Boy, was I ever wrong about those Howard Liberals! Just imagine, a $5 billion fund for universities! Sure, the universities will still be full of foreign students, and ordinary Aussie kids will still work at McDonalds because they can't afford the fees. But at least those delicately chiselled stucco sandstone facades won't be crumbling!
Plus there's another $3.5 billion to build even more flagpoles and ministerial plaques in primary schools, and teach secondary school kids what a great man John Howard was! Private schools will still get more than public schools, of course, but that's fair enough coz private school people are just so much nicer. Bon chic, buena gente, as the Swiss always say (it sounds better with a mouthful of chocolate).
And hey, kids, don't forget about how Big John (he was twelve feet tall, so I'm told) saved our great white nation from the terrrrsts! Single-handed! It's true! Say it, or I'll break your arm. Tell you teachers to say it, too, or Costello will cut off their funding. Look, it's written in this Dept Education approved history book, published by the Murdoch Press. OK?
But we must all remain vigilant, of course, so we need to throw another $6 billion plus at the Department of Defence, to help them smash even more expensive toys and pay even more people to either kill or be killed in the far side of the planet. Yes, of course that's $1 billion more that Cossie is giving to the unis, but everyone knows Defence always gets a big bite of the budget cake, so that's not news. No wonder they bury it at the bottom of the page. Yawn! Nothing to see here, folks...
So yes, I am mightily impressed with the budget. Still, I can't help wondering where Mr Costello got that cash surplus of $10.6 billion... Was it stashed under his bed? Has he been saving his five cent pieces? Or maybe he has been getting his sums wrong for the last decade (accidentally, of course) and systematically over-taxing working people like me? And if he is now promising $31.5 billion in tax cuts over four years, well... how much will be left under his bed in 2011?