Tag Archives: $140 billion

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.

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