Day 15 of a broken promise

This entry was posted in 2013 election, Budget, Taxation. Bookmark the permalink.

129 Responses to Day 15 of a broken promise

  1. Helen

    Not a good look. In fact, bloody terrible. Mr Abbott might look people in the eye Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, but he will never live this lie and breech of trust down. It is what it is.

  2. wal1957

    Helen @ 12.15am…”but he (Abbott) will never live this lie and breech of trust down. It is what it is.

    Unfortunately very true. I think that most sane people would prefer that their leaders spoke the truth, without the BS. In this case, they are trying to weasel around the exact terminology of what was said.
    A tax is a tax is a tax. We said it when Joolyar tried to spin it, and we will certainly say it now.

    If there was a half decent option to the Liberals on the conservative side of politics, they would be in trouble going in to the next election. Then Australia would be in dire straits because the conservative vote would be split and Liebor would be raping and pillaging again!

    BTW…Bull Shitten won’t last until the next election given his performance so far, surely?

  3. kelly liddle

    It is possibly very smart politics assuming the $180 000 number for the deficit levy. Truth is the vast majority of people couldn’t care less what a person on a very high income payed in tax and the other point is the majority of those who earn such large sums (as wages because if you have dividend income from a private company you can just defer that income if you want) are unlikely to change there voting patterns based on this.

    For me even though I don’t like it I can’t see myself putting LNP below ALP in the near future.

  4. Baldrick

    Ho hum. How ’bout a fred on the union corruption RC saga. Please, Miss Pat.

  5. Senile Old Guy

    Greens leader Christine Milne rejected the government’s claims of a “budget crisis” and said there should be permanent action on tax, such as a lift in the tax rate for the wealthy, rather than an ­“ideological hit on the poor” by withdrawing benefits. “We’ve got a carbon price — let’s keep it. We’ve got a mining tax — let’s keep it,” Senator Milne said. The Greens will vote for the increase in the petrol excise but want the revenue to go to public transport rather than roads, she said.

    The Greens will approve tax increases but not spending cuts. So, thanks to TA and the Greens, we already have one tax increase. The Government can probably make some cuts just through administration but I suspect any large cuts will require Senate approval…and that will be at the mercy of the Greens and then PUP. I’m expecting to see welfare increases (Gonski, NDIS) waved through but spending cuts stymied.

    As for selling this mess, Abbott looks confused and unconvincing and Hockey looks increasingly smug. It’s not a good look and Abbott, and Shorten, will be gone before the next election. Abbott has made the Liberal party too much like Labor-lite and will pay the price.

  6. James In Footscray

    Nick Cater in the Oz today: ‘broken vows no gauge of a party’s worth’, ‘a tally of promises kept and those supposedly broken is a hopeless measure of a government’s worth’.

    It sounds like spin. Don’t sacrifice your credibility Nick!

  7. Rabz

    Just heard Jamie Briggs on the news stating that both the “deficit levy” and the fuel excise increase would be in tonight’s budget.

    What was that about false flags, again?

  8. .

    Brilliant stuff Professor, keep it up.

    Day and Leyonhjelm were excellent small government libertarians and conservatives on Lateline last night.

    “I will never vote for an increase in taxes”
    “The way to grow an economy and ultimately revenue is to cut taxes”
    “It’s not government money, its taxpayers money”
    “The optimal income tax rate is only around 20% and no more”

    Geez I wish Abbott, Hockey, Corman etc were saying these things.

  9. Blogstrop

    For a normally sensible blog, this series has been pretty much what The Australian Editorial calls a Twitter-led frenzy.

  10. lem

    Just read LDP budget summary on facebook. Like what I saw.

  11. .

    This nothing like a “twitter fed frenzy”. There is serious debate occurring whilst those dyed in the wool do little more than troll. They refuse to ask hard questions, mostly.

  12. johno

    For a normally sensible blog, this series has been pretty much what The Australian Editorial calls a Twitter-led frenzy.

    The Oz also noted thatmany Staunch News Corp critics of Mr Rudd and Julia Gillard — such as Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Chris Kenny — have been earliest and strongest in their condemnation of Tony Abbott’s broken election promises.

    I think Sinclair is operating on the same premise. Support a principle, not a Party.

  13. CatAttack

    Now Abbott will have to defend a broken promise which will be voted down by the greens. So net effect will be to destroy the brand for no benefit at all. What an outcome.

  14. Bribie John

    I am surprised that anyone, let alone those who have any maturity of mind and experience, cast their vote on the basis of politician’s promises, or even criticize them for any perceived broken ones.

    We are a group of politically immature morons if we do!

    Our votes must be based on performance (which would have assured the result of the last election), and must be based on whether our local politicians are not toeing party lines and are doing what the electorate has instructed.

    Since when has the word “democracy” been stood on it’s head with politicians telling us what is going to happen, instead of hearing and acting upon the electorates wishes?

    We need to change our system which allows only those who can raise the enormous amounts of money to stand as a representative, and whom, as we are now seeing more and more, use their positions for personal gain ( only the careless ones are found out), rather than serving the electorate out of loyalty to the nation.

