MichaelGM - we were having a discussion about why Wayne Swan wasn't the best treasurer in opinion on the 'Aussie Political Economy' thread (which unfortunately got speared).
Swan signed off on a number of programs that are proving to be really problematic for the taxpayer in 2022 - NDIS while good in concept is proving to be really, really expensive to implement and will probably have to be pruned back by a future government. Likewise he should have continued to push for Rudd's resource rent tax as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to tax that windfall money that Twiggy and Gina were making at that point (particularly as the high dollar was killing the car industry at that point) but instead they sat on their hands and allowed a coup to happen where a left wing PM got in and relented to the uber-rich and killed it.
They had a responsibility to leave things on an even keel when they left office - instead they allowed the revenue base to be run down while initiating a whole series of expensive blunders (VET-FEE-HELP, NBN, off-again, on-again carbon tax). Not to mention the fact that they allowed the CFMEU et al to run cartels with large builders, increased total public service numbers by 406,000 (the states did as well but Gillard created whole new departments and new armies of regulators and red-tape makers) and not to mention the fact that they set a disaster in motion by allowing too many export terminals to be built for Australian gas enabling the pillaging of our resources by multinationals.
I'm not letting the LNP off the hook here either - you are 100% right in saying that the $250 billion legacy debt left behind by Rudd/Gillard/Rudd was subsequently expanded by the LNP to be around a trillion dollars now - but in fairness to Abbott and Hockey they tried to radically cut spending in the 2014 budget but were stymied by the hostile senate and couldn't pass it, leaving the spending settings pretty much where they are now.
The LNP have also initiated their own share of disasters starting with the chopped and changed submarines program (thought to have already cost tens of billions without one even being built), failed to curb the cost of electricity and gas, the terrible, inhumane 'Robodebt' program and squibbed at tax reform to rein in too-generous benefits, especially to superannuants and landlords.
Since 2007 we've been in a game of 'kick the can down the road' with our parliament seemingly incapable of being able to rein in the cost of government and frankly it's a monumental failure on behalf of both sides of the House. Albanese seems to have selected this 'small target' policy that is incredibly light on detail - doesn't inspire confidence that they have a plan to bring us back to balanced books any time soon.
Someone in the future will have to pay the interest on this debt - probably poor long suffering pay-as-you-go taxpayers (dwindling in numbers). We have to come up with a plan to get back to a balanced budget - we owe it to future generations of Australians not to leave a mountain of debt or the rest of this decade will end up like the seventies with high unemployment and runaway inflation.