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Last updated on June 15th, 2017 at 01:30 pm
Hey, did I tell you? I thought of giving all my money and assets (admittedly not a princely prize) to this homeless guy I see near the Metro station I use here in D.C.
Okay, I didn’t do it, but the thought crossed my mind and that’s what counts, right?:
The Health Minister, Tony Abbott, said yesterday that he had thought of quitting over the Federal Government’s broken Medicare safety net promise, but he said economic responsibility was a more important value for the Government to uphold than keeping commitments.
More disturbing than the broken promise is the fact that the government knew during the election that the figures they were using were shonky, and therefore they knew that they couldn’t keep to their commitment:
The Government says it only recently became aware that the cost of the safety net would rise well beyond its original estimations of $440 million over four years, to $1.4 billion. However, on the eve of the election the Finance Department costed the safety net at $1.2 billion.
What’s more Tony Abbott was one of those who knew about it at the time:
RED-faced Tony Abbott has admitted knowing Medicare safety net costs were blowing out when he made his “ironclad” election promise to protect the scheme.
But the federal Health Minister yesterday refused Opposition demands that he resign.
Mr Abbott interrupted family holidays to deny misleading voters before last year’s election.
“We knew that the costs were blowing out, but I had not the slightest inkling that the Government would want to change it,” he said.
Again I moan: puh-leeze. He knew that the figure was closer to $1.2 billion than to the $440 million they were quoting, but he didn’t have a clue that this might mean their “iron clad” promise might be under some pressure? If that’s truly the case, he’s and plain and simple incompetent.
The fact that they knew the figures were bogus when they were making their promises makes the PM’s apology worthless.
And please, spare me the postmodern rightwing guff, should you be tempted to go there, that says “all politicians lie” or “Paul Keating was just as bad” or whatever. If you want to invoke that sort of morally relativistic rationalisation that’s your problem, I guess, but don’t insult my intelligence with it.
The bottom line is, they lied through their teeth and they should be held accountable.
And even though, from a purely political point of view, I hope Tony Abbott doesn’t resign as it should be fun to have his lame-duck carcass to kick around until election time, the fact remains that if he had half the integrity he likes to pretend he has, then he’d quit.
I know, I know. He thought about it.