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The truth bomb that terrifies Turnbull

Image from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-18/prime-minister-malcolm-turnbull/7333460

There is mass outrage today at the news that Turnbull has pressured the ABC to take down and censor parts of an article by Emma Alberici which analysed how little tax some of Australia’s largest companies pay. This story reeks of a scandalous government intervention in a publicly owned free press. But this isn’t the only story. In fact, it’s not the biggest story. If you look closely at exactly what was removed from the article before it was reposted, you can see what Turnbull was so desperate to censor. And you immediately see where this desperation comes from: a fear that his house of cards is about to come crashing down, blown up by a truth bomb. Because the line that was taken out of this article smashes not just Turnbull’s entire political ideology, his political career and his government’s hold on power; it also smashes the right wing narrative the world over. The stakes are that high.

This is the key line which the public no longer have access to:

There is no compelling evidence that giving the country’s biggest companies a tax cut sees that money passed on to workers in the form of higher wages.

The Guardian reports that ABC director of news, Gaven Morris, gave in to Turnbull’s pressure to change the article because ‘he believed it sounded too much like opinion’. In other words, Turnbull told Morris that Alberici’s statement of fact – that there is no compelling evidence that tax cuts trickle-down to workers – is not a fact, and is instead an opinion.

At this point, we could waste hours of outrage, sending Gaven Morris every ABC news article ever printed, with segments highlighted to show how opinion is inherent in any news article – whether it be opinion about what is important to report, how the report is framed, which ‘facts’ make it in and which are excluded, who is used as a source, what order those sources are used, who doesn’t get a chance to speak, and what prominence the story is given on the ABC news agenda. But, again, this is not the big story.

The big story is Turnbull’s fear of workers finally understanding the truth. Finally understanding how they’ve been lied to for generations. Why else would Turnbull go to such extraordinary lengths to get this so called ‘opinion’ removed, if he didn’t know how damaging this truth is to his neoliberal worldview?

The truth is, Emma Alberici is spot on. The truth is, there is no evidence that tax cuts either increase wages or create jobs. If there was such evidence, Turnbull would be able to point to it, instead of censoring an opposing view. The truth is, the lie that tax cuts increase wages and create jobs has been engineered as conventional wisdom by right wing governments and the compliant media for so long, that workers have fallen hook line and sinker for the lie and punched themselves in the face by turning against unions, the only ones giving them the power to stand up to the liars.

The truth is, Turnbull is terrified the lie is no longer believable. And it’s no longer believable because workers are waking up to the reality that their Point Piper millionaire PM, who uses tax havens to ensure wealth created through the labour of workers doesn’t come back to the community, who uses the power of government to make rules enabling other millionaires to steal wealth from workers, is actually lying to them. These lies benefit Turnbull individually – giving him political power and more money. These lies benefit all the Turnbull’s kind – the one-percenters whose wealth has grown exponentially as compared to the wealth of those whose productivity produces the wealth. Once these lies are exposed, once the game is up, there is no turning back.

I have long said that once workers realise wealth doesn’t trickle down, right wing governments will never be elected again. Turnbull knows this too. So, he can censor all he likes, but editing an ABC news article is akin to pissing in the ocean when the waves of change are building like a truth-tsunami. Bring it on.


84 comments

  1. Peter F

    What Malcomb is trying to do is give an example of the King Canute story: No matter what he does, he is about to be swept away, because he is powerless.

  2. Aortic

    Spot on Victoria. Gore Vidal nailed it when he said, ” the genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system wher most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” This house of cards is about to fall, hopefully peacefully, but if they continue to meddle in ABC matters, well the French aristocracy didn’t see it coming either.

  3. Kaye Lee

    I just posted this on Turnbull’s facebook page….

    This is the sentence Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t want the Australian public to hear. “There is no compelling evidence that giving the country’s biggest companies a tax cut sees that money passed on to workers in the form of higher wages.”

    That, Mr Turnbull, is not an “opinion” – it is a fact. And the fact that you chose to intercede to censor the ABC from reporting that fact shows just how complicit you are in the lies. If you had genuine proof, rather than political ideology, corporate greed, and dubious assumptions, you would produce it.

    The other thing Malcolm doesn’t want you to know… “According to other Treasury-commissioned modelling, if the rate is lowered from 30 per cent to 25 per cent then gross domestic product will double by September 2038 as opposed to December 2038 without the cut. Both models predict that in 20 years’ time the unemployment rate will be 5 per cent regardless of whether we spend $65 billion on company tax cuts or not.”

  4. Ken Butler

    A tsunami poll is coming.
    The leaders’ “war” Is the initial receding shoreline.
    The WAVE is now in view on the horizon …
    But there is no high ground for the coalition.

  5. Terry2

    Thank you Victoria !

    I posted this on John Lord’s blog but probably more pertinent here :

    Today, the Australian is all over Emma Alberici and the ABC pointing to factual errors and misrepresentations in her analysis on tax avoidance by large corporations but, oddly, not being able to hone in and identify those errors and misrepresentations.

    Alberici herself has noted that “In 2001 I was a finalist for a Walkley Award for a story on tax minimisation, just saying”

    She has also noted that the only help she received on this analysis was from economist, Saul Eslake and Don Hanson of Plato Investment Management : they are pretty good sources in anybody’s book.

