Did you just use the the “starving kids in Africa” excuse to justify how bad Tony is? I am very grateful that we’re not in North Korea - the shining pinnacle of human rights abuse and dictatorship rule but I feel like judging Tony should be put on more level playing ground than “well he’s not literally the worst thing ever so I guess that’s good.” Good/Bad is not a dichotomy. Don’t ever use that argument in conversation ever regardless of what you’re saying. “At least it’s literally not the worst thing ever” is basically saying “I can’t think of any redeeming qualities to the situation other than I am not in immediate risk of death.” That is not an argument to keep a system. If anything you are basically pointing out it sucks and pretending we don’t have options like other political parties. If it can be better than why wouldn’t you want to make it better?
This response is going to be very very long so if you would like to see a list of things wrong with the Abbott government I suggest you go here and here. OK? Well then… let’s begin…
But to answer your question about the necessity of the budget cuts and the massive debt in the shortest way possible: No.
The “Budget Crisis” is a myth. It is a political scare tactic designed to intimidate us into thinking that the previous government was reckless and irresponsible so as to gain political power and it is not backed up by economists. We actually have a really small debt. Also debt doesn’t work the same way for governments as it does for individuals. Here’s a handy infographic about these myths.
We are "a low-taxing, low debt and low-spending country by international standards" The economic crisis is a scare tactic for the gullible who cannot be bothered having an invested interest in fact checking what politicians say which is a remarkably large amount of people considering Tony got voted in. We have a AAA Sovereign Credit Rating for crying out loud.
But let’s look at the budget for a moment. Let’s pretend for the sake of argument that we’re actually heading for disaster (which I have heard if we were not to address any issues it’d be a problem in 2040 which doesn’t sound like a massive looming disaster that Liberal kept yelling but let’s also ignore that as I’m shaky on the details of that assertion). let’s also pretend that Liberal Premiers are similarly pissed off at the budget not just the political left.
How does the budget help? So we need to save money and increase taxes (let’s also pretend that this budget is literally the exact opposite of what Tony said he’d do thus breaking pretty much every election promise). What would be the best solution for everyone? Well taxing the rich would make sense, which he’s done, but it’s a temporary levy which goes away after 3 years and is very small, whereas he’s taxing the lower and middle classes more over all.
Cutting funding from hospitals and adding a $7 co-payment seems detrimental to you know… people. Especially sick people. Sick people need care, especially. That co-payment caps at 10 visits and some of is going towards medical research right? Well that sounds good in theory but with massive fees and increased cost of research degrees there’s a disincentive to actually be qualified for that research. That 20 billion into health research is one of the few things to get funding as opposed to all the funding cut from other scientific research bodies like the CSIRO. You know what else is getting increased funding? Research into Wind Turbine Syndrome - a fictional health concern about the presence of wind turbines. The government is literally wasting money to try and come up with any excuse not to combat Global Warming - a scientific fact and looming concern for the entire planet. That’s how out of touch his priorities are that he is trying to prove that renewable energy is more hazardous to our health than fossil fuels. He’s cutting money from researching into bio-fuels too. Why would you do that? Does the word “finite” or “non-renewable” mean anything to him? Fossil fuels are undeniably going to run out one day so logically you should think of ways to replace them and research how to make them effective and affordable before events like peak oil, right?
I remember once I asked someone why they voted Liberal and they said “I don’t like how Labor was spending so much on infrastructure.” Yes… which is one of the few things being invested in by Liberals instead of being cut. Remember the NBN and the outrage that they wanted to go with copper wiring instead of fiber optics? Liberal’s ridiculously slow NBN vs Labor’s plan for a superior internet network that could be upgraded in the future without needing to replace the wiring vs Liberal’s copper wiring that needed maintenance. I remember Liberal’s response to the massive petition stating it was one of their best understood policies in the election and they were going to stand by it because it was cheaper… and then costs just kept going up.
They want to save money… but they’re really not sure how to do it properly. But they have to find a way to save money somehow because they said they desperately needed to.
And the cuts to Newstart. Hockey and Abbott’s solution to youth unemployment: just get a job. Just… just do it… just get one. Brilliant idea folks! The whole idea of “earn or learn” but one cannot simply force a job to exist and to get training for a lot of jobs (that still don’t exist) you’d have to get a University degree… but with unregulated fees why would you go to University? Your HECS debt now has an increased inflation rate. If you learn you better learn a very high paying job very quickly because you’re going to be in debt for a long time. So 6 months on and off for Centrelink payments (increased ages for eligibility and stricter guidelines for disabled individuals) with the idea that you’d… what? Just get a job for those 6 months? “Fuck you” isn’t an incentive to get a job. 16,500 jobs from the private sector are being cut despite promises to make more jobs. "The federal bureaucracy is poised for its greatest loss of staff since the early years of the Howard government."
Cutting jobs and unemployment benefits while simultaneously making it more difficult to attain higher learning so people can get or even make new jobs. What? Huh? Meanwhile mining companies are given funding for minerals exploration and are exempt from the fuel excise “because they don’t use roads”? So… multi-billion dollar corporations are coming out on top… while the unemployed are told to go fuck themselves for half of the year… And don’t get me started on cuts to arts and half a billion taken from indigenous programs. We all know how well off they are. The list just keeps going on and on and on how rich aren’t really effected but specifically lower and middle class are. Hell, some people even assert that these budget cuts won’t even help the economy and "will drag on economic growth and well being." The longer you spend analysing it and dissecting it the more you realise that the budget is a mess not the economy it was designed to “fix”… but this is getting very long so we’ll have to stop soon and I have only made a few points in the list. Please do check out the two links I started this response off with here and here.
But you see the inequality right? See the encouragement of a wealth gap? See how the divide will only increase? If we had to solve an economic crisis wouldn’t you try and increase taxes on people whose way of life won’t be damaged by it? Who cares if the wealthy get taxed more? They’re wealthy! They can deal with it! Because they’re wealthy! If I was earning over $180,000 a year and someone said “I’m sorry but we’re going to have to tax you more” I’d be like “well damn right you do! I actually care about helping those in need instead of preserving my easy and comfortable life!”
All for the sake of a surplus we were predicted to have under a Labor government anyway… ah yes… the “bad guys who got us in this alleged mess.”
I’m not angry at you for not knowing this but I hope I have educated you on the matter and changed your mind about the situation.
In short… it’s a myth, and even it weren’t they’re still going about it the wrong way. So when you say “it’s not that bad” I say “you’re not only wrong but it could be a whole lot better and there isn’t a reason why it shouldn’t be.”