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Morrison’s ethics and the Taxed-Nots

Treasurer Scott Morrison and I have very different understandings of what comprises a “Taxed-Not,” a term it was yesterday alleged on Twitter he plagiarised from a Fox News anchor who coined it some six years ago.

Leaving aside the curly questions of whether or not it is possible to plagiarise Fox News and the length of time it’s taken Morrison to allegedly do it, the term is an ugly characterisation of human beings. So I naturally assumed it refers to those who are ugly in their behaviours.

When I first heard Morrison use it (apart from an immediate association with Dr Seuss) I thought, oh, the treasurer is referring to the churches, the mining magnates, the media moguls, the corporations, and the many politicians who rort the public purse for their private and/or ideological gain.

Friends, I could not have been more wrong. It turns out the “Taxed-Nots” are welfare recipients, and Morrison seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that if he takes from them what little they have, he will restore the budget to surplus.

Now I am, outside of my own relatively simple budget, financially illiterate but even I can see that taking the price of a cup of coffee from people on Newstart and pensioners is unlikely to curtail the budget deficit. I tried to begin a conversation with Mr Morrison about this on Twitter, but he blocked me. There are none so deaf as those that will not hear.

Perhaps I unthinkingly insulted Morrison’s faith. He’s a Happy Clapper at Hillsong, a Pentecostal outfit that believes God wants everyone to be rich and if you aren’t it’s because God doesn’t love you and if God doesn’t love you, you deserve what you (don’t) get because you are morally deficient. Like a Taxed-Not.

The term encapsulates a powerful, deliberately false dichotomy of wealth with morality and poverty with immorality that appeals even to the non-religious.

There are surely many avenues available to the treasurer that would go some way towards addressing the country’s allegedly parlous financial state. It would, for example, cost us a couple of billion less to resettle refugees from Nauru and Manus Island in Australia, rather than continue to bribe less developed nations to shoulder our responsibilities at the cost of some $55 million for two individuals.

Then there’s the $160 million plus marriage equality plebiscite: totally unnecessary if only the parliament would do its job.

Then there’s the $1.615 billion VET FEE-HELP loans rort. Yes, that’s $1.615 billion gone up in Joe Hockey’s cigar smoke.

Plus the ideologically driven and/or vengeful Royal Commissions, tax concessions to the wealthy, really, it can’t be that hard to grub up a bit more cash, can it, Mr Morrison? Try the almost 600 companies who pay little or no tax, such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, for starters.

There obviously are people who rort the welfare system. But I suspect their numbers are inconsequential compared to the rorting wealthy.

In the LNP universe the wealthy don’t rort: they are entitled. In the LNP universe poverty equals immorality and therefore lack of all entitlement, indeed, in the LNP universe if you’re out of a job you don’t actually deserve to eat and they’ll take another $4 off you to make that even more clear.

Morrison and his multi-millionaire boss Malcolm Turnbull bullying the disadvantaged into deeper disadvantage while the wealthy flourish. What would Jesus say?

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.



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  1. Lorraine Stansfiewld

    The LNP never deviate from their immoral rhetoric.

  2. Steve Laing -

    Morrison really missed his calling. But I’m sure after his career in politics there will be a pentecostal pulpit ready for him to preach to the already converted. He won’t convince anyone else though.

  3. helvityni

    Tax people according to their earnings, if we can’t find a fair tax system of our own, then we’d better check out how other countries are doing it, and maybe US is not best place to go for advise.

    Create more jobs, please don’t break your last election promise; you told us jobs create growth. Bring them on, the jobs I mean.

    Morrison’s ethics???.

  4. diannaart

    Morrison is simply setting up a trail of justification (AKA slime) to further whack those in receipt of welfare. Next he will suggest that the unemployed, pensioners, disabled, be put somewhere safe, out of the way, where they won’t bother anyone, like Manus Island or Nauru.

  5. babyjewels10

    My distaste for Morrison continues to grow every time he opens his ugly mouth.

  6. Keitha Granville

    What do we do to get the message through? Those who have nothing are always the first to be cut. Interestingly those with the least added the most generous in their charitable giving.
    We have to get through to those in the middle about the obscenity of this government and its mean and cruel ideology.

  7. denisc

    Ohhhh Please!

    The words Morrison & ethics do NOT belong in the same sentence.

