Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison is adamant that increased taxes and related spending is "critically important" to Australia and that "everyone loves taxes."
Morrison made the comment at the Treasurer's traditional post-budget speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.
The 2017-18 budget has generally been described as a big-taxing, big spending budget aimed at consolidating support from mainstream voters. Some even went so far as to describe it as "Labor-lite."
Morrison and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have essentially drawn a line under the Abbott years and the politically disastrous, welfare-slashing 2014 budget of cigar-chomper Joe Hockey, and evolved into tax-and-spend Keynesians.
The Medicare Levy will rise 0.5% for everyone already paying it; the big banks will pay a levy on financial instruments; rolled cigarettes will be taxed like regular cigarrettes; and a whopping $75 billion will be spent on infrastructure over 10 years.
It appears that the debt and deficit disaster is now over.
When a journalist pointed out to the Treasurer that he was embarking on a massive tax-and-spend program for which he would have usually criticised Labor, Morrison fired back: "Everyone loves taxes. I love taxes. Taxes help me do my job."