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Me or us?

This election has boiled down to a question of who do you care about – me or us?

People who like to call themselves self-funded retirees are insisting they should keep their government handout for excess franking credits – what was a tax offset to avoid double taxation has morphed into zero taxation from companies as they pay their tax to their shareholders instead of the government.

Property investors are insisting that they should be able to reduce their tax liability from other income earned by claiming a deduction for the interest they are paying on their loan – something those struggling with a mortgage on their home cannot do.

Those who have assets like investment properties and shares feel they should only be charged tax on half the money they make when they sell. Unlike workers whose entire income is counted when determining the tax they pay – and they have to work to earn it.

Wealthy people are insisting they should get a tax cut because they pay so much tax. They never talk about how they collect so much income and own so much wealth. They also want to be able to claim whatever they pay to accountants to minimise their tax, thus cutting it even further.

We are assured that if businesses make more profit, and rich people pay less tax, they will share the wealth by employing us all and giving us wage rises.

Except they want to employ us as labour hire or casuals or sham contractors so they can lay us off whenever they want and don’t have to pay sick or annual leave. No-one ever gets to long service leave. They want to employ backpackers and international students and temporary visa labour because, hey, they can’t complain.

And we don’t need wage rises because inflation is so low. Forget any idea about sharing in the record company profits your labour has delivered – you don’t need it.

Miners earning $250,000 a year want to keep their jobs – who wouldn’t? They don’t care about that inner-city bullshit about climate change or water tables or endangered species or native title. What are you gonna do to cut our tax Bill?

Irrigators can’t be expected to worry about the people downstream. Find your own water. And those are roads, not levees, though I might have some spare floodwater if the price is right.

People who can afford to send their children to so-called “private” schools have demanded that more and more money be diverted from the public education system to fund their choice to send their child to a school with swimming pools, squash courts, recording studios and an Olympic rowing coach.

Religious people are insisting on their right to discriminate against anyone they choose – find a bible verse and you can ignore the law of the land. We will pay for religious chaplains to go into public schools to instruct anyone whose parents have neglected to indoctrinate them but we will not tolerate schools talking about respectful relationships or diversity – that sort of stuff, unlike religious education, should be left up to parents.

There will be no consideration of a rise to Newstart by the Coalition because the best welfare is a job. All those who don’t have one just aren’t trying hard enough and those who can’t live on what they earn should just move back in with their parents.

We want house prices to go up because that makes us wealthier. To help young people get in the market we will allow them to take on greater debt. Rents will go up if you are a tenant and down if you are a landlord…apparently. Social housing? Communism!!

Permanent migration will be slashed to bust congestion. Temporary visas, on the other hand, will continue to rise in order to keep us out of recession and to allow our universities to make up for the cuts in funding.

Indigenous people will not get a voice to parliament – who do they think they are? Clive Palmer?

Come Saturday, the choice is clear. Do you care about yourself or the country?

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  1. New England Cocky

    AHHHHH!!!!!!!! Kaye Lee you have nailed it!!!!

    The present policies of both major parties favour the undeserving wealthy and corporates to the tune of about $150 BILLION PER YEAR REGARDLESS OF THE RULING PARTY!!!

    The taxation benefits that you correctly identify are only the tip of the iceberg. For example, SMH p1, 160519 Jordan Baker, “Push to scrap ‘unfair’ school funding formula”, that shows state schools funded to $155 PER PUPIL and private schools funded to $1,429 PER PUPIL, a 9.3 multiple of government funding for private schools thanks to the vote buying efforts of Little Johnnie ‘Flakjacket’ Howard.

    Now what about the oil exploration sector and rebates for fuel consumed off roads but requiring roads to transport the fuel to the off-road drilling sites?

    Then there is the $30 MILLION gifting of taxpayer funds to News Ltd to prop up the horrendous balance sheet.

    The list goes on almost ad infinitum!!

    The MSM concentration on residential housing perks is just the thin edge of the wedge. The Australian taxation law still requires renovation to ensure that all multinational corporations trading in Australia pay a deed 10% tax on corporate turnover by limiting funding write-offs to the highest/lowest corporate borrowing interest rate available from Australian owned banks.

  2. Keitha Granville

    Sadly it has mostly been the case for the last several elections. Nobody cares about anyone else, let alone the country.

    Gough cared, and just maybe this time enough people think IT’S TIME again.

  3. Ill fares the land

    Welcome to the modern and vile world of self-interest, rampant aspiration (the face of acceptable greed) and an obsession with “visible affluence”. I guess people have always aspired, but in my childhood, aspirations were a lot simpler – a decent car and house, getting the kids through school, two pairs of jeans so you had one to wear when the others were in the wash!

