If Treasury wants to start acting more like economists than accountants, a good place to start would be to urge its political masters to seize on the opportunity presented by the school funding "compact" proposed by the Grattan Institute.
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.
Did you know our social security system is so open to rorting that it's possible for some people to get more from benefits than they'd earn if they took a job? And we wonder why we have problem with debt and deficit.
Our attitudes to climate change are becoming like our attitude to death: we know we must face up to it one day, but right now we'd prefer not to think about it.
If foreign investment in Australian businesses is so unpopular with so many people, why do we persist with it?
The plain fact is that the mainstream politicians have forfeited our trust and lost our respect.
The rating agencies' involvement in the global financial crisis has destroyed their credibility forever.
Much talked-up pledge to generate 'jobs and growth' was a scheme to cut company tax plus a lot of fancy packaging.
The success of Labor's Mediscare in this election is worrying - but not for the reason you may imagine.
There's a great weakness in the (otherwise sound) argument that borrowing for infrastructure is a good thing.
I get criticised by rusted-on supporters of both sides of politics when I say this, but that doesn't stop it being true: there are differences between the two sides' policies, but they're not as great as they want us to believe (and their supporters do believe).