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So let me get this straight . . .

So let me get this straight,

If I earn over $80,000 I am going to be asked to pay for the $68 billion that Joe Hockey has added to the deficit by his party’s policies.

I have to pay for Hockey’s $9 billion gamble on the Aussie dollar going down.

I am going to have to cough up money to give billions to the worst polluters so they can upgrade their factories, and many more billions in fossil fuel subsides to wealthy mining companies.

I am going to have to pay women on very high salaries almost $3000/week to watch their nanny look after their kid for 6 months whilst they get a rebate for employing her.

I am going to have to pay for a huge fleet of fighter jets to protect me from who? Do you really think we can beat China in a war? If America needs us to help then I am sure they would provide the jets. Hey we could even lend them an airbase to use their own bloody jets to bomb whoever the hell they want to next time. Won’t it all be done by the unmanned drones that I will also be paying for?

Tony is spending over $10 billion on his war games against asylum seekers. I refuse to pay for that. I don’t want to pay over $1 million for Jim Molan to be our “Special Envoy” never to be heard from again. I don’t want to pay $200,000 for every orange life raft that gets used once to set asylum seekers adrift on the ocean. I don’t want to give billions to a security firm that maims the people they are hired to protect.

I don’t want to spend billions on roads whilst ignoring public transport. I want cost benefit analyses done by Infrastructure Australia and I want THEM, the experts, to decide on priorities rather than our “Infrastructure Prime Minister for Women and Aborigines”.

I don’t want to spend $40+ billion on a National Broadband Network  that I won’t even be hooked up to.

I don’t want to pay over $600 million for Tony to buy two big new planes to fly himself and his entourage of Murdoch press, film crews, and businessmen around the world in VIP luxury.

I don’t want to spend over $5 million on bomb-proof BMWs to drive Tony around even if they did give his daughter a job.

I don’t want to pay millions for Tony Abbott to fly backward and forwards to Canberra because he decided to live at Kirribilli House so Margie could keep working and he could keep surfing. When John Howard did that it cost us over $18 million in flights to and from Canberra.

I don’t want to pay for a Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Scheme. There have already been 8 investigations which have made many recommendations. This is a pointless political witch hunt that you want US to pay for. Same for the RC into unions. We have ICAC and similar bodies, as well as the police and judicial system, who already have the resources, experience, and authority to deal with corruption and intimidation.  Why not set up an integrity department that keeps an eye on all you bastards.

I don’t want to commit to paying for a never-ending search for a Malaysian plane.  When there was any hope of survivors then all hands on deck for sure.  But I fail to see why we are now footing the bill for a search that may never bear fruit just so Tony can grandstand.  It was a useful distraction for him for a while but it’s time to say, sorry, we couldn’t find it, and let the Chinese pay to keep searching if they wish.

I don’t want to pay $20 million for marriage guidance vouchers for newlyweds even if it is Kevin Andrews’ area of expertise/income.

I don’t want to reward Tony’s pollie pedal sponsor Cadbury with $16 million to reintroduce factory tours.

I don’t want to pay $10 million to the Manly Sea Eagles to upgrade their grandstand so Tony, their number 1 ticket holder, can watch in comfort. Or $5 million to Rupert’s Brisbane Broncos – hell we just gave him an $882 million tax “rebate” for “historic losses on currency transactions”.  Thanks for that almost $1 billion hole in the budget Rupert.

Must I pay $4.3 million for a research company to trawl through millions of Australian social media posts to advise the government on its immigration policies? Between Scott Morrison and the immigration department alone, you already employ 90 spin doctors. What are THEY doing that you need to pay millions to someone else to look at stuff that is freely available?

All of these reviews and audits and consultants and white papers and green papers are costing us a fortune. The Commissioners of Audit were paid $1500 a day each. Does this imply that NONE of your policies had any basis in fact or solid grounding or research behind them and now you must pay people to make them into something credible? Why use PriceWaterhouseCoopers when we have Treasury, Finance, the Productivity Commission, the Parliamentary Budget Office? Am I to pay for you to get the answers you want to hear?

I don’t want to contribute $2.2 million legal aid for farmers and miners to fight native title claims.

As Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott claimed over $1 million a year in entitlements, on top of his salary. I don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for him to take part in fun runs and charity rides.

I don’t want to pay for jobs for the boys like $320,000 for Tim Wilson who had a job made for him and gifted to him with no qualifications, experience, interview, or application process.

I don’t want to pay for George Brandis’ bookshelves or Tony’s designer rugs.

If we keep the carbon tax and the mining tax and cut all the above wasteful expenditures then we will be a long way towards cutting the deficit without ME having to foot the bill for your decisions which, might I say, show you have absolutely NO idea about spending priorities. I doubt any of you have ever had to work to a budget before because you are making a god almighty mess of it and if I am going to pay to get us out of trouble then I want a say on how it is spent!

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217 comments

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  1. leighton8

    Thumbs Up …. just imagine IF the Coalition wasn’t adept at finance! Ha!

  2. Lee

    That about sums it up.

  3. dafid1

    Love your work Kaye Lee. With your permission I will forward to the nations top 2 liars and incomps Hockey and Abbott

  4. Kaye Lee

    Spread the word with my blessing dafid

  5. Susan Bonaccorsi

    he’s insane ( ABBOTT)

  6. Sue Lofthouse

    Another brilliant piece, Kaye. I would love to see this in print in the MSM.

  7. Steve

    I’m with you Kay Lee , I think I would trust you to do our books , rather than these Ignoramuses . Did we vote for this Sh………t ? We must have rocks in our heads ! The sad thing is , they will continue on their merry way and ignore we the people , and we will vote at the next election for more of the same sh…..t . We need a new Party for the people by the people . What I am saying is , We need to use our Australian Constitution 1900-1, the law of our land ,Our Common Law , to take back our country , our government , our law courts and our banking system and our money supply . When this is done , we the people will be free from this system of raping our people and raping our country . We need to wake up and jail these criminals posing as our government , when all they are , is representing there Corporation known as THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA ! here is a link that will help make it easier to grasp .
    http://larryhannigan.com/the_true_australian_constitution.htm

  8. Joe Banks

    Kaye Lee, you have written everything that is buzzing around in my head at the moment. Thank you. Nobody in the media seems to be asking the glaringly obvious question: “If reducing the deficit is so important, why not keep the mining super profits tax and the carbon tax”?

  9. Kaye Lee

    Not to mention the fringe benefits tax on business car use and the tax on superannuees earning over $100,000 a year in retirement.

  10. Michael Faulkner

    Abbott political lies aside, Kaye, this is a superb and comprehensive ( though sad ) audit of the sheer ineptitude of this government in just over six months.

  11. sandrasearle

    Kaye, just read your article out to my daughter who wants to know ‘how do we get rid of this government’. Reckon there are many more out in the real world that we live in that would agree with that sentiment.
    Abbott is on TV at the moment still trying to justify why we should all be doing the heavy lifting. Abbott & Hockey haven’t got a clue about economics and how they should be enacted especially running a country like ours. The economy is not a household budget – it needs to balanced with borowings & earnings so that infrastructure can be taken care of, health & education, reforms to NDIS etc.

  12. The Trees

    I am glad you are on my side Kaye Lee,
    Your blogs are devastating.

  13. Kaye Lee

    Sandra,

    Tell your daughter that she and her friends have our future in their hands. If we can get the young people interested and mobilised then they can get rid of this government. Hundreds of thousands of them didn’t register to vote. Get her talking to and encouraging her friends. They may not be interested in budgets and question time etc but they are probably interested in the environment, education, jobs, the NBN…they must know that politics affects their lives and their vote DOES make a difference. 30,000 votes in key seats last election would have seen a different government.

  14. Ozzie

    Well said Kaye, keep spreading the word on this incompetent government.

  15. Stephen Tardrew

    Kaye great post.

    Add this all up, plus a tax on financial trades (derivatives etc) plus taxing offshore accounts, get rid of corporate welfare, increase tax on the wealthy, stimulate the economy and there you go problem solved.

    Now Tony Baloney that wasn’t too hard was it. But no now we need a brand new non-tax, you know a scary debt levy otherwise known as an impermanent tax, to save your privileged royalist lying ass.

    There is something rattling around in my head as my brain recoils tearing itself away from the bony carapace that holds it all together to float in an interminable sea of bullshit.

    Besides the annoying sloshing about it stinks like hell.

  16. Kaye Lee

    If we scrapped the paid parental leave scheme we could increase Newstart by $50 a week and still have over $10 billion left over to put towards Gonski, childcare and the NBN. Let’s get some perspective here. Compare the productivity benefits….my plan beats yours hands down.

  17. Phillip A Mayer

    Great article! This government’s behaviour is beyond comprehension – They are nothing more than inept, clueless, ignorant social and environmental vandals, out of touch with reality due to their ethical corruption!

  18. sandrasearle

    Kaye, I’ve actually forwarded your article to all 3 of my kids as they all going to be badly affected by this governments destructive measures.
    Perhaps all of the readers could do the same with their families to get them involved in speaking out & becoming an activist.
    Good conversations with anyone that you come in contact with is what is needed.

  19. Bec

    Agree wholeheartedly with you. Makes my blood boil that they continue to get we away with all of this and the general public either haven’t connected the dots, or simply don’t care. My question though, is why is Margie still working? I understand she may wish to keep her independence, skills up to date, keep her career going, but when your husband is PM, wouldn’t she be best now committing to full time charity work, giving up her job to someone else? Surely their household income is decent enough now. And yes, I know Therese Rein continued with her career, but her situation was a bit different, given she was running a business. Am I off the mark here?

  20. Stephen Tardrew

    Kaye, Kaye, Kaye, Kaye now hold on a minute.

    Shush quietly we don’t want the riff-Raff to know now do we.

    How would you like a job like little Timmy’s. Lots of benefits and extras.

    I’m Sure we could arrange something nice.

  21. Stephen Tardrew

    Lost me question marks in the surge.

  22. Kaye Lee

    I have no problem with Margie choosing to keep working. I’m not sure if she owns the childcare business? Let’s face it, could you stand being with Tony 24/7? But she could live at home and they meet up when they can as many families that make similar decisions do. Part of a parliamentarian’s entitlements is air fares for family which is more than most people get in the same situation. By all means decide what is best for your family but don’t make taxpayers bear the cost of your private family decisions. Tony’s job is in Canberra…his choice. Why should I pay millions because he won’t move to where his work is when they are telling people on the dole to travel over 1.5 hours or move. Do they fund their work travel?

  23. Kuhr

    I have an idea for any political cartoonist up to the task. By all means use it and modify it as necessary.

    The cartoon would be set in the Egyptian desert (harsh climate). A giant stone sphinx with Abbott’s head complete with ridiculous specs would be there, staring aloofly. Down below Kevin Andrews and Eric Abetz dressed as slave taskmasters are whipping a group of chained octogenarians to drag a large stone block. Nearby a pavilion is erected where some obviously noble and privileged women holding babies are observing proceedings while being fanned by slaves and fed grapes. Up above, Joe Hockey is dressed as a stonemason, and is holding a chisel to a large crack in the bridge of Abbot’s sphinx nose. He holds aloft a hammer with “Debt Levy” written on it, obviously about to cut off the nose to spite the face.

    There could also be slaves in the process of cannibalizing blocks from the base of the sphinx, and lifting them to unfinished parts of the top of the sphinx (to symbolize the our government taking from the working poor to enrich the well off) – the sphinx could very well be tottering on the brink of collapse because of this.

  24. mars08

    I don’t want to pay for ASIO raids on lawyer’s homes just so Australian companies can keep exploiting East Timor’s gas fields.

    I don’t want to pay for Australian intelligence agencies to monitor my communications.

    I don’t want to pay to host a US marine base on Australian soil.

  25. Kaye Lee

    From facebook:

    David Addy: Absolutely correct, even missed some so here’s a couple off the top of my head, I don’t want to give murdochs Brisbane broncos 5 million for ground improvements & I don’t want to give some Japanese media company with links to murdoch 137 million, no doubt siphoned off for services rendered & for more propaganda bs.

  26. Dennis Adolphe

    Brilliant article !

  27. Holly

    I feel like the new ‘levy’ for 80k+ earners has nothing to do with fixing the debt. It’s another easy way for the government to remind moderately wealthy Australians every payday that they have to ‘clean up Labor’s mess’, so they can resent Labor, the Greens and the low income earners that apparently caused this (non-existent) budget crisis.
    Libs already have the rich vote, they gained some bogan votes with policies like OSB, they know they’ll never get the progressive left vote, so who remains?
    Like they say, its the rich telling the middle class to blame the poor.
    Just my opinion anyway.

  28. ian saffin

    I’d forgotten about ol’ Major Gung Ho Molan! What’s happened to him? He was spruiking his hawkish propaganda regularly on MSM. Maybe he’s gone undercover on Operation Sovereign borders.

  29. philhahn64

    Imagine if Australians actually genuinely fought back instead of just waiting around for a potential double dissolution or the next election.

