… let us go to the other extreme and pose the question of whether it is inconceivable that the Abbott White Paper might consider, given the overwhelming importance of the tax and transfer system and the likely fierce, negative politics against whatever will be proposed, that it would make more sense to consider the establishment of an independent, permanent, Tax Commission, an institution designed to be “beyond politics”.
So this is how it would work: We’d have a ‘government’ and a Tax Commission. The ‘government’ would spend its days working out how to spend money and then hunting and wenching and fighting foreign wars and generally hanging out with its mates. Every now and then when the ‘government’ needed more money it would have to approach the Tax Commission. The Tax Commission would then assess the need for the money, and work out how best to raise the money, and then hand it over. But only if it deemed the money would be well spent. From time to time the Tax Commission might also require the ‘government’ to spend less time fighting foreign wars and the like in return for new money.
One day the ‘government’ might decide to raise revenue without the Tax Commission’s permission. What then? Well the Tax Commission might spend some of its own money to raise an army, hunt down the ‘government’, try it for tyranny, and then execute it. At this point the Tax Commission might decide that only its own members can be the ‘government’.
You get the idea.
Hewson’s real complaint is that the Parliament doesn’t work well in constraining the executive.