  8. Jennifer Wilson

    I think he’s planning to starve them to death, diannart

  9. Deidre Zanker

    I agree with Diannaart. It crossed my mind a couple of years ago, that they would evetually do to us what they do to asylum seekers

  10. Jennifer Wilson

    Yes, I did pause and think about that…

  11. Jennifer Wilson

    I wrote this long ago, Deidre. Once it’s become acceptable to torment one human group, there’s no longer any reason to restrict the torment to one human group.

  12. Garth

    Jesus (if indeed he existed as described in that best-selling book, The Bible) would not give these shysters the time of day. Jesus believed in equity and compassion (among other things) but on those two criteria alone, conservatives are a disgrace to their so-called Christian beliefs.

  13. Garth

    Just as an additional to my previous comment, I’m an atheist, not that it’s really relevant, just thought I’d state it. This infiltration of religion into politics is perverse and ironically, it’s often a perversion of a traditional ‘Christian’ message that drives these types of attitudes as those expressed in Scotty’s most recent outing. To actually believe that accumulation of material wealth is an indicator of moral superiority IS perverse (and the exact opposite of the message of jesus in the new testament). Morrison is just like all the other current crop of conservatives – using any fig leaf to justify their continued oppression of the least well off in our society. Scotty though, truly takes it to a whole new repulsive level.
    Thanks Jennifer, great piece, as always.

  14. Marilyn R

    Jennifer Wilson, I have been saying the same thing for some time. Treating one section of the community with injustice sets a precedent and the injustice is expanded to include more groups. We are fighting this in Sydney, right now, with WestConnex home acquisitions and Western Sydney Airport with no cap, no noise sharing , no home insulation and worst of all, NO CURFEW. Mascot has ALL of the above!

  15. Rezblah

    All in all a gobsmackingly stupid individual our treasurer. Happy to roll out a reinterpretation of Joe’s oh so successful ‘lifters and leaners’ uber-hypocritical BS that worked oh so well back in 2014, content in the knowledge that our equally abysmal msm won’t bat an eyelid at this or his inability to see how stupid he makes himself look every time he opens his mouth. It beggars belief that such worthless sociopathic scum can somehow make it to the highest offices of the land, and that anyone listens to a single word of the non stop BS that dribbles out of his mouth. A thoroughly detestable excuse for a human being, an obvious sociopath and un-reformable bully boy who would only understand being whacked with a bigger stick, which he should be, before being told to STFU and PoQ

    Wow, I really have been reading too much Ross Sharp…

  16. townsvilleblog

    The conservative have no morals, no ethics, no empathy and no compassion for their fellow man. They have a “superiority/inferiority” complex. They exist to serve the mega rich, that and shoveling ‘our’ Aussie dollars into multinational corporations make up their ‘task in life.’ Observe how they handle “people” problems, all conservative govts whether State or federal simply don’t want to be interrupted while they are shoveling, they have no idea as how to deal with “people” issues, apart from ‘lock em up’ and throw away the key.

  17. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I used to feel hurt and angry that such monsters as Snotty Morrisscum blantantly showed us in every action, how they could not care less for us. Now, I’m just angry and vengeful.

  18. nexusxyz

    We will end up with a situation like the UK with people suffering from malnutrition and committing suicide. Morrison exhibits psychopath tendencies. A moral bankrupt. Hopefully they will find passing legislation and governing impossible.

  19. Garth

    @Rezblah, thank you! Your post sums up my feelings.
    I am normally an extremely tolerant person but Morrison, and his ‘government’ are pushing the limits of my tolerance. It’s not an ideological divide that separates us from this mob, it’s simple human decency versus a bunch of hostile, shallow, nasty people who have absolutely no desire to serve the population they ostensibly claim to represent. I’m beyond angry, beyond indignant, I JUST WANT TO SEE THE F***KIN BACK OF THEM ALL. Without hyperbole, they are destroying our Australia.

  20. helvityni

    Jennifer, Nexus and Garth, agree with all three of you, and not just about Morrison. I think this is the worst Oz government, and we have had some bad ones….

  21. cartoonmick

    You could count on 2 hands, the number of decent pollies we have in office. I wouldn’t feed the rest, let alone pay them.

    What kind of people are these who would continually kick the bottom feeders whilst cuddling the top end of town? I’m reminded of the old saying; “Never bite the hand that feeds you”.

    Which leads to the BIG BIG mystery,,,,,,,,, If the pollies are so “on the nose”,,,,,,, what manner of person voted for them?
    Who are these people?
    Why did they vote them in?
    What are they thinking?
    What are they on?
    What do they look like?