  15. handjive

    We know the economy needs fixing after the last six years.
    Like many, I wasted some of my credibility debating that Abbott could be no worse than Gillard.
    After the broken carbon(sic) tax promise, Abbott, would sensibly, not do the same.

    The political capital currency is integrity & honesty.
    Just like dollars and cents.
    But, it’s value is so much more. Almost un-quantifiable.
    And is is as rare as hen’s teeth.

    Once spent, it is un-redeemable.
    That is where Abbott finds himself.
    And just like Gillard, it is his own fault.

    If Abbott will waste political currency with such recklessness, what else does he ‘under value’?

  16. whyisitso

    Bull Shitten won’t last until the next election given his performance so far, surely?

    Davidson et al are doing all they can to ensure the Mafia rule us for the next couple of decades.

  17. Sinclair Davidson

    whyisitso – and people say I’m hysterical?

  18. whyisitso

    and people say I’m hysterical?

    That’s because they’re right.

  19. Petros

    I’m a high income earner and I won’t be voting for the Liberals now. Hopefully have the LDP and Family First to choose from in my electorate.

  20. Rabz

    I am surprised that anyone, let alone those who have any maturity of mind and experience, cast their vote on the basis of politician’s promises, or even criticize them for any perceived broken ones.

    That is not why I have been getting stuck into Abbott and Hockey.

    Raising taxes is extremely poor policy, especially when there is so much unnecessary government expenditure (i.e. waste) that must be cut.

    I’m actually surprised that this even needs to be stated.

  21. I am surprised that anyone, let alone those who have any maturity of mind and experience, cast their vote on the basis of politician’s promises, or even criticize them for any perceived broken ones.

    We are a group of politically immature morons if we do!

    No, voter trust is critical to democracy.
    When I say ‘critical’ – I mean, voting can’t operate without it.

    Voters evaluate politicians mostly on what they say. Sure, there are track records, but that’s only for incumbents, and only applies to the past.

    If you can’t believe politicians during an election, then you can’t vote.

    The political class love to put the microscope on voter cynicism as a way of proving that they don’t trust politicians but the system works anyway. No – they don’t trust them – in the sense that a detective doesn’t trust a room full of murder suspects – but that’s not the same as actually thinking they are a liar. Once a politician is proved a liar the voting public’s response is harsh.

  22. Rabz

    No, voter trust is critical to democracy.
    When I say ‘critical’ – I mean, voting can’t operate without it.

    This is why I’ll not be casting a valid vote next election.

    Our political system is smashed beyond repair, not helped by the fact that I think most current politicians at every level of government should be gaoled, at the very least (NaDT).

  23. Gab

    No, voter trust is critical to democracy.

    Funny that’s what Abbott said before the election.

  24. Rudiau

    If Abbott will waste political currency with such recklessness, what else does he ‘under value’?

    Well said that man.

  25. Joe Goodacre

    wal1957 ,

    That Bill Shorten won’t be around long were my thoughts as well from this clip.

    Albo is a policy muppet but he got the best grab in there with the Monty Python analogy.

  26. boy on a bike

    Will anyone remember this come the next election?

  27. candy

    If the government was privatising the ABC, a breach of promise, would this thread exist?

  28. Roger

    Seems to me that there are several reasons Abbott has gone with this, knowing full well it would cause him some serious grief and I’m surprised the Prof doesn’t see it. In case there was any doubt amongst some voters that the debt was getting out of control and needed drastic measures he has added to cuts with increasing revenue. Yes, yes I know it actually won’t achieve much extra revenue but it’s the thought that counts. Equally it nicely wedges the ALP and particularly the Greens who say they will not pass this particular measure through the senate. How wonderful would that be. Greens vote against taxing the rich, killing the measure and Abbott left having not actually broken a promise that would have brought him little benefit. If it does come in watch the next budget where he will be able to demonstrate the budget dramatically improving and Abbott ending this “temporary” tax measure. It is all politics people. You under-estimate Abbott.

  29. Abbott’s chief problem: he is surrounded by political operatives rather than people of principle.

  30. .

    whyisitso
    #1303330, posted on May 13, 2014 at 8:06 am
    Bull Shitten won’t last until the next election given his performance so far, surely?

    Davidson et al are doing all they can to ensure the Mafia rule us for the next couple of decades

    A bit early in the morning for the roll your own stuff. Perhaps you can answer why Abbott shouldn’t take on the left head on and at the same time, still claim legitimacy?

  31. .

    candy
    #1303377, posted on May 13, 2014 at 8:50 am
    If the government was privatising the ABC, a breach of promise, would this thread exist?

    Please outline what his promise specifically regarding the ABC Ltd.

  32. Gab

    Sense and sensibility:

    EMMA ALBERICI: OK. Well David Leyonhjelm, writing in today’s Financial Review, you’ve expressed disappointment with the Coalition government delay in delivering a budget surplus. If it is, as you say, possible to do so quicker, why aren’t they doing that?