  30. Kaye Lee

    phil,

    We fight back in the ways we can. We march, we write letters to elected representatives, we discuss issues with families, friends and workmates, those of us who have a forum write articles where people like you can offer suggestions, ideas, criticism. The best way we can fight is by spreading the truth so people can then make an informed judgement. Tony is susceptible to popular backlash and Clive has an ear to the people (so he says). We must all keep speading the word about everything we find out. A hint of warning…always check your sources.

  31. dafid1

    I believe you are on the mark there Holly. I also am not convinced this sudden change of heart re the Torys PPL down to 100,000 thresh hold is not another pre planned stunt to show the peasants the great saviour is listening to their pleas.
    I have reached the stage where I don’t believe a word any of them utter until I have concrete proof it is fair dinkum.
    Abbotts stunts and lies make him so untrustworthy as to be not believed regardless of written or verbal statements. He has more than a few of his colleagues trying hard to overtake him.
    A narcissist physco is a dangerous beast

  32. Lorraine Russo

    You nailed it! And neither do I want to pay for these things …..

  33. Kaye Lee

    The drop to $100,000 for PPL is to get the Greens onside. It now coincides with their policy. It also gets his backbenchers who were threatening to cross the floor to shut up. In the interest of compromise, if women who earned above $100,000 were ineligible then this might even be doable. There has to be a cut-off point for eligibility rather than just a cap on maximum payment. People on those high wages can negotiate workplace agreements I am sure as they already do.

  34. Louise Noble

    You have said everything I would like to say to the LNP and informed me of yet more disgusting misuse of public funds. Thank-you Kaye and AIMN. Brilliant work.

  35. Kaye Lee

    I would like to point out at this stage that I have no problem with paying more tax. As many people more qualified than me point out, we have a revenue problem. But we also need to direct our spending to where it will do the most good. I have seen people on facebook quite reasonably saying that those who are better off should pay more and I agree. As I have said, I would like to pay more so those on pensions can be paid more. What I object to is wasting money on things like those I have stated and others have added to.

  36. Ricardo29

    Once again you say it succinctly and well. As members of the grey army of pensioners, little of this will directly affect us.

    On potential savings, no one seems to be mentioning the billions which could be saved if we stopped subsidising private schools. I know, I know, politics of envy, slap my wrist.

  37. Kaye Lee

    Or private health insurance rebates or superannuation tax concessions. Or if we actually cracked down on off-shore tax havens instead of offering amnesties to tax cheats. Or if we taxed currency transactions and companies that shift their money around to take advantage like Rupert did which cost us hundreds of millions of dollars that the ATO had to hand back to him.

  38. Jen

    Awesome piece, I just wish you hadn’t said ‘unmanned’, inclusive language costs nothing.

  39. Stephen Tardrew

    Kaye how a bout putting it all together in one spread sheet. Slot a fair range of in figures add up the averages and see what comes out in the end. I think it will be quite enlightening.

    Also it will give us another coherent dot point list to flash in the face of a hide bound incompetent media.

  40. abbottania

    really enjoyed reading this..couldn’t have put it better .

  41. vivienne29

    Joe Banks – I’ve asked that. First thing that popped into my mind. The MSM are just not with it. That ought to be headlines. Does anyone know what Alan Jones is saying? I don’t listen to any of that shit, just get the horrid highlights via Media Watch.

  42. vivienne29

    Bloody hell – Warren Truss (the old fart) is on the tele now blaming Labor and telling lies about Labor promises. He’s bonkers too of course. Not a bloody brain among any of them.

  43. Terry2

    Last night on the DRUM Tim Wilson, our Human Rights Commissioner,stated that we (Australia) had no jurisdiction in Manus Island. and thus could not go to the aid of these poor people to ensure their rights are upheld.

    This is a bit like the Guantanamo argument that the USA throw up from time to time: it’s a foreign country therefor our laws do not apply.

    Tim, let’s be clear, we are leasing the facility from the PNG government and we fund it and we staff it ( was G4S,Transfield now I think). Everything that happens in the Manus detention centre is dictated by the Australian government other than the processing which evidently is not taking place anyhow..

    Tim, get off your arse and visit both Manus and Nauru, that’s your job and you are not doing it. Furthermore,Tim, if you don’t speak out on this plan to ship asylum seekers from Nauru to Cambodia I believe that you will come to regret your silence : we are responsible for these people under international law and morally.

  44. johnlord2013

    Thanks Kaye for another excellent piece and the contribution you are making to this blog. You have a rare talent for the exposure of things complex and how to unravel them.

  45. Egalitarian

    We must also start making good well made products here again.Buying this cheap Chinese stuff is crazy. There no quantity control on this crap. It breaks or doesn’t last. We have all been hoodwinked into this false economy on buying cheap inferior junk from overseas.I would happily pay double the price for a TV or stereo or tools if we could get our old fashioned quality control back again.

  46. Kaye Lee

    Thank you john. Praise from you means a lot. I am not an artist like you. You are a wordsmith who paints a picture with beautiful phraseology and who informs and evokes our emotions. I am a draftsman who collates information and paints the picture with numbers. The rose and the potato both have their place.

  47. Keitha Granville

    if TA took an extra $1 mill out in allowances as Opposition leader, howmuch does he get now ? for that matter, how much extra do they all get on top of their already extremely generous salaries. When is someone going to seriously look at what politicians all over the country are costing us, the taxpayer ? When do we, the employers of these people, get a say in what they earn ? And what about all those “advisors” ? Didn’t they use to be Public Servanst ? Now they are extra and PS are getting sacked left right and centre because they are NOT left or right. There is something horribly wrong with this, something needs to be done – SOON.

  48. diannaart

    Where is all the money Abbott saved by vetoing all government departments related to climate change?

    If the savings were sooooo important …. you acted upon this while the seats had not even cooled from the previous government, why do you need a great big tax/levy?

    Where is the savings on the Gonski Report with Pyne’s Plans for children?

    You have been making savings (aka trashing anything Labor achieved) since September 2013 – where has all the money gone?

    We know by checking records that there is no great big Labor mess – http://deepcor.com/news/29/australia-after-the-global-financial-collapse:

    The top reasons why Australia came out on top, in no particular order:
    Strong trade relationships with China
    The swift decline of an inflated Australian dollar
    Ban on short-selling stocks from the 21 of September, 2008 to the 25 of May, 2009
    Conservative and responsible Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
    Avoidance of complex (or toxic) securities and a focus on acquiring money to lend within Australia
    Government funded blanket guarantees on all bank deposits and debt
    A “Four Pillar” policy
    Brawny stimulus package for the public
    No bailout for financial institutions in peril

    You can’t use that lie any more it is past its use-by date.

    So where is the money you took back from Labor’s policies?

  49. Kaye Lee

    Coalition backbenchers are in open rebellion about the new tax, which they say breaks Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s pre-election promises of “tax cuts without new taxes” and “no nasty surprises”.

    But sources said the Government was committed to the new tax, and it seems likely it would only be dumped if the Government got spooked by a fierce public backlash between now and May 13.

    “Everyone’s just in shock,’’ one Liberal MP told the Herald Sun.

    It appears it could be dumped only if the Government is spooked by a fierce public backlash between now and May 13.

    “It’s both a surprise, and the idea that we’re not going to get pinged for breaking a promise is just ludicrous.’’

    The MP said the idea of introducing a new tax, while at the same time pushing ahead with the PM’s generous $75,000 paid parental leave scheme, was hardening opposition to the scheme.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/coalition-mps-may-revolt-over-new-debt-tax/story-fni0fit3-1226900288574

  50. Fed up

    I do not want billions spent on their mismatch Broadband, which puts Telstra back in the driving seat. I do not want what they putting in now, to be pulled out in a few short years, to be be replace with what should be going in now.

    Most are happy with the PPL scheme we have now. One that is a safety net for those who fall through the industry schemes. The wealthy are well cared for now.

    What I want to see, is high quality and affordable childcare. That will encourage, even allow more women to return to work quicker.

    There is much this government needs to do. I do not see them delivering.

    They remind me of the day put aside when I was little, to prepare the chooks for eating. Yes, many darting around, as if they lost their heads. At least the chooks were good eating. Cannot see any value in this mob.

  51. Adrian Coulter

    Brilliant Kaye!

  52. AnalVag

    I would like to see the Christian church become more integrated with government. It should not be possible to run for office unless the candidate is a certified Christian church goer.

  53. Kaye Lee

    How about a certified humanist?

  54. Roswell

    I echo what John Lord said.

  55. Roswell

    How about a certified idiot? No, hang on . . .

  56. Don Winther

    Egalitarian

    Good idea, we could have an import duty to protect Australian businesses and workers from a very unlevel playing field, we could also have an export duty on unprocessed raw materials ( iron ore, coal, live sheep and cattle etc ) they could call it a mining tax or a carbon tax or something like that. That would save a lot in unemployment benefits and would help our local industries. We cant live on take-away everything for much longer. We could just sell the place like Tony is but what about our kids. My Grandfather fought tor this place.

  57. Bruce the fierce

    Beautifully put Kaye. Wish I had more to add but I think you’ve covered most of it. Asking around, it’s amazing that I can’t find anyone who voted for this clown. Funny how nobody wants to fess up

  58. Kaye Lee

    Thoughts on PPL …otherwise called trying to keep everyone happy

    Why not increase leave to 6 months and put payment on a sliding scale like income tax in reverse.

    Less than $32,355 (from some very quick maths that may need fine-tuning) you get minimum wage of $622/week
    $32,355-$75,000 you get 90% replacement wage
    $75,000-$120,000 you get 50% replacement wage
    Over $120,000 you are not eligible for government payment

  59. dafid1

    I have contacted the UN several times, 4 if I recall, advising them of the Morrison/Abbott secrecy, the conditions on Nauru and Manus and forwarded a link to Mondays 4Corners expose`. Have never had a response. I will persist, UN has a refugee section and should be doing more than they are. I appreciate there are other countries with bigger problems than Australia, however when the death of an asylum seeker remains a mystery after 3 months, I smell a cover up and the UN should be involved in ensuring the facts are revealed.
    Lies, misinformation, secrecy, delays, stunts all part of the Tory way of hiding the truth.

  60. jimhaz

    Though I agree with everything you don’t want taxpayers to pay for, I can see this idealistic viewpoint leading to more of the burden being put onto low end taxpayers.

    I’m seeing a similar outcome to the Greens refusing to support Rudds Carbon Tax in 2009 – because it was not good enough. An outcome that more or less led to the short term destruction of the ALP.

    I think you folks here and the ALP and the Greens are being utterly foolish in not supporting the levy. The reason being is that the top end IS NOT taxed enough and the levy might end up as a permanent tax rate increase with a change of government. INCREASING TOP TAX RATES IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LONG TERM ISSUE FOR THE WORLD – without it we don’t get the funds to use when we do not have LNP governments.

    Argue about the structure of the levy, not the introduction of the levy. Sure the ALP can play around trying to get more concessions out of Abbott, but if they do not support it at the end, I won’t be voting for them.

    You have to play within the rules set by those in power, otherwise you don’t really get to play the game and all the (legit) complaining will thus be ineffectual. Being too idealistic takes you out of the picture. Do you really think the LNP will relent on the high cost points you raise? They wont – it is abundantly clear they are elitist cretins. When they offer something like this – we need to support it, but once in place continue pressuring and attempting to gain public support the gov for all the points you raise.

  61. Kaye Lee

    The UN are already pissed off with us for our inaction on climate change and income inequity as well as our human rights abuses towards asylum seekers especially transferring and locking up unaccompanied minors.

    You are not alone in calling for UN action against us. in the Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church’s newsletter “The Beacon” there was an article called “Why it’s time for UN sanctions
    against Australia” By Anthony Loewenstein

    http://melbourneunitarian.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Beacon-March-2014-web.pdf

    Their latest issue actually has one of my articles from here if you are interested.

    http://melbourneunitarian.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Beacon-April-2014-v2.pdf

  62. Kaye Lee

    jimhaz,

    As I have said, I support higher taxes for high income earners. The whole point is what it is spent on. Don’t vote yes to decrease the deficit so they can then claim they have done well….vote yes to pay for Gonski, NDIS, NBN, renewable energy, increasing Newstart, childcare, affordable housing….countless things before paying for their toys. I will say yes to someone responsible getting more money…for this crew I say lock up the safe and hold your breath until we get rid of them.

  63. Lee

    “We must also start making good well made products here again.Buying this cheap Chinese stuff is crazy. There no quantity control on this crap. It breaks or doesn’t last. We have all been hoodwinked into this false economy on buying cheap inferior junk from overseas.”

    I agree wholeheartedly that we need to stop buying rubbish from China. I don’t think we have all been hoodwinked at all. Personally I prefer to pay extra for superior quality goods. The challenge is trying to find Australian made products. I don’t think the consumer is entirely responsible for this mess either. Businesses have also played a part in making the move to China (or India or the Philippines, in the case of call centres). They had to import cheap products from China in the first place so that the customers could see them and buy them.

