VOW

Please believe Spartacus when he says this, but he certainly has much better things to do .  But clearly there is a gap in the market that needs to be addressed.

The ABC has Media Watch (MW).  The Sydney Institute has Media Watch Dog (MWD).  And now, sadly for the need of it, I Am Spartacus has Van Onselen Watch (VOW).  Spartacus does not have the wide distribution of the ABC or The Sydney Institute, nor does he have the $1.1 billion across both organisations (99.8% within the ABC), but here’s having a go.

Fresh today (16 May 2018), Van Onselen wrote another insightful article for the Australian – At least Labor is talking the talk on tax reforms.  The first thing one notes from this is that, having left the employ of SkyNews, Van Onselen has pick up another tax payer funded gig.  No.  Spartacus is not talking about the ABC (which is already widely known).  Rather, Van Onselen’s by-line now says this:

Peter van Onselen is a professor at the University of Western Australia and Griffith University

Did anyone notice the quiet addition of this professorship at Griffith University?

My oh my that travel must be a strain.  Living in Sydney and having a Professorship at a Western Australian university AND a Queensland one.  How does he find the time?

But it is not his travel budget that warrants attention.  Here are some highlights from his considered piece:

The government’s attacks on Labor for its taxation policies directed at closing loopholes and concessions, especially for older Australians

No Professor Van Onselen.  Labor’s tax policies are not about closing loopholes and concessions.  They are about increasing taxes.  There is also no such thing as a tax “loophole”.  They are not accidents in the tax code.  They are deliberate policies.  You may not agree with the policies, but please don’t sprinkle hundreds-and-thousands on a turd and call it a cupcake.

Reform to the GST has been firmly placed in the too-hard basket by both major parties.

Professor Van Onselen.  Please recall from English for Politicians that “Multiple tax increases are not tax reform”.  There has been no recent reform offering to reduce some taxes and increase the GST.  What is on offer is just an increase in the GST.  Increasing tax revenue is not reform.  It is increasing tax revenue.  See above – sprinkling hundreds-and-thousands on a turd does not a cupcake make.

Don’t get me wrong, I worry that Labor overcooks its expected numbers when it comes to negative gearing and dividend imputation reforms. I also have concerns that it will spend the saves before they are realised.

Ah.  An application of Swan-glish buy using the term “saves”.  Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing and dividend imputation are not saves or even savings.  They are tax increases.  Reference is made again to English for Politicians that says “A tax increase in not a saving”.

Structural reform to the tax setting is thus crucial, and only Labor is going there. I don’t like all of their changes, I don’t think they will get them all through the parliament and I worry that they spend too much in conjunction with such reforms. But at least they are genuinely looking at tax reform, in contrast to a government that walked away from the tax white paper.

Yet again Professor Van Onselen is suggesting that increasing taxes is structural reform to the tax settings.  No Professor.  It is just tax increases.  Don’t mask it.  Own it.

To be fair though, in one statement Van Onselen is correct, half correct:

At least Labor has a plan for the demographic tsunami about to hit.

Yes there is a demographic tsunami about to hit.  But in as much as the Liberals don’t have a plan for it, neither does Labor.

Dear Professor.  Please write 1,000 times on the white board (Spartacus is clearly showing his age):

  • Increasing taxes is not reform.  Increasing taxes is not savings.  Increasing taxes is not the solution to every (or in fact any) public policy and social problem.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus

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24 Responses to VOW

  1. H B Bear

    Oh dear, I thought UWA, my old uni, had hit rock bottom with Lewandowsky and the Lomborg knock-back. Now they are sharing staff with Griffith University.

    That certainly makes it easier to throw their Convocation begging letters in the bin each year.

  2. Roger

    Increasing taxes is not reform. Increasing taxes is not savings. Increasing taxes is not the solution to every (or in fact any) public policy and social problem.

    Add to the list: Tax cuts are not a government handout.

  3. woolfe

    I trust the busy professor has blocked you on twitter?

  4. Percy Porcelain

    VWW

    Von Wrongsolen Watch – So wrong it’s not even correct twice a day.

  5. Norman Church

    Gawd!

    Van Wrongselen is almost as bad as Shane Wright who is somewhat ironically described as the Economics Editor of the West Australian. Both have never seen a tax slug or government spending program they don’t like.

  6. Increasing taxes is not the solution to every (or in fact any) public policy and social problem.

    Well, yes it is. If you’re Green/Leftist/Labor, increasing taxes solves all problems; whether they be fiscal or moral.

  7. Gary

    Professor of non-binary mathematics.

