McKibbin For PM 2010

23 Jun

Long something of an outsider – the lone outspoken voice of reason and commonsense on the otherwise “reserved” board of the Reserve Bank – Warwick McKibbin has again spoken out.  He has accused Rudd of panicking, and wasting huge sums of taxpayer money.

Who’d have thought!

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

A prominent university economist and member of the Reserve Bank board has delivered a scathing critique of Kevin Rudd’s response to the global financial crisis, saying his government ”panicked” and ”rammed through” decisions fraught with risk.

Warwick McKibbin, of the Australian National University, accused the government of overspending on its stimulus package, and then coming up with ”a really badly designed resource tax” to try to compensate.

And he described the government’s planned $43 billion national broadband network as ”a gigantic white elephant waiting to happen”.

It gets better.

McKibbin also attacks Treasury secretary Ken Henry.

Readers of this blog will know our scathing views of Henry’s “performance” before, during, and after the GFC.  We have been calling for him to be sacked… a call that is only now just beginning to resonate in the Opposition ranks.  And in the economic commentariat too. Highly esteemed business leader and commentator Robert Gottliebsen recently said this:

The position of Ken Henry as the head of Treasury is not sustainable.

Here’s what Professor McKibbin had to say about Henry:

Professor McKibbin also took aim at fellow Reserve Bank board member and Treasury secretary Ken Henry, accusing him of not only failing to consult experts on economic issues, but of trying to silence them…

(Professor McKibbin)… has told The Age he was stunned by Dr Henry’s call this week for academics to ”put down their weapons” and stop nitpicking over government proposals such at the emissions trading scheme.

”The ETS was a flawed scheme. Had the government got it through it would be dead by now because of the financial crisis,” Professor McKibbin said. ”I have enormous respect for Ken Henry, but he can’t believe that you should have consensus because it is better to have bad policy that everyone agrees with than eventually get good policy that will work.”

Enough of Henry. Really … enough!

Back to Rudd / Henry’s rushed and bungled “economic stimulus”:

And in a damning assessment of the government’s stimulus package, he (McKibbin) said: ”It wasn’t evidence-based policy, they panicked. They put the money into school buildings, they put it in insulation, they put it in stuff they could never reverse.

”The government rammed those decisions through the economy even though they were fraught with risk,” Professor McKibbin said. ”No one was consulted about an alternative view, and if you did say anything you were attacked by the Treasurer and the Prime Minister in public.”

He also accused the government of overspending on the stimulus package and then deciding that ”because of politics they had to get their spending back so they could claim they had fiscal surplus – for which there is no economic basis, by the way.

”So they come up with a really badly designed resource tax to try and get the position to look good three years from now and, in the middle of a sovereign risk crisis, exposed the economy to a reassessment of sovereign risk.”

Warwick, we need you in politics.  You have my vote.

McKibbin For PM 2010!

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One Response to “McKibbin For PM 2010”

  1. Ted O'Brien June 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    That aside, did you notice this:

    This is the fourth time that ALP governments have handed the leadership to a woman after they had bankrupted their state (in this case the nation)

    Victoria was first with Joan Kirner. Then WA with Carmen Lawrence, lately NSW and now at the federal level.

    The significance is that:

    1. This is the worst imaginable form of sexist tokenism. They hand over to a woman only after the wheels have fallen off, in an attempt to distract and con half of the population, and

    2. Under the ALP women do not get a fair go. They are sent in to wear the electoral baggage for what the whole party has done.

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