I love the Burning our money blog, which you can find on my blog roll. Here is my local homage to that great blog.
I write this from experience, having seen this sort of thing happen in the public sector agency where I worked.
Krudd wants to spend our money to "get the economy moving". He could just give it back to us in the form of tax cuts, but that would not be "wise" spending. Krudd, being the All Knowing, can spend our money much more wisely than we can.
With that, it is worth bearing in mind the four ways to spend money.
You can spend your money on yourself - that spending gives good value.
You can spend your money on someone else - a present. Many presents are shockers, a complete waste.
You an spend someone else's money on yourself - think travel expenses. I always spend more lavishly on myself when I am spending someone else's money than my own.
You can spend someone else's money on someone else - which is usually an utter waste. All government spending falls into this category.
The fastest way for Krudd to crank up the spending is to expand existing spending programs. The bureaucracy is given $10 billion, and told to spread it around all the existing programs that the government is running.
Let's say for arguments sake that one of those programs is building heroin injecting rooms (of which we have one in Sydney, in Kings Cross). Forget the morality and effectiveness and all that - just assume that building them is seen as a Good Thing and that we need more of them.
There are about 150 councils in NSW. Let's say the program gets $150 million, so each council gets $1 million to build an injecting centre.
Most councils would prefer to spend the money on cracking roads and failing drainage and the like, but they are told they have to use it to build an injecting room, whether they need one or not.
Out our way, $1 million would buy you a small block of land, and little else. So the council might buy a vacant block and stick up a "Coming soon" sign, and then do nothing as the money has run out.
Out at Bourke, you are essentially given 50 acres for free, and the council builds the Taj Mahal.
Except in Bourke, they have no heroin addicts. The local member opens the centre, and then the promptly lock it up and board up the windows.
But I forgot one thing - the way Labor operates is via a spoils system, so the councils in Labor seats get $1.95 million each, and those in Liberal or National seats get a packet of Smarties.
So our council now has $950,000 to build a centre on its vacant block. Which it duly does.
Our local member, Angela D'Amore, ponces up and cuts a ribbon and declares it open. She makes a nice speech thanking Kevin Rudd for giving us the money (how can someone give us what was our money in the first place?). There is a nice brass plaque on the wall to commemorate the affair. Photos are taken and press releases are issued.
Six months later, it still hasn't opened for business.
Council can't afford to employ anyone to work there. The grant covered the cost of building it, but provided no funds to run it.
One year later, the place burns down, because no maintenance was done on the place. Council can't lodge an insurance claim, because they couldn't afford to take out insurance on the building.
The taxpayer, now homeless because the economy is on the ropes, uses the burned out shell as a place to sleep.
The heroin addicts don't care - they inject where they have always injected, which is in the safety of their Housing Commission flats.
Except for the one homeless addict, who lives in a culvert at the far end of the suburb. He never would have used the injecting centre, because it was too far from his culvert anyway.
This is the way Krudd and Co will "wisely" spend your money.