    What we now want are designer kitchens, luxury SUV’s and dual cab utes, designer fridges that connect to the internet, brunch on the weekend at a trendy hipster joint, a bigger and bigger house to accommodate a smaller and smaller family, spending the price of a reasonable car on the “outdoor entertaining area”, more exotic holidays to every more remote and unusual destinations – the list is long and we want most of those things for the bragging rights. I am a boomer and I spend time in the company of boomers who are nauseating in the way they are competing with their friends, nay, everyone with their beach house, their latest kitchen or bathroom renovation. It is “want” gone made.

    In some ways, the obsession with SUV’s and dual cab utes (which are, in a resource-starved world getting bigger) are an interesting metaphor for our modern lives. One really important reason people buy those vehicles is that many view every interaction with another motorist as a “battle” where there has to be a winner and a loser and being in a big gas guzzler makes it far more likely you can “win”. In so many areas, we need to “win”, but it has become way worse – we want vengeance, we wanmt grovelling apologies (saying sorry isn’t good enough any more) and when we think we are not winning, we are far more inclined to lash out, often with violence, but as often as not, with puerile screaming and ranting. We are a world and a nation of bullies and we choose leaders who are bullies and are bullies to any group we just don’t happen to agree with – be they Muslims, boat people, the disabled, the unemployed – the list goes on..

    And this wants are growing and embedded in that is a belief that we deserve tax cuts and more handouts without regard to the need for such things – they are our “right”. Pervbersely, the wealthy who insist on more tax cuts and tax concessions (handouts by another name) are bitterly critical of handouts to people who are living in poverty. As a society, we are now satisifed (it’s our opinion – courtesy of public anger purveyors like the utterly stupid Hanson) that anyone who is poor is poor because they derserve to be.

    Worse, this isn’t going away – these attitudes are being entrenched by the Palmers and the Hansons who are the voice of the greedy, those who are covinced they are entitled to more (of everything) and the belligerent.

  4. Paul Davis

    Unfortunately so true, Kaye Lee. Maybe ‘human nature’ has featured greed selfishness violence theft and murder etc from at least when our ancestors, possibly since we jumped out of the trees, but more likely from when we created religion. In any case on a micro personal level i remember with fondness the late 40s through the 50s, when we lived in the shadow of WWIIs aftermath, thankful for peace, food on the table, dad’s job paid the rent etc, we welcomed and played with the migrant kids and all in all everyone seemed to be much nicer to each other. OK the innocence of childhood. The mid 60s changed everything for me. Having a friend who was active in the Labor party, meeting poet Kath Walker, conscription and so on. The rose coloured glasses were off….

    But today, OMG, the lies, the corruption, the squeals of horror from the privileged at the memory of Whitlam or the thought of helping the undeserving poor (well they all are aren’t they).

    Let’s hope we get two terms of Labor, no minority govt, no obstructive senate … and they abandon their centre right neo liberal shitfluckery and give us a parliament that will be fondly remembered for its humanity and social justice. I’ve bought a very very nice shiraz for saturday night.

  5. Diannaart

    I care about myself.

    I want clean air, water and sustainable energy.

    I need to be sure children are treated fairly in a public school system, because happy children mostly grow into happy people and not likely to burgle my home.

    I want to be sure workers are paid fairly in safe secure employment, this also helps to reduce crime, which means I am safer.

    I want fresh healthy food from local producers because it tastes better when untreated for long storage and long distance transport.

    I want a secure public health system, I’m not getting any younger and I used all my super when I fell ill many years ago.

    I demand a reliable public transport system, I won’t be able to drive one day.

    I want to be sure my neighbours are doing well and unlikely to resort to crime to put food on the table, so I feel safer.

    I expect government to reasonably represent me, which means a 50/50 gender and a diversity of races and creeds because variety encourages thinking and increases adaptability.

    I want freedom from religion, dogma, bigotry and advertising on SBS.

    Yep, it’s all about me.

  6. Adrianne Haddow

    Great article and comments especially Diannaart.

    As I grow older, my personal wants decrease.
    In fact, they’ve reached the point where all I want is a decent society and a healthy planet to share with my fellow Australians, and a future for my kids.
    Oh, and chocolate on Friday nights while watching TV.

  7. Kronomex

    On a side note: Anyone think this might cause a backlash, however small, on the election?

    LNP spin machine will be going into overdrive to divert attention I reckon.

    Scummo trying to blame Labor, what a surprise.

  8. whatever

    A couple of stunts the Conservitards are playing today;-

    There is a leaked story from Home Affairs or Immigration about Rwandan refugees with alleged criminal records. Yes, they are playing the “African Gangs” card.

    Northern Beaches Police Commander has ordered a crackdown on hoons and louts in the Manly area. Tony Abbott will be grateful.