  8. H B Bear

    Wright is truly appalling. I’m guessing he is auditioning for a Jouno-Lotto win at the ALPBC like Andwew Pwobyn.

  9. ianl

    Unhappily, what is not surprising is the refusal to recognise that a franked dividend is 30% smaller than an unfranked dividend. That 30% is a tax deduction that goes straight into Treasury’s general revenue and is the current rate for company tax on profits.

    Exactly similar is a fortnightly pay packet being deducted for tax at source (ie. employer) with that tax deduction sent straight to Treasury’s general revenue.

    If either method of deducting tax before the recipient receives the funds results in overpayment of tax, the refund of overpayment is done at the end of the fiscal year through a tax return mechanism. In fact, there is a whole sub-industry each June dedicated to helping spend “your tax refund”.

    For those people with total gross income under $18.2kpa, the refund of tax paid is 100%. Except Bowen, Shorten et al are now proposing that some people be excluded from the $18.2kpa threshhold – those people whose income is from dividend, not a weekly or fortnightly pay packet. Now that’s really picking and choosing who to bash.

    I’m sure some will reply: “But those people are so small in number”. So why is that a good reason to bash them ? Little electoral backlash is the only truthful, cynical answer. And because most of the lumpenprole think that “dividends” are for rich people and who cares if they pay more unjustified tax.

    If this comment draws critical replies, they will be in one of those two categories – too small a demographic to treat fairly, or too rich to treat fairly. There is a third category – super in pension mode up to $60kpa without tax, where some or all of that income up to $60k comprises dividend. It is this category that Bowen is targeting – because they are retired (older, so don’t vote ALP) and have sufficient funds to be stolen for other electoral purposes. All three categories are egregiously greedy, cynical and brutal. A perfect example of sovereign risk – when you have followed the law sufficiently to accumulate something of value, the law will then be changed to permit expropriation. Or, wait until the capital is sunk, then make up new taxes on it.

  10. egg_

    Wright is truly appalling. I’m guessing he is auditioning for a Jouno-Lotto win at the ALPBC like Andwew Pwobyn.

    Following in his footsteps on Insiders and Teh Dumb.

  11. egg_

    Von Wrongsolen Watch

    Has meeja watch dedicated a Wrongology segment to him?

  12. Mother Lode

    But…but…he’s a professor!

    He has all that book-learnin’ and stuff.

    How can he be wrong?

  13. Mother Lode

    Has meeja watch dedicated a Wrongology segment to him?

    You think the hosts of media watch want to work more than 15 minutes a week?

    PvO would be like one of those old radio serials on the wireless: An hour every week keeping you on the edge of your chair.

  14. sabena

    van Onselen reminds me of the radio cash for comment scandal.
    He has no serious beliefs of his own-he spouts what he spouts because he knows it provides for his financial security.So his columns were designed to appeal to the ABC,where he will be safe for ever unless he turns conservative.

  15. Bruce of Newcastle

    I think I know where a few hundred thousand dollars of annual savings can be made from government expenditure. And that’s not even counting travel!

  16. the sting

    He should be in the classroom learning not teaching .

  17. Entropy

    Is he paid a professorship at both universities? That is serious money if so.

  18. Boambee John

    Percy Porcelain
    #2712057, posted on May 16, 2018 at 1:35 pm
    VWW

    Von Wrongsolen Watch – So wrong it’s not even correct twice a day.

    Like m0nty, electronic calendar stuck on 29 February, right once in four years (perhaps).

  19. gowest

    2 professorship’s – no wonder he supports higher taxes – budget revenue

  20. Damienski

    That certainly makes it easier to throw their Convocation begging letters in the bin each year.

    I wrote to them immediatley following the Lomberg cave-in and asked them not to contact me any more. They haven’t.

  21. 2dogs

    closing loopholes and concessions

    Ending the tax deduction for the costs of managing one’s tax affairs is a highly regressive measure. Hardly “closing a loophole”.

  22. mareeS

    Doing the same thing and expecting a different result etc.

    PVO at least should know that successful people do not do this, especially with our own money,,and he should be advising his Labor mates that all the easy money they think they will pluck from SMSF retirees is already poised for transition.

    Money is infinitely mobile, and Shorten is stupid enough to have given us advance warning when he can’t even see the distaste out here for his lack of principle.

    A year of advance warning and no guarantee of an election win make this next bit of time something to anticipate.

  23. Rob MW

    You may not agree with the policies, but please don’t sprinkle hundreds-and-thousands on a turd and call it a cupcake.

    Sparty – don’t encourage the socialists, they’ll eat anything that remotely resembles shit 🙂

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