“I am a Keynesian,” Bowen declares proudly

These people don’t get it. They just don’t get it. I want to write, “such idiots they are”, but I am much too polite for that. From Paul Kelly’s column today on Keating and Swan loom large in Bowen’s thinking:

“I am a Keynesian,” Bowen declares proudly. “I would take a Keynesian approach to fiscal management. We can’t rule out the need for a government to stimulate domestic demand sometime over the next decade.” It is an unambiguous statement of belief.

Given Australia’s lower economic growth and doubts about economic recovery, Bowen as treasurer resorting to fiscal stimulus would be a live option. It reminds us that Bowen is a politician formed by the 2008-09 global financial crisis and is a champion of the huge fiscal stimulus put in place by Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan at that time. . . .

In his book The Money Men, Bowen rejects the main criticisms of the Rudd-Swan stimulus. While admitting the outcome was “imperfect”, Bowen says Swan was tested like no treasurer since Labor’s Ted Theodore during the 1930s and concludes that Swan, in relation to the GFC, “got all of the big calls right”.

The evidence of cloth between the ears never gets more evident than dealing with someone who actually sat in Parliament first through the Costello years and then through the years of economic management under Wayne Swan and thinks that Swan got it right. Those Costello years, when everything was going so well because the world economy was so placid. Like through the Asian Financial Crisis and the Dot-Com bust, you mean. They went well here because, for a change, we didn’t have a Keynesian in charge. How really out of it do you have to be to say this:

As Bowen says, Labor’s $46 billion second stimulus package of February 2009 triggered a debate that dominated “at least the next five years of Australian politics”.

It dominates us now because the deficits and debt will remain a problem for years on end. And now this clown wants to come back into government and add to the problems in the same way that they did the last time we gave them the chance. And if you really want to start to worry, try this on for size:

For Bowen, economic growth is the mission. He wants a competitiveness strategy “sector by sector”, says it is “not the job of Canberra” to determine where the new jobs come from but identifies the sectors that he sees as a priority and the skills deemed to be ­essential.

Picking last year’s winners is a tried and true strategy of failure, but back it will come if we give these people the chance to turn the Australian economy into the same kind of wreck that Obama has managed in the United States.

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