Comments on Dennis Shanahan "erils for PM in hanging on to surplus", 12/08/2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/perils-for-pm-in-hanging-on-to-surplus/story-e6frgd0x-1226113362948
Gillard and Swan and their government has been particularly stubbon in promoting the budget surplus line of argument, so much so that they have greatly damaged their images and lost touch with the public. the flood levy, for example, was completely unnecessary, especially in the context that they had also pledged a carbon tax to come and the public were uncertain and concerned about the impact of the carbon tax in the coming years. Consumer confidence as well as business confidence have further eroded by the persistence of the surplus pledge at the expense of prudent economic and budget management.
Of course, Gillard and her coleagues have been aware of their broken promises, particularly the one on carbon tax, and the potential damage of further broken promises. But one has to weigh the benefits and costs of each policy and the totality of all policies and make the best choices and choose the lesser evils.
Unfortunately, Gillard and her colleagues have been scared and have not been able to show they are able to do the best and right things. they have tended to make policy on the run and rush to announcements without fully consider ttheir effects, for the nation and for themselves.
What all these show that Gillard and her colleagues in government have been unable to show true leadership. And that is not good particuarly for Gillard.
PS: see also: Alan Kohler "A surplus of political stupidity", 12/08/2011, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Wayne-Swan-budget-Julia-Gillard-economic-crisis-ma-pd20110812-KMSTR?OpenDocument&src=rot.