    DAVID LEYONHJELM: Political reasons mainly. It’s seen as hard-hearted to cut middle-class welfare and middle class are a lot of voters. There’s a large number of people who are receiving welfare who also pay taxes and they think that’s their right to receive that. The problem for the Government is convincing them that they don’t have a right to do it, that welfare is primarily for poor people. It’s poor people who need to be looked after and people who are not poor should be looking after themselves more than they are. So, it’s a political problem. The Government is aware of it, I think. It’s just whether they’ve got the courage to attack it.

  33. Roger

    In case there was any doubt amongst some voters that the debt was getting out of control and needed drastic measures he has added to cuts with increasing revenue.

    But he knew about the debt problem last August. Therefore he lied last August.

    Yes, yes I know it actually won’t achieve much extra revenue but it’s the thought that counts.

    Symbolism. Gesture politics. Seeming, not doing.

    Equally it nicely wedges the ALP and particularly the Greens who say they will not pass this particular measure through the senate.

    That’s no wedge. What’s he going to do? Make fun of them for blocking his broken promise?

  34. There’s a large number of people who are receiving welfare who also pay taxes and they think that’s their right to receive that. The problem for the Government is convincing them that they don’t have a right to do it, that welfare is primarily for poor people.

    It’s rare to hear simple truths like that in public life.

  35. Gab

    Music to my ears:

    EMMA ALBERICI: So, the Palmer United Party has today announced that its senators won’t support the proposed deficit levy because they don’t think the Australian economy is in such bad shape as to require such an emergency tax. What do you think, Bob Day?

    BOD DAY: Well, look, the evidence is in from the around the world that raising taxes does not raise revenue. It’s fairly clear that if they want to raise more revenue, then they should lower the tax rate. It then boosts incentives, it avoids – tax avoidance and tax planning. It encourages enterprise. If they want to raise more revenue, then they should lower the tax rates. And, not only that, they should align both company and personal tax rates, and then when they start working towards the alignment and lowering the tax rates – if ever there was a country that was ideally suited for lower tax rates and huge revenues, then it’s Australia.

    EMMA ALBERICI: David Leyonhjelm, what do you make of the deficit tax?

    DAVID LEYONHJELM: It’s an increase in taxes and we don’t like any increase in taxes. We think Australia is already taxed too much. I agree with Bob. The best way to get prosperity going, to solve the budget problem, is to lower taxes. In my alternative Budget today, which was published in one of the newspapers, that included a reduction in the top marginal rates of tax. That was quite deliberate because it’s an incentive to people to work, earn more, save more, invest more – that’s good for the economy and it’s also a compensation for taking away some of the middle class welfare.

  36. candy

    If Tony Abbott raised the GST, when he vowed not to, would this thread exist?

  37. Joe Goodacre

    whyisitso,

    and people say I’m hysterical?

    That’s because they’re right.

    It appears to me that what Sinc is doing is petty and inconsistent given requests for Abbott to break other election promises such as PPL – – – however there is a lot of time between now and an election and it’s unlikely that anyone reading this blog is seriously going to vote Labor because of what Sinc has said over these last 15 days. Do I prefer Sinc did something else than compare Abbotts integrity to Gillards? Yes. Is it likely to be the cause of people voting Labor? Probably not.

  38. .

    candy
    #1303400, posted on May 13, 2014 at 8:59 am
    If Tony Abbott raised the GST, when he vowed not to, would this thread exist?

    Anyone here who wants the GST raised…please identify yourselves.

    (Crickets)

  39. candy

    And if he suddenly turned around after the election and said Direct Action and PPL are being axed, would this thread exist?

  40. Gab

    Symbolism. Gesture politics. Seeming, not doing.

    That’s what the Gesture Tax is all about. Abbott breaking his promise not to increase tax and attacking some of his core voter base in the hope of appeasing the Left by saying ‘look here, we’ve also taxed the “rich”.

  41. Joe Goodacre

    Gab,

    Music to my ears:

    Great comments by Day and Leyonhjelm. It’s good to see someone like Day and Leyonhjelm in politics – people who aren’t career politicians and hves been successful out of it.

  42. .

    It appears to me that what Sinc is doing is petty and inconsistent given requests for Abbott to break other election promises such as PPL

    No.

    They don’t have any moral right to PPL (nor does it have any honest or robust economic backing).

    To raise taxes, they must increase coercion. To break spending ones, they minimise coercion.

  43. Gab

    And if he suddenly turned around after the election and said Direct Action and PPL are being axed, would this thread exist?

    Moot point as he will never break a promise that would upset the Left.

  44. .

    candy
    #1303404, posted on May 13, 2014 at 9:02 am
    And if he suddenly turned around after the election and said Direct Action and PPL are being axed, would this thread exist?

    He would be criticised for many a number of illiberal, socialist economic policies. This is our raison d’être

  45. Robert Blair

    Boring Sinc.

    I’m not too happy with the Abbot/Hockey tax plan either Sinclair, but I’m getting a little bored with the topic now.

    If you keep up this jihad, what will you do when Abbot (or Hockey) really screws up?

  46. candy

    Or even if he said he now supports open borders and the boats and all asylum seekers were welcome, the second biggest promise of all, would this thread exist?

  47. candy, I assume your point is that if it was really a huge broken promise the outcry would be such that there’d be no need for such a thread.