    Among the complaints that the ABC received were those from Turnbull, Morrison, Fifield, Qantas chief Alan Joyce and the Business Council of Australia.

    Fifield, actually said that the Alberici analysis “displayed a lack of understanding about the tax system, and failed to accurately present the facts or range of views on this issue with appropriate balance” He could well have added, the balance that you would get from 2GB and Sky/Fox.

    Alan Joyce, the other day said that he does pay a lot of tax : GST and Departure Taxes for instance but he failed to mention that these are taxes on the consumer, what we are talking about, as he well knows, is the question of company tax.

    Guy’s we know that you can minimise your taxes and in many cases avoid them entirely depending on how you structure you business enterprise but please don’t insult our intelliegence arguing that you need a tax cut to encourage jobs & growth. Guess what, it’s an established economic fact that if you cut the taxes of consumers they spend more money on goods and services and that leads to jobs & growth much more directly.

  6. Steve Laing

    If company tax cuts worked, then we’d surely have seen evidence of such given we’ve only recently given tax cuts to small business. Has there been any measurable difference? Surely someone has been collecting evidence that shows this? Because, as the vast majority of small business owners will tell you, it makes not one jot of difference because most small businesses pay no company tax (as any profits usually are the owners, often meagre, wages).

    So what was the purpose of small business tax cuts? Simply as part of that ongoing smokescreen to allow big business tax cuts, which, as the evidence shows, will not have the effect that this government claims they will have, but will simply direct more of the wealth of this country to “their own”.

  7. Jaquix

    Im absolutely outraged, as are all politically aware people, at this temper tantrum Turnbull put on in parliament. Against an employee of a supposedly independent public broadcaster, who cannot fight back. Gaven Morris, ex Murdoch employee, caves in immediately. The ABC is being infiltrated with Murdoch people, starting with Guthrie. Turnbull also insisted on appointment of a Minerals Council woman to the Board, despite her not being on the list of recommended people for the post. Thats little publicised.
    Did anyone else notice that at the new Annual Public Meeting (stage show) the Chief Financial Officer in her speech said this “We have also made $324 million of savings, 78% of which went back to government”. Ive written to her office seeking an explanation. Considering all the cuts in services and programming, on the grounds of cost, they should not be handing any money back to government.
    Got a holding reply, but nothing further, yet.

  8. Kaye Lee

    In June 2016, 60.7% of actively trading businesses in Australia had no employees, 27.6% had 1-4 employees, 9.2% had 5-19 employees and 2.3% had 20-199 employees. Only 0.2% of businesses had 200 or more employees.

  9. Frank Smith

    Thank you Victoria. I commented in John Lords article this morning about this disturbing intrusion by the PM into our ABC’s reporting. It really is alarming. Another demonstration of how “inept” our PM is.

  10. Kaye Lee

    When Morris got the job in 2016, he said “I think the point where politicians or corporations or the powerful stop calling the ABC biased is the point where we’re not probably doing our job, They call it bias but I call it independence. It’s the job we were put here to do.”

    So much for that theory.

  11. philgorman2014

    Jaquix and Kaye, you are right on the money. Between them the current government and News Corp are bent on destroying the ABC’s independence whilst dismembering it to sell it off to the highest bidder – Rupert.

    We really need a “Four Cents a Day ” campaign to counter the propaganda and disabuse the public of the widely held belief in ABC waste and bias.

  12. Roswell

    I’m glad this is getting the coverage it should, as it could well have been swept under the carpet in the middle of the Joyce affair. Perhaps Turnbull put his foot in it by bringing up Emma’s article during Question Time.

    He just doesn’t think things through.

  13. Andreas

    Sorry folks, this is the end of the tether. “KIck This Mob Out” the Murdoch tabloids screamed not that long past. Now it is high time to enact this call for action, aimed this time at this putrid excuse of a government.
    The French people called out “aux laternes” in their historic fight for freedom, now it is our term, lampposts we do have aplenty…

  14. Cool Pete

    We all know that tax cuts to big business increase CEOs’ bottom lines and salaries and that’s about all. Attacks on the freedom of the press, such as this, are atrocious. He, like his numbskull predecessor, is determined to crack down on dissent and force the ABC to become another Murdoch style institution!

  15. Andreas

    Sorry folks, this is the end of the tether. “Kick This Mob Out” the Murdoch press screamed in super-bold headlines not that long ago, now is the time to apply the same command to this putrid excuse of a government.

  16. diannaart

    Roswell

    If Turnbull ever thought things through GodwinGrech/UteGate would never have happened, and then we would’ve had no warning of how duplicitous Turnbull really is, so he would not now be PM – wait, that’s not what happened, that’s what should’ve happened and probably did in another universe.

    Sheesh.

  17. paul walter

    You are a mighty, mighty woman, Victoria Rollinson.

    Truly, you are.

    The exact killer blow timed and executed; vindication exacted to perfection

  18. lawrencewinder

    Show us your facts Truffles! Guarantee the pay increases, guarantee the jobs and we will believe you…. when it happens. And how can the Leprechaun from Qantas justify a $24,000,000.00 salary?
    Time to march on Canberra!

  19. Joseph Carli

    Out here in the sticks, our mobile service is ratshit!…all we got for reception is one bar (1 Barnaby)…..we’re rooted!

