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A Star Is Born

A Star is Born.

For those of you who missed it, this year's rivetingly titled Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO for the cool kids) was arguably the most spectacular one yet. Star of the show was none other than its writer/presenter, the MYEFO MOFO himself, Smokin' Joe Hockey. This year Australians have been spoilt for choice when it comes to displays of unfairness, incompetence and borderline insanity from its politicians, so expectations were high. The North Shore Ninja did not disappoint.
Ably assisted by his minder Mathias "Economic Boy-Man" Cormann, the pair confounded critics, commentators and even themselves with a dazzling display of Hockeynomics that was not so much a fiscal outlook as a work of art, much in the style of Andres Serrano. In just 15 months Joe has cleverly transitioned from being a Shadow Treasurer doggedly pursuing his devastatingly effective strategy of blaming everything on the government, to being Treasurer, doggedly pursuing his strategy of blaming everything on the former government. Few would disagree that Joe is now more devastating than ever.
Uncle Joe was quick to warn us of a Budget emergency when Labor announced an $18 billion deficit last year and put them to shame earlier this year with a much more impressive deficit of $29.8 billion. The highlight at MYEFO was the announcement that the deficit has now passed $40 billion! In your face Swanie!!! This is even more remarkable when you consider that Joe has achieved this feat with a seemingly impossible strategy of simultaneously slashing funding and staff for government services while still increasing spending to near record levels. In fact he's now just 0.1% behind when spending as a percentage of GDP reached its highest point under Labor. Of course Kevin Rudd was aided by the Global Financial Crisis, Joe has had to create his own crises.
Joe has not forgotten the people he was elected to represent, the people who drive our economy, because as Joe knows, if you want to drive anything very far you need to be rich. That's why Joe has shown some heart and provided much needed relief for the obscenely wealthy; preserving tax and superannuation loopholes, increasing corporate subsidies and tax breaks and axing ATO investigations into tax evasion schemes. At the same time he's cracked down on those leaners and bludgers clogging up our schools, hospitals and retirement homes. Joe understands that driving the economy is a lot like driving to work; if you want to get to the office in time for the 11am tea trolley you can't afford to brake for pedestrians.
Sure there have been a few bumps in the road. Joe's budget has been described by some of his most strident supporters as poorly conceived, grossly unfair and financially incoherent. Joe assures us that has nothing to do with him axing a third of Treasury staff and is probably due to a sharp decrease in tax revenue. Joe assures us that has nothing to do with him axing a third of ATO staff and is probably due to uncertainty over employment as the ABS is a few months behind with producing unemployment figures. Joe assures us that has nothing to do with him axing a third of ABS staff and is all the fault of the previous government.
I'm not afraid to admit that I, like many of his detractors, underestimated Joe Hockey. I once believed that when it came the the economy, Joe wasn't the full bottle. After MYEFO I now know that when it comes to the economy, Joe is completely full of it.

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