    My worry – and it is a worry because I want Abbott to succeed – is that the full political impact of promise breaking hasn’t hit the public yet, because (a) until budget night the promise hasn’t been broken and (b) a lot of people haven’t heard about it, and (c) haven’t been reminded about election promises that they might not personally remember a year later – but will be reminded soon enough.

    So in short, my concern is that this is the calm before the storm. And therefore I see what Sinc is doing is trying to alert the crew to change course before it’s too late.

  48. Gibbo

    This “If I don’t get everything I want I’m throwing my toys out of the cot” is becoming very dull and belongs in The Drum, not here. Politics is, and has always been, about compromise.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love every “promise” to be delivered, but the idea that I’d waste my vote in the future because the nasty man told porkies is just childish.

  49. Gab

    Nice hand waving Candy but it’s meaningless becuase Abbott has already broken his promise, gone back on his word. Fairy tales about what Abbott would do ignoring what Abbott has done. This is exactly the same tactic used by the Left in defending gillard and her broken election promise.

  50. Infidel Tiger

    If Abbott hadn’t run the most gutless election campaign in Australian history he wouldn’t have these problems.

    A liar, a softcock and a one termer.

  51. Infidel Tiger

    #1303413, posted on May 13, 2014 at 9:06 am
    Or even if he said he now supports open borders and the boats and all asylum seekers were welcome, the second biggest promise of all, would this thread exist?

    But Candy he’s not breaking those promises. He’s staying true to his leftist friends and instead introducing a wealth tax.

    If this doesn’t disgust you then you are an unprincipled turd.

  52. If Abbott hadn’t run the most gutless election campaign in Australian history he wouldn’t have these problems.

    That is the nail on the head.

  53. Infidel Tiger

    If you keep up this jihad, what will you do when Abbot (or Hockey) really screws up?

    It’s a fucking Wealth Tax!

    They’ll never screw up more than this unless they increase it.

  54. candy

    If Abbott hadn’t run the most gutless election campaign in Australian history he wouldn’t have these problems.

    And we’d have a Labor government still.

  55. .

    Gibbo
    #1303418, posted on May 13, 2014 at 9:10 am
    This “If I don’t get everything I want I’m throwing my toys out of the cot” is becoming very dull and belongs in The Drum, not here. Politics is, and has always been, about compromise.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love every “promise” to be delivered, but the idea that I’d waste my vote in the future because the nasty man told porkies is just childish.

    He promised two things which were incompatible.

    He is choosing the path which increases coercion.

    This isn’t about compromise. You wasted your vote anyway.

  56. Littledozer

    Surprised on this blog that no one has theorized that those with longer term ambitions could be appealing to Abbotts big government tendencies to lead him down the garden path to oblivion. This budget is that bad it defies belief. Left are always going to hate but if you want to get off side with your own strong supporters then just keep dripping the crap that they are. Up to 10k to hire over 50s FMD more wealth redistribution and market distortions.

  57. harrys on the boat

    Gab, do you have a link the the full transcript? Apologies if you’ve posted it before.

  58. MemoryVault

    Raising taxes is extremely poor policy, especially when there is so much unnecessary government expenditure (i.e. waste) that must be cut.

    Hammer. Nail. Head.
    +10 Rabz

    We’ve spent a week debating about a “hard work” tax, an increase in the already vociferous fuel tax, the merits of throwing little old ladies out of their homes onto the street, and whether a society really has any moral or ethical obligation to look after its old, sick and crippled anyway.

    All, apparently, because government expenditure is too high.

    Meanwhile, there’s between $40 billion and $60 billion a YEAR in waste that could be cut between now and Christmas, much of it without the need for legislative changes, and a lot of it at little political cost to the current government.

    Instead, Staples is going to give us a budget that increases taxes and costs for EVERYBODY, throws the poor, elderly and infirm under a bus, and just “might” save $5.7 billion, provided the Senate cooperates. And just to rub salt into the wound, This morning Staples offers this little pearl of political wisdom:

    Well, don’t assume there are broken promises. The most significant promise we made was to fix the budget, to build a strong economy and tonight we’re getting on with the job.

  59. MemoryVault

    They’ll never screw up more than this unless they increase it.

    Probably Item #1 on next year’s budget list.

  60. harrys on the boat

    Exactly, the country wanted Labor out. Abbott could have stayed mute for the campaign and still got up. The fact is he’s desperate for the likes of Deveny, Butch and Marr to say nice things about him and will fuck us all over in the process.

  61. .

    Here, Harry

    http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s4003142.htm

    Senators-elect Bob Day of Family First and David Leyonhjelm from the Liberal Democratic Party discuss measures that are expected to be in the budget and the proposed overhaul of the senate voting system to prevent micro parties winning seats with less than one per cent of the primary vote.

  62. harrys on the boat

    Cheers, Gab.

  63. .

    Meanwhile, there’s between $40 billion and $60 billion a YEAR in waste that could be cut between now and Christmas, much of it without the need for legislative changes, and a lot of it at little political cost to the current government.

    It is just mad this doesn’t go. What’s Abbott afraid of? Losing the Coalition seats in the ACT? He could rule that place like an anything goes laissez faire fiefdom if he really wanted anyway…

  64. MemoryVault

    This is why I’ll not be casting a valid vote next election.

