The best day of your life
Before presenting the Budget on Tuesday, you danced with your son to “The best day of my life”. You’ve copped some criticism for this, which I do not think is entirely justified. You’ve said yourself you hadn’t seen your son in three weeks and it’s his favorite song. To me this is actually a touching image.
For your son, that most likely will be the best day of his life. The day he danced with his father to his favorite song. The day you took away his future. The day you cut funding to his school and said it’s the state’s problem, because you live in a high socio economic area.
What if they cut parliamentary income to $60 000 per year and removed the pension, putting you in the same position as many Australians to share the burden?
Do you think your son would thank you for the opportunities for education you took from him if you didn’t make the money you do?
What if one of your parents was very ill? There’s a pretty high probability it will happen. When your parent is in hospital, not getting the help they need because you cut funding to hospitals and upped the costs, how will you explain to your son that granny or gramps is suffering because it was necessary to save the country?
Of course, I expect that, unlike many Australians, your parents will be well looked after and can afford private health cover at a private hospital with the best care money can buy.
But what if you didn’t have the income you do?
How would you explain your decision to reduce your parents survival prospects to your son?
When he reaches university age, will you be paying for his tuition? Or will you be putting him into debt there’s a good chance he’ll never be able to pay off? What if you couldn’t afford his tuition fees, like many parents?
How would you explain to your son why he must pay for something you got for free? How will you explain why you advocated demonstrating against few rises in 1987 and why now you’re for raising fees much higher?
When your son graduates, with or without debt, how will you explain to him that the reason he can’t find a job is that you scrapped all the investment and growth in industries other than the shrinking resource markets that were declining even as you made the decision to rely on them?
When your son gets his first power bill, and it’s more than he earns, how will you explain to him why it was necessary to scrap the cheaper, more efficient renewable energy to prop up a shrinking coal industry?
And when he comes home on congested, poorly maintained roads due to lack of public transport investment and no money for local government to maintain roads, and logs onto his slow, poorly maintained and overly expensive Internet at home and watches videos of his father lying to the Australian public about a debt problem you know doesn’t exist, taxes you promised wouldn’t happen and cuts you promised would not be made, will you be able to look him in the eye?
What will you say? That that is how the game of politics is played? That it doesn’t really matter what you say or do, as long as you win?
Do you really believe you are producing an Australia that you are proud to show to your son and say “I did this”? Or will you deny all responsibility and blame Labor for the investments and infrastructure you cut?
If he studies economics, how will you explain to him how you created a budget following no economic evidence or methodology? How you dismissed the concerns of GP payments as less than cigarettes or two beers, demonstrating a lack of economic comprehension?
Is your son’s future such a game to you? It just other peoples who aren’t paid as highly as you are?
Will you be proud of what you have created for your son?