  20. Win Jeavons

    Unemployment 5 percent I 20 years? Only if we destroy most of our automated technology, and stop insisting old and infirm must work till they drop!

  21. Glenn Barry

    Wonderful article Victoria – right on target.

    In the midst of a search for Malcolm’s comments concerning the Emma Alberici – ABC article during question time, I encountered this article

    http://www.afr.com/brand/rear-window/abcs-big-corporate-tax-reveal-exposes-its-innumeracy-20180215-h0w582

    then posted this on his facebook page

    Just read this article – I must say in the strongest terms, what a trite load of complete garbage – you have distilled the argumentation style of a complete imbecile to such a level of purity as I would never have considered otherwise possible.

    Here’s a quick question for you, why do all of those companies not paying tax on non-existent profits, year, after year, after year pay their executives millions and millions in salaries?

    Where do they find these people?

    I am yet to find any reporting of Malcolm’s comments on the matter during question time if anyone knows where they’ve been reported

  22. SamSmith

    Does Turnbull really believe that the population has not cottoned onto that trickle down bullshit already?

  23. Andrew Smith

    Good article, and a beat up against Alberici, one of Australia’s better journalists who is also economically literate (unlike her critics on this issue). The question is not just Turnbull putting pressure on the ABC, who put pressure on Turnball?

    It’s one thing for Australian companies to benefit from a corporate tax cut, i.e. not small or SME businesses which dominate the economy and worry about costs first, but more those large ones with a global footprint, often well embedded and used to manipulating and influencing nation states’ policies.

    For the US it was probably about getting their own global corporates to repatriate profits from e.g. Ireland, but what’s in it for Australia?

    Most advantage would go to some (largely) Australian based global players e.g. QANTAS, BHP etc., but there are also significant advantages for more numerous global corporates operating subsidiaries in Australia dominated by US fossil fuels, auto, finance, media etc. (many of them have indirectly supported the nativist anti-globalisation and anti-trade agreement message too, knowing well that trade agreements include taxation etc. that may be avoided by dealing bilaterally and making deals in their favour)

    Of course they would have nothing to do with this would they?

  24. nullgod

    Bill Shorten has had many opportunities to tackle tax and corruption in the past and has sided with Liberals on increasing secrecy for the government and taking away privacy for Australians and voted consistantly not to stop Adani, not to tax businesses and not to support a Federal ICAC. I would not trust any FICAC model that Liberals or Labor supported.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Turnbull called Alberici’s article “one of the most confused and poorly researched articles I’ve seen on this topic on the ABC’s website.”

    What a load of codswallop. The article was extensively researched and referenced. Turnbull, Fifield and Morrison all wrote to Michelle Guthrie complaining about it but I have yet to hear one thing they can point to that she got wrong. They don’t like her conclusion that there is no evidence that tax cuts increase wages. Easliy fixed…provide the evidence.

    But they can’t because there isn’t any. They just make banal statements like “as sure as night follows day, company tax cuts will lead to higher wages. it’s just supply and demand”

    Economist and former Liberal Party leader John Hewson said that in the current environment, he has no doubts about where that money would flow at a time when “corporate profits are at an all time high relative to GDP”.

    “If you help them increase that profit even more, that is give them higher net profits, they will distribute it as dividends or buy back their own shares,” he said.

    “They won’t hand it out as pay rises because [while underemployment persists] they are not competing for labour.”

    “If you want to ease the cost of living pressure you can try to decrease the cost of things like childcare or power bills, or you can cut personal income tax – that would do a lot more to stimulate the economy.”

  26. Roswell

    Kaye, his U.S. counterpart would say it’s “fake news”.

  27. Glenn Barry

    Nice to see Michelle Guthrie’s integrity is so easily compromised.

    Scott Morrison is io the ABC Insiders tomorrow morning – with any luck the Joyce debacle will be referred to in passing then he’ll be challenged to provide evidence of the corporate tax cuts/higher wages algorithm actually having happened somewhere.

    I loathe Morrison, but I will endure listening to him in the hope he’s up ended by Barrie Cassidy

  28. Stephen Whyburn

    FFS. Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1981 and the term “trickle down economics” became a part of the public vernacular. In 37 years, there should be some evidence of it working. Bush Jr used the same reasoning and now so is Trump.It’s bullshit. They know it’s bullshit. We all know it’s bullshit. There IS no compelling evidence. Fact.

  29. paul walter

    Even Guthrie is a relative paragon compared to this lowest of low, low creatures, Turnbull. Atleast she could claim economic innumeracy and illiteracy.

    But what excuse these others?

    I cant seem to find a list of other economics writers who have also panned these tax cuts I was reading a few hours ago, might even have one of the linx above, but Emma Alberici is anything BUT alone in criticising this ideological and greed driven alibi for theft.

    Matthias Cormann is right in a respect he does not realise. Decent and educated people do not understand the “world of commerce” in the way he and his criminal mates do.

    Or perhaps, they understand TOO well..

  30. Kaye Lee

    paul,

    Krisitna Keneally’s tweet lists a few

    “In QT the PM tore into @albericie for her analysis that there is little case for corporate tax cuts. He’s ignored similar pieces by @MichaelWestBiz @Adam_Creighton @StephenLongAus @1petermartin @BernardKeane

    Draw your own conclusions.”

