For the growing number of us who care more about good policy and effective governance than party loyalties, the news isn't good.
Ross Gittins is economics editor of the SMH and an economic columnist for The Age. His books include Gittins' Guide to Economics, Gittinomics and The Happy Economist.
There's no denying the economy has slowed down, by far more than we were expecting. But don't conclude it's likely to subside into recession any time soon.
It's too early to be sure, but not too early to suspect that, if we and the other developed economies keep travelling the way we are, conventional wisdom about what constitutes good economic policy may soon need to be turned on its head.
One of the most significant, but least remarked upon, features of this year's budget is Malcolm Turnbull's decision to greatly expand the government's involvement in the construction of public infrastructure.
Sorry, but the small funding cuts imposed on the universities in the budget don't rouse any sympathy from me.
Before the budget Treasurer promised 'good debt' and 'bad debt'. What we got was more sensible.
For students of the politics of economics – my special subject – this clothes-pinching budget has been a feast. Oh no, it's "Labor-lite". Shocking! Actually, it's a budget that ticks all the boxes for Malcolm Turnbull and, by extension, his parliamentary followers – something their silent acquiescence suggests they realise.
The hot question is whether Turnbull's Gonski 2.0 yields a better and more cost-effective combination of fairness and economic efficiency.
The Liberals have always been right to portray themselves as the party of smaller government.
Will Scott Morrison's big spending, big taxing, big borrowing budget impart a big fiscal stimulus to the economy in the coming financial year? Not so much.