    Well, to give you a clue to some answers to those questions (and others), here’s an illustration of one of them……….

    Editorial / Political


  22. Jaquix

    You are quite correct. They never will do anything about it, but its the “churches, the mining magnates, the media moguls, the corporations, and the many politicians who rort the public purse for their private and/or ideological gain” AND the politicians too gutless, or blinkered, or blinded by political donations, who are running this country down, not the newly minted tax-nots. Just plugging the billions that bleed out to churches and their also tax-free business enterprises, would probably clear the budget deficit in a couple of years. Added to one more like negative gearing, it would be a shoe-in. Morrison has flip flopped from declaring we have “a spending problem”, a “revenue problem” and now an “earnings problem”. In fact we only have one problem and that is a “too many tax concessions given away problem”. .

  23. jimhaz

    “On current settings, more Australians today are likely to go through their entire lives without ever paying tax than for generations and more Australians are likely today to be net beneficiaries of the Government than contributors — never paying more tax than they receive in government payments”

    Morrison’s comment above has no solid meaning whatsoever. Not a zip. When dealing with the LNP who constantly lie, one cannot simply make the assumption he was talking in terms of percentages.

    With rising population of course there will always be “more”.

    Where are the real figures. Even Jessica Irvine just accepted Morrison’s meaningless comment.

    In any case, if they want the employed to work, then the initial policy can only be to reduce immigration. I wonder what percentage of business profits now exist due to a lack of structured training paid by business to ensure the workforce they require – it is something they used to have to do, but do not know due to excessive immigration and 457 or similar visas .

  24. jim

    We have become a global laughing stock during the Abbott-Turnbull years. We are derided for our stance on climate change and our treatment of refugees and our disabled or worse off. We have become a pariah in the world’s eyes. At the G20 mabbitt eagerly told world leaders how he was going to hit the poor with another $7 GP “co payment” .

  25. Jaquix

    jimhaz I think you will find, if you dig properly, that immigration itself is an economic driver for good. The ripoff the Libs and their business mates have jumped on with glee, turning a trickle into a tide, is the 457 visa rort. That is definitely taking jobs, and apart from being a ripsnorting rort for business owners, has no benefit to Australia.

  26. pappinbarafox

    It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Happy Clapper or not they certainly ain’t Christian.

  27. paulwalter

    The lunacy of neoliberal ideological sado economics has not been better unmasked than in this short piece by Jennifer Wilson.

    This sort of rubbish, persecuting people on welfare finds a place on a carousel with the other horrors, such as treatment of many women, persecution of aborigines, muslims and asylum seekers and gays.

    It is rubbish on the conceptual scale, a categorical error, to presume you can tax people on the dole or use the lack of taxpaying as an excuse, because you can’t really meaningfully tax some thing that isn’t there.

  28. Jaquix

    The Hillsong congolomerate “Church” and all its associated activities (masked as self-development courses and the like, all spruiking the church’s “prosperity gospel” line, is a TAX PAYER NOT. This country would be so much better off not allowing all church activitiy to be tax free.

  29. jimhaz

    [jimhaz I think you will find, if you dig properly, that immigration itself is an economic driver for good]

    Nope, that is one of those memes promoted by the 1%. It is actually blatantly obvious it is not good at the levels of the last 15 years.
    Only low or very moderate immigration benefits us.

  30. FreeThinker

    Yes I would have thought Rupert Murdoch was the Foreign King of the ‘ Taxed Nots ‘ in this country.

    Didn’t his Corporation receive an $800,000 plus refund windfall from the ATO, in the financial year before this current one ?

  31. Carol Taylor

    Nothing different from Morrison here, it’s Hockey’s Age of Entitlement/Lifters and Leaners with a new label and from all accounts, has been received about as well as Hockey’s 2014 budget. Added to this, instead of bluster from Abbott, we have bluster from Turnbull who *demands* that Labor agree to everything sight unseen minus even a briefing – oh and while you’re at it (Turnbull continues), forget about a Royal Commission into the banking sector. The tweet in response from Bill Shorten was brief and stated his opinion rather precisely. Bill’s answer being..”No”.

