteous garb ...
The Terror wasn't the only one. But it was right up there, as noted yesterday by John Birmingham in Media coverage of Sydney siege shameful:
The special edition of yesterday's Daily Telegraph was probably the low point in the full spectrum media coverage of Monis's crime. It was wrong on every count.
But if that was the definitive low point, there were many contenders. Some driven by malice. Most caused by the need to fill up dead air space or to beat the competition in the race for clicks and eyeballs. We at Fairfax were not immune. The ABC allowed one idiot talking-head after another to sprout dangerous garbage all over their 24 hour news service while many media outlets updated police tactical movements around the site of the siege. It took pleas by the police, the establishment of the exclusion zone and some determined social media shaming to cut off that information flow to Monis.
And all that was needed was a news flash. Even a two minute update every hour would have exhausted the news content of this slow moving story. Admittedly this would have given Monis some of the exposure he craved, but much less than he actually received. It might also have taken the heat out of the worst of the social media reaction, which at times seemed like a megaphone specifically designed for morons. The rolling coverage made it all worse.
If Monis had actually been a trained jihadi, and not just a murderous arse clown with mental health issues and a gun, the media coverage could easily have contributed to the death of more hostages as part of an ISIS media plan. Some protocols to avoid this in future events – because they will happen – would be prudent. But unlikely.
Sometimes a little discretion would be helpful ... but not it seems, at the Terror. Just doubling down and self-justification, and not the first clue or awareness of just how wretchedly they behaved ...
Which just leaves space for a David Pope cartoon, and more Pope here.