    No need to completely waste your vote Rabz.
    Vote 4 Themm instead.

  65. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    They don’t have any moral right to PPL (nor does it have any honest or robust economic backing).

    To raise taxes, they must increase coercion. To break spending ones, they minimise coercion.

    You’re making my point – you’re fine with some promises being kept and others not to be kept – it’s not the breaking of a promise itself that is the issue.

    That’s ok. Sinc though continues to sell it as an integrity issue when he’s inconsistency on whether Abbott should fulfill other promises indicate that it’s not the main game for him.

  66. Joe Goodacre

    Thanks Dot.

    Here Harry

  67. .

    You’re making a point but missing the moral mesage:

    Coercion is wrong and ought to be minimised if not eliminated.

  68. Petros

    Why would the Greens not back a wealth tax? They can really screw Abbott on this one.

  69. MemoryVault

    It is just mad this doesn’t go. What’s Abbott afraid of? Losing the Coalition seats in the ACT? He could rule that place like an anything goes laissez faire fiefdom if he really wanted anyway…

    We have a Federal Department of Health, which doesn’t employ any doctors or nurses in their professionally trained capacity, doesn’t operate any hospitals or clinics, and contrary to popular opinion, doesn’t have much to do with Medicare. Besides which, constitutionally, Health is a State issue.

    We have a Federal Department of Education, which doesn’t employ any teachers or education academics in their professionally trained capacity, and doesn’t operate any schools or institutions of learning. Besides which, constitutionally, Education is a State issue.

    Between them, these two departments employ around 10,000 public servants, most of whom work in Canberra, and live in the safe Labor seats of Canberra and Fisher. Simply close them down and devolve whatever legitimate functions they have (if any) back to the states.

    I have no idea of the actual dollar savings, but I’ll bet it’s at least as much as will be raised by the work hard tax, the increased fuel levy, and the Medicare co-payment combined.

  70. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    You’re making a point but missing the moral mesage:

    Coercion is wrong and ought to be minimised if not eliminated.

    Real coercion is when the government says that you are:

    a) not free to leave the country;
    b) not free to determine how much work you will do; and
    c) not free to vote within the system to change it.

    Everyone in Australia can do all of the items above. Therefore I don’t believe that any Australian citizen is coerced into paying tax.

    If you call our choices as being coerced, what word do you describe the circumstances of the Nigerian women – women who are unable to do any of the three items above?

  71. Dan

    If the government was privatising the ABC, a breach of promise, would this thread exist?

    No. Governments need to break promises all the time just like me. But privatizing the ABC would be a good idea. This will lose money not raise any, if it did raise any would harm the economy and the Greens will vote it down anyway. How stupid would people have to be to support this. Do you disagree with my first sentence in any way? What about this proposal makes sense?

  72. Rabz

    The fuel tax increase was ­cemented last night when the Greens agreed to support the budget plan to index the excise to inflation, sparing the government from needing votes from Labor and minor parties.

    Well – there’s some wonderful “optics”, right there, Abbott and Hockey, you dunderheads.

  73. Let's Get Real

    I just read Nick Carters piece in today’s Australian

    ON the eve of the 1983 election, Bob Hawke … told a willing crowd at his campaign launch … he would maintain controls on mortgage interest rates, continue assistance for the footwear, clothing and textile industries, fund a separate ABC rural network, construct the National Museum, introduce a national Bill of Rights and fixed four-year terms and wipe out (yes, wipe out) the tax evasion and avoidance industry.

    Which goes to prove that a tally of promises kept and those supposedly broken is a hopeless measure of a government’s worth.

    There was barely a hint in Hawke’s campaign speech of the reforms by which he came to be judged as one of Australia’s most successful prime ministers. The Hawke government’s fiscal conservatism did not emerge until his first budget…

    Moments like this call for the advice from older and wiser heads, and former Howard government minister David Kemp’s Alfred Deakin lecture last week on the nature of good government was particularly well timed.

    Kemp took issue with the current political orthodoxy that “good government is simply doing after the election what the party promised before … almost regardless of what it has a mandate to do.”

    I’m afraid Sinclair I think you will be on the wrong side of history on this issue.

  74. Dan

    Seriously Joe, 49% marginal tax rates aren’t a problem because I can work less. The problem isn’t just mine, it is a problem for OUR COUNTRY and OUR SOCIETY. Give it a rest already.

  75. Joe Goodacre

    Dan,

    Seriously Joe, 49% marginal tax rates aren’t a problem because I can work less. The problem isn’t just mine, it is a problem for OUR COUNTRY and OUR SOCIETY. Give it a rest already.

    I agree that they’re counter productive (probably stifling activity and raising less revenue than a lower tax rate). High tax rates are also a manifestation of a greater number of people looking to others to look after them, as opposed to looking after themselves which means that they are likely to be less resilient than those that can adapt and manage to adversity in their lives. On that basis, high tax rates are a problem for our society. I don’t think that it’s an issue of coercion though which is what Dot and myself were discussing.

  76. Infidel tiger

    I’d be very surprised if the income tax take wasn’t down next year.

