Our Media In $140 Billion Lie For Wayne

4 Apr

What hope is there, dear reader?

If it is not Wayne Swan himself telling lie after lie about the economy, and the government’s financial record, then it is the mainstream media telling lies for him.

Here’s a classic example:

Last Thursday Wayne Swan said tax revenue had fallen $140 billion since the GFC, $90 billion of which has been due to lower company tax.

That was Alan Kohler in Business Spectator. Who we already picked up for inaccurate parroting of Wayne’s lies yesterday.

Here’s Sky News whistling the same false tune:

… having come through such tremendous global turbulence, one of the after-effects has been the revenue impact, with some $140 billion lost over five years.

Thanks to news wire service AAP, this lie was repeated across the mainstream media over recent days.

And the truth?

The truth is that Wayne did not actually say this in his speech last Thursday. What he did say, was that there was a write-down of $140 billion in revenue:

The bulk of the tax receipts write-down post GFC can be explained by write-downs in company tax. Out of a total write-down of $140 billion, company taxes contributed around $90 billion over the five years to 2012-13.

And what that really means, in simple truth, is that the Treasury “experts” over-estimated likely revenues by $140 billion in their original budget estimates. And then, they later had to “write-down” the amount they did not actually get. Which the media then lazily reported in the form of a tacit excuse for this government’s massive budget deficits. As though money you only hoped to get, and then didn’t, is somehow a “loss”.

But can we really blame the media entirely?

After all, here’s Wayne today – after the media had been dutifully reporting the $140 billion writedown as a “loss” for days now – himself repeating their $140 billion lie in a formal statement:

…the global financial crisis and the revenue challenges it brought to state and federal budgets meant it was unrealistic for any treasurer to pretend a drop in revenue was unique to their state.

‘Nor is it realistic to suggest state revenue losses are anywhere near the $140 billion the federal government has lost due to the global crisis,’ Mr Swan told AAP in a statement.

As we saw yesterday (“Wayne’s ‘Per Cent Of GDP’ Lies Debunked”),  the real truth, hidden behind a smokescreen of half-truths, cleverly worded misleading and deceptive statements, accounting tricks, and outright lies, is that the government is not making a “loss” on tax revenues at all. Indeed, they are pulling in tens of billions more Total Revenue now, than they were in the 2007-08 year, pre-GFC.

The real reason why the budget is in such a parlous state, and why our sovereign AAA rating is now in jeopardy, is because the ALP’s rarely-mentioned spending is still totally out-of-control. As I reported yesterday:

According to Wayne’s Treasury’s most recent published figures, in 2011-12 this government will rake in $37.41 billion more revenue than in 2007-08, pre-GFC.

But they will spend $91.64 billion more than in 2007-08, pre-GFC.

I have not seen a single journalist or economic commentator in the land actually report the simple, plain truth about this government’s actual budget position.

Instead, they lazily report repeat the Government’s lies. Or, lazily report lies all by themselves.

It is inexcusable.

It does not matter what the government says, in speeches or press releases. Indeed, this government is so adept at twisting words, glossing over facts, and using misleading and deceptive statements, the smartest thing to do is to assume that everything they say is a half-truth, misdirection, or blatant lie, and go check the data for yourself.

Every time.

Anyone can go to the government’s Budget website, look up the Past Budgets information, compare the basic Revenue and Expenditure figures, and see the simple truth. In mere minutes.

The low calibre of our supposed “experts” and intellectual “betters”, whether they be in politics, or the commentariat, truly causes me to despair for our country.

5 Responses to “Our Media In $140 Billion Lie For Wayne”

  1. Richo April 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Don’t be too hard on journos blissful. To accurately report the facts they would have to

    a) know what they are talking about;
    b) spend the time actually doing some research and checking the facts to the bullshit spun by a politician; and
    c) not be a card carrying Labor party member

    It is all just too much to ask these days for the poor over worked media.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus April 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      LOL touche Richo 🙂

    • Betty Whiffin April 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      Well said Richo. ” It’s about time the media accurately reported facts, spent time doing research and checking the facts so that they know what they were talking about”. Yes, it’s a bit too much to ask from the poor over worked media. (Like it!!) Wish they would wake up from their fog bound red brains and told the truth.

  2. Kevin Moore April 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    If this happened here I don’t think I could cope.


    Economy, Flashpoints, Land Grab, Resources April 2, 2012 Israeli firms compete in Greece fire sale

    S ource: Jpost

    Several Israeli firms are competing for the purchase of Greek state assets as the debt-stricken country pushes ahead with its world-record 50-billion-euro divestment program.

    Mekorot Israel National Water Co. is in informal discussions to purchase the Athens and Thessaloniki water and sewage companies. One Israeli group is among 17 anonymous foreign bidders for natural-gas company DEPA. Another has expressed interest in buying weapons manufacturer Hellenic Defense Systems.

    Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund CEO Costas Mitropoulos revealed the above to reporters in Tel Aviv on Sunday, in between meetings with about 50 different potential Israeli investors. He said he hopes to attract Israeli interest in tender processes for other assets, including The Hellinikon, Athens’s abandoned former international airport and the site of Europe’s largest urban regeneration project.

    HRADF has been given the enormous task of facilitating the privatization of dozens of public assets, with the aim of reducing Greece’s massive public debt and averting a sovereign default. Real estate accounts for about 55 percent of the expected proceeds, infrastructure (including energy) for 35%, and the sale of government shares in corporations such as Hellenic Telecommunications will account for the remaining 10%.

    The fund, which was established last August, aims to raise 19 billion euros by 2015. Total cash proceeds from the sale of gaming and mobile telephony licenses last year amounted to about 1.6 billion euros and accruals to 1.8 billion euros.

    Mitropoulos and his team are under no illusions about the difficulties they face. However, he said, the 17 expressions of interest for DEPA represent “a major sign of confidence” – especially when compared to the 2011 privatization of Portugal’s electricity corporation, which received official interest from only five parties.

    “We are inviting investors from around world that take a similar view to us, who look at the long-term horizon and who believe that in Greece they can make the extra return they are after,” Mitropoulos said. “Its success depends primarily on international market conditions and also on our ability to proffer the assets and put them on the market.”

    Each asset will ultimately be rewarded to the highest bidder, he said. The state’s 65% share in DEPA, 51% share in the Public Power Corporation and 35% share in Hellenic Petroleum will all come under the hammer. So, too, will 12 major seaports, about 350 smaller seaports, 37 regional airports, six highways and prime tourism land.

    Greek economists estimate the privatization program will add .3% to gross domestic product over the period in which it takes place, Mitropoulos said.

    The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development expects the Greek economy to contract by 3% in 2012, before beginning the slow path to recovery with 0.5% growth in 2013.

    Mitropoulos said one of his main challenges would be selling under pressure.

    “There is a divide between the value of the assets that we receive under normal conditions,” he said, “and the price we are likely to achieve in the [current] market… To bridge this gap, we are consistently and deliberately employing earn-out or drawback schemes, where we will draw more value as things get better.”

    Mitropoulos acknowledged that a large portion of the population is unhappy about the program, but recent attitude surveys conducted by the fund found that 84% of Greeks are willing to see assets sales if this translates to real value.

    “Real value for the population means investment and jobs,” he said. “Everybody realizes that there will be real investment, [and] there will be jobs generated from the privatization program.”

    • Twodogs April 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

      They’ll still go broke and Greece will have what exactly to show for it? Everything sold off from an unnecessary fire sale?

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