    There are many many more

  31. paul walter

    In the end, you have to understand the role the ideological lunatics at the IPA have had in pushing this sort of rubbish..the narcissistic, megalomaniac Davos/ Ayn Rand set, with their self serving and self justifying elitist, fascistic toxins

  32. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, those are some of the names I remember.

  33. Kaye Lee

    This from a former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor about Trump’s tax cut….

    “There are many logical, market-based reasons for Walmart and other employers to raise worker pay and performance; they didn’t need a large corporate tax cut to do so. The enormous fiscal costs and obscenely unequal benefits created by the new tax bill are clearly not justified by any gains it will bring to workers.”

  34. Jan

    I cannot listen to Turnbull. The TV goes off as soon as I hear his voice.

  35. Glenn Barry

    There is an upshot to all of this – the removal of the article has got posters on facebook all highlighting the attack on Emma Alberici and the removal of the article, all accompanied by links to both the web archive as well as the article re-published on several other sites.

    It was a brilliant, hard hitting article – and yet again Turnbull’s lack of judgement is working feverishly against him

  36. leonetwo

    It’s a whole lot worse than a missing line. A whole article is missing.

    Here’s the thing everyone is not noticing. Emma Alberici wrote TWO articles on tax avoidance, the ABC says one was ‘analysis’ and one was ‘news’. Both made Turnbull very, very angry.

    The ‘analysis’ piece was taken down, all of it, and has not been restored. It started with the alleged ‘missing line’.

    You can still read that article here –
    https://web.archive.org/web/20180214054341/http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/company-tax-rate-cut-arguments-missing-evidence/9443874

    The second article, the ‘news’ one, was briefly taken down for ‘editing’, aka censorship, and was then put back on the ABC site.

    Here’s the ‘edited’ and’updated’ version –
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/why-many-big-companies-dont-pay-corporate-tax/9443840

    Here’s the original – it does not contain that ‘missing line’.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20180214053801/http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-14/corporate-tax-australian-companies-havent-paid-in-10-years/9443840

  37. Aortic

    I agree Jan, used to do the same with Abbott and his fate will be exactly that of Turnbulls. I am generally a Labor voter but I do think it is best that voters hear both points of view in order to be critical of one or the other. Mind you O’Dwyer, Dutton Morrison et al make this task unbearable if not impossible.

  38. strobedriver

    This is a really excellent article in my opinion. I would like to add something which is a peripheral issue yet resonates within the realm of the poverty issue and the neo-liberal ‘model of government’ that is mentioned. Poverty for a neo-liberal government–of which the Turnbull government is a true representation of, although there have been others in Australia, the Abbott government, Kennett in Victoria, Baird in NSW to name only three. What these governments do and have done, is turn poverty into a ‘moral issue’ which goes along the argument of ‘you’re not good enough,’ ‘don’t work hard enough,’ lazy, incompetent etc. Whereas, corporations are inherently ‘good,’ law-abiding,’ ‘opportunist,’ and ‘good for Australia’ generally. What consecutive Liberal governments have done is do what American governments did prior to the Great Depression (1929 – 1935) and that was blame the poor for the country’s ills. Then the Great Depression hit and a lot of rich people became poor — this meant that poverty wasn’t a moral problem and it was converted to an economic one on the basis that rich people are inherently ‘moral,’ so it was the economy and not their lack of morality made them poor. Howard, Abbott and now Turnbull –all neo-cons at heart–subscribe to the model that the poor have brought their conditions upon themselves and it is not societies fault that they suffer, in fact for neo-cons, the poor should suffer for their ‘laziness’ and ‘stupidity.’

  39. Christopher

    Good on you Victoria, Kaye and others.

    I always thought the dribble onto you effect of more money to the wealthy worked. Thanks for telling me different /s

  40. Kaye Lee

    The removal of the Alberici article is not the only cave-in to the government by the ABC.

    Senior journalists at the ABC have told of their anger at the handling of the “Cabinet Files” by the corporation’s management and in particular the decision to hand the trove of documents back to the government.

    the ABC news director Gaven Morris made an agreement with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to return the documents. ABC journalists told Guardian Australia it looked like Morris had done “a pre-emptive buckle” so as not to upset the government.

    The former Four Corners reporter Andrew Fowler said “Handing over documents to any Australian intelligence agency signals the emergence of an unhealthy relationship between the ABC and the very institutions of government they should be holding to account,”

  41. Egalitarian

    great observations Strobedriver Unless we articulate what’s going on in pyschological and tactical terms the public just won’t get it. Good Post.

  42. Christopher

    Kaye, I had the relationship with the ABC in the 90s at Finance. They are dependent on the Govt of the day for their money. There is no independence any more and the CEO is hand picked to ensure they don’t make waves. They used to have some guts, but that’s been beaten out of them

  43. Aortic

    Kaye I think it ishould be called the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinets.

  44. Matters Not

    Aortic, perhaps it might be called the Department of Prime Ministers and Cabinets, given that there are a multitude of primary decision makers when things get really serious. A type of collective leadership that meets every Monday to see if they have anything in common. But usually they don’t.

  45. Zathras

    When somebody like Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that the theory of trickle-down economics is “absolutely wrong” I tend to accept that opinion over a group of politicians trying to please their financial sponsors.
    Reaganomics embraced that philosophy and it ultimately failed, creating an era of perpetual debt and social inequality.

