It appears that somewhere above Australia there is an alien spaceship transmitting a beam across the continent that makes Australians incapable of rational thought. Few people seem to question how the nation will repay billions of dollars in debt nor do they seem to question what the Government is spending their money on.
As regular readers of this blog will know I have been a vocal critic for over a year about the way the Australian economy has been managed and Kevin Rudd himself appears to be supporting my view. For he is now telling Australians that the recovery will be tough and some belt tightening will be needed in the years ahead. This can only mean that the billions he has spent have had only a short term impact on the economy and the money has failed to give Australia a strong push out of this recession.
Rudd is warning of tough times ahead because just over six months after tossing money around like burley on a fishing trip he has realised the dollars are running out and that he has an awful lot of commitments still to fund. Slowly we are starting to see some of the areas where the Government will start to claw back money back from taxpayers and without doubt, we will be told that the global financial crisis is to blame for just about everything not covered by the climate change excuse.
Yesterday in The Australian it was reported that a 50% increase in the Medicare levy is being considered by the Government. It appears that taking money away from private health care rebates was not enough and so we can be almost sure that whatever form Rudd’s health plan takes, that it will involve tax payers footing the bill. This is the thin edge of the wedge, slowly but surely we will end up paying more for a whole range of services and thanks to the retirement age being raised, many people will also have the “honour” of working longer to help fund Government spending.
Kev07 is indeed a cunning fellow with a Ruddy clever idea. You simply tell the people what they want to hear, spend billions on grand sounding projects and then make the public pay for years without actually detailing in any specific way what you plan to deliver.
Along the way you shore up you electoral support and best of all people thank you for spending their money! What is more amazing is the public do not care if they are getting value for money or not. Nobody seems too concerned as long as they get some of the cash being tossed around.
Need 42 billion dollars for a broadband network? No worries, tax payers will fund the venture and no business plan will be needed. Yes Kevin thinks the banks need to be regulated more but when it comes to Government spending there seems to be no need for any risk management or cost benefit analysis. Spend first and ask questions later, that is Rudd’s way.
The manner in which the alien beam is affecting the way Australian’s think can be seen from the coverage in the media about the report from the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission. According to the final report from this Commission:
“The number of adverse events each year (is) equivalent to 13 jumbo jets crashing and killing all 350 passengers on board”
In plain English this means that more than 4500 people die unnecessarily in our healthcare system every year due to errors and mistakes etc. The really sad fact is that this has been happening for so long that people do not seem shocked. There are no calls for urgent action; the Government will study the report and work out a course of action after they discuss their plans with the State Governments. I wonder how many more people will die by then?
The report also mentions that by just preventing 50% of these deaths around $1 billion a year could be saved. That’s great, not only is our healthcare system failing thousands of people who will pay for these errors with their lives, but it also is costing the nation a fortune every year.
I must have missed the pledge to eliminate avoidable deaths in public hospitals when Rudd was promising everything else to get elected. But he did mention over and over again that when it came to healthcare that the buck stopped with him. Perhaps you might recall this little election ad that the ALP run as part of the Kev07 campaign.
If a CEO oversaw an organisation where thousands of workers died due to errors and process failures then he/she would be charged under OH&S legislation or even face manslaughter charges. But for some reason when it comes to healthcare people seem exempt from the rules that apply to everyone else.
If Rudd cannot reduce the number of avoidable deaths by 50% in say 2 years he should resign. He has already had almost two years to do something and while he waited for a report, another few thousand people have lost their lives.
Will he make a concrete pledge to reduce the number of “adverse events”? Of course not. Billions of dollars will be spent but I seriously doubt if anyone will put their career on the line. How can thousands of people lose their lives every year and yet so few people be held accountable?
Of course public hospitals are run by the State Governments and hence this is the reason Howard did not promise he could fix them. But Rudd did make that promise and he must be held accountable along with the elected twits in the various State Governments.
Moving away from healthcare I wonder if Senator Conroy will resign if the National Broadband Network (NBN) does not meet certain objectives over the next few years? In fact is there anyone in Government who is accountable for anything at all? Are Australians concerned by wasteful public spending and avoidable deaths? It seems not….that alien beam must be really good!
We Australians hate to ask ourselves the really tough questions. We pretend we care about unemployment but the Trade Unions are still out looking for pay rises. We don’t want to ask ourselves if these pay rises will cost jobs, especially if we are the ones that are going to benefit from the extra money in our pocket.
Did Australians seriously question the wisdom of the Government borrowing money so it could hand out cash to people to spend over Christmas? How many Australians really thought about who was going to pay this money back? Most people just took the money and didn’t ask many questions. Ignorance is bliss as they say.
Many Australians also complain vigorously about jobs going offshore but a quick audit of their homes would probably find them stacked full of imports. We say one thing but do another..this is becoming the Australian way. I just read for example where some Unions are urging the Government to only use Australian steel in infrastructure projects and so I can only assume all Union members drive only Australian made cars, wear only Australian manufactured clothes and of course never consume imported food!
President Obama’s popularity in the U.S. has declined (although it is still high) because Americans are starting to worry about U.S. Government debt, but in Australia people still strongly support Rudd even after a number of policy failures and ballooning government debt. I wonder why that is?
Imagine what your response would be if I suggested that you give me a millions dollars and I will spend it for you as I see fit. I will not provide you a detailed account of how I spend your money, I will not undertake any detailed business planning and I will not be able to tell you in concrete terms what you will get for your money.
Most likely you would dismiss my proposal out of hand and yet the Rudd Government is basically doing much the same with billions of dollars and few people seem concerned.
But you have to give credit to Kevin Rudd for being a smart politician. It is almost magical how he has been able to promise so much, achieve so little and yet still be the favourite to win the next election.
Maybe he knows more about that alien spaceship above Australia than he is letting on!