  9. Zathras

    I’ve always agreed with what American politician Elizabeth Warren once said about taxing the wealthy –

    “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own, Nobody. You built a factory out there – good for you.

    But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory…

    Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea – God bless! Keep a big hunk of it, but part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

    That sentiment also applies to those selfish retirees who say they paid tax all their lives but were also happy to ride on the backs that those who came before them and then think working taxpayers should show their gratitude by giving them more money. It also applies to Governments who sell off the public infrastructure legacy built by previous generations for a quick buck to their greedy mates and leave the taxpayers to fend for themselves.

    I also don’t want to live in a country full of sick uneducated people but want the assurance that services we have built ourselves remain and flourish for those that will come after.

    If that makes me selfish, so be it.

  10. Barry Thompson.

    Great comment Ill Fares The Land and you Kaye Lee.
    At 72 years of age I am beginning to despair of many Australians. It seems to be all about self now days, with little appreciation of what we have got in this country.

  11. Frank Smith

    I did not see Bill Shorten’s speech at Blacktown today, but I read the transcript in The Guardian. It was a truly inspirational script that I hope was deliverd in the inspirational manner it deserved.

    I also read through Scummo’s address and questions at the National Press Club where he was clearly parodying Gough’s theme by continuously hammering ‘It’s Not Time’, undoutedly expecting Bill to use Gough’s original theme. But at no time did Bill use ‘It’s Time’ – he used his own theme ‘Vote For Change’. Very clever and another out-manoeuvre of the adman.

  12. Henry Rodrigues

    I was at the Labor rally at Blacktown today and it was as I expected, everyone fired up and full of optimism and determination. Bill Shorten was there with his front bench team and his wife.Bill’s speech and the reactions to it were very spontaneous and there was an added sense of urgency and enthusiasm. It bodes well for the next two days. There were some people present who were at the It’s Time rally in 1972 with Gough. The past and the future well represented. Lots of media too. I ‘m just waiting to see an hear their dishonest coverage. Already Patricia snipe Kavelas was trying to play down the mood of the afternoon. She’s as nasty as toothy Trioli.

  13. New England Cocky

    If there is only one reason to elect a Labor government on Saturday then it must be to protect and re-finance the ABC.

    If there is any need for a second reason, the it must be to require donations to proscribed political opinion making organisations to publish on an AEC website within 24 hours of receipt, the name of the natural person making the political donation to the named political organisation and the date of any previous donation within the mandatory $1,000 per person per rolling year.

    Now add a federal ICAC, elimination of foreign owned MSM and prosecute of SCat Morriscum , Benito Duddo et al for crimes against humanity in the refugee matter.

  14. paul walter

    Well spoken, NEC.

  15. Alcibiades

    A Federal ICAC with retrospective powers & razor sharp teeth. Criminalise ALL white collar crime, no fines, but especially wage theft and sham contracting. Steal wages/Sham contracting = go to gaol.

    Those Icelanders had the right idea, jailed 26 Banksters & a PM(IIRC).

    Domestic Gas reservation, no farking fracking, revise the PRRT rort & make ’em pay to export our gas or fark off.

    Something the corporate MSM hasn’t covered, unsurprisingly, is Labor committing funds/frants to the gutted advocacy, legal support, homeless & foodbank sectors, long gutted by the Looters N Pillagers Party.

    Suspect there may be more to come post election, wen no longer under the guns of the Murdochracy & Co. Hints all throughoutthe campaign … heres hopin’.

    Labor ? To quote the IPA bustards advice to Abbott in 2013, “Be like Gough. Go hard!”.

  16. Kaye Lee

    I will be away until mid-next week without computer connectivity (unless I go to my g/f’s place). I will have tv so will watch Insiders on Sunday morning to see if Australia has some hope or if they have decided that it’s every man for himself, full greed ahead.

  17. Terence Mills

    As Morrison says, if you vote for him you will get him and not much more ; there is no depth in the Liberal party and less in the Nationals.

    If the coalition does scrape back into office, I predict now that Australians will be crawling up the wall within weeks, pleading and demanding a new election.

  18. Harry

    Totally agree but add that today’s selfishness has not emerged out of thin air. The culprit is neoliberalism, the noxious ideology that arose from Milton Friedman’s Monetarism. Friedrich Hayek and Ayn Rand are other disciples who have promoted the notion of self-interest. And Margaret Thatcher deserves a dishonourable mention for her pronouncement that there is no such thing as society.

    Then there are our own politicians such as John Howard (the bastard who shamelessly bestowed ever more largesse on those who are already well off with his intergenerational hand grenades).

    This will take a lot of effort and resolve to undo.

  19. Ken Smith

    Not the we but the me.
    Here I stand at a great Hight to give a trickle by pissing on you from above.

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