    Manufacturing in various parts of the world has now shifted to China. For example, I was told recently that Pfaff no longer manufactures sewing machines in Germany (which was a major selling point for many buyers) and they are now all made in China with a Pfaff badge. Apparently some manufacturers of power tools have moved their manufacturing from Europe to China too. My partner works in electronics and says work in Australia and New Zealand is drying up as more of their clients source products in China.

    A bigger concern is the safety of food items from China and other locations where food safety standards are inferior to our own.

  64. silkworm

    Jimhaz, it’s not the Left that is complaining about the “Deficit Tax”; it’s the Right.

  65. mars08

    I don’t want to pay for the Australian government’s scheme for warehousing asylum seekers in Cambodia…

  66. Saltbush Bill

    How about paying a diesel subsidy to BHP, Rio, Forrest et el to the tune of $5billion a year too. How about taxing these thieving bastards properly so they can pay their fair share, after all the resources belong to all of Australia, not just a select few – and by the way great article Kaye Lee

  67. Kaye Lee

    Ahhh yes, Cambodia. Where they are 95% Theravada Buddhist, where 95% of people speak Khmer, and the per capita GDP is about $2,500 compared to our $43,000. They are far better placed to help these people than us.

  68. dafid1

    Thanks for the links KayeLee will read with interest

  69. Fed up

    “Last night on the DRUM Tim Wilson, our Human Rights Commissioner,stated that we (Australia) had no jurisdiction in Manus Island. and thus could not go to the aid of these poor people to ensure their rights are upheld.”

    Exactly the same way, the courts prevented Gillard from going ahead with he Malaysian Solution The court decided we could not ensure the safety of these people.

    Thanks to Abbott’s opposition, there was no change to our laws.

    Whether Morrison likes it or not, this country has a duty of care to these people.

    Our Supreme court said so.

  70. Andrea

    Plenty of good ways to save tax payer dollars. Actually I can’t see the point in outlaying $60 million on a search for a plane which the best technology currently available has failed to find.
    If we are tightening our fiscal belt maybe the government could start with reducing its spending before putting a hand out for more money to waste.

  71. diannaart

    @Andrea

    Abbott no doubt believes the $60 million worth spending if Australia finds the missing plane. The best way to judge the reason for anything he does is to ask what does he stand to gain?

  72. Andrea

    @diannart

    An expensive way to gain concrete proof.

    Meanwhile Australia suffers from a skills shortage then plans to raise the cost of a university education. Youth unemployment is on the rise but let’s keep people working until they are 70. I just shake my head, so much of it doesn’t seem rational.

  73. Lee

    “Actually I can’t see the point in outlaying $60 million on a search for a plane which the best technology currently available has failed to find.”

    That’s less than a quarter of the purchase price of the plane. Apart from recovery of bodies (upon which it is difficult to put a price) there is also the opportunity to learn what happened and hopefully prevent the same problem, and the associated massive costs, from occurring again.

  74. jimhaz

    [Jimhaz, it’s not the Left that is complaining about the “Deficit Tax”; it’s the Right]

    I think it is both. The ALP and Greens have both said they will not support it.

    I think that is because it was phrased in the papers that as soon as you hit 80k you’d have to pay the 1% on the full 80k, not just on income above 80k. Perhaps the MSM were playing people here in order to generate outrage.

    I suppose we will just have to wait and see what the actual policy is – plenty of pressure is building up to abandon it….maybe even that is what the LNP powerbrokers wanted out of this in the first place – to reinvigorate the greedy, so any attempt to increase tax for the more comfortable end of town would never get off the ground.

  75. Bee

    Hate to break it to you, but
    Your taxes go to paying off the old debt eg ur parents bills.
    These things will be paid off or defaulted on by our children.
    So lay back, our parents did, now our fiat not backed by nething dollar is enslaving our children too.
    Stop the welfare state,and stop asking for pension hand outs and medical bills. Take personal financial responsibility and then stop taxing us.
    Stop enslaving my children.

  76. lawrencewinder

    KL, so good… a succinct but comprehensive detailing of the insanity of this mongrel lot.
    It’s interesting to note that the only positive thing “Rabbutt-the-Hun” can do is yap like a pretend hero about the Malaysian plane there’s nought else.
    Why are we paying for this and not the Malays and Chinese who have much closer responsibility? Perhaps the Malay’s will open camps for asylum seekers?

  77. Kaye Lee

    jimhaz,

    If Labor and the greens have any brains they will use this as a lever for change. They could make their agreement dependent on certain provisos. Keep the carbon and mining taxes. There’s several billion to help, and spend the new money on full Gonski funding and real NBN. You can’t say yes just to reduce a deficit which isn’t really a problem.

  78. rick5591rick5591

    I would be very interested to know how much of the federal budget goes to pay interest on loans (or interest on interest ) to the Rothchild banking cartel. Those gangsters have been sucking nations dry for many years. They bankrupted Iceland, Ireland and are about to bankrupt The US. They create money out of thin air and then loan it to us and have the audacity to charge interest on it. And when the interest payments become too large to pay off we have to pay interest on the interest, until the nation goes broke. That makes one more nation destroyed and a step nearer the creation of their totalitarian New World Order. Iceland and Ireland kicked out the Rothchild banks, set up their own National bank, issued their own currency and paid interest to no one. Iceland went from poverty to prosperity almost overnight. Wake up Australia, kick out the cartels owning our banks and Reserve bank.and issue our own interest free currency. The Australian public must make this mandatory on any party wanting to become the Government. The pressure on Abbott and Co must start now Refusal to do so means Abbott and Co are either in bed with the Rothchild bankers or too fearful to remove them from Australia. Either way, to continue on the present course towards eventual bankruptcy is treason against the people of Australia.
    Rick5591.

  79. VoterBentleigh

    @jimzhaz

    There are a number of points to be made about the proposed deficit tax:

    1. It goes against all Mr Abbott railed against as Opposition Leader:

    “People who work hard and put money aside so they won’t be a burden on others should be encouraged, not hit with higher taxes.

    And people earning $83,000 a year and families on $150,000 a year are not rich, especially if they’re paying mortgages in our big cities.” (Budget reply speech, 2012)

    Now in power, he portrays these people as well-to-do and says that they should pay a deficit tax, while he claimed before that they were being ripped off by a tax which was not even imposed upon them and for which they were compensated.

    2. He is introducing an unproductive, unnecessary PPL which will be especially generous to those on high incomes, while proposing a deficit tax for all taxpayers.

    3. The Coalition claimed that a nation could not tax its way to prosperity, but now it believes that it can tax its way to a surplus

    4. The Coalition claimed that they wanted as few taxes as possible, but add a new tax on all taxpayers, while taking away taxes on highly profitable businesses. That does not aid the “aspirational”, promote productivity amongst workers or assist the poor.

    5. The Coalition said that there would be changes to the taxation system for lower taxes but only after a second-term mandate

    6. Mr Abbott claimed that if the ALP were able to introduce a tax (in that case a carbon tax), then that would mean be a green light to introduce other taxes. We can therefore apply his rule to the deficit tax.

    7.Mr Abbott claimed that under the carbon tax people would be $545 worse off per year, but people will be worse off under the deficit tax ($800 if on $80,000) than if the carbon tax and mining taxes had been retained. If one wants to help the poor as you say, then tax the huge profits of the miners and polluters.

    8. Mr Abbott claims politicians and the wealthy will share the burden, but the better-off have all sorts of tax exemptions and other means to lessen their taxes. Certainly far more than those on lower incomes, but there is no sign that these are to be altered.

    9. Mr Abbott claimed:So he hits them with a deficit tax.

    10. The aim of the tax is to bring in a surplus as fast as possible, no matter what the cost to the electorate. It is not about the country, but about Mr Abbott and the Coalition achieving their hallowed goal of a surplus. A surplus at any cost is not a good thing just as Malcolm Fraser had to learn (by losing an election) that focussing solely on controlling inflation while ignoring rampant unemployment and ”bottom of the harbour schemes’ was not the way to go.

    The points Kaye Lee makes are not idealistc; they go to common decency, competent economic management, fairness, good governance and justice. One can improve the taxation scheme to bring in better economic structural reform which is sustainable, but this tax is just the Abbott Coalition’s ad hoc method to gain “surplus cred” and has nothing to do with the national interest or assisting the poor.

  80. abbienoiraude

    “If I earn over $80.000….?”
    Good grief. I am a carer and look after my man on DSP and we get less than half of that together and WE are being asked to pay for it/forgo our pension and allowance to pay for all this!
    If I can keep our house, make it a home,keep my man alive, going to specialists ( paying the gap $$ as well) and meds, then maybe I could be given the job of budgeting for the Nation?
    I could do it on my ear and keep the priorities on track to a better future.

    Thanks, Kaye, for a list of all that is being spent by this mob who spread the lie of ‘Labor’s mess’ and ‘Australia’s debt crisis’.

    Here…I have found a few coins. Have a chardonnay ( a cleanskin albeit) on me!

  81. Kaye Lee

    VB,

    Great post.

    abbie,

    It is people like you that should benefit from a new tax. Let’s up the tax rate for high income earners permanently but let’s make sure Tony doesn’t spend the money on cutting corporate tax.

  82. VoterBentleigh

    @Bee
    Hate to break it to you, but it is under the LNP that the future generations will be counting the cost, especially compared with their parents
    1. Increased school costs with no tax exemptions, like the school kids bonus
    2. Increased health insurance and co-payments for medical care
    3. A deficit tax until a surplus is achieved which could be, according to the Coalition, a decade away
    4. Increased university fees
    5. Costs associated with the failure of Direct Action Plan. Scientists and economists say it will fail to reduce emissions and cost more to achieve the emissions required (which the Coalition claim they believe are necessary and are aiming to achieve BTW).
    6. Reduced family tax benefits have been mooted
    7. If the next generation have a disabled child or become disabled through an accident, they may not get as much government assistance via Disability Pension Scheme and who knows what will happen to the NDIS
    8. Less regulation to protect the ordinary person from financial ruin by unethical financiers (actually some of the kids’ parents and grandparents also suffered due to lack of regulation – pink batts, Storm Financial.)

    And the Coalition has not even been in a year.

  83. Stephen Tardrew

    Bee

    You need to read about Modern Money Theory: Budget deficit basics. Also look at Central banking

    The neoconservative media are selling you a lemon.

    Budget deficit basics

  84. Don Winther

    jimhaz
    April 30, 2014 • 4:11 pm
    “Deficit Tax”
    Stop worrying. The ALP, the Greens and the Liberals all take between $320k to $450k per year plus entitlements. Most MSM journos, most TV and radio hosts, anyone with media influence earns over $80k. None of them will vote for or support a tax on themselves, it will get knocked back and Tony will say that he tried to help but Labor stopped him, every one is happy except Mr Average again.

  85. Anomander

    Never undervalue potatoes Kaye. Roses may bloom, release that heavenly scent and look beautiful, but their beauty is fleeting.

    The noble potato, on the other hand, well… it makes chips!

    And as everybody knows, chips are the stuff of memories.

    Twice fried by an old Greek man who after 40 years still can’t quite pronounce your name correctly and who refuses to give up his business – his livelihood, his sole reason for being now the girls have moved.

    Liberally splashed with vinegar and a shake of salt, the bubbling glisten of oil evaporating as they are professionally bundled tightly in yesterday’s newspaper, tucked neatly under one arm as you waddle across the road to that wooden bench overlooking the sea on a clear mid-winter day.

    Struggling with the layers of paper you manage to rend open a tear in just one end of the package, the first waft of tangy steam assaulting your nostrils, gingerly reaching in, knowing your fingers will be burnt, but not caring because all you want is that warm, comforting.

    The knowing, furtive glance between raised collars and beanies, setting closer, no need at all for words, between the whispered “oohs” and “owws” the rustling of paper, the roar of the waves and the approaching call of hungry gulls, you quietly contemplate all those grand questions of life, including – “how can a humble potato taste so bloody good?”.

  86. diannaart

    @Andrea

    An expensive way to gain concrete proof

    I am sure Abbott would think it worth it. No, he is not rational – thinking only in terms of personal gain is not rational.

  87. Mat

    I’ve a sour tase in my mouth. We needed a Gov’t that would Govern not one who pacified & we got one. I’m not happy about it but the alternative is worse.

    And I’m speaking as a parent who currently pays the top tax rate & child support & privte rent which leaves about 20 cents in every dollar I earn to pay down the current debt.

    So what could make it worse, borrowing more to sustain a way of life – that could. Not realising that actions ned to be taken now – that could. Ignoring what the country needs for the future – that could too.

    I’m all for kick starting the economy, but with what. Mining will decline until some other developing nation has a need for raw materials. So the mining tax which is a tax on PROFIT will do nothing except create an administrative nightmare.

    The argument that used to be expoused that new arrivals to Australia help to boost local economy. Ummmm – How????? My personal observation is this is not the case & the people who expoused this had a political agenda, like shoring up a political base.
    I’m all for helping someone in need & I do so BUT themere act of giving an underpriivildged group handouts of borrowed cash does not sit well with me.

