The Dog’s Bollocks

Truth is like a dog’s bollocks – pretty obvious if you care to look.

Day 1 – Coalition roll the tax dice

Costello opened for Team Howard today with the latest budget estimates announcing we have another $5billion in underestimated budget surplus, and so attempted a six with his tax reform package worth $34billion over 3 years. After 11 years of neglect, Costello is finally proposing tax relief in the critical welfare to work income range which has financially disadvantaged people moving to work from welfare.

Although a bold opening stroke, it is also a strategic gamble. It gives time for Rudd to appear suitably conservative and responsible while the ALP rework their policy models. It gives Team Howard nowhere to go if Rudd trumps them with a more appealing package. I suspect it has much to do with allaying criticism that the Howard government is the highest taxing of all time. In coming days, economists will mutter darkly about inflation, interest rates and the value of the dollar. This is not a good look when you are attempting to convince the voters that know how to manage an economy. Add in the already $9billion in policies and pork-barreling and it looks a bit shaky. It will be hard to promise much more without appearing economically reckless.

On the 7.30 report Howard’s demeanour contained a lot of huffing and puffing, bowing  out with a petulant remark and exasperated look. Rudd was Mr Smooth, Light and Reason personified, but he also managed some killer campaign lines neatly deflecting the ball back into Howard’s court, particularly regarding the claim that Rudd is a blame shifter who won’t accept responsibility for his party’s actions. The more Team Howard push this line the more it reinforces the public memory of clever ‘Honest’ Johnnie Howard. Seeing Philip Ruddock back on the nightly news reminded me of how pleasant it has been not to hear and see his tedious interview tactics. I imagine some people might think, “Oh no, I couldn’t stand having to listen to that man and that voice for another three years.” Best to keep him away from the cameras.

At the end of day’s play I call the following result:

Policy: Team Howard
Looking like a confident and in control future PM: Kevin07

Cross-posted from Blogotariat.

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Filed under: Economics, Federal Election 2007

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The Dog’s Bollocks

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