    Income splitting, income deferment and straight out evasion are all terrific options.

  77. Let's Get Real

    Link to The Australian piece by Nick carter in my comment above.

    ON the eve of the 1983 election, Bob Hawke made the craziest election commitment of all: the pledge not to break a promise.

    He told a willing crowd at his campaign launch: “I believe the Australian people have had enough of election promises made only to be broken.”

  78. Combine_Dave

    Real coercion is when the government says that you are:

    a) not free to leave the country;
    b) not free to determine how much work you will do; and
    c) not free to vote within the system to change it.

    If we vote to have lower taxes and the government ignores us and proceeds to implement new taxes (Gillard Carbon Tax, Abbott Debt/Fuel Tax), does that mean we are not free as effectively we can not vote to change the system?

  79. MemoryVault

    High tax rates are also a manifestation of a greater number of people looking to others to look after them, as opposed to looking after themselves

    So, ALL government expenditure, apart from that which finds its way into a welfare recipient’s pocket, is necessary, practical, wise, efficient, and can’t possibly be reduced or better spent.

    Thank goodness for that. Here was me thinking the bureaucracy was wasting billions.

  80. I said the fuel levy was even dumber than the debt levy – and now the Greens come on boar to prove it, by supporting fuel levy indexation.

  81. Joe Goodacre

    Combine_Dave,

    If we vote to have lower taxes and the government ignores us and proceeds to implement new taxes (Gillard Carbon Tax, Abbott Debt/Fuel Tax), does that mean we are not free as effectively we can not vote to change the system?

    Except that:

    a) we know that the system involves many people voting and our vote represents a preference that is taken into account with all other preferences; and
    b) we know that we are voting for people and people lie.

    An electionis like a contract renewal notice whereby the conditions may be changed and we evaluate whether we’d like to stay/leave/work more/less.

  82. Joe Goodacre

    MemoryVault,

    So, ALL government expenditure, apart from that which finds its way into a welfare recipient’s pocket, is necessary, practical, wise, efficient, and can’t possibly be reduced or
    better spent.

    When was that argument made?

  83. Shelley

    Raising taxes is extremely poor policy, especially when there is so much unnecessary government expenditure (i.e. waste) that must be cut.

    .

    This is the crux of it. When this discussion all started a few weeks ago, I was unconvinced that they would go down the path of introducing a new tax (and essentially breaking a promise, especially this one – by breaking the promise they are no different to the previous govt, and especially as the Libs campaigned so hard about trust and lying to the public and no new taxes) – but whammy, it does seem they will – but the big hit is the fuel excise. I am very disappointed and a little bewildered why this is the path chosen when, as Rabz and others have stated, there is so, so, so much waste to be cut.

  84. Senile Old Guy

    The fuel tax increase was ­cemented last night when the Greens agreed to support the budget plan to index the excise to inflation, sparing the government from needing votes from Labor and minor parties.

    Well – there’s some wonderful “optics”, right there, Abbott and Hockey, you dunderheads.

    Yes, Rabz. Guess what? The Government of the day has teamed up with the Greens to raise taxes.

    I seem to remember some else doing this, not so long ago. Abbott has done a Gillard but gone one worse, because this will hit the “not high income earners” more harshly.

    And I’m still waiting to hear why we need $80 billion more roads.

  85. MemoryVault

    When was that argument made?

    You previously argued that high tax rates were a manifestation of too many bludgers on the system. Ergo, all the other monies raised and spent by grubbermint must be necessary, practical, wise, efficient, and can’t possibly be reduced or better spent.

    Put another way your argument is, if we just got rid of the dole bludgers, oldies and other malingerers, we wouldn’t have high tax rates because all other current expenditure is good.

    History, on the other hand, tells us that as far as grubbermint expenditure goes, the bureaucracy will ALWAYS expand to spend the revenue raised for it by the grubbermint. We could shoot every last welfare beneficiary tomorrow, and without matching controls/reductions in revenue, we would be back right where we are now within five years, with grubbermint scratching for new taxes to meet expanding expenditure.

    Viewed this way, EVERY new tax, and EVERY increase in tax, is a step down the road to financial oblivion, regardless of whether we have welfare payments or not. Having them simply speeds up the process, they don’t create the problem.

  86. Aussiepundit

    I am actually surprised that they could make a decision that is both bad politics and bad policy. The most embarrassing part is that they think they are being clever.

  87. Roger

    people who are not poor should be looking after themselves more than they are. (Leyonhjelm) So stop the tax–Centrelink payment churn, reduce direct taxes on income and increase indirect taxation on consumption. Encourage saving and investment by the middle class.

  88. Joe Goodacre

    MemoryVault,

    You’re right – they can also represent waste – I should have been more careful.

    Allow me to restate – High tax rates are also but not exclusively, a manifestation of a greater number of people looking to others to look after them, as opposed to looking after themselves which means that they are likely to be less resilient than those that can adapt and manage to adversity in their lives.

  89. .

    Real coercion is when the government says that you are:

    Liable to give them money or go to gaol.

    Stop the apologetics for untrammeled state power.

  90. .