    In plain terms it’s just taking money away from the average taxpayer and handing it to the already wealthy in the hope that they will spend it in a way that finds it’s way back into the general economy, but two rich people selling mansions to each other does absolutely nothing.

    In plainer terms, just ask an incontinent person what is more damp – their thighs or their boots.

    The idea that the Government is implementing a “thought police” policy intended to withhold information is even more troubling.

  46. Roswell

    Zathras, they don’t listen to climate scientists, so why would they listen to economists?

  47. Kaye Lee

    They don’t listen to teachers either. Or health professionals. Or anyone except Gina and her mates.

    Pretty much everyone from the Pope on down has identified rising inequality as one of the greatest challenges facing the world. What is the point in growing the economy if the benefits get even more concentrated in fewer hands? They are looking at this arse up.

    CEOs get enormous rewards for cutting costs. In fact, they are doing so well at it that they will end up with no customers.

  48. Tina Clausen

    Wonderful article, I have been sharing it far and wide, so much so that Facebook are warning me about ‘spamming’,

    NOT SORRY 🙂

    Please everyone consider sharing this to every Facebook page and group you possibly can. We have to somehow try to counter the Murdoch press narrative that is always brainwashing the Australian Workers.

  49. Christopher

    There was a time when politicians did listen to their public servants. Now we see even Treasury is not listened to, in fact their advice is misused. (Negative gearing)

    In the 90s I worked in the Treasury of one of the States. Debt was a problem and, like many others, my Premier was watching other governments use the Private Finance Initiative or Sale and Lease Back gimmicks to try to fund infrastructure projects. Finance leases were reported on the balance sheet, but not operating leases.

    So, we funded this large ‘training school’ to benefit one of the State’s biggest employers. And then we were asked to conduct a tender to identify someone who would buy it from us and lease it back over 25 years or so. So that we could pay off the debt. And there were plenty of interested parties from overseas and the usual suspects from Sydney…

    I did the brief, the cost benefit analysis, which showed that the cheapest tender was no where near cheaper than funding the project from State borrowings and was not able to be classified as an operating lease. I was working late and the Premier’s office called me over – my boss had left for the day. It was late, I was young, and I went over there and was shown into the Premier’s office in the Assembly. He handed over my brief and asked me if my advice was sound. I said it was and he replied, well that’s good enough for me. We never completed the tender.

    Fast forward a few years in the Federal Department of Finance. Somehow, probably when the former Assistant Secretaries had become part of the Senior Executive Service with inflated salaries and titles like Group Manager, whose appointments were vetted by Ministers, well, situation very different. There, if I put up frank and truthful advice, I was told very carefully to only put up advice that the Minister wanted to see.

    Thank you Kaye for coming back here and responding to commenters. Some of your bloggers could learn from how you do things.

  50. Christopher

    Thanks Tina, done. On topic, I wrote a disparaging post on the PM’s fb page. It was deleted as spam ffs. fb is not our friend

  51. ajogrady

    Everything that is wrong with Australia is because of the Liberals and the Nationals. Everything that is bad for Australians is because of the Liberals and the Nationals. I cannot think of one thing that they have done that has benefited Australia and the majority of Australians.

  52. Trevor

    Yet more Turnbullshit! Apart from being Australia’s leading offshore tax evader, The rest of the truth about who Turnbullshit represents is becoming clearer day by day and for sure it is not the average voter, nor workers, nor pensioners, nor students.

  53. vicki

    Although not directly connected with the Emma Alberici issue I have read of a couple of other issues that I am having difficuly believing to be true:
    1) It is planned that age pesioners are to be placed on the cashless welfare card program (that is now due to be rolled out in the Logan area).
    2) That a bill was passed by both houses under the smokescreen of the Barnaby Joyce affair to the effect that the government will no longer guarantee support for the big four banks if another financial crisis hits, instead monies will be confiscated from deposits (ie customer’s savings)
    Both items seem so outrageous it is difficult to believe them to be fact. Can anyone shine some light on this?

  54. Graeme

    I don’t want pay rises or tax cuts. I want the services government should be providing. If we had adequate services, our lives would be so much better.

  55. Joseph Carli

    There was that notorious precedent to the Albericie article..: The Nick Ross NBN article affair…where the ABC’s tech’ officer : Nick Ross had an article pulled on Turnbull’s insitance that it was “partisan”…Strangely, if my memory serves me well.. Albericie, when quoted by Nick Ross as support, as having also wrote an article critical of the NBN, was confronted and unsupported by Albericie who sided..along with Patricia Karvalas…with Turnbull and the ABC management of the time..: Mark Scott…a decidedly “yellow-backed” affair that it seems has come back to bite Albericie on the arse!

  56. Glenn Barry

    Vicki,

    Searches for the bill having been passed seem to be coming up empty, however here is an article from Nov-20-2017 regarding the powers in the bill

    http://www.afr.com/business/banking-and-finance/financial-services/apra-financial-crisis-powers-under-the-microscope-20171108-gzh13f

    I don’t regard the above article as well written and the analysis it provides is fragmented and superficial at best

    I have seen other posts on facebook saying the bill has been passed, but cannot find that verified anywhere, nor in depth analysis by an economics journalist as to the consequences of the bill unfortunately.

