Now having reached the ultimate ritual of the Budget, and economic management, through which the last thirty years political unravelling has been understood, the depth of the government’s problems are finally becoming apparent to all.
Unlike Labor’s previous bouts of economic rationalism, say, as under Hawke and Keating, this time business aren’t especially asking for it.
These decades of stagnant real wages is the background that is usually forgotten by billionaires like George Soros and Bill Gross when they get worked up about the rise of credit.
If Labor can look credible enough on climate change, whatever the next election will be fought on, that should be enough to win it.
Treasury’s unusual move in projecting growth at a higher trend and for a longer forward projection is necessary to provide a guide path out of the downturn that does not come from the economic programs of the political class.
Both parties were just talking tough about going to the electorate with economic programmes that they didn’t have.
So if the downturn is unprecedented, why has then Treasury chosen this time to change its methodology to more allow for the experience of past economic recoveries than ever before?
Predictions of some officials in Washington, London and Paris that the economy would begin to recover within a year, are based on no other reason than they wouldn’t know what to do if it didn’t.
A strangely unsettled mood seems to have settled over national politics in the last week. Debate over the Budget is still rattling around but with no coherent theme having emerged from either side while the media keep worrying over it like a dog with a bone.
Turnbull was dead right on Sunday that the government has a political strategy, not an economic one. Unfortunately, Turnbull doesn’t seem to know what it is.