Now I have heard it all

On Insiders this morning, when discussing the bank “levy” (aka the Banking Sector Rent Tax), the Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison described the levy as:

a pro-productivity measure.

That is, the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia has just said a tax increase is a means to increase productivity.  By logical extension, the Commonwealth Government collecting 100% of all Australian income and wealth will make Australia the most productive nation on this planet.

It’s done.  It’s over.   These people have no clue and are unworthy of high office.  See explanatory video below.  The fellow in the leather jacket is the Treasurer and the fellow in the red hair driving the boat is the Prime Minister.

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32 Responses to Now I have heard it all

  1. It’s the end of conservative government in Australia.

  2. Pyrmonter

    Not so fast. It’s far from the best thing to do, but it has a better basis than, say, the ludicrous infrastructure boondoggles or the NDIS Medcare Levy increase (on which the government is being outflanked by the opposition).

    Adam Creighton makes the (not wholly implausible) defence case: http://preview.tinyurl.com/lahw2qj

    If it turnsthe tap on the supply of home lending fund quarter of a turn, it will do more than any of the other proposed measures regarding the level of housing prices, too.

  3. Fisky

    Economic liberalism has been defeated. Libertarianism is over. It’s finished. John Kwiggin is proclaiming victory, quite rightly.

    Among the measures in last night’s budget was the decision to kill off, once and for all, more than $10 billion of “zombie measures”. These cuts proposed in Joe Hockey’s disastrous 2014 Budget, rejected by the Senate, but kept on the books as proposed savings until now.

    More importantly, the Budget abandons the undead ideology of market liberalism (aka economic rationalism, neoliberalism and so on) that dominated policy thinking in Australia in the decades leading up to the Global Financial Crisis, and continued to be taken for granted by most of the political class long after that.

    Among the specific elements of market liberalism, I described in Zombie Economics back in 2010, those most central to current policy debates are privatisation (in the broad sense of rolling back the size and scope of state activity), trickle down economics, and austerity. All of these have been abandoned, to a greater or lesser extent in this budget.

  4. True Aussie

    The crowd in that video is young, white and fit. Today that same crowd would be fat and brown instead. Progress….

  5. JC

    Fisk

    What’s growing is the endless demand for free stuff. This reaches a top limit like everything else until the sides but open and a full crisis develops.

    No one can beat market forces.

  6. H B Bear

    Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey.

    Special guest appearances by :

    Chrissy Pyne as Ralph Malph
    Eric Abetz as Mr C

    Scott Morristeen or any current Lieboral would know productivity if they tripped over it.

  7. Jannie

    Zombies is a good word. Sleepwalking into the abyss. I am thinking offshore investment is getting to be a better idea every day.

  8. H B Bear

    Apologies should be George Brandis as Mr C.

  9. Texas Jack

    It’s done. It’s over. These people have no clue and are unworthy of high office.

    No Mate, it’s been over for longer than we’re possibly willing to admit. The Liberal Party has been a party of higher tax for a while. Tax and spend. Soclial licences. Punitive measures targeting specific sectors.

    Here’s the thing; have you seen anyone in the parliament or the party call out Turnbull for what he really is? Nope?

    Time to back these people to the hilt.

  10. Fisky

    John Kwiggan is right to claim victory. It’s over. He has won comprehensively. This is a massive defeat for the free market, possibly permanent.

  11. Andrew

    The same fuckers believed (until a back bench revolt led by Craig Kelly) that an Emissions Intensity Charge (carbon tax) would increase investment in baseload and reduce the cost of electricity. Now while perhaps that’s even true relative to the appalling 23% RET, that’s hardly the basis for good policy.

  12. Fisky

    The strategic purpose of this budget is to remove any rationale for Abbott’s return.

  13. Exit Stage Right

    Nailed it Fisky. No Government now or in the future can look at implementing any policies that even hint at fiscal responsibility and expect to stay in power. Abbott was such a pathetic PM when he had it in his power to make a change or two, was howled down by the ABC et al and went to water. Sure, he had a prick of a Senate to try and negotiate with, but he wimped out when he should have stood firm. If someone like Abbott cant hack it, what hope have we got? This country will not move forward on any issue until all sides agree that the Country comes first. Shallow Mal is fixated on the AbbottBeast, so gives Wee willy shorten free reign to spread his lies and misinformation. I fear for our future.

  14. H B Bear

    This is a massive defeat for the free market, possibly permanent.

