In order to progress sensible policy direction in this country, it is necessary to listen to different ideas, consider other people’s opinions, look at the evidence, weigh up the pros and cons, accept criticism and be open to amendments that address genuine concerns, negotiate and compromise – that sort of stuff.
Too often we retreat to our safe space of affirmation, talking to people who share similar views, being led to information from the sites Google thinks we like. We preach to the converted in echo chambers which may be accused of indulging in groupthink.
So sometimes it is valuable to take a walk on the wild side where people don’t agree with you to see if others can help inform your thinking and if negotiation is possible to help us out of our current policy paralysis.
As you may have gathered by some of my recent articles, I have been attempting to do this in the lion’s den of Craig Kelly’s facebook page. Why there? Because it is a bastion of the far right championing the predictable conservative hobby horses. Kelly represents that small rump in the Coalition who have stymied their own government from any chance of consensus, seemingly wielding way more power and influence than their numbers deserve.
It has been….interesting… as these couple of exchanges exemplify…..
EB: we need labor to keep us in debt and down on our knees and millions of refugees to support who cant speak English or read and write in their own language. maybe then we will get aid from Indonesia, Malaysia, PNG etc etc.
KL: As at July 1 2018, the budget estimate of net debt in Australia was about A$341.0 billion, up from A$174.5 billion in September 2013, when the Coalition took office. That’s an increase of A$166.5 billion, or roughly 95%, over almost five years. Gross debt as at 31-August-13 was $270 billion. Today it is over $535 billion. But hey, why let the facts intrude.
EB: how old are you? I have a memory going way back, never knew any Labor govt that was any good for the people, for business yes, for the rich yes.
KL: What has Labor ever done for the people? Removal of property qualifications for the franchise, Medicare, Superannuation Guarantee, paid parental leave, Indigenous land rights, NDIS, anti-discrimination laws….how long have you got?
EB: paid parental leave? come on what a load of snot to feed to the easily offended crowd, anti discrimination, what still exists the govt prefer refugees to the Australians living here.
KL: Paid parental leave is a “load of snot”? Well gee, I can’t argue with that. Or let’s just say I won’t bother.
Unfortunately, my attempts at sharing information or discussing different points of view have not been particularly successful. After Craig Kelly posted this gem in response to the latest IPSOS poll showing that 39% of people prioritised reducing emissions over reducing power bills …
“There is a solution to make everybody happy.
Those that want to prioritise ‘’reducing carbon (dioxide) emissions” can pay for all the subsidies (at least $3,500,000,000.00 this year alone) given to ‘renewables’.
The hidden green taxes on electricity bills (which pay for these subsidies) can be removed for 60% of the population and the 39% that want to prioritise ‘’reducing carbon emissions’’ can pay extra.
Secondly, those that want to prioritise ‘’reduce carbon emissions” would be first households to be blacked out on a hot summers evening when the wind is not blowing.
And to help with their virtue-signalling, they’d also get a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ personally signed by Tim Flannery and Kevin Rudd.”
…the following discussion ensued:
KL: Market Forces estimates that tax-based fossil fuel subsidies amount to almost $11,000,000,000.00 per year federally. This figure includes subsidies that support both the production and consumption of fossil fuels. But tax-based subsidies aren’t the only government financial support afforded to fossil fuels. Direct handouts and contributions to the fossil fuel industry are doled out at both federal and state levels. On top of this, public money is used to finance fossil fuels through our national export credit agency EFIC, as well as our involvement with international financial institutions. https://www.marketforces.org.au/campaigns/ffs/
TT: If you’re quoting a report that doesn’t know the difference between a tax concession and a subsidy then you’re a big a goose as the muppets that wrote this
LL: I am continually amazed at the absolute malarkey you keep coming up with, it’s time you disclosed your real purpose in life.
MG: not again..*sigh*…lets all repeat for Kaye’s benefit…”tax rebates are not subsidies”
KL: I think you will find that they are called “fossil fuel subsidies” gentlemen. Different studies include different things so come up with different amounts but they ALL call them fossil fuel subsidies. “The Australian federal government provides an estimated $5 billion in national subsidies to fossil fuel producers each year.” https://www.odi.org/…/publications-opinion-files/9992.pdf
KL: “Subsidies come in various forms including: direct (cash grants, interest-free loans) and indirect (tax breaks, insurance, low-interest loans, accelerated depreciation, rent rebates)”
JP: Kaye Lee you really don’t like being held to account and your rubbish claims being exposed, do you! So you cannot support any of your claims regarding tax. But I’m sure you will post the same debunked claims and link all over again on Craigs next post as that’s all you can do, repeat lies and rubbish claims.
KL: Accelerated depreciation brings forward the time at which investment expenses are claimed. In effect, the concession is a subsidy to the favoured investments not available to alternative investment options. Accelerated depreciation is one of the largest corporate subsidies in the tax code. It allows taxpayers to take bigger deductions, and therefore pay smaller tax bills, in the earlier years of an investment. Accelerated depreciation therefore subsidises business investments.
JP: Kaye Lee how are you doing with those links to support your claims? Haven’t got any?…thought so!
In order to maintain my sanity and reassure myself that it is possible to have rational discussion, I have returned to my safe space to ask for your opinion.
How do you argue with that?