By Liberator Zen
As Australia’s Commonwealth Government Debt approaches half a trillion dollars let us remember the time when we passed the quarter trillion dollar debt mark – a mere four years ago.
We all know the story, despite the biased media attempts to excuse it or bury it, and the ineptitude of the clueless LNP in attacking those responsible: Labor came to power in 2007 inheriting the Howard-Costello surplus, and in a few short years of utterly reckless spending the nation now has a level of debt that is unlikely to ever be paid off. The weakness of the LNP combined with an awful Senate, and the Green-Labor desire to burn everything to the ground rather than let their mortal enemies remain in Government, means a very grim future when the housing bubble pops and Chinese growth slows.
Whilst people generally know of the failed or abandoned projects and schemes, has anyone really considered what we might have had for all that money? We blindly accept that it was spent, yet never really question whether we got any value for our money – and it is our money (and the next three generations of Australians). Things might seem a little more comforting if we had something, anything worthwhile to show for it.
Imagine two friends comparing how their wives respectively spend the weekly shopping allowance:
“I give my wife $200 and we have fresh lobster, steak, salmon, a few bottles of good wine, a box of fancy chocolates and we even have a bit of spare cash left after all that.”
“That’s odd,” says the other, “I give my wife the same amount and she spends every penny but all we get are some Aldi microwave dinners, a few cups of instant noodles and a cheap cask of wine.”
That’s how you might feel after reading this article.
So, lets apply this analogy to the National Debt and have a look at what we could have spent the money on. The following projects from around the World have all been costed, adjusted for inflation and converted to Australian dollars and total around $250 billion dollars, or about the level of debt run up after just four years of the Rudd-Gillard Reign of Fiscal Terror. After each project and by way of comparison, there is a reminder of the kind of things the inept Labor Government of 2007-13 wasted our money on.
Eleven manned space flights, six moon landings and mankind’s greatest ever achievement. The entire program would cost $125 billion today, or about two dozen South-Australian-made submarines.
Labor kindly bribed us by giving us back some of our own money in the form of $900 cheques. We went and bought Korean made TV’s and watched docos about the lunar landings and Kim Kardashian’s moon-sized backside.
The Channel Tunnel
A 50 km undersea rail tunnel between Britain and mainland Europe, transporting passengers both ways for $100 return. A snip at $24 billion.
The Armada of Vote People
Nearly 50,000 illegal immigrants flooded into Australia under Labor. The operating costs and welfare bill has run into the tens of billions. Unlike the Channel Tunnel, the trip was one way and the passengers were paid upon arrival, in perpetuity, by the host nation.
Kansai International Airport
Built on an artificially constructed island in Osaka Bay to relieve congestion at Osaka Airport. It handles 14 million passengers annually and this, the most expensive civil works project in the world, cost just over $33 billion.
The second Sydney airport is still a drawing on a board but luckily Labor found $16 billion down the back of everyone else’s sofas to buy some outdoor covered areas, halls and empty libraries for our schools. Are you starting to get the feeling we’ve been rorted sideways yet?
The Three Gorges Dam
This huge Chinese dam cost about $30 billion and generates around 100 Terawatt-hours of electricity per year, enough to supply 40% of Australian consumption.
Comrade Conroy’s Plan
No new dams for Australia (I mean, who wants cheap, renewable energy?), but Labor did try to copy something else that the Chinese do very well – media censorship. Luckily, they failed or you probably wouldn’t be reading XYZ.
The $11 billion CERN Large Hadron Collider is the World’s greatest scientific experiment, designed to unlock the secrets of the Universe by recreating the conditions of the Big Bang.
Our pensioners got a set top box so they could watch even more Labor spin and deceit on their $1.3 billion State funded propaganda arm. Alternatively, there are always reruns of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ on the commercial stations.
The ITER Project
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is an experimental nuclear fusion reactor funded by a number of countries – but not Australia. It could pave the way for very cheap, clean, abundant energy – the nightmare of every Progressive. Not bad for $23 billion.
The Pinko Project
A batty idea to help reduce power bills – pink fluff. Hundreds of homes burnt down, four people died and our power bills went up anyway when Labor decided to tax the air we breathe and force us to subsidise windmills and other useless unconventional energy projects.
So there you have it. A quarter of a trillion dollars could have got us a space program, a floating airport, an undersea tunnel, a huge dam and the two largest scientific experiments in the history of mankind. And we could have had it all twice (or once with an awful lot of spare cash). Now, before any troll decides to jump in with “but…but…but what about The NBN?” – well the NBN is off budget, is costing in the region of $50 billion and rising, and despite being labelled an “investment”, it will cost twice as much as it is actually worth, according to a report from Price Waterhouse Coopers released earlier this year. Further, unlike say The Apollo Program or Three Gorges Dam, the NBN – if it is ever completed – will not be admired or marvelled at but ridiculed, mocked and an international embarrassment.
If the scientists at CERN wanted to see a real Black Hole they could just look at the Australian Federal Government. It truly is staggering how the Green-Left can complain about the cost of the Plebiscite to pervert the institution of marriage or call for more “investment” in their pet projects when considering the above. Just to rub more salt in our wounds the very people responsible for the shambolic waste, the likes of Conroy, Gillard, Carr, Wong, Brown and Hanson-Young, are paid vast salaries and pensions from our wallets, immune from the wage freezes and cutbacks most people in the private sector have endured in recent years. The LNP should also not escape censure as they have failed to defuse many of the fiscal landmines left behind by the Rudd-Gillard scorched earth approach.
Most people do not have the time, inclination or imagination to consider alternate realities to actual reality. Few consider where money could have been better spent, or invested or – best of all – not used at all and the long-suffering taxpayers could have more of their own money to spend as they see fit. Instead we are staring at tax hikes, sabotaged Super and generations burdened with National debt. Even fewer consider where money that was being spent was done so frugally, responsibly and with accountability. It baffles the mind to see the level of debt and deficit we are burdened with and not question where the money has gone. As the character Julius Levenson says in the movie Independence Day, “You don’t actually think they [the Government] spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?”
On his recent book tour, Andrew Bolt remarked that one of the best ways to get people to think about an issue is to use parables. In the Biblical parable of the Bags of Gold, the servants who produce more wealth are rewarded whilst the one who buries the gold in the ground is punished: “And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Our elected officials and public servants, sadly, do not bury our gold in the ground, but pour it down a bottomless pit. We had a Government that spent wisely, turned a debt into a surplus, and the electorate punished them and let a bunch of irresponsible, corrupt squander-monkeys get their hands on the gold. We fail to understand, or have forgotten, that we are the Masters and they – the politicians and bureaucrats – are the servants and it is our wealth we entrust to them to use wisely. As a result, we will be the ones thrown out into the darkness, weeping and gnashing our teeth.
Here beginneth the lesson.
Photo by NASA on The Commons