    I fear that we as a nation will need to sell off some of our natural rescources & spend the income wisely, & I don’t think that the tertiary educated people currently being trained will fetch that much on the open market.
    Perhaps we need a national infrastructure project that could pull together all people in the coutry for a common goal….say increase the GDP by increasing agriculture production this in turn would create needs in so many other sectors which in turn would have flow on benifits.

    By the way, I’ve suggested one such idea to a political party already.
    How about this columist run a competition for any such ideas, someone mioght listen.

    Rant over & apologies for the spelling.

  88. Kaye Lee

    Anomander,

    That brought back so many memories. I even nearly felt good about the seagulls for a brief moment.

  89. Don Winther

    Matt
    Ok I’ll have a go: We could start a car industry, make cars right here for ourselves. Ford imported 200,000 of them just last year. We spent $20 billion Aussie dollars in imported cars last year. That would provide a few highly skilled jobs and a few production line jobs, cleaners, accountants etc. The Gov will have to help a bit because all other countries help there industries. Hows that for a brilliant idea Matt.
    Oh and another one : import tariffs on all imports that we could be producing right here. Thats a good idea.
    And another one: instead of Gina selling all our raw materials to China @ $100 per ton we could make steel out of it and sell them steel @ $2000 per ton instead.

    Shit I thought this was going to be hard. Thanks Matt. Thinking is fun.

  90. Mat

    Don,
    I reckon you’re still thinking too small. But I do agree that a viable manufacturing sector is an indicator of a healthy economy.

  91. Don Winther

    An indicator of a healthy economy? No family is going to survive financially or mentally buying take-away food for breakfast lunch and dinner. Thats why we have kitchens in our houses. Australia realized the need to manufacture 100 years ago but its much easier now to just sell our country. The rich get richer. China is only getting wealth by making and making and making anything and as much of it as it can. A bit greedy of them but its so easy for us. No smells no noise no money. “Australian Made is jobs for Australians” Abbott is an Idiot.

  92. Don Winther

    Come on Matt have you ever tried to make something? How would you go making an …… electric motor, there must be ten in every house in Australia but Australia cant make them any more its easer to import them. What about a washing machine, an essential item in every home in a 1st world country. We cant make them either but New Zealand can and we used to. We cant make washing machines because we cant make electric motors. Some one lost there job,bad luck for them. I know its a bit simplified but Im sure you know what Im trying to say.We could all be lawyers and chew bits out of each others arses and see who wins or get into Politics. Paul Keatings level playing field was and is bullshit. Protect our country like every other country does.

  93. Ken Shep

    Please send this to the Labour Party, they need help in combating Tony.

  94. Mat

    I wouldn’t use China as an example unless it’s proposed that we have the same standards of living.
    Please consider,
    – China’s workplace conditions
    – To which economies China loaned it’s profits too before it loosened it’s grip on capitolism & what effect that had on a global scale
    – The number of people needed to mass produce anything, agriculture, vehicles, machinery etc, in todays modern environment compared to one that was built 60 years ago.

    Be aware that I have some personal opinions that are based on my experiences while working alongside various nationalities. (I mean dirt under the nails type work)
    I believe we need to.
    1. develop an income stream to pay for future development not lifestyle
    2. use a major infrastructure project to pull us together as a Nation of Australians
    3. then decide as a nation what will underpin & define us as a nation. (China – manufacturing, India – IT, USA – consumers, Australia -Raw materials / Agriculture / Tourism / ?????)

    Unfortunatly, I like so many others, seem to just keep paying for the lack of action by our leaders which is why I origionally mentioned we need a new Govt who is prepared to Govern. Perhaps should have also said ‘ & assist business to develop as well’

    It’s pretty simplistic but then so are most ideas in the begining.

    Out.

  95. VoterBentleigh

    @Mat
    Borrowing more to sustain a way of life is not necessary if structural changes to the taxation and revenue stream are implemented. Nothing is planned to change under Abbott’s Coalition. All you’ll get from the Abbott Coalition is “hope”. Try living on that for a while.

    Actions need to be taken now – prove it. There is no budget crisis and no imminent collapse of the government’s income (the problems aremore long-term), especially if it keeps the carbon and mining taxes and dumps profligate spending on searches, increasing spending on the ADF, OBS (using military tow backs must be costing millions), PPL schemes, etc., etc., etc.

    It requires a proper structural change to provide revenue streams and good governance – if that’s what you want, but the Abbott government wants small government and wants no revenue stream except for his own salary. So live in “hope”, because the opportunity he promised will never eventuate now or in the furure for anyone but himself.

    No revenue stream, then don’t expect road potholes to be filled in those roads of the 21st century, infrastructure to be built without tolls and fees or any other government services now taken for granted.

    A mining tax on profit would have provided revenue for the government if allowed to continue. Mines are making profits; from whence do royalties which the States are taking come, but profits. What administrative nightmare? If you can run a profitable mine, you can surely manage your tax returns.

    If the Government manages the economy properly the money for the underprivileged or disadvantaged sections of society does not have to be borrowed. Howard had a surplus and showed how compassionate he was by not spennding it on the disadvantaged. No Gonski, NDIS or anything except buying votes under Howard. Abbott admires Howard, so expect the same when he achieves a surplus.

    New arrivals bring new skills, new perspectives, new ideas and lots more to a nation. Civilization has advanced by the intermixing of races and cultures. Modern English would not have developed into the rich language with myriad shades of meanings that it is, except for the influences of the Huns, Romans and Normans. Being inbred and insular is not good for any group of people.
    Teriary trained people do fetch very well on the open market because they have spent years training to develop individual skills including how to think critically and to analyze. It is across all the disciplines, too; for instance, Iknow of one science trained graduate who was chosen from a field osf candidates because the company valued the fact his Englishs skills were high and therefore he could write good reports.

    Basically, Mat, you would be better learning to spell than listening to the Murdoch propaganda. Or are you one of Murdoch’s minions?

  96. Fed up

    China is going down the track of the electric car. Could we buy into that industry. One of the future.

    They say driverless cars are not far off.

    Just a thought.

  97. donwreford

    And what about the slush funds the black ops, money paid to Liberals MPs, for favors, such as contracts, a wide spread racket that I believe was endemic, the Liberals got in on lies and money from those with schemes that are all to do with rackets and corruption, who have front men, such as Abbott, who cannot cover himself with enough lycra, to make himself more money.

  98. Mat

    @ Voter,

    * tertiary

    I’m a free thinking individual who has his check book in balance. Have too with what i’m left with each week.

    ??? How many tertiary educated people are needed to write reports V’s those required to fill in potholes. Oh wait, that educated person came up with a machine that now does the work of 5.

    Go back & re read my comments. I said we need progress. That progress has to be paid for somehow & it needs to be managed. On that we agree.

    BTW, my first job was cleaning out under shearing sheds with hand tools. It was a requirement to support my family. I wish I had’ve finished school, but then I would have no excuses.

  99. Don Winther

    Matt I have worked in many parts of the world also and I know the living and working conditions in China, Thailand and Korea that is why it is so strange that Abbott is signing one sided free trade agreements with them and dropping all our import protection. It is impossible for any Australian manufacturer to compete with them. We are loosing a lot of skills that gave us some independence. You are right we do need something that we come be proud of, proud Australians again. Shit thats a bit harder….. what was going on in the 70’s and 80’s that made us so proud to be Australian? I remember we were all working at making stuff and building our country, getting payed for a good days work even the Lawyers were happy.

  100. Kaye Lee

    Mat,

    Your thoughts are welcome here. People may disagree with you but every contribution helps us all to think about how to improve our wonderful country.

    We need change. I am not comfortable with the direction this government is taking. We all need to come up with better ideas.

  101. Mick Free

    Great to see you put up alternative ideas. Oh you didn’t. Then how about the Norwegian model, their mining tax and their pension fund. The MRRT and its weak revenue raise will go.

    The country couldn’t be better placed with the appropriate people to possibly get the job done ( by that I mean you run a fine balance in introducing some austerity measures and getting re-elected. Lets hope that the Libs will do what they have done when in past Governments and reduce the debt of Labor and balance the books. From what I have seen so far it seems a nice balance between defence, health and a plan for tackling the ageing population and the amount of money required in the welfare state.

    I’m not an Abbott fan but there comes a time when a Government has to go and that was the same for Howard and Gillard. Give it a bit of time people.

    Its the first time I have read your column so feel free to send me the link to the alternatives you suggest.

  102. Kirsten Tona

    And another thing…winning just over half the primary vote in a general election does not give you a mandate to make sweeping changes and spend huge amounts of money, ESPECIALLY when you did not put these policies to the people at election time.
    Even if you DID go to the polls being honest and upfront about your intentions (you didn’t) it still would not be sufficient to say, if over 50% want it, we can do it.
    You have to govern for the other 40-something percent too.
    And, being a government is about being an umpire or referee between competing interests, you have no right to take such sweeping changes on yourself. Big, long-lasting changes should go to a referendum and not proceed without at least 85% approval. Hmm, that figure is familiar, isn’t that the percentage of Norther Rivers locals polled who said they do NOT want unconventional gas mining?
    You are obliged to hear that big a percentage.
    You will have reason to rue your arrogance. All governments of your type do, eventually.

  103. Kaye Lee

    Mick,

    I have written about 100 articles and made hundreds of comments on this site. I have also made many suggestions. if you wish to have a look then just read through the comments on here or read previous articles. You will find many suggestions from many people.

  104. Michael Taylor

    Kaye Lee, this post is pure genius. Congratulations and well-done.

  105. Stephen Tardrew

    Michael I agree.

    I hope someone can produced a spreadsheet demonstrating how much of a lie the debt is and the fact that their are many adequate ways to deal with the deficit without ruining peoples lives.

    Furthermore we need a good post on Modern Money Theory MMT to dispel some of the confusion between debt and deficit and the fact that it is banks not governments who produce money through loans. No loans, no money, no new industry while they continue to make a killing in the finance sector.

    Something like the article on The Mugwump Post to help dispel confusion about MMT. We are living in a very different financial environment to conventional gold standard mentality. Fiat money operates in an entirely different way and before we can find suitable solutions it is imperative to have a basic understanding of MMT.

    Just a thought.

    WHENEVER I HEAR THE WORDS ‘WE HAVE TO GET THE BUDGET BACK IN SURPLUS’ – I REACH FOR MY BULLSHIT REPELLENT!

  106. Stephen Tardrew

    Michael I would also recommend Bill Mitchell however for non-economists it is hard going. Plenty of other resources

    Budget deficit basics

  107. Mic

    No matter how we force the big polluters to clean up their acts, the end users are going to cop the bill. However Emissions-Trading is NOT the answer. No one should be allowed to “buy” the right to pollute from someone else who has done the right thing.

    The Law-Making is very simple. The output of all smoke stacks must be fed into the air-conditioning of the executive suites. Clive should have to drink every cup of coffee or tea made from his nickel-contaminated water, and Gina should equally have to consume the sludge from her mines.

    Let’s clean up the “top” end of town.

  108. hi2lea

    Reblogged this on hi2lea and commented:
    Sums up all of my thoughts exactly.

  109. AnjumSinghania

    Great post. Loved reading it.
    I would be obliged if you could also check out my blog DoubleThink. I’ll drop its link below!

    DoubleThink is an up and coming blog that is extremely satisfying for every kind of a person, be it the thinker, the optimist, the pessimist, the poet, the musician, the couch-potato, the bookworm or the photographer.We are a bunch of people with different backgrounds, contradictory opinions but one voice. And this blog is our voice.
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  110. Someone who loves this country

    Add to the above…

    I don’t want to lose quality in public education, medical care, and food standards which everyone, not just the rich, deserve.

    I don’t want this country to turn into a wasteland because a man, ignorant to the people yet at big business’ beck and call, was elected because the powers that got him there through mass coercion through the media have the ability to bend him to their will. Where bad management means we lose so many natural wonders of this country. Where people that actually give a damn about this country are persecuted because their opinion, in a country of “free speech”, may be bad for big business’ public image.

    Dear ye ol’ gov’nment,

    Have a bit of decency. Reconnect with the people who have been pleading with you for help, but have until now been ignored: the public. Big business doesn’t really need your help. They’re just seeing how far they can push you to their advantage. So far, you’ve fallen for their promises of happily ever after. They were talking about themselves anyway. Progress and prosperity can be had in other ways. Technology and the environment can work together while creating jobs. Profit from perpetual sources work out far better than those from limited ones. So do jobs by the way.

    Maybe if you lived how the rest of us live, earning a simple wage, making ends meet but just barely, working long hours on average wages to be able to rarely afford the first class perks you give yourself, perhaps you’d actually realise how your decisions affect us. I don’t recall giving parliament such perks and pay rises in the first place. Were they self-endowed? When did the government take such airs with our money? Please don’t think it’s easy money – people’s blood, sweat, tears, and lives went into it. Stop abusing the responsibility entrusted to you.

