Now I’m the sort of person who reads everything. Well not quite everything… I rarely read the “Terms And Conditions” when updating software so if somebody one day slips in a condition that I agree to give them full access to my fridge by leaving a key under the mat and to keep it well stocked with food and alcohol, then I may be in trouble, but I tend to read things. Why, I even read the comments from One Nation supporters on a recent post on The AIMN.I liked one in particular, and not just because it was one of the few that actual used punctuation and words that approximated ones that you’d find in a dictionary. I liked the one which said:
“I have no interest in discussing the truth with left-leaning fools hell-bent on showing no care for the country’s future. I am well aware its just a waste of time.”
Apart from the obvious irony of his declaration that he had no interest in “discussing the truth”, it struck me as rather contradictory that he’d made several comments to people while asserting that he had no wish to discuss anything. I would have pointed this out, but I’ve find that when people say that they’re not talking to you, merely pointing out that they just did, doesn’t help the situation one iota.
Anyway, I recently received my tax refund and I was shocked to learn exactly where my tax went. Not only that, I was even more surprised to see a highlighted section, entitled “Level of Australian Government gross debt” which informed me:
This year: $427 billion Last Year: $369 billion Interest payments on gross debt over this year: $14.5 billion
Mm, what’s that doing there, I wondered. Is this those subversive public servants at the tax office trying to undermine the Coalition’s assertion that the government debt wasn’t growing? Or was this made a requirement back in those heady days when Tony and Joe believed that the debt was going to diminish rather than grow and they’d be able to point to it and say, “Look what a good job we’re doing, and look at that interest which is all the fault of Labor!”
Whatever, I found it interesting and so I decided to find out exactly what my tax dollars had been spent on.
The biggest line was devoted to what was labelled “Welfare” and this accounted for almost 40% of my total taxes. Using the logic of Scott Morrison and friends, I was all set to round it up to nearly half and claim that I had a mandate to attack the unemployed. But before I could decide where I could find some tar and feathers, I looked at the document again and discovered that these “Welfare” items were broken down even further and that the unemployed were the second smallest part of the welfare budget, with the smallest being “Other”. I wondered what this relatively small item was. Therapy for ex-PMs to help them deal with the idea that they were no longer relevant? No, that would be far higher than a mere two percent of my taxes.
Anyway, it was an item marked “Aged” which was the biggest item at about 16% of my taxes. I presumed this meant old age pensions rather than old bottles of wine for the PM’s cellar. This was followed by “Families” at about 10%. I guess this explains the Liberals concern about marriage equality; we don’t want to create even more families to add to the welfare bill. Even “Disability” was higher than the unemployed. Of course there are political problems with taking money off pensioners, families or the disabled, so I guess by ensuring that people can’t access the pension till they’re 70, rising to 102 by 2030, and by moving people of disability support and telling people that they’re just lazy dole-bludgers, then it’s easier to attack them as lazy no-tax leaners. This would explain recent media stories where people on disability support have been contacted to see if their brain damage has got better or whether their missing limbs have grown back.
But I was most shocked to discover that we waste nearly as much on Education as we spend on Defence. Thankfully, a few submarines and planes should ensure Defence spending soon exceeds Health expenditure.
So I’m now looking forward to next year’s tax return where I can immediately check how well the “can-do” Liberals are doing at reducing the debt like they promised. Or did I misunderstand? Did they only promise to reduce the rate at which the debt was increasing? Because that seems to be what they’re telling us now. I should dig out that old “contract with Australia” that Tony took to the 2013 election. Ah, here it is: “No. 3. END THE WASTE AND DEBT”. That seems pretty clear.
Or is that no longer valid because we’ve had a change of leader and Malcolm isn’t bound by promises that Tony made?
Yeah, silly question! With comments like: Of course, Bill Leak isn’t racist, he did a once painting of me, he seems to be more Tony than Tony lately. I almost expect him to reintroduce knighthoods in order to award one to John Howard.