Why I love budget night

They called this year’s federal budget the sweet and sour budget.

‘‘Sweet’’, because it got Craig Thomson off the front page for a day.

‘‘Sour’’ because he climbed back on the next day.

For mine it was more a ham and pineapple budget.

That’s because each year on budget night the Herald shouts its on-duty staff pizza.

Accordingly, I love budget night.

Unfortunately, free pizza is about the only thing I ever get out of budget night.

Uncanny how I just fail to qualify for whatever CPI-indexed, family-tax-bracket-A, baby-bonus, vote-buying exercise going.

Same again this year.

The benefits of the boom didn’t reverberate in my room. No cash splashed my way.

I missed out on the carbon tax compensation, I just copped the tax.

Given that, I focused on what I could control – pizza.

That’s not to say I’m not interested in listening to serious dudes in suits prattle on about...zzzzzzzzz.

No, I did pay attention, and when treasurer Wayne Swan called this budget ‘‘one for the battlers’’ I knew he was referring to the Labor Party, because they’ll be battling to have a job after the next election.

(I’m not sure if that was one of the benefits he was referring to.)

Experts tell us this budget was an attempt by Labor to return to its roots.

No greater confirmation the party thinks it’s rooted – apart from handing the leadership to a woman when all else looks doomed.

Swannie’s “I told you so’’ surplus – $1.5billion for 2012-13 and growing over three years – was, according to bean counters, achieved by fiscal magic.

And I’ll pay that: the Amazing Mumford, from Sesame Street, couldn’t have done better with his ‘‘ala peanut butter sandwiches’’.

Australia – $22billion in debt last year, $1.5billion in the black next year. Abracadabra!

The only thing Swannie forgot to mention was Australia is $40billion in the red now.

The last guy I knew who handled his finances this way was attending Gamblers Anonymous.

Which just reinforces my fundamental question on budget night: “Any pizza left?”

It’s one I bet Swannie asked in the lead-up as he searched for $34billion in savings.

One trick was to trim the living-away-from-home allowance for business executives by $1billion.

This leads me to think executives are not phoning in pizza when they’re out of town – unless Domino’s stocks pheasant pizza.

Apparently the $1.5billion surplus is a third of mining magnate Clive Palmer’s personal fortune.

Amazing to think one man is three times richer than our entire country.

Makes me wonder who owns the cake, and who’s eating it. Well, one look at Clive answers that.

Not that I’m bitter.

I’ll leave that up to the business community, who got gypped on their 1per cent cut to company tax.

The ‘‘relentless negativity dividend’’ Swannie called it as he thanked Tony Abbott for making the treasurer’s job of looking barely credible that much easier, at least for a day.

Whether it’s enough to keep Craig Thomson off the front pages for more than a day, remains to be seen.

If wishful thinking was a pizza, that notion would be a ‘‘supreme’’.

What’s more exciting: budget night, or a broken toe?

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