    Your promise of a few jobs means nothing if we have to spend it all on medical bills and tasteless food. Where artisans lose their abilities because they have become outlaws. Where we have to go overseas to see the beauty of nature – when we can afford it. The promise of jobs means nothing if the quality of life we have here deteriorates to nothingness.

    It wont matter how much money you have, something plus nothing still equals nothing. And that’s not something to be proud about. Having large amounts of money does not make you amount to anything. It’s not a true measure of what you’re worth.

  111. Kayla Flamenco Malaysia

    Dear Someone who Loves this country,
    The commentary flooding out of my screen from hundreds of sources regarding current politics, as a collective, have not seen the light as you have. In the mahem there’s been little time to breathe. Thank you for the deep and long sigh of relief you have just provided.
    What you’ve said is so completely true and relevant to many other countries as well. I hope you don’t mind if I share.
    Much thanks,
    Someone else who does too x

  112. Egalitarian

    Abbott and and Hockey have pulled down there pants and are both gleefully showing us a there brown eyes in there contempt for working and poorer off Australians citizens.Have a good look , because if you think this is ugly now.Wait; and do nothing Australia, it will be the worse eyesore you ever saw. America is not my favorite county.But they do have a way with a phrase.Australia stop taking it up the arse.Do something.

  113. Karl

    Thank you Kaye Lee,

  114. Rex Alfie Lee

    Can’t we just get rid of them the way Kerr did so many years ago. I don’t care if all of them, Labor included take a swim & don’t return, doing the Harold Holt…

  115. Bob Evans

    Props to you Kay Lee, well done.

  116. Barry

    Kaye Lee, you are so right. Thanks for your articles.

  117. Don Winther

    That is exactly my point Matt we dont have the same standards of living as China, what is this level playing field shit. China is now a massive economic power mainly due to its focus on manufacturing and its protection and support of its own local industries and there standard of living is rapidly rising. 14,000 jobs lost in Melb from Abbotts decision to shut the auto industry instead of offering some protection as all other countries do. 14,000 is only the direct job losses there will be 3 times that. And then there is Adelaide. Thanks Abbott !!

  118. Jeanette Lewis

    Hear, hear!

  119. donwreford

    From 1770’s, the use of machines displacing labor creating surplus labor since and prior, the destruction of buildings through war and the destruction of buildings having been constructed from energy of human endeavor, destroyed by modernism with arguable results that are questionable, my point is if the aging population requires more human energy would this not be useful to use energy that has in the past been displaced? as a result of waste.
    As we can see in places such as Syria the destruction of energy that throughout the ages of past energy of mans and women’s labor destroyed within a comparative short time that a more intelligent realignment of human endeavor would be the answer to our present need for the work energy required for the aging population.
    As seen in the Black Plague,, the increased deaths created a labor shortage having a favorable outcome for increased money for labor,as one can see the human race survived well in spite of a labor shortage, for many, the money paid for wages or pensions, is in many cases insufficient for their health, either mentally nor physical.

  120. donwreford

    Australia, I think back in 2012, gave the IMF, 7 billion dollars, why is our country giving a private bank having enormous assets paid by a country that is in debt? who we may be in debt to this organization, what do we owe? the rubbery figures seem to constantly change, I have heard 123 billion?

  121. Anomander

    To me, the key issue is not that we have amassed debt, but more that we have foregone much of our income through income tax cuts, subsidies, write-offs and outright rorts.

    Sure you may have worked hard to get into a position to earn a better than average wage, but in doing so you made extensive use of the infrastructure and services provided by everyone else; schooling, roads, electricity, water, health, policing etc. No one person is capable of doing this in isolation, it is the combines wealth of all our contributions that provides these services for every Australian.

    You must also understand that none of us know what the future has in store for us. I’ve seen several close friends work hard to become highly successful, well paid and afforded large salaries, only to see them struck down by accident, or illness, leaving them unable to work or in need of assistance to get themselves back into the workforce. I am happy to know that my tax dollars, and the taxes they also paid, are going to support these people to continue as productive members of society because the alternative of society abandoning them is morally reprehensible and not something a caring society should ever contemplate.

    Our taxation works on a progressive scale, specifically designed to produce equity and fairness, like it or not, this is the price of society, where those who can afford to pay a bit extra do so to assist those who cannot.

    The critical issue to me is that there is a crux-point at the upper-end of the tax scale, where an individual’s income crosses a threshold where it become more efficient for them to pay an accountant to devise clever tax avoidance strategies. The greater the income, the more those opportunities arise and the means to avoid paying tax increases, almost exponentially, to the point where those at the very top of the scale pay negligible or zero tax, or in some cases manage to structure their wealth to derive tax credits.

    Graphically, taxation should show a scale with a smooth upward trending curve, those earning the least pay less tax and those at the top paying the most. But the scale commences it’s upward trend and somewhere around the $200k mark, rather than increasing or plateauing, the taxation revenue begins to decline. As the salary scale increases the total revenue actually plummets faster and faster down to a zero-end point for those on the very highest incomes, as their tax avoidance schemes kick-in.

    And this is the nub of the problem. We have immensely wealthy individuals who have utilised the services of society to advance their position, but they are now in a position where they make zero contribution in return. Their focus turns nastily inward toward larger and larger accumulation of personal wealth and the attitude of “Screw everyone else!”. And that leaves everyone else to cover the shortfall – predominately those who can least afford the additional burden or those whose incomes fall just below the threshold and don’t have the means to employ these clever tactics.

    If we are to address the issue of expenditure versus revenue then THIS is the area upon which the greater focus needs apply.

    Rather than mercilessly crush and slash benefits for those at the lower end of the scale, those who can least afford it, we need a government of moral conviction, willing to stand-up and bust the scams, eliminate the rorts and crush the tax avoidance schemes, to ensure every single person in the nation pays their fair share according to their means, so we can all benefit, rather than just a select few.

  122. patsy

    WONDERFUL ARTICAL KAYE>>>>>>>LOVE YOUR WORK>>>>>SHAME WE DO NOT HAVE AN EVEN BALANCE WITH MORE IMPARTIAL JOURNALISTS>>>>>>>I SOMETIMES WONDER HOW THE DEVINES>>>ACKERMAN >>>>JONES>>>>BOLT ETC HAVE SUCH A FOLLOWING>>>>>>EVIL ??????? IS THERE SO MANY OUT THERE??????

  123. cornlegend

    Kaye Lee,
    You’ve made my day with this article.
    Damn, I reckon it’s your best one ever, and that’s not downplaying your other wonderful efforts,.
    go girl

  124. Jatzman

    A very good article no doubt but let’s keep the facts straight. I think this “Levy is crap. I think Abbott can call this a “Levy” until he is blue in the face, it is still a tax and a broken election promise. I also think Abbott is a clown BUT the budget was WELL in debt when he got in to power, thanks to Labour and it’s spending spree. Hockey certainly hasn’t helped with poor choices but the biggest damage was done by the red head and Swannie. They tried to buy them selves in to power and favour.

    I am all for highlighting Abbott and Hockeys foolishness but lets keep it honest and unbiased. They need to go but who do we vote in? Do we vote for that other clown, Shorten? What we need is a decent politician to stand up!

  125. Kaye Lee

    Did you miss the global financial crisis Jatzman? And if you want to talk about vote-buying, ask John Howard where all the money from the mining boom and the sale of so many assets went. He started the rot, Labor were silly to persist with Howard’s tax cuts particularly in light of the GFC. Howard let people put $1 million into super just before the 2007 election to avoid paying tax. At least Labor’s spending was for the greater good – Gonski, NDIS, NBN – as opposed to the list of spending from the Coalition so far.

  126. Stephen Tardrew

    Great point Anomander.

  127. Bacchus

    I’ll rephrase that for you shall I Jatzman?

    I have no understanding of economics, so instead I’ll come here spouting discredited neo-con crap instead…

    How did I go?

    ↑↑ Refer to post further up the thread for some basic edumacation… ↑↑

  128. Möbius Ecko

    You leave out Jatzman that Abbott, Hockey and co knew the exact state of the budget before the election and during the election campaign when they made all those promises that got them elected and they are now breaking at unheard of speed.

    You also leave out that $68 billion of the current deficit is purely of Hockey’s making, having nothing whatsoever to do with the deficit left by Labor, which was fully accounted and tabled to the dollar and confirmed by Hockey, who then went on to lie about it and put wild projections into the future.

    You must also not leave out that despite the Abbott opposition at every turn blocking and attacking savings measures being made or proposed by the previous government, remember the evil Labor class warfare, the budget position was improving and government efficiency dividends were working. These savings and the trending improvement in the budgetary outcome were completely ignored by Hockey when he screamed “Labor budget emergency” and then lost it until know, where it appears he’s suddenly found it again after he stuffed the budget so badly.

  129. Ek

    Some of that anti Liberal rant is on the money.

    We don’t need a PPL scheme when we are in so much debt.

    However, we need a defence budget … any lunatic who willingly leaves our borders undefended deserves to be converted to Islam and flogged for free thought. We also need to protect our borders from illegal immigrants who come to this country with no skills and add to the welfare queue.

    Did I forget to mention 1200 deaths at sea vs one death in one of those evil detention centres in 6 months?

    Also I want an investigation into why the Labor Party misused my tax dollar on the BER and pink bats and GFC spend and I want to know above all else…. Why was I not asked by the previous govt if I wanted to be in 350billion of debt ??? So that the Evil Abbott govt had to introduce harsh measures to correct that problem.

    Get a job AND start paying tax. Then I might listen.

  130. Kaye Lee

    Yes ME,

    I was flabbergasted when that “pull my string” doll Matthias Corman kept repeating, along with Hockey and Abbott, that labor had set budget “traps” for them. Don’t they read the budget? Didn’t they look at PEFO? The efficiency dividend for the public service was in there. They must have known that staffing cuts were already happening. Gonski and NDIS funding were in there too. Just look at Hockey’s own MYEFO document and you can see who did what when. You will also see the truth about the debt and projected deficit they inherited and how they have blown that out by hundreds of billions.

    From Mr Hockey’s own document

    “Net debt is expected to be $191.5 billion (12.1 per cent of GDP) in 2013‑14 and is expected to reach $280.5 billion (15.7 per cent of GDP) in 2016‑17.” so cut the bullshit about this $667 billion debt will ya joe. The ball’s in YOUR court.

  131. Anomander

    To quote from the editorial in the SMH this morning:

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/tony-abbotts-deficit-levy-will-make-a-taxing-issue-even-worse-20140430-zr1va.html#ixzz30QwzCxdY

    According to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook released this month, Australia’s general government net debt as a percentage of GDP stood at 13 per cent last year, and will rise to just under 20 per cent by 2019 on a do-nothing basis. Compare this with Germany, which has net debt as a percentage of GDP of 53 per cent, the United Kingdom 84.5 per cent, the USA 82 per cent and Canada at 39 per cent. And Japan and many EU countries have net debt well over 100 per cent of GDP.

    If 13% is a “budget emergency”, why aren’t these other nations also invoking emergency provisions?

    The urgency is merely a mask for Abbott & Co. to ram through their neo-liberalist ideological agenda as soon as possible to; privatise assets, slash worker rights and create an underclass of workers so desperate they will work for lower and lower wages, all so the corporations can increase their profits and feed the insatiable need for a small group of influential people to acquire even greater wealth, power and influence. A sick, twisted mindset for people charged with governing for all Australians.

    One must necessarily ask then, why exactly would a government willingly act against the best interests of the vast bulk of its citizens?

  132. Julian

    Hope you wrote the same article when the last government was in power on their profligacy

  133. silkworm

    Ek, Reza Berati was MURDERED, and your precious Immigration Minister is harbouring a MURDERER. Morrison belongs in jail.

  134. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Julian there was plenty written about the most profligate government in our history, the last Liberal government.

  135. jane

    Mick Free you sure missed the point of Matt’s very fine post, so I’ll precis for you:

    If the Liars quit wasting enormous sums of money on the shiny crap listed in Matt’s post, they’d have enough money for the plain packaged good stuff, like
    1) better public transport in cities to reduce congestion & exhaust fumes,
    2) affordable accessible health care for everyone not just the wealthy few,
    3) investing in the real NBN, not Turnbull’s brain fart Fraudband,
    4) supporting the car industry because it keeps tens of thousands of people employed, who pay tax & keep hundreds of thousands of other people employed, paying tax etc
    5) investing in public education from pre-school to tertiary

    There’s just a few examples for you to mull over.

    Remember, Austerity policies never work. That theory has been well and truly discredited. Budget surpluses are not the be all and end all and are a pretty silly idea if you claim there’s a budget emergency.

    Read Bill Mitchell and other reputable economists, not Liars apologists. You’re bound to come out better educated than when you started.

  136. Kaye Lee

    Julian,

    I wrote a great deal about the previous government’s expenditure, all of it in praise from memory. I cannot think of one expenditure item that was not designed to improve the lives of everyday Australians.