  57. leonetwo

    vicki
    To answer your questions –

    Pensioners are not being shoved onto the cashless welfare card. Even in the existing rollout sites pensioners are exempt. There are no plans for pensioners to be forced to use this card. Any such move, should this card ever be used more widely, which now seems unlikely, would be electoral poison.

    The card is not going to be rolled out in Logan, not yet, probably never. Last week the senate blocked expansion of the scheme to a third site, but allowed the trial to continue in the existing sites – Ceduna and the east Kimberley – for another year. The third site the government wanted was in the WA goldfields.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/13/cashless-welfare-card-trials-extended-for-a-year-in-sa-and-wa

    There was no change to the Australian Bank Guarantee Scheme. The amount guaranteed was reduced in 2012, after the GFC, and has not been touched since then. The bill that passed both houses was probably the Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Crisis Resolution Powers and Other Measures) Bill 2017. It strengthens APRA’s ability to deal with a financial crisis. I haven’t ploughed through it all, but you can, if you feel like it. https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5989

    If it had given the banks power to seize deposits then there woulds have been some mention of that, somewhere, during last week, way down a page under the Barnababy stuff. There was nothing.

  58. Vicki Coppell

    Thank you Glen and leonetwo. It did seem like fantasy when I read it and I’m really glad that it has turned out be so.

  59. Joseph Carli

    More on that Nick Ross precedent that had him ostracised by colleagues.. From the Reddit forum of the time..
    ” The great NBN fail http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2012/02/21/3435975.htm

    It also was published 14 MONTHS earlier in a completely different context (without telling the audience). At the time the Coalition’s policy ran along the lines of ‘We don’t need an NBN because wireless is the future” – a policy so untenable and against the laws of physics that the Coalition themselves soon abandoned it.

    But worst of all, Media Watch took the quote and removed the last part of it so that it meant the OPPOSITE of what was intended.

    Here’s the quote as Media Watch displayed it [9mins 9secs]:

    “If the public knew the truth about the NBN, and believed that the Coalition wanted to destroy it, then Labor would have an unassailable lead in the polls right now… I’m deadly serious.”

    Here’s what it actually said:

    “If the public knew the truth about the NBN, and believed that the Coalition wanted to destroy it, then Labor would have an unassailable lead in the polls right now and the National party would have ditched any association with the Liberals. I’m deadly serious. However, if the public and the Coalition knew all the facts, then the Coalition could not, in good conscience, oppose it.”

    Nick’s quote is a totally fair and balanced conclusion at the end of that article – one that, incidentally, despite drawing overwhelmingly-positive feedback, produced two notable criticisms from one Liberal supporter and one Labor supporter who accused it of being biased against the other because of the criticism doled out to both parties.

    All of this was ignored and Holmes had his Gotcha. This is likely one of the worst cases of subjective (conclusion chasing) journalism on the entire ABC network.

    Even then, Media Watch still couldn’t say that he’d done anything wrong, just broken an arbitrary internal policy but they made it sound like he was a biased journalist. At the end of the day Journalists are supposed to be advocates… for the balanced truth!

    The seemingly mild criticism of someone who let his enthusiasm and passion get the best of him – was utterly damning to Nick.

    Nick was essentially ostracized by his ABC colleagues after this. After getting requests for several radio and TV interviews per week this dropped to less than five per year.

    The consequences to Nick were significant. He was told not to complain or even put forward his side of the story. He was consistently denied his right of reply by key ABC entities. Nick lost friends and even family members and peers thought he was too controversial to take seriously. ” https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/410n4q/i_am_outgoing_abc_technology_editor_nick_ross_ama/

  60. Joseph Carli

    Here is how it works according to one commentator of the time..:

    ” There’s lots of smoking guns around at the moment. Turnbull won’t be able to keep a lid on them as people in the ABC scramble to save their jobs by blowing the whistle on superiors. Most people sit around wondering what the reaction will be when it’s clear the only reaction is anger. I’m just sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting to see what the “official” response is versus the public response. Does it result in a surge of support to Labor? The Greens? Someone else? The next election will come before any actual punishments would be brought before Turnbull so that’s what I’m focused on, personally.

    permalinkembedsaveparent

    [–]Xesyliad 31 points 2 years ago

    Having experience in large government organisations, pretty much nothing will come of this.

    Nick will once again be vilified, the mainstream media will steamroll him, and politicians (and their advisors) will not have to say a word, the media will take care of it for them.

    Even if the Delimiter actually begins publishing content, nobody in the ABC will have been stupid enough to keep any form of evidence which will corroborate anything Nick brings to the table. The cleaning began yesterday at all desks, and I’m sure it’s mostly complete by now.

    permalinkembedsaveparent

    load more comments (6 replies) ”

    I fully reccomend the reading of that Reddit forum of Nick Ross…very eye-opening!

    I also wrote on this site on this subject just last week : “Strong in the arms”.

  61. Terry2

    Glenn Barry

    Here’s a quick question for you, why do all of those companies not paying tax on non-existent profits, year, after year, after year pay their executives millions and millions in salaries?

    You answered that yourself : to avoid paying tax you make sure that your enterprise doesn’t make a profit, so you spend any potential profits on excessive salary packages and bonuses et cetera, et cetera. That’s why as a PAYG taxpayer they grab it before you see it otherwise nobody would pay tax.

