Gaffes

If the Howard government was prepared to stick it to Rudd over him not knowing the current tax rates, surely they are prepared to cop whatever the Rudd opposition has to say about Howard not knowing the current interest rate level (his big centrepiece from the last election which has proved to be a joke) as well as Costello not having a clue why the interest rates would go up under a Rudd government.

I thought Costello’s defense of Howard and his interest rate gaffe was laughable. Weeks ago he was lording it over Rudd and Labor that he could “quote” the rates off the top of his head. He was making a mockery of Question Time as each answer managed to run into the same tired joke – that Rudd didn’t know the tax rates. And then he has the tenacity to go and say this about Howard:

“There are a lot of figures that float around in people’s heads.”

“You’re not going to get 100 per cent on all figures all the time.”

“I forget figures, we all forget figures. We do buy things in supermarkets, like anybody else … you wouldn’t remember the precise price on every occasion.”

So where is the tirade and abuse for Howard that you gave Rudd, Peter? Where’s the mocking and the jokes? No where to be seen, and yet another reason why you wouldn’t want to vote for the most hypocritical party running – and the two most hypocritical people running this race. Because remember: a vote for Howard is a vote for Costello. Rudd’s comeback was pretty much what I wanted to hear, and what is really the truth:

“It’s not so much that Mr Howard can’t remember the number, it’s that Mr Howard has said that working families have never been better off … That’s the problem, it reflects a government out of touch.”

What will be laughable is if the Coalition try and pass off (again) that the interest rates will be kept at record lows under the Liberals again. Of course, they haven’t been kept at record lows during the last term, but we’ll ignore that gaffe for some time longer. Seriously, economists (who know a lot more about the economy that Howard or Costello) speculate that the $34 billion tax cuts could push interest rates up further. Not only that, but following this fiscal policy, in this economic climate is:

“Work against the Reserve Bank’s efforts to dampen demand.”

So, if interest rates do continue to climb, Howard and Costello surely will shirt some of the blame, right? Right? Yeah right …

What would be amusing to see (if you ignore the strain it puts on people) is if the interest rate does indeed go up during the election campaign. It could very well get more coverage than Howard’s carrot-on-the-string tax cuts. Of course, not much good that extra cash from the tax break if you have to put that and then more onto your mortgage payments.

Thomas.

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