a national budget is a much more interesting beast
When I read that, I thought you were going to explain why it is an interesting beast in the next paragraph and tell us exactly what you mean by "interesting".
Simpleminded folk like myself think that spending more than you have is a bad idea, and spending more than you will have is an even worse idea (i.e. ballooning debt). I would love to know if I'm wrong. However, your paragraph #2 is about taxes, R&D, infrastructure and retirement age. Now I'm confused.