    The only free market that matters to Australia is the international capital markets that keep this place afloat. When they say it is over it is over. Dollar to 50c, real interest rates back over 5%. Anyone who has bought a house in Sydney or Melbourne in the last 2 or 3 years with less than 20% equity will be underwater. It will be ugly

  15. john constantine

    There is no country called Australia, there is only a deplorable rump of racist settler invaders, clinging onto their stolen privilege and denying that the inevitable forces of history will sweep them away, to open the future of transnational globalist social justice elite rule.

    Every dollar of debt decolonialises this racist outpost, like the tide eroding a sandcastle.

  16. cynical1

    a pro-productivity measure.

    Orwell missed that one.

  17. Fisky

    Australia is now Rhodesia in the year 1976. The die is cast. The global elites have had enough. There is no need for this country to exist, they have concluded. Dismantlement and replacement will commence at once. A regime-in-exile is already being groomed, with Waleed Mugabe to serve as the “independence leader”.

  18. H B Bear

    Orwell missed that one.

    Right up there with kd wrong’s budget “savings” aka tax increases.

  19. Fisky

    The post-independence regime led by Waleed Mugabe will have no economic competence, all the better for the international lenders who love signing deals with naive post-colonial governments.

  20. OldOzzie

    The TurdBull Coalition/Malcolm Party/Liberal Party is “Dead”

    JUST THE GUY TO RUN THE TURNBULL PARTY

    So why does Malcolm Turnbull want the Liberals’ new federal director to be 32-year-old Andrew Bragg, who has never run an election campaign, is only the deputy head of the Menzies Research Centre and is from Turnbull’s own branch?

    Roger Franklin finds Bragg’s writings in an unexpected place – the Huffington Post – and the mystery is solved:

    You can see why Mr Bragg, failed candidate for Liberal preselection, might be the apple of the PM’s eye. Here he is in The Huffington Post, of all places, and demonstrating a definite Turnbullian turn of phrase in demanding “cultural change”:

    ‘“Australia doesn’t need to adopt [Japanese PM] Abe’s exact language, “womenomics” has provided a framework to usher in cultural change in Japan. Accordingly, once we’ve sized the opportunity and the issue has clear terminology, fostering cultural change should be easier.”’

    And here he is, once again in The Huffington Post, attempting to make the republican case via the innovative debating tactic of directly contradicting himself. His initial contention: Australia is suffering because our Asian neighbours see us as pink and pasty colonial relics beholding to the Mother Country. It’s all about “identity’, you see

    ‘“We rarely discuss the symbolic and identity implications of living in the Asia Pacific century. This is a missed opportunity. Identity, belonging and symbolism are important in Asia.”’

    A “missed opportunity”, eh? Not if the reader can endure the Fitzsimons-esque sentiments and get deep enough into the column to absorb this:

    ‘It is true that our constitutional monarchy status has not been a barrier to building strong economic and cultural ties between Australia and most of Asia. In 2014, our government negotiated free trade agreements with three of our four top trading partners — China, Japan and South Korea. The vestiges of colonialism have not held Australia back. Yet.’

    These are strange days indeed. When the man likely to be tapped as the organisational antidote to a resurgent Labor Party peppers his thoughts with calls for “cultural change”, “womenomics”, “belonging” “identity implications” and “vestiges of colonialism” you know, as Dorothy told her little dog Toto in The Wizard of Oz, conservatives aren’t in Kansas anymore.

    Well their nominal leaders aren’t, anyway.

    Malcolm Turnbull has already scrapped the Liberals’ economic policies and given us a Labor Budget of higher spending, higher taxes and higher debt, to the applause of commentators of the Left. If this works his next step is obvious: to move to the Left on social policy as well, including same-sex marriage, constitutional recognition and perhaps even the republic.

    And who better to have running the Liberal party and cheering him on?

    UPDATE

    The destruction of the Liberal party and replacement with the Turnbull party is nearly complete. The Turnbull team and its media supporters call this sell-out “pragmatism”. Others beg to differ.

  21. sfw

    At least Fonzie became a lawyer, the treasurer will have to survive on his pension.
    http://arresteddevelopment.wikia.com/wiki/Barry_Zuckerkorn

  22. Paul

    Surely Morrison was trolling when he said that?

  23. Gerard O

    nationalize the banks

  24. John Comnenus

    Morrison is quite right, the bank tax is a pro productivity measure, it just won’t improve prodcutivity in Australia.

