Tomorrow, as the 2007 Extravaganza Budget is knocked off the front pages by the developing drama of Paris Hiltons bid for freedom, the Australian punters, flush with already factored-in cash from yesterdays tax cut announcement, will no doubt cast a critical eye over Treasurer Costello. They will wonder what hes looking so smug about, and they will ask themselves, What has he ever done for us?
Treasurer Costello, never short of a word or six, will smile, perhaps indulgently, perhaps patronisingly, will lean back in his chair, and say Well, let me just answer that in this way, and reel off a list of things he reckons hes done, and probably has, but the punters will have switched over to Dancing with the Stars by that time, leaving just the fawning journos trying to invent ever more gushing superlatives to describe the special genius needed to bring home a budget surplus, and hand out the lolly bags when the economy is going gangbusters, and taxation revenue is flooding in.
A $236 Billion dollar budget buys you how much of a lift in the polls? Well find out Monday, but this Budget is already ancient history, and the lesson for Peter Costello from the Australian people will almost certainly be this: “Call us when you’ve got something interesting. Something that will surprise and delight. In the meantime here’s the bank account number, y’can park the pork in there”.