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Another Budget With the Wrong Objective

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Should ridding ourselves of government debt really be priority number one?

During this week’s federal budget speech the Treasurer Wayne Swan promised to return the government coffers into surplus by 2012-13. It shows the fear of government debt echoed by both sides of the house, yet would you run a business like that? If things were going well wouldn’t you invest for growth and run debt as part of that process? Why is running the country any different?

David Richardson from The Australia Institute discusses the issue in a new paper “Surplus fetish: the political economy of the surplus, deficit and debt”. In this episode of BTalk I talk to the Institute’s executive director Richard Denniss about the budget and ask whether we are missing out on growth opportunities through this fear of running into further debt.

First published on CBS News

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