    Retail bank customers who want a mortgage, credit card and deposit account for their pay will go to the smaller former building society / credit union banks. No problems.

    But business customers who need more sophisticated products that are available internationally can not go to these smaller retail banks. They will turn instead to foreign banks like Deutsche and HSBC who provide the full range of products but are not affected by the new tax.

    Services exporters do not generate much corporate tax in the countries they export to. They repatriate their profits and hence most company tax to the country they are headquartered in. Deutsche and HSBC or Barclays will be repatriating profit to the Germany or the UK. No doubt big American, Japanese, European, Arab and Asian Banks will do the same. So the productivity bonus will accrue to these banks boosting the company tax take from Australian banking operations in countries other than Australia.

    The finance and banking sector is Australia’s largest contributor of company tax which is the Federal Government’s second largest source of revenue. Some of the profit will now go offshore and Australia’s company tax take from its biggest payers will go down. Outcome – larger deficit, lower receipts – the exact opposite of what is intended and needed.

    You can’t make up the stupid of this Government which is so easily led around by well educated know nothing bureaucrats. It is surprisingly how little the Government knows about the private sector.

  25. Rusty of Qld

    Spartacus, basically what your saying is that with this pair of clowns putting on the show we are completely
    f%*&#kd.

  26. Robber Baron

    That leather jacket the Fonz was wearing was tres chic. I think Mal should wear one. It will surely improve his poll numbers. I’d even tune in to question time to watch Fonzie Turnbull be cool in parliament with a few choice one-liners. “Eeeeyyyyyy!” “Cool it!” “That’s not cool Richie” “Hi Mrs C” “The Fonz doesn’t care” A snap of the fingers and the whole parliament is silenced. It would be a block buster ratings bonanza. Make it so Mal…make it so. You know you want to. Happy Days!

  27. John A

    John Comnenus #2380259, posted on May 15, 2017 at 9:40 am

    You can’t make up the stupid of this Government which is so easily led around by well educated know nothing bureaucrats. It is surprisingly how little the Government knows about the private sector.

    No, John.
    “Well schooled” rather than “well educated” thanks.

  28. Tim Neilson

    John A
    #2380415, posted on May 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Or “well credentialled”.

    BTW John Comnenus is totally correct of course, but I doubt whether any of the TURNbull COAliTion Team could care less even if they do understand. After all, societal collapse won’t happen till after the next election.

  29. John A

    Tim Neilson #2380482, posted on May 15, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    John A
    #2380415, posted on May 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Or “well credentialled”.

    BTW John Comnenus is totally correct of course, but I doubt whether any of the TURNbull COAliTion Team could care less even if they do understand. After all, societal collapse won’t happen till after the next election.

    Tim, I would not give tuppence for the credentials.

    Most would have spent a long time in a classroom without actually gaining an education. The credentials are little better than the AOTY award, the Logies or any Writer’s Festival gongs.

    I agree with you and John C that we can’t fathom this level of stupidity.

    It’s what I would like to call the Powerpoint generation. They can’t think for themselves and have no idea where they are or where they are going because they can only just follow the sequence of a PowerPoint presentation.

    In another context entirely, they are also the perfect candidates for Google Maps navigation – step by step “follow the instructions” – because they don’t have any mapping sense: no concept of overview / perspective. Despite talking about “the big picture” they have no idea of what I call in my Christian jargon “knowing the end from the beginning.”

  30. John A;

    Despite talking about “the big picture” they have no idea of what I call in my Christian jargon “knowing the end from the beginning.”

    Is that a bit like knowing your arse from your elbow?

  31. H B Bear

    You can’t make up the stupid of this Government which is so easily led around by well educated know nothing bureaucrats.

    Costello was the last Treasurer who wasn’t lead around by his nose by the Keynesians who infest Treasury. And it shows.

  32. I am Spartacus

    You can’t make up the stupid of this Government which is so easily led around by well educated know nothing bureaucrats.

    Costello was the last Treasurer who wasn’t lead around by his nose by the Keynesians who infest Treasury. And it shows.

    When it comes to big ticket policy matters, I think that Cats are being unfair to Treasury. Perhaps Treasury does have plenty of Keynesians, but the role of the Treasury is not to decided on such measures but to put up options. It is the Government and the Treasurer who decide the policies and the Treasury who implements the policies. Criticising Treasury for things like the bank tax absolves the Treasurer and the Government of their responsibilities. IMO.

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