    Roger
    #1303597, posted on May 13, 2014 at 11:45 am
    people who are not poor should be looking after themselves more than they are. (Leyonhjelm) So stop the tax–Centrelink payment churn, reduce direct taxes on income and increase indirect taxation on consumption. Encourage saving and investment by the middle class.

    You only need to increase it relatively – by getting rid of income taxation wholly or in part.

    Tax revenue is not linear and revenue neutrality is not necessarily a great thing. All we need do is balance the budget.

  91. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    Liable to give them money or go to gaol.

    It’s standard practice for there being consequences for people who don’t pay their bills.

    If I use electricity and refuse to pay my bill, is it coercion to collect the debt?

    Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr in the dissenting opinion in Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas v. Collector of Internal Revenue wrote…

    It is true, as indicated in the last cited case, that every exaction of money for an act is a discouragement to the extent of the payment required, but that which in its immediacy is a discouragement may be part of an encouragement when seen in its organic connection with the whole. Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, including the chance to insure.

    In 1852 a committee appointed by the governor of Vermont wrote a report for the legislature which included the following:

    Taxation is the price which we pay for civilization, for our social, civil and political institutions, for the security of life and property, and without which, we must resort to the law of force.

    All of us have the opportunity of rejecting society and relying on the law of force. Instead we
    receive a service (protection, stability and access to lucrative markets). Those that illegally avoid tax are whelching on their debt – they’re not crusaders fighting back against coercion.

  92. .

    No.

    You don’t go to gaol if you don’t pay your gardener.

    Stop bullshitting us with puerile crap. There is no point quoting high falutin authors if you start with a false premise.

  93. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    You don’t go to gaol if you don’t pay your gardener.

    You do go to gaol if you don’t pay your gardner, your gardner launches a civil claim, you refuse to pay the judgment, an agent of the court seeks to enforce an injunction on your property and you resist.

    How is what happens with taxation any different?

  94. .

    Joe Goodacre
    #1303700, posted on May 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm
    Dot,

    You don’t go to gaol if you don’t pay your gardener.

    You do go to gaol if you don’t pay your gardner, your gardner launches a civil claim, you refuse to pay the judgment, an agent of the court seeks to enforce an injunction on your property and you resist.

    How is what happens with taxation any different?

    Are you fucking serious?

    No one enters a contract to pay tax. Furthermore, Abbott broke his word – hence no meeting of the minds.

  95. Joe Goodacre

    Dot – what do you mean regarding the quotations – those authors shared the premise and declared as such – that taxes were the price (which implies voluntary) paid for civilisation.

  96. .

    No stacks

    More like an intervention for a good bloke with schizophrenia who won’t take his medicine.

  97. .

    It’s standard practice for there being consequences for people who don’t pay their bills.

    THIS is the part which is bullshit you dropkick.

    It is not standard at all in civil claims. Please stop your unrepentant lies in support of untrammeled state power in a social contract where we the principal has no say in what the servant does.

  98. stackja

    . #1303707, posted on May 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm
    No stacks
    More like an intervention for a good bloke with schizophrenia who won’t take his medicine.

    We disagree. So be it.

  99. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    No one enters a contract to pay tax.

    Do you disagree that there is a social contract?

    Abbott broke his word – hence no meeting of the minds.

    It’s hard to argue that politicians keeping their word is an inherent part of the social contract because the contract is not with Abbott in his role as PM – it’s with other members of society.

    It’s a term of the social contract that we elect representatives to make laws that govern society. It’s well known that politicians won’t always keep their promises and that they may do things that we don’t like. There are agreed mechanisms of changing a government or to keep checks on them (i.e. elections, and voting for someone else in the Senate).

  100. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    It is not standard at all in civil claims.

    Agreed – in not all civil claims will a judgment of the court be enforced through force. The gardener may agree to relinquish their claim for payment if it’s not worth the hassle.

    In the same way, in not all claims of tax avoidance will the state prosecute.

    How does this change the argument that coercion in the collection of tax revenue is similar in principle to the enforcement mechanisms available to enforce broken contracts if you accept the premise that in a society where people are free to leave, vote and work as much as they want they have entered into a social contract whereby democracy and taxation are agreed elements of that contract.

    fail to see your point.

  101. It’s hard to argue that politicians keeping their word is an inherent part of the social contract because the contract is not with Abbott in his role as PM – it’s with other members of society.

    Coincidentally, I hear from Brian Louchnane (after putting a few slogans to polling groups), that’s the exact wording of their preferred slogan for the next federal election.

  102. Pyrmonter

    Medical Research Future Fund

    – what is it with Coalition governments and medical research? A lot of money for bureaucratic science, a fair bit of which seems either to crowd out private funding or be of the “poor people have poorer health because they’re poor” variety seems odd politics: are the research medicos that numerous and/or influential? it isn’t as if Australia’s output of research will be “large” in the sense that it will be likely to make much of a contribution to the collective sum of knowledge.

  103. .

    No Joe, the problem is you have the social contract arse backwards. You then go onto call something you admit is uncommon, “common”.

  104. egg_

    More Abbott 666.

    Seasonally adjusted, that’s Abbott999.