    In the conservative mindset you don’t need taxes to fund hospitals, schools and the like, you just hand them over to the private/church sector to run as money making enterprises.

  62. martin connolly

    Another truth that doesn’t make the headlines, but a rapidly-increasing number of people are discovering, is that the entire debt and deficit argument is a farce.
    There is no need to punish people who are unemployed.
    There is no need to leave people living badly, or dying, because of a lack of federal funding.
    There is no need for Australia to not have a great free education system.
    … and many other things.

    As a sovereign currency-issuer, the Australian government is the sole issuer of Aussie dollars.
    Any debt that the federal government owes in Aussie dollars can be paid, at any time.

    This sounds like heresy because we are inundated by ‘debt and deficit’, ‘returning to surplus’, ‘balancing the budget’ etc.
    Government money has not worked like that since the days of the gold standard, at least 40 years ago.
    But this approach gives politicians power over the people, in doling out funding as favours to various sectors.

    Whenever the federal government spends money, it is newly-created Aussie dollars – it is NOT ‘taxpayer money’.
    When we pay taxes, that money is simply taken out of the economy – destroyed. So taxes act as a restraint on inflation.

    We should not be discussing balancing the budget, but rather what areas of the economy, AND THE SOCIETY, are in need of improvement.
    Some will bleat that this will cause inflation etc, and there ARE resource restraints, but NOT dollar restraints.
    With up to 15% unemployment and underemployment, we can cope with a LOT of federal spending before inflationary pressure become an issue at all.

    This book-balancing approach is another aspect of the neoliberal ideology that brought us trickle-down.

    I suggest that anybody who would like to know more, go to Facebook page “Modern Money (MMT) Australia” and simply ask your question there. Maybe mention you saw this in comments on the AIMN article and you will find people happy to share links , videos, and give you direct answers

  63. Glenn Barry

    Terry2, agreed that’s one element of the tax avoidance, however minnow sized in comparison to the whale magnitude profits being shifted offshore.

    Would the parent corporate entities really tolerate never receiving a return on investment from Australian subsidiaries?

    Whilst they are entitled to make a profit in line with other corporate entities which is commensurate with revenue, costs and other expenses, the current returns via taxation are just devoid of any credibility whatsoever.

    Agreed that the conservative mindset is fundamentally zealous about extraction, much in the same way that many industries myopically focus on exploitation with the concept of contribution remaining entirely outside their purview.

  64. Joseph Carli

    I am no fan of Albericie or other “ABC celebrity front-people” … There are plenty of them go seeking sides or sympathy when THEY want it , but do not reciprocate when called upon by others…There’s plenty of people who come to left-wing blogs looking for others who identify with them, when in reality they are only seeking “Identity politics”.. not true lefties at all..just blowhards for their own opinions.

  65. ozibody

    Thank you Victoria Rollison … another interesting and topical article, in line with what’s happening around the Australian scene – and again the breadth & depth of comments make for worthwhile reading.

    The link below is offered because, whilst it deals with the American scene , it bears distinct resemblance to Australia .

    Quote from the article below … ” More than 2000 years ago, Socrates taught Greeks how to think rationally and logically, but somewhere along the way, we lost it. This crisis is solvable, but it requires a deliberate shift in our thinking and behavior.”..

    ……………… https://www.activistpost.com/2018/02/americas-crisis-death-logic-objectivity.html

  66. Diane

    @Kronomex 10:10 – that’s an amazing article! Methinks someone is benefitting hugely and fraudulently from that somewhere.

    My favourite paragraph in the article is “The Sun-Herald investigation revealed defence tenders for flights with QANTAS dated January 1900, an $11,466 contract with Cabcharge to provide “spaceships” and a $10,473 contract for “production of 2011 defence fast facts” that ends in 5011. “

  67. guest

    What really makes me want to spit chips is the whole matter of censorship by the Government. This is a bunch of people who advocate freedom, in particular freedom of speech. The Murdoch media is also full of it. In short, it is freedom for those who agree with them and censorship for those who oppose.

    The problem for Turnbull is that the horses have bolted. There has been much debunking of “trickle-down economics” in many sources. Kaye Lee has listed some of them above.

    Then there is Turnbull’s problem with his manner of argument. He claims Alberici’s article was poorly written, but he is unable to specify where exactly, except to say that her comment about no proof of the success of ‘trickle-down” is merely opinion. Is opinion not allowed? Is only his opinion allowed? Is freedom of speech not allowed?

    One only has to look at the printed edition of The Australian to see that the amount of actual news is diminishing rapidly at the front of the paper and the amount opinion, especially in the Inquirer section. But not only there. In the Review section (my only reason for buying this paper) the art critic Christopher Allen criticises the Me Too movement (shades of Janet Albrechtsen?) which he claims is “reviving a puritanical horror of sex”. This, in an article on French female artists.

    In the same section, in a review of a writer about Oz politics, etc, we are told about criticisms of “inner-city latte-sipping elites” running down Anglo-Australian Oz, the West in general, economic rationalism and free trade…”. Straight out of the Murdoch propaganda hymn book.

    So when we actually look at Turnbull’s pronouncements, on NBN, sex for ministers, the whole public spat with Joyce and the maze of collusion and mismanagement, his unconvincing pronouncements on the need for coal and the need to deal with climate change, etc, it is very difficult to believe Turnbull knows what he is talking about.

