For a long time I've thought Australia could become something of a special country, a demonstration of a country that was competitive, fair and compassionate. And I'm afraid those hopes have been dashed a bit over the years.http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3492320.htm
We've had 20 years of uninterrupted growth, solid, sustained growth for 20 years, and yet we've got more homelessness, distribution of income and wealth is more unequal now than it was 20 years ago, we've got infrastructure, social and economic, that is breaking down and creaking.
Bernie Fraser has served both as the Secretary of the Treasury and as the Govenor of the Reserve Bank.
The education building program, the insulation programs, unfortunately they were pretty disastrous and the implications of those sort of failures have rebounded adversely on all government spending. It's really given the Coalition some free kicks, that here's a government spending money and wasting money and therefore governments shouldn't spend, they shouldn't run deficits, they shouldn't have debt.
To listen to the Coalition spokespeople, I hear echoes of the Republicans and the more extreme Tea Party Republicans. All this folksy nonsense about governments have to live within their means, governments have to behave like households and like businesses, that government spending is bad, deficits are bad, debt's bad - all this to me is nonsense really because governments are not like households, they're not like businesses, they have responsibilities that go beyond.