“Stop Laughing – this is serious!”
Last week, Mr Turnbull told the states that their failure to agree to his tax policy in less time than it took to develop it meant that “we must now live within our means”, adding: “It is a wake-up call for the state governments.”
Dear me, all those state governments thinking that somehow the federal government was just going to keep on giving them money for things like hospitals and schools. I mean, there’s a limited amount of money to go around, isn’t there? And money to hospitals will just encourage people to get sick, while money to schools will just encourage people to learn.
(Ok, there’s some dispute over that last point with Simon Birminham telling us that money isn’t important when it comes to education, and, by the way, they’re still committed to the university deregulation plan which was so popular in the 2014 Budget. You know, the one where Mr Pyne announced that he was a “fixer”.)
But I just wonder whether it’s Mr Turnbull who’s getting the wake-up call. Not only did one opinion poll have Labor in front, but another had them tied on fifty all. (Morgan had the Coalition well in front, but that wouldn’t back up the stories that the MSM want to run about Turnbull being in difficulty.) Of course I could make the point for the trillionth time that opinion polls are a bit like watching a highlights reel of an AFL game of the first three quarter goals; you’ll probably have a good idea of who’s in front if it’s a thrashing, but in a close game, it’s about as useful in picking the winner as tossing a coin.
Then last Friday I read that Kevin Andrews confused things by saying:
“It has never been my burning ambition to be the leader of the party, but if circumstances arose, which they did in both of those instances where I thought there should be a change or a contest, I am prepared to do it.”
Now, just to be accurate here, Andrews later clarified his remarks telling us that they were a hypothetical response to a hypothetical question and he never expected anybody to take it as a serious challenge. He went on to declare his support for the Prime Minister in a totally unequivocal way:
“At the present time, Mr Turnbull is the Prime Minister. As the leader of the Coalition, he will take us to the federal election.
“The story has been taken right out of context.
“The reality is that Mr Turnbull is the Prime Minister. He will lead us to the next election and I expect we will win the next election.”
So you see, there’s no possibility of an Andrews challenge before THE NEXT ELECTION. And Malcolm is the Prime Minister AT THE PRESENT TIME. Who could see any problem with a simple statement of fact like that?
IF I were Malcolm, I’d sleep well, knowing that his wake-up call has been booked in, and well, he can continue to sleep soundly until the next election. Mind you, in Hotel Parliament the wake-up call is often done with knives, but, hey, as long as he gets a good night’s sleep and doesn’t actually change the agenda…
Another thing that Malcolm can put off dealing with till after the election are those pesky Panama paper things showing something about lots and lots of companies setting up overseas in order to avoid tax. Something like that. Well, that’s not really worth him thinking about because he has to worry about more pressing things like corruption in unions and how they try to make political capital out of things like workplace deaths as though safety is any business of theirs.
Speaking of making political capital out of a death, I noticed that Peter Dutton was upset when Richard Marles called for an investigation into a New Zealander’s death inside a detention centre. Apparently a call for an inquiry was an attempt to make political capital out of a death, because calling for it to be investigated must be something that Dutton doesn’t see as bipartisan. In fact it’s probably a contradiction of the Liberal policy to sweep everything under the carpet…
Anyway, some of you may have heard of the Laffer Curve. Simply, the story goes that Laffer – an economist – was at a restaurant with some Republicans and drew a grpah on a napkin that showed that at zero percent tax the government received no revenue from tax, while at 100% taxation, the governemnt also received no taxation because nobody had any incentive to earn. Laffer argued that somewhere on the graph was a point of maximum return where the government achieved the greatest amount of tax possible. What Laffer, of course, overlooked that in the days were we hadslavery, then you could effectively have the slaves work for nothing (or the equivalent of 100% tax), and, providing you fed them and housed them, then you were getting the maximum return. Of course, in recent times, the US has decided that if you make the minimum wage small enough, you can more or less reintroduce slavery without the added burden of feeding and housing the slaves.
The Liberals seem to have decided that Laffer had the right idea when it comes to company tax. It needs to be reduced to the point where companies are happy to pay it, otherwise, they’ll resort to tricky offshore arrangements. Word is that they plan to start by reducing it by 1.5 percent this year, and continuing until the rate of company tax is zero percent at which point they believe there’ll be one hundred percent compliance.
Finally, Malcolm needs to understand that he’s only popular because of that left wing ABC, which as Jonathan Holmes points out in his column today:
“It’s also undeniable, as the likes of Bolt and Henderson have complained for years, that the ABC’s capital city radio presenters come across, overwhelmingly, as leaning more to the left than the right. I say “undeniably”, but senior ABC managers for decades have chosen, if not to deny it, then to ignore it, and they’ve certainly failed to do anything about it.”
Yes, there have been many, many times when I’ve noticed how the ABC just ignores its charter when it comes to balance. For example, in the Safe Schools debate, they had many people talking about how the program was a good idea because it stopped bullying, but I don’t remember a single interview with a pro-bullying advocate. And domestic violence – there were plenty of people against domestic violence, but not a single person in favour of it. Fortunately when it comes to racism, they’re always happy to give plenty of time to the racists on both sides of politics.
So Malcolm needs to have a good hard look at the ABC and fix up its lack of balance, demanding that they use their editorial independence to have a regular timeslot for Alan Jones, as well as relaying the Peta Credlin election guide from Foxtel into areas where the Internet reception is dodgy because it hasn’t been boosted by the new copper.