    The two that conservatives love to bring up are the “pink batts” and the BER. These two initiatives were entered into to stimulate the economy through the construction sector. It gave employment to many people whose wages were recycled through the economy. It provided a market for suppliers. Schools received new facilities, over a million homes got insulation. They were big schemes which had some problems as any scheme that size would. The benefits far outweighed the problems. Before you attack me about the young men who so tragically died, there are hundreds of workplace deaths every year. In the case of these young men, their employers are to blame for not training and supervising their employees.

    I can only applaud the Gillard government for spending money on education reform, the NDIS, the NBN, affordable paid parental leave – all ground breaking reforms that Howard should have done when we had money rolling in instead of pissing it up against a gold wall.

  137. rossleighbrisbane

    Don’t you love it when Liberal supporters suggest that Labor supporters are being hypocritical. Not because it isn’t sometimes true – people who complained about the way Gillard was treated making similarly sexist remarks about Liberal politicians, for example – but because they have no way of justifying any of the lies that Abbott told, so their only defence is attack.

  138. dafid1

    Tory trolls out from under the bridge, trying to defend the indefensible, not very well at that.

  139. Le Spectre

    Stephen Tardrew asked for a spreadsheet on the lie of the debt. Here it is

    Abbott’s war on the rest of us – And why there’s no need

    Also I would suggest to you Kaye to research a new tax model that I recently heard about. I did the numbers and it works. It gets rid of tax havens and makes everyone pay the same – individual and corporation alike.

    In a nutshell we get rid of all existing taxes and charge a 1% tax on every withdrawal and deposit in every bank, building society etc. So every dollar that comes into and out of every financial institution 1 cent goes to the Tax Office. My calculations show that it is far greater than all the tax currently collected.

    Very easy for the banks to do. It’s a simple algorithm.

    Yes would put a lot of accountants out of work plus probably a lot of lawyers too. Damn.

  140. Stephen

    So much anger and hatred in many of these comments due the the ALP losing the last election. I wonder what the feeling will be when the ALP falls behind PUP and the Greens as a political power. Thoughts?

  141. donwreford

    Regardless of your common sense, Abbott, has to obey the IMF, they instruct him on how he has to run the country, he is only the name, or front man, beyond that he does not exist.

  142. Kaye Lee

    Stephen,

    The stock standard Conservative smoke screen – “you’re angry cause you lost” – cannot change the litany of wasted money from the Coalition government that is listed in this article. I have no problem with paying more tax if they use it wisely. The list above sounds more like kids let loose in the candy shop. What are YOUR thoughts on THAT!!!

  143. donwreford

    When the IMF, is up your arse, you have no way out other than to take it.

  144. Lee

    “And this is the nub of the problem. We have immensely wealthy individuals who have utilised the services of society to advance their position, but they are now in a position where they make zero contribution in return. Their focus turns nastily inward toward larger and larger accumulation of personal wealth and the attitude of “Screw everyone else!”. ”

    I completely agree. The problem is also that too many politicians are not there to represent the electorate, but to feather their own nest. So they won’t close the loopholes because they use them too. Ditto for the businesses that are funnelling money offshore to avoid paying tax. This is also presenting a conflict of interest for many politicians.

  145. donwreford

    Australia, is owned in the main by overseas financiers, they pay little or no tax, the Australians are here as caretakers, to service the over seas corporations, when the chance by to come here to check their investments, some one has to make their coffee.

  146. Lee

    “The two that conservatives love to bring up are the “pink batts” and the BER. These two initiatives were entered into to stimulate the economy through the construction sector. It gave employment to many people whose wages were recycled through the economy. It provided a market for suppliers. Schools received new facilities, over a million homes got insulation. They were big schemes which had some problems as any scheme that size would. The benefits far outweighed the problems. Before you attack me about the young men who so tragically died, there are hundreds of workplace deaths every year. In the case of these young men, their employers are to blame for not training and supervising their employees.”

    We will never know how many lives were actually saved by the pink batts scheme, by identifying risky wiring before it burned houses down, complete with occupants.

  147. Marie Coghlan's

    Seriously…. I’m a single income family, we lost the house. Their are no jobs and we can just afford to make ends meet. After fuel to get to work, food on the table and utilities there is not much left. Take anymore and I’ll go on the dole (which I have Never done) for the same amount. Other than pride there’s no point in working anymore.

  148. Matters Not

    Stephen said:

    So much anger and hatred in many of these comments

    Indeed there’s evidence to support that assertion, given ‘common sense’ understandings of what constitutes ‘anger’ and ‘hatred’. You probably got that right. But, you also assert:

    due the the ALP losing the last election

    Is this ‘the the’ evidence of a stutter? But it matters not in the whole scheme of things.

    I suspect that much of the ‘anger and ‘hatred’ is also directed against the ALP for stuffing it up, but I am almost certain that the ‘anger and hatred’ evolves from the current government and its ‘broken’ promises.

    Care to comment?

  149. donwreford

    Rare information on the positive aspects of what labors has done, I have not heard anyone thank Labor for the warmth brought to their homes, how many people may have better health as a result? also I noted the computer that had been given to this teenager got from Labor policy, also he as a result got exemplary distinctions, having the use of this, I could go on about a list of virtues,

  150. Fed up

    Lee, funny thing, there has been Abbott’s inquiry into those pink batts, or as her says roof batts for weeks. As usual, no great discovery of any wrong doing. Hardly a ripple in the media. Rudd and Garrett will appear in a couple of weeks.

    No, it is the slush funds of the Libs that are hogging the media space. Getting more juicer every day.

    Even braking the convention of releasing cabinet papers has revealed little.

  151. Fed up

    Matters not, time will tell. Suspect you have missed the mark.

  152. Möbius Ecko

    Matters Not not forgetting the six year dummy spit and anger to end all dummy spits and anger after Howard lost the election and then the even bigger non stop vicious hatred when Gillard became PM and won. Anger and hatred still going on that I read every day in dozens of posts by those who cannot directly defend Abbott and this government lies and failures so resort to unleashing their anger and hatred against past and present Labor at every turn.

    Right Wing projection on display again.

  153. Stephen Tardrew

    Beyond Kayes excellent article this blog has developed into a clear set of arguments based upon sound reasoning and facts that should be the basic architecture of a robust response by Labor to the inequality perpetrated upon us by the LNP. Kudos to those who posted interesting and factual criticisms of this government and thank you all for giving me food for thought in your enlightening contributions. Kaye and Michael should be thoroughly commended for the direction that AMIN has taken. This is turning into a solid foundation for progressives to codify their thoughts and arguments into a coherent social critique of neoconservatism.

  154. contriteshadow

    I’ve got no problem with paying more tax, if it’s necessary. I just need to know that the money would go to people here and overseas who need it more than I do. But I don’t feel confident of that…I don’t feel confident at all. Thanks for expressing the fears of so many Australian voters right now.

  155. Stephen

    Kaye my thoughts are that the waste we see from all sorts of government is deplorable. Spinning one side as good as one as bad takes away from any sort of rational argument. I did laugh when you talked about the waste due to asylum seekers though when it was the ALP who created the problem which is being cleaned up for long term savings. Most of the other things you mentioned were mirrored by the other side of politics such as jobs for the boys. If the Libs turn out to be as bad as the ALP maybe they will also be consigned to the political wilderness with the ALP. No amount of propaganda will stop their well deserved slide though. Clive and Christine have stopped waiting for the crumbs, they are now eyeing off the second seat at the table and the ALP are quickly leaving political relevance. BTW unless it was your loved ones went down in that plane you are in no position to make such heartless comments about whether the search should continue. Just leave it alone.

  156. Greg

    I agree with all but the Manly Sea Eagles part. It’s actually not to the club, it’s to upgrade the facilities at Brookvale Oval, a community used sports ground. That kind of thing I’m happy to pay for, when it directly benefits the community.

  157. Kaye Lee

    Greg,

    I wouldn’t feel so angry about Brookvale Oval if the $16 million promised to South Sydney hadn’t been withdrawn.

  158. Kaye Lee

    Stephen,

    If you compare what Labor spent money on to the list I gave above I think there is a vast difference in direction. Labor’s big expenditure was for the common good. Tony’s expenditure is to reward his mates. To say the ALP created the asylum seeker problem is absolutely ridiculous. Wars and persecution and ethnic violence created the asylum seeker problem. This government is spending billions on NOT helping refugees. And as far as the plane is concerned, can you tell me why we are responsible for paying to look for a Malaysian plane carrying mainly Chinese people? As I said, help by all means, but let them pay from now on.

  159. Stephen

    Kaye if you can’t how the asylum seeker issues evolved then you will never understand anything. Good luck with your propaganda but until you are able to think objectively you will achieve nothing besides tying yourself in knots.

  160. mars08

    Stephen, so tell us (objectively) how the asylum seeker issues evolved. No wait a sec… why don’t you go f* yourself instead!!!

  161. Kaye Lee

    I have put a great deal of thought into the asylum seeker issue Stephen and if you think I like what Labor did you are entirely wrong, other than them increasing the humanitarian intake. Off-shore detention is a really bad idea that both parties succumbed to because of people like you who don’t feel we have an obligation to offer these people safe haven. It would be far cheaper and far more humane to process them onshore. We need to set up processing centres in transit countries, speed up the process, tell applicants what is happening, and accept more refugees. I am not into propaganda. I much prefer truth.

  162. Matters Not

    Stephen Tardrew said:

    this blog has developed into a clear set of arguments based upon sound reasoning and facts that should be the basic architecture of a robust response by Labor to the inequality perpetrated upon us by the LNP.

    Can only agree, but up to a point. BTW, who says that ‘inequality’ isn’t a natural and ‘always’ condition?

    Seems to me that winning an election isn’t that difficult, particularly if one has the MSM on side. At the same time, ‘clear set of arguments based upon sound reasoning and facts’ might be both the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to go (and I’ll leave the teleological “good/bad”perspective aside for the moment).

    In the short term, Labor could decide to develop a range of three/four word slogans such as ‘axe the sick tax’ and the like which would probably ‘wound’ the current government, and may lead to an early return to government, but that approach would lack any intellectual policy rigor.

    We have already seen what happens when a government is elected with a total dependence on an outside think tank in the form of the IPA.

    Seems to me that Labor can play on the ballpark of the current ‘reality construct’ or ‘shoot for the sky’ and create a new ‘reality construct’.

    Government shouldn’t be about maintaining the ‘current’ ‘common sense’ but creating a better one.

    For me, the better, if not best, approach for Labor is to ‘shoot for the sky’ and to ‘educate’ the electorate’

    But it won’t happen.

  163. Kaye Lee

    I would so like to see some courage from the ALP too. Let’s start with upping the mining tax and our emission reduction target and closing offshore detention camps. And stuff the amnesty for offshore tax cheats. Screw them for every cent they owe.

  164. Matters Not

    Kaye Lee said:

    like to see some courage from the ALP too

    What’s with this ‘courage’ bit? What do the ‘focus’ groups say about ‘courage’? Or perhaps, they are never asked? If not, then why not?

    But perhaps the ‘researchers’ only work within a mathematical model of an assumed ‘common sense’ for their ‘reality construct’ and sociological concepts are ignored.

    Possibly so. And I for one, hope so.

    I suspect, and hope, the ship of state might soon hit the political rocks.

  165. Kaye Lee

    Next let’s increase income tax. 18-37,000 pay 19c as it is now. 37-80,000 pay 33 rather than 32.5. 80-180,000 pay 38 rather than 37 and over 180,000 pay 48 rather than 45. Forget the levies and the company tax decrease. Oh and stop making promises.

  166. Stephen Tardrew

    Matters Not

    The point is the difference between rational empirical determinist approaches to historical biological precedents is that we have developed the subjective ability to bring about change based upon ideas, ideals and exponential growth in technology. Though the autonomic based drives of the limbic system still compels human fear there is no reason to assume that it cold not be modified in the future. Horizontal gene transfer predated natural selection and there is no need to contend that their are no other future alternatives to autonomic habituated behaviour. Even in nature nothing has to be “always” and in an epoch of burgeoning objective rationalism and subjective nominal choice there is not reason why we cannot change this state affairs. It may take some time and technological advances but fatalism is not an option. The fact that we can even consider alleviating poverty and inequality is an indicator of the potential to, over time, achieve such a goal. And it is through nature we have become, to some degree, moral creatures.

    We know that both major political parties have been complicit in bringing about inequality through their degree of support for neoconservative economics however the combined positive progressive ideas presented here belong to neither party but to we the contributors. And they could lay the foundations for a transitional paradigm based upon a sustainable and equitable economy.

  167. Kaye Lee

    Next, negative gearing should apply to new premises only and retirees who collected over $100,000 a year superannuation pay 30% tax on the amount over $100,000. Further changes will be necessary to superannuation tax concessions but that will suffice for starters. Business usage claims for cars must be justified by a log book. Instead of increasing the GST base, increase the MRRT base. We own all those minerals…it’s only fair we get a share of the superprofits made from digging them up. And introduce a tax on the superprofits from the banks. Private health insurance rebate should be means tested. There should also be a tax on currency transactions so people like Rupert can’t just transfer profit and loss around milking the exchange rate to avoid paying tax. Scrap fossil fuel subsidies.

