If Canberrans can't afford a tram, who could?
Dr Richard Denniss is chief economist at The Australia Institute, a Canberra think tank, www.tai.org.au
The idea that an emissions trading scheme is the "one true climate policy" is one of the last vestiges of the Kevin Rudd era.
A retired bank CEO with $10 million in his super pays zero tax each year. Nada. Zip. He wouldn't even pay the Medicare levy.
It is not just the census website that doesn't work as promised, the whole idea that outsourcing tasks to "the market" has not lived up to expectations.
The Productivity Commission is criticising the Trans Pacific Partnership, the head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is criticising privatisation, and the electricity industry is worried that competition from renewables might deliver lower prices to consumers. What on earth is happening to the Neo-liberal 'agenda'?
The last thing an Australian economy with rising unemployment needs is for the government to reduce the budget deficit. Yet the first thing some people in the Coalition want Malcolm Turnbull to do is to reduce the budget deficit. If he oversees a slowing economy and rising unemployment he will be blamed. And if he oversees an increase in the budget deficit he will be blamed. Ouch.
Cutting the corporate tax rate is not a 'plan' for jobs and growth, it is a hope that the economy will pick up in the next 10 years.
The obsession with economic modelling seems to have reduced the ability of politicians to adapt to changing circumstances.
There is a big difference between having a 'strong economic narrative' and having a strong economy, but unfortunately for Malcolm Turnbull at the moment he has neither.
The PM can't afford to be pushed around by Abbott on climate policy if he is to retain the public's respect.