    Turnbull is finding it very difficult to toe the right-wing line and to keep secure the job he has paid so much to keep. His garble is but a variation of Joyce’s garble.

  68. Zathras

    When it comes to taxation I don’t expect much support from Mr “Cayman Islands Tax Haven” Turnbull.

    What he does to minimise/avoid paying tax in Australia may technically be legal but it removes any moral authority he would otherwise have had to challenge other groups for doing similar things.

    Back in the 80s the Costigan Royal Commission into a particular Union inadvertently revealed the Bottom-of-the-Harbour Tax scheme causing then-Treasurer John Howard a few big problems with Liberal financial supporters and about 6,600 companies.

    I’m sure Malcolm doesn’t want to do the same thing to his financial sponsors and handlers.

  69. Harry

    Company taxes have only a minor impact on jobs creation, wages and whether or not a company is attracted to investing in Australia or willing to leave in favour of countries which taxes profits less than we do.

    There are many distributional, or microeconomic, functions which the federal tax system fulfils. However, at the macroeconomic level, the purpose of taxation is very simple. It is necessary for people to pay taxes to destroy some private sector spending power, to make room within the economy for the government to conduct its desired spending on public goods and services, without pushing total spending in the economy beyond the productive capacity of the economy and causing inflation.

    That begs the question: who to tax and how much? Whose purchasing power should be more or less cut back and on what grounds?

    I am sure the agenda that is being pushed by CEO’s and our compliant Coalition pollies is one of favouring the 1%.

  70. Christopher

    Well said Martin C – as a heterodox economist, I’ve been saying the federal government’s balanced budget spruiking is bullshit for at least ten years. It is the biggest lie that our government continues to say, on and on about taxpayers money till my ears hurt, and it’s why we can’t have spending at the right level, so we can have nice things and pensioners and unemployed people and their children don’t go hungry.

    I don’t know why people don’t get it that they have been had for their whole lives.

    I still have contacts at senior levels of the APS. You just can’t talk about MMT is their response. Weak as piss

  71. Harry

    Hi Christopher:

    when you speak to your contacts at APS do you know why they say “you just can’t talk about MMT?”. Do you think they feel compelled to toe the party line, are they afraid of being laughed at or even fear that their job or career will be in jeopardy?

    I have tried to introduce MMT concepts and have been successful in gaining understanding of a few family members, particularly those who do not have prior economics or finance knowledge/training. The latter have usually been indoctrinated by mainstream economics training and do not really “get it”. Their neoliberal programming is intact.

    I found that once you do “get it” you never quite perceive the world in the same way again. I do become frustrated by all the damaging propaganda (or ignorance?) that spews from the mouths of most economists and politicians. Among the concepts that should be challenged is the notion of RBA “independence” from government (yeah right!!) , the idea that the federal government “relies” on the RBA to tweak the settings of the economy and the almost binary reliance on interest rates to control demand and inflation.

    There are so many smokescreens which serve to reinforce the lies and obscure the truth- because it suits the most wealthy who do not want to share resources more fairly and are callous enough to not give a flying fuck about the “have nots”. “I made it, I worked my way up” etc etc sounds plausible and is one reason ordinary workers who should support progressive policies end up voting contrary to their best interests. Turkeys voting for Christmas !

    Sadly the lie that our income taxes end up in some mythical “coffers” waiting to be spent is very ingrained as is the BS that the federal budget needs to be back in surplus allows venal politicians to play us for fools. Nowhere is this more evident than the “where is the money going to come from?” question that regularly crops up when spending proposals are being suggested. Gotta cut x to pay for y is the mantra!

    Have you and others checked out Steven Hail’s illuminating summary on MMT ? Link below; eye opening for those who are receptive to a counter-intuitive but oh so true paradigm!

    https://era-blog.com/2016/12/05/paying-for-public-services-in-a-monetary-sovereign-state/

  72. ace Jones

    Emma Alberici is better at highlighting LNP bullshit than Labor, who were once again sleeping.
    What a bloody shame we have no effective opposition

  73. Pedro

    there is much that could be done to incentivise business to expand jobs, the first few steps are so obvious, but way beyond the comprehension of our crop of politicians, but let’s not forget the bureaucrats, who in this day and age are not joust enforcing the legislation, but also having a significant say in the legislation.
    Step 1 piss off state payroll taxes, forget all the nonense arguments about state v federal, this tax is a disincentive on employing people full stop, it is an incentive to implement technology.
    Secondly tax incentives for employing People and reducing the adoption of people eliminating technology
    Thirdly tax incentives for implement new industries to produce useable products from recycled materials, I.e tax incentives to reduce dumping of waste. So incentives to develop new products and industries.
    Fourthly reward business operators for being good tax collectors and employers, the big stick carrot is not helping, those who will do the wrong thing will continue, but many want to be compliant, and should be rewarded for doing so.

  74. John Doyle

    What Turnbull worries about doesn’t matter, Yet. Why? the opposition is in full thrall to the neo-liberal mantra. so Tweedledum or Tweedledee .is the choice. There are microparties around today, such as the New Democracy Party which can explain the truth. But until one of them gets a seat in the House or Senate, there will be no dissenting noises from the floor to call out the falsehoods.
    So it really doesn’t matter who you vote for a sold out politician gets elected.

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