    Gee raising revenue is really quite easy if you ask the big players to help.

  168. Terry2

    Did I hear correctly : Tony Shepherd, the head of the Commission of Audit and former head of the Business Council of Australia and Transfield Services Chairman, has said that Australians visit the doctor on average eleven times a year and he reckons “we are not that crook”. So his commission has recommended a co-payment of of $15 for each visit ( the government will probably apply $6 they have indicated by several leaks).

    So, our health services are in the hands of Tony Shepherd, has anybody thought of consulting the AMA ?

  169. Kaye Lee

    Makes sense as we have Maurice Newman and Cardinal Pell advising us on climate change.

  170. Fed up

    Funny, I thought I was already paying when I visit the doctor. If not, what happens to that money I pay on each visit, and is not returned by Medicare.

    Not cheap either. At least 25 local GP. Hundreds to specialists.

  171. Fed up

    As a pensioner. I do get it free for blood tests and ultra sounds etc. I noticed aside from pensioners, everyone else pays.

  172. Fed up

    It the audit committee cannot get that one right, how much faith can one have in them. They say the minimum wage is $140 per week too high. Yes, and that means the dole is out of synch. Needs to be ;lowered, so it is lower than minimum wage. Yes, the dole has to come down.

    Yes, and the pensioners are not entitled to the standard of living, they now have.

    Shorten being given hard time by Uhlmann. Nothing new on AM.

    The question to be asked, why would one get rid of one of the best health system in the world.

  173. Fed up

    Shorten. Not a government of surprise but government of shocks.

  174. Lee

    “As a pensioner. I do get it free for blood tests and ultra sounds etc. I noticed aside from pensioners, everyone else pays”

    I work for a public pathology laboratory. If it’s on the Medicare schedule ( = almost all of our tests) we bulk bill it. The local private labs send a bill to the patient. If you need regular blood tests, check with the lab first. If you find one that will bulk bill, then ask your GP to send the specimen there. You do have the right to choose. If your GP has already given you a request form for a different lab, just write on it “I want this test to be performed by X” and sign it, then either take your specimen to the lab of your choice or attend one of their collection centres.

  175. Fed up

    Sorry Lee, I worded that badly. The only one I have no problem with is pathology I meant x

    I have often wondered why pathology do not join the rest. The optometrist is another that bulkbills. The eye specialist definitely does not.

    Does anyone know of specialist that do bulkbill.

    Health for pensioners can still be expensive. There are many out of pocket expenses. Yes, hospital is free. For this privilege, we go on a long waiting list.

    I am finding health costs worrying. I am on a pension and I have reasonably good health. Yes, cataracts to attend to., Also straightening of my foot and toes, so I can get back into shoes.

    I am angry that this government with their report based on false assumptions and lies is not being challenge more harshly Their s no budget emergency. None that warrant the Audit Commission remedies.

  176. donwreford

    Tony Abbott, is instructed to displace labor and create a system of no jobs, this seems strange at first, the idea is to reduce the labor pool to get wages down to the third world, so capitalists can make more money at the expense of the many.

  177. donwreford

    It has nothing to do with hatred, the Labor government had is problems, the alternative is also a problem, with regard to the present government it is about Abbott, not telling the truth to the electorate to gain power, also the electorate has a responsibility, that they should have known both parties are somewhat inadequate, in Britain, the problem is the same as here, their is a attempt to form a knew party that is hoped they reflect what is in the interest of the people.

  178. Fed up

    Labour has contributed greatly to the wealth created in this fair land of ours. Yes, labour is entitled to a fair share of those profits.

    They expect and are entitled to see the fruit of their labour contribute to a fair and civil society, by government providing for those who cannot look after themselves.

    They expect some of the profits created, to provide the necessary infrastructure that ensure the next generation is healthy and well educated.

    They also expect a fair days pay for a fair days work.

    Yes, labour is as important as capital.

    None of the government senators has turned up for the senate hearing, where Shepherd s a witness. Once gain this government ignoring the conventions of parliament. think they are trying to have the hearings abandoned.

    Hearings on Audit Report.

  179. Fed up

    Government senators have not turned up to senate hearings on audit report. Government trying to get hearings abandoned. Shepherd is to appear.

    Appears government were not aware. Funny, I have known these hearings where on since Monday.

    Shepherd now on.

  180. Fed up

    Government once again trashing parliament. Can listen on Parliament site.

  181. Fed up

    Albo and co ardelieering a goo essage in Queenslad. Long PC. BC 24.

  182. donwreford

    The money you get around here for menial work such as working in a cafe, is about $20, a hour, often less, what in contrast to this financial payment is people like BP, chairman who polluted to the water through oil spills as a result of drilling that was negligent in safety regulations for saving money for this company, referring to Gulf of Mexico, oil spill, costing some 400 to 500 million dollars, the same chairman got a payout of some millions of dollars for also his irresponsibility, we know this comparison money paid is corrupt, its time to have change from negligence to responsibility and fairness.

  183. Craig

    Wow, unfortunately you are wrong on so many levels here it’s not funny. As someone in the financial markets for the past 25 years I find it funny when people with no knowledge of how markets work, attempts to explain them. Your analysis of the RBA money is completely incorrect, and not a gamble at all. It is, to an extent, true that it allows money to be given back as dividends in out years, but it was ostensibly to plug the hole that Labor had made in the accounts by attempting to make their whopping deficits (that were supposed to be surpluses) just a little less whopping. The AUD is high because Japanese pension funds, lifers, and foreign Central Banks want to buy our bonds as they have a high rate of return for a AAA rated sovereign. It’s also true that, when asked if they were worried about the accounts, the RBA said they weren’t. That doesn’t mean the money has been “spent” – it’s still in the RBA, an Australian Institution, and they make a rate or return hopefully higher than the 4% for the 10yr. Much better than spending it on pink bats, the BER (which my builder friends said was the biggest free ride they’ve ever been given, able to charge way overs for simple tasks and take the money without question. They’re all laughing at the stupidity of it all), the $900 cheques that went on buying Chinese goods into Christmas that year (look at the trade data). But that’s just the RBA part – the rest I could pick holes in, but as I’m not an expert in those areas, much the same as you aren’t either, then I’ll just stick to what I know very well.

  184. Kaye Lee

    The money that was given to the RBA was borrowed and it is costing us $300 million a year interest. Are the yearly dividends going to be greater than that? And your mates sound like right assholes. No integrity. Out for themselves. Corrupt. they wouldn’t be Liberal voters would they?

  185. Terry2

    Craig

    I’m always worried when contributors refer to hearsay from their mates to justify arguments against the former governments’ projects, in this case the BER.

    In my area and in areas throughout Queensland, Victoria and NSW the principal contractors on many of the jobs were professionalism and efficiency. I doubt that any subbies ripped them off as they are smart enough to stay in business and not be conned .

    Our local state primary school, originally built in 1910 was one such success. The original buildings are all timber and whilst attractive they have their limitations. The new multi-function hall built under the BER now allows for indoor sports (cricket, soccer, touch, basket and net ball etc) it allows for dramatic arts and assemblies as well as community meetings and voting. Previously the school ha d none of these facilities.
    We are very happy with the new hall and I am sure that nobody was ripped off.

    This success was replicated throughout Australia and if some of your mates were dodgy contractors – as were many associated with the pink batts rorts – let’s hope that ultimately they will be brought to account.

  186. Bacchus

    Craig,

    Owning a couple of shares doesn’t qualify you as an economist. It is VERY obvious from your post that you have no understanding of how government finance works.

    I’ll just stick to what I know very well.
    Please do! 🙄

  187. mars08

    I just realised…. the BCA’s Commission of Audit report was released on 1st May. May Day!!! A day celebrated around the world as International Workers’ Day.

    How about that?

  188. Kaye Lee

    “The AUD is high because Japanese pension funds, lifers, and foreign Central Banks want to buy our bonds as they have a high rate of return for a AAA rated sovereign”

    It might also have something to do with quantitative easing in the US, the Chinese demand for our resources, and the price of commodities don’t you think Craig? We had to do something to get a AAA credit rating in the first place remember so the Labor government must have done something right.

  189. donwreford

    What we need is more Craigs, to explain to us who are financially dumb, his education may be useful to people like those who invested in Banksia, and lost big money, what we do not want is experts to tell us where we went wrong after the horse has bolted.

  190. donwreford

    The truth hurts, can you say something for the rich to console them, could you say something that if they become super rich even at the expense of the poor? that seeing those who are down and out gives the rich a feeling of superiority, that life is worth living even if one has to live within the means of one’s own smugness.

  191. donwreford

    The only point labor missed with the pink batt’s is a electrical cut out switch, no on would be liable as the electricity would cut out auto, it is then a simple issue.

  192. alora

    None of the politicians should have the privilege of tax free salary. only then would they realize what it feels like wasting tax dollars of hard working citizens.

  193. Stephen

    Mars08 sounds like a great person.

  194. Stephen

    donreford you’ve mentioned a couple a really sad cases in pink bats and banksia. From all reports you would have done better investing in Banksia than the pink batts program though. At least you get some some money back from Banksia.

    As for the comments on the dollar, Craig is right and yours are half right. Quantitative easing is being reversed which is not correlating with the dollar (broke down long ago). But don’t pan somebody to try and make an argument when they are making sense.

  195. Kaye Lee

    Thanks for the advice Stephen. I assume, since you pan all my articles and comments from anyone except conservatives, that we don’t make any sense to you. Perhaps you are wasting your time here?

  196. Lee

    “What we need is more Craigs, to explain to us who are financially dumb, his education may be useful to people like those who invested in Banksia, and lost big money, what we do not want is experts to tell us where we went wrong after the horse has bolted.”

    I think we have one in Joe Hockey’s wife. She looks like she is going to be even more of an asset than her husband.

  197. Georgie Hawkins

    Come on Australia, find a voice and make these lollies accountable for our money!!

  198. Kaye Lee

    By imposing a ‘deficit levy’ and talking up a ‘budget crisis’, Abbott figures the electorate will actually blame Labor, rather than blame him for the tax hike.

    Somehow the $1.85bn carbon price is supposed to destroy the economy, although it actually came coupled with considerable compensating income tax cuts. Yet an income tax hike of $2.5bn will be good for the economy because it helps reduce the deficit. And of course, the carbon tax revenue ($7.4 billion) somehow doesn’t help address the deficit, does it?

    Meanwhile, a $5.5bn per annum extra hit on the budget in the paid parental leave scheme — which will primarily act to lure women out of the workforce for 6 months — is supposed to enhance the country’s economic performance?

    You’ve got to give it to Tony Abbott. As a Prime Minister, he is a damn good comedian.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/5/2/climate/tony-abbott-comedian-extraordinaire

  199. donwreford

    Thanks Stephen for your informative response, what you have omitted regarding the pink bats, the money saved by households accrued financial benefit is omitted from your response as is omitted by all of those who have had a saving.
    With regard to Banksia, you would note that the collapse of this well run institute, collapsed after being taken over by new management of CEOs, that were either inept or they were well versed collapsing such financial institutes and targeted this institute as collecting money for management as some would say a Ponzi scheme, the 660 million dollars that went astray is still suspect, only those with insider information would know the inside story.
    The quantitative easing is thwart with problems, with reference to Anthony Randazzo, Sept, 13th, 2012, this concept you have brought into focus, I suggest the Federal Bank, is a questionable organization, I presume you are fairly well off, to suggest this idea, furthermore the commentaries on the Federal bank is as some analysts put forward, a organization that is corrupt, I would be interested if you could Stephen, inform us as to what interpretation you make of quantitative easing? and also what your degrees are as a expert in finance is?

  200. donwreford

    Stephen, being a right wing conservative, is wasting his valuable time on his insightful superiority with those who are lesser mortals, why waste your time with this blog Stephen? your time is better spent looking at stocks and shares.

  201. Rodz

    you left out the 30 billion we are likely to spend buying soryu class submarine from japan

  202. donwreford

    Did not know this, peculiar the Japanese, arrived here in WW2, in submarines, if war broke out as with WW3, not knowing who is the enemy at this time, strange so much military is made abroad in particular computer parts and chips, do we understand the technology of chips becoming a problem? made abroad?

