The experience of Joe Hockey as treasurer is widely considered average at best, and his time in the role can teach a lot of lessons about the job. While he might have been competent as a tourism and financial services minister, many did not consider him to be capable as a treasurer.
In many ways, Australia was very lucky to have Paul Keating as a treasurer during a period of vast economic reform. Keating was treasurer for a long time during this period, and he had all the best traits of a great reformer when it came to the economy. Keating was a great salesman for government policy, and he involved the community in the grand debate about the future of the Australian economy. For many, Keating was a unique treasurer who we may never see the likes of ever again.
When it comes to Joe Hockey, many have said he effectively lost control of the budget process in 2014. He made lots of petty comments about poor people not using cars and rhetoric about “lifters and leaners”. While this talk might have worked in the United States, most Australians weren’t biting.
He believed that repeating lots of slogans would be the winning ticket when being a successful economic salesman required the crafting of a real forward vision for the country. By trying to talk about the budget as a fix for lazy bludgers, it alienated a big section of the population and did not talk about a promising future.
At the end of the day, Joe Hockey is considered lacklustre by many when it comes to his performance in the top job of Australian economics. He did not seem to have any genuine vision when it came to the economy and was unable to sell his ideas.