THE DISTILLERY: Hey, big spender

Scribes lampoon the Treasurer over the extent of the budget deficit, with one comparing him to an overeager Chevy Chase left without a Christmas bonus.

Two of Australia's top business commentators hammer Treasurer Wayne Swan today for the state of the federal budget as the extent of the structural deficit becomes all the clearer, just in time for the end of the mining boom. Swan has been a reliable punching bag for the business scribes and given the life of this government looks almost certain to end in September, getting a few final jabs in is to be expected.

The Australian Financial Review's Jennifer Hewett explains how the government's budget fiddling has poorly hidden the structural deficit that is now embedded for years to come.

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