  203. Craig

    Yes Kaye, you’re right in saying that Chinese demand for resources has been one reason why the AUD was high, as was QE (and I saw some comments before that you disagree on QE – so do I. But to say the Federal Reserve is a corrupt institution, I’ve read a lot of conspiracy stuff on that, it seems scary if true, but in my years of watching the Fed they’ve generally been good but recently I’m concerned – QE works if you’re a reserve currency, but it ships their economic problems to the rest of the world. When other major countries also follow suit like Japan, only the emerging markets end up taking the hit as they cannot afford a run on their currency). What I’m referring to is the recent high AUD after the winding back (or “tapering”) of QE and the cooling of Chinese growth, which the RBA expected would see an AUD closer to $0.80/$0.85 than $0.93 now – and that’s been offshore demand for our bonds (as well as the resultant unwinding of short AUD trades).
    Our AAA rating was re-established under Howard in 2002 (Moody’s) and 2003 (S&P) after Labor lost it in the late 80s. See http://www.ibtimes.com/debt-downgrade-how-australia-lost-and-regained-its-aaa-rating-826857. The Labor govt from Kevin ’07 have only put us in a position that, some time in the future, may threaten that rating. MAY. We are still in one of the best financial situations (Federally) with a relatively low debt/GDP. However, Labor institutionalised a very large growth rate of spending and assumed ridiculous rates of GDP growth to say we’d one day get back to surplus, but no-one in the markets, nor the ratings agencies, took that seriously. But with such a great base (ie. the only debt on issue was essentially to ensure that we had a viable market for bond trading, and futures) the ratings agencies love us, for now. However, our State debt, and private sector debt, is very high, so we need the Federal debt to remain low so that we reduce overall country risk. We have no Federal Budget emergency, but we do have a problematic rise in overall debt. It is a lie that the Liberals say the Federal Budget is in an emergency state, however the growth in debt has been “locked in”, and that’s the problem – but it’s several years down the track, and best dealt with as soon as the economy can withstand it.
    Bacchus, I think my Uni of NSW double major in Economics and Finance with merit and 25 years working for some of the world’s largest financial institutions such as Bankers Trust (yes, Mel Babbage also worked there, Joe Hockey’s wife. One very smart woman), Salomons, Credit Suisse, Schroders, Citigroup, Barclays, Man Financial and my current work as a Financial Reporter does qualify me, and I don’t own a huge amount of shares except for in my super account, just like most Australians. I’ve never really reached the level where I was well remunerated, which was in part due to my tendency to speak up against my bosses when I saw injustice, and in part perhaps a bit of shame as to what I’ve done with most of my life, working for these institutions, alongside some ruthless and selfish individuals. But most of my peers find me a man of integrity, at a cost to me financially. My current role as a market and economic journalist suits me more; I was a trader that didn’t like risk, and a broker that didn’t believe the story I was trying to sell, as brokers need to sell both the buy side and sell side at the same time, which is, in my opinion, unconscionable. So I’ll stick to economics and finance thanks, as at least I have now a very wide working knowledge of both, and you can stick to wine and revelry, Bacchus, given the god status you claim. If you mean that I omitted the fact that the money actually went to the RBA’s Capital And Reserve Bank Reserve Fund, which is more than just a currency manager (in fact, it is never used for currency intervention directly, but it is used to absorb losses on its $90-odd billion ­balance sheet) and also includes demands from the IMF to help with global crises, and that both Libs and Labor have raided the fund for years, then I was trying not to obfuscate the message with detail. I can go into more detail if you’d like. I doubt you do.
    Kaye, I agree in one sense – the money given to the RBA can be seen as an attempt by Hockey to make the budget look worse before he can reap the dividends later. However, it is needed in my opinion (but not in the opinion of many economists that I respect), and has been neglected for years. As yet, it hasn’t been transferred to the RBA as it needs a government appropriations bill. So it hasn’t cost anything yet. It is also up to the markets whether it is a net cost or a gain, depending on how it’s utilised, but it is not in any sense a gamble. That is what I take issue on. And saying it is costing us money is incorrect, hasn’t cost a cent yet as it hasn’t happened. What I can tell you is we have well over $300b in debt outstanding (less about $40b in assets at the RBA), and that is purely due to spending from Labor, and not returning any dividend. If $9b to the RBA costs us $300m a year (but hasn’t yet) then 34 times that costs us over $10b a year in interest, using your numbers. Was the pink bats and BER worth it? And why do the biggest polluters not have to pay the Carbon tax? Gillard never explained that. If it doesn’t apply to all, it’s misguided. And if anyone thinks it will reduce carbon emissions worldwide, they are delusional. Unless we can change China, India, Brazil et al (the BRIICs), what we do is purely a local tax on a world-wide problem. Please don’t anyone start with “but we should act as an example” – an example is only relevant if the audience is listening, and the emerging markets are not, and it would be selfish and arrogant of us to insist that they do after we’ve done what we’ve done for centuries.
    My point is, and it’s just my belief, the government should stay out of such enterprises. They should stick to large infrastructure such as roads, rail etc… (and my dream that one day we build a series of water management “canals” and dams so that we get water from the north to the middle and south, and become the true food bowl of the world, perhaps employing the refugees that we, both Labor and Liberal, incarcerate in inhumane conditions – worked properly that plan could be our Snowy Hydro for the persecuted, and help everyone here). They should not get involved in bail-outs, a business goes broke through supply and demand, as well as price. We should be investing wisely in our future, in education and health, and top-end infrastructure. Not giving $900 cheques to people to by flat-screen TVs. Have a look at this chart for Möbius Ecko “Yes Julian there was plenty written about the most profligate government in our history, the last Liberal government.” http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/government-spending. Make the date go back to 1996 when Howard got in. Tell me again that Howard is the most profligate. He WAS responsible for the biggest growth in spending, that much is true. But have a look at the GFC period where spending accelerated at an unprecedented pace. That was a pure vote buy, it was not needed, we didn’t have a problem here, the Government guarantee on the banks and the strong balance sheets that our banks had, as well as our limited exposure to troubled assets were a product of very sensible banking policies from the majors. Anyway, recessions are not a bad thing per se, if we had one it’s not the end of the world, it acts as a clean-out of under-utilised resources. Our problem is that governments fear them so we just kick the can down the road, and now if we have one it may seriously hurt the economy as the level of under-utilisation is at extremes.
    Kaye, I agree on many points you make, I also have a list of preferences of how our money should be spent. But we can only vote a government in or out. Labor got voted out because of it’s inability to manage a budget, and because it broke promises and allowed the Greens to dominate economic policy when their platform is social, not the economy. I also apologise for saying “Wow, unfortunately you are wrong on so many levels here it’s not funny” – that was uncalled for, and incorrect. It was meant mainly as a reference to the RBA which hopefully I’ve explained. I’m sure we’d agree on many things if we ever had a chance to chat. And disagree on just as many issues. Your opinion is widely liked, as seen by the replies, and that’s obviously a feat of working hard on these issues. However, I’m concerned with the recent trend to beat up on Abbott on issues that are actually the result of Labor policies (and even the previous Howard govt), and to believe that he’s some sort of evil person because Gillard called him a misogynist (please remember that speech was when she was questioned about her defence of Peter Slipper, a member of the LNP who somehow, miraculously, decided that personal interest was more important than backing the party he was part of when he entered parliament by democratic vote. anyone who thinks that was all above board is kidding themselves). I don’t particularly like the guy, I don’t think he has a great grasp of economics. But then neither did most of our ex-PMs. But I will defend his right to direct policy for the next three years given he was democratically elected in a landslide, a point which Labor seem to forget. But that will be their loss.
    Donwreford, the losses in Banksia are lamentable. I’m sure I’d be able to advise on such issues on an ad-hoc basis, but I have no current licence (I held a PS 146, now called the RG 146, but I don’t know if that’s applicable anymore. Probably need a refresher, which I have no interest in after spending 20+ years studying to stay up to date before I made my switch to media). However, losses stemmed mainly because people don’t understand what they’re investing in, which I can’t help with. I don’t get why people believe in promises that cannot be true. They were not an authorised depository institution, and that seems obvious to me. They made promises that implied they were. Unfortunately you can’t stop people from ripping others off. Human nature sadly. I hope you weren’t one.
    Sorry if that put you all to sleep.

  204. donwreford

    Your article is long and I will have to go over this again, as you have experience in finance, can you give me information on how America is in debt to some 16 trillion dollars, and Australia is in debt for by comparison a few billion, America is no what I can discern worried, why is Australia, a knee jerk reaction to debt relatively small?

  205. Stephen Tardrew

    Craig

    Your post is food for thought though and demands attention. The historical contributors to the current state of affairs needs to be debated rationally however It does not deal with the problem of inequity and Thomas Piketty’s evaluation of burgeoning inequality. Our current economic system is not conducive to a sustainable and manageable use of finite resources. The problem is how to restructure contemporary economies to more rationally reflect the dynamics of environmental degradation and a sustainable approach to resource management. The status quo is not a viable option. Wealth transfer is inevitable and we may as well think it through before too many people suffer irreparable damaged. Absurd wealth alongside abject poverty and inequality is not an option on so many moral and practical grounds.

  206. Craig

    Thanks Stephen, I agree that the system’s broken. I have yet to read Piketty but the critics are calling it just another Marxist theory, which has been attempted before and failed. I unfortunately don’t believe in the positives of human nature enough to think that society will change without a shock, those in power are rarely willing to let that power go. It is also unlikely to change through democratic vote, until it’s completely and unequivocally obvious that we’re heading for a breakdown, and whilst there is some groundswell on that, it’s not enough to force a new party to come forward to challenge the two right leaning parties that dominate Australian politics. I think the answer probably lies in taxing wealth not income, but haven’t done enough work on that to have a hard and fast theory. It is also very hard to stop “bleeding” from the system, as the rich and powerful can fairly easily transfer citizenship etc… to avoid tax. I really don’t know what the answer is, but I do know the solution can only come if all parties work towards it and not cheap point scoring to get into power.

    diannaart – we can only imagine. Westpac shares were down 1.2% after that record profit. Seems that basic greed isn’t enough, what the market wants is massive greed. It’s a sickness.

    donwreford: the US is concerned, which is why they are trying to reduce government spending, and will run a much smaller deficit this year compared to recent years. Their deficit to GDP is at 2.9%. Australia’s last reading was 2.2% (Bloomberg). Their overall Federal Debt to GDP is 72%, ours is 33%, the second best in the developed world. We are AAA rated amongst the big 3 (Moodys, S&P, Fitch) whereas the US is AAA equivalent under Moodys and Fitch, but AA+ at S&P. It’s not really too much of a worry for the US, as their treasury market is the world’s largest and they have no shortage of buyers when they need to raise money, with Japan and China, as well as plenty of oil money (and the Russians!) on the bid. Ratings are more of a concern for small markets like ours, as a drop in the rating seriously affects the rate at which we borrow. For example, if the US gets downgraded or there’s even a hint of that, investors world-wide panic, and shift assets to the most liquid market in the world (called flight-to-quality) which happens to be the bond that’s being downgraded – US Treasuries (that’s a simplification, but that is the mechanism). If we get downgraded, the market sells our bonds (therefore raising borrowing costs) and buy other AAA rated debt, or US Treasuries. The problem lies in overall debt, private sector, Federal and State. Our State debt is high (as is US State debt) and Private sector debt (2011, OECD) is 184% of GDP. Italy, considered a basket case just a few years ago, is 188%. The US 198%. The Scandinavians are around 250-300%, with Federal (sovereign) debt to GDP ranging from the world’s best (Norway at 30%) to 40-50% for Denmark & Sweden, to 73% for the Dutch. That is not a model we want to replicate. The problem for us is if we head towards 50-60% on sovereign debt to GDP and get downgraded, that has a knock-on effect for all borrowers, and will hurt State borrowing as well as Private sector debt raisings, which will in turn hurt the economy. That’s a basic explanation, there’s more to it that that, but that’s a rough reason why we don’t want to grow our debt to much from here. However, much of the deficit is not able to be avoided as it’s part of what Labor managed to get through parliament over 6 years, and any attempts to cut spending are met with rejection by Labor and the Greens in the Senate, what Keating used to call “the unrepresentative swill”. Labor and the Greens still essentially hold power to reject anything through the Senate (they hold 40 of 76 seats), but have only 55 of the 150 seats in the truly representative Lower House whereas the Coalition have 90. 90 to 55 is a landslide in anyone’s world, and they are not allowed to determine policy. What a great system we have.

  207. donwreford

    Thanks Craig, very informative.

  208. Stephen Tardrew

    Thanks Craig good to understand where you are coming from. Live and learn.

  209. Stephen Tardrew

    Craig I think Piketty has been unduly maligned. Solid research background. He is not as radical as some have been suggesting. He also considers the solution some kind of wealth tax. His work has sound empirical foundations and he supports a rational market economy. He simply demonstrates that increasing inequity is unavoidable as wealth is more and more centralized, concentrated at the top, and more often than not inherited. This tends to prevent innovators joining the fray as upward mobility and creativity is dampened by monopoly capital. Piketty is not an ideologue he openly accepts criticism and any other sensible alternative solutions.

  210. Clare

    Thanks Kaye and Craig for your informative comments. I think when we are thinking about the economy we need to recognise that to cut the spending power of the less well off, this will will have knock on effects and damage the economy overall. The less well off have little discretioning spending so their money is more likely to enter the economy. I believe that the Left understand this, but the Right to not.

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