  32. Kyran

    Sooo, wait a minute. The happy clapper, our ‘treasurer’, a devotee of hillsong, understands finances?
    I feel so much better now.
    From their ‘wiki’ page;
    “Pushes for a charity commission in Australia have stemmed from claims that religious organisations like Hillsong pay their staff in fringe benefits.[89] Criticisms have been levelled at Hillsong in regard to its finances, especially its use of government grants when it reportedly made $40 million in 2004[90] and $50 million in 2010.[89] It was alleged that Hillsong had paid staff members with money given as a government grant for the assistance of the Riverstone Aboriginal community.[91] This appears to have been refuted by letters of apology, published on the Hillsong website, from both the Riverstone Aboriginal Community and from the Minister of Justice and Customs.[92]”

    Another interesting read;

    Given his level of competence, and his title, do we make him an ambassador or a PM?
    Thank you, Ms Wilson, and commenters. So well said. Take care

  33. win

    Hillsong happy clappers should try reading the NT ,specifically Jesus ‘ words on the blessing of the poor and the rich man who turned away unhappy because he could not dictate terms on his discipleship. And what about ” if you have 2 coats give one away” . The so called prosperity gospel is a lie , a total distortion of the actual gospel.What I know of Hillsong types in church is that they are arrogant bullies. Fortunately there are real Christians around in churches, even if they don’t clap a lot!

  34. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good on you, win.

    I also know there are righteous Christians and then there are others like many in Hillsong.

    Accusers of Christians should at least get their facts right and STOP generalising coz it’s EASY …

    … and start defining where Snotty Morrisscum and his ilk are nasty, little bacteria attempting to find a foothold before they’re extinguished by the natural order of things.

  35. mars08

    Assuming that 10% of voters benefit greatly from this government’s pro-rich taxation philosophy…. and a further 10% get something worthwhile from it…. Doesn’t that indicate that far too many Australians are voting against their own interests?

  36. Michael Taylor

    In a nutshell, mars08, yep.

  37. mars08

    Michael… isn’t that infuriating to you?

  38. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    So the struggle continues but this time we get a little bit more clever and see who our true ALLIES are when we form the ALLiance. that wins the next government that will bring institutional and reformative change for many Aussies and the Environment.

  39. Michael Taylor

    Can’t for the life of me work out why people vote against their best interest, Mars.

  40. mars08

    Well… the Coalition DID stop those sneaky, scary boats…

  41. Bolly

    Time for Scott to put aside the Prosperity Gospel and read some Liberation Theology.

  42. Harquebus

    Who can we vote for in our best interests when the problem is deciding the least worst?

  43. Jennifer Wilson

    Brainwashed, Michael. Psychologically speaking, they’ve introjected the values of their enemies a kind of Stockholm syndrome. 🙂

  44. Jennifer Wilson

    Yes, we’re on song with this, Marilyn. The people who applaud harsh treatment of asylum seekers don’t see they could be next. Once the line has been crossed…

  45. Jennifer Wilson

    Thank you Garth, I appreciate that.

  46. Deanna Jones

    Gramsci’ theory of hegemony still best explains why people vote against their best interests.

    Morrison is an immoral, unconscionable prick, a failed corporate stooge who cheated his way into pre-selection. He belongs in gaol, not the parliament.

  47. Jennifer Wilson

    Garth, I don’t doubt there was a man of that name with powerful and interesting ideas – it’s the god bit I baulk at.

  48. cassilva48

    jeezus, there are 1 million out of work which means that at least 10 million are working and paying their taxes so what generation is he talking about???? The unemployed have now become the unclean, untouchable class for Morrison. This is discrimination at its worst by suggesting a system of social stratification.

  49. HeatherG

    Because of the GST, there is no such thing as an individual “un-taxed”, Mr Morrison. Unless you’re a corp., and you get the GST refunded.

    As such, those on welfare are actually, on a percentage-of-income basis, pumping more back into the economy (even if they DO only buy cigarettes and alcohol–maybe especially so, particularly if they are single mothers who menstruate!) than your average MurdochCorp or Coal Conglomerate.

    Given there are currently around 170k-odd open positions available to about 750,000 unemployed (even not taking into account the underemployed), punitive measures to the unemployed are cruelty at its worst, frankly.

  50. paulwalter

    Deanna Jones, oddly enough. Sees it right.

  51. paulwalter

    Onya, just put the same thing up at Wilson’s No Place For Sheep site. The real insult comes from a tape of Morrison modestly extolling the virtues of his own economics.

    There it is with Christians. They have an idea and because they of the Elect, what they think must be true, quite simple.

  52. deanyz1

    “Taxed-nots” is a pejorative term targeted at the unemployed who are helpless to gain employment. Morriscum is also a ‘taxed-not’ because his income and freebies outweigh any taxes he cannot avoid…

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