  105. Combine_Dave

    Based on current polling those ‘other members of society’ aren’t too keen on broken tax promises either.

  106. egg_

    If Tony Abbott raised the GST, when he vowed not to, would this thread exist?

    If Tony Abbott made “cuts, cuts, cuts…” would this thread even exist?

  107. candy

    If Tony Abbott made “cuts, cuts, cuts…” would this thread even exist?

    Don’t be such a silly billie egg_ If he promised to make cuts cuts cuts to all services health, disability, welfare, he would never have got elected in the first place. There’s a culture of give me give give me, that he was fighting hard against to get a look in, least of all win the election.

  108. egg_

    candy
    #1304048, posted on May 13, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    He’s made cuts, Candy; just too few.

  109. candy

    It hasn’t happened yet, egg_ 60 minutes to go, unless you’re holding the Budget 2014 papers in your hands right now.

  110. .

    If he promised to make cuts cuts cuts to all services health, disability, welfare, he would never have got elected in the first place.

    Nonsense.

    Those who know what the NDIS know it is a scam. This was a drovers dog election like in 1983. Rudd was never going to win. People are aware of how many people on the DSP are fraudulent, they also know this is in due to official decisions. People also realise that the Federal health and education departments stick out like dogs balls in terms of uselessness, replication and waste.

    Ordinary people without economics degrees who were utterly disinterested in politics until they had to endure the insufferable Gillard.

  111. egg_

    candy
    #1304052, posted on May 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Oh, so all the leaks are BS?

  112. egg_

    The polls this week and those ensuing will be of more note.

  113. Gab

    The main reason the Libs were voted back in was due to voter confidence in the Libs fixing the budget and managing the economy. Abbott never ever had to make all the promises fulfilling Labor’s agenda to win the election. And all the polls were backing the Libs way back in January ’13 with only a bump towards Labor after they reinstalled Rudd as PM. And even then it only took a couple of weeks or so for the voters to see Rudd 2.0 was the same as Rudd 1.0

  114. MemoryVault

    Don’t be such a silly billie egg_ If he promised to make cuts cuts cuts to all services health, disability, welfare, he would never have got elected in the first place.

    Candy, you’re beginning to sound more and more like some spoiled, petulant child.

    There’s $40 billion plus of total wasted, bloated bureaucratic spending out there, ready for the axe, without going anywhere near health, disability and welfare spending. If Abbott had announced his intention of cutting it, he would have won the election by an even bigger margin.

    Instead he told us he wouldn’t increase taxes, and then he did, and he told us he wouldn’t attack welfare spending, and then he did. Stop assuming the 90% of the population who earn less than you are all brainless idiots.

    Abbott is toast. The only hope for the Fiberals now is to dump him and try and start again.

  115. Joe Goodacre

    Dot,

    What would you say is the social contract?

  116. .

    The government defend our natural rights as sovereign citizens (the principals) as our agent, anything more increases coercion and is morally compromised & inefficient/welfare decreasing/non-utilitarian.

    Much like Nozick.

  117. Joe Goodacre

    Those are the terms that you want – what happens though when others see a different role for government?

  118. Combine_Dave

    There’s a culture of give me give give me,

    While Abbott probably could have won without his crazy promises Candy is right about the above.

    The modern Aussie certainly loves a ‘freebie’. A quick perusal shows most of the MSM (including news) bashing Abbott and Hockey for ‘too many cuts’. While breaking the tax promise is doing them no favours, trimming even the tiniest of fat from our over generous welfare system seems to have the public in an uproar.

  119. Combine_Dave

    Those are the terms that you want – what happens though when others see a different role for government

    Those others vote themselves ever increasing handouts from the government until all the productive people leave and the others eat (redistribute) the pensioners assets, until the state eventually collapses or gets taken over by Indonesia.

  120. twostix

    While breaking the tax promise is doing them no favours, trimming even the tiniest of fat from our over generous welfare system seems to have the public in an uproar.

    Generally the narrative – particularly where the words “uproar”, “outrage” or “horrified” are concerned – that News and Fairfax present on any given matter doesn’t even nearly represent the populations thoughts.

    If so according to News there’s an awful lot of NRL supporters in marginal Australia hysterically outraged about a kid calling some guy “gay”.

  121. 1735099

    An ideological attack on the weak, based on a series of pre-election lies, attacking the elderly, the unemployed, students, the sick and low income famolies, being sold by New Pravda, Murdoch’s mouthpiece for the Liberal party……to the barricades!

  122. .

    Joe Goodacre
    #1304555, posted on May 13, 2014 at 10:41 pm
    Those are the terms that you want – what happens though when others see a different role for government?

    They’re wrong, champ. We do our best to minimise how much we pay for their fetish for coercion.

  123. Tel

    What would you say is the social contract?

    Of course there is, I renew my Julia Abbott solemn promises regularly. Doesn’t everyone?

  124. Joe Goodacre

    Numbers,

    When the Liberals left office spending was $271 billion (2006-2007). The budget estimates that the spending of the last Labor government will be $411 billion (2013-2014). This is a susbtantial increase and unsustainable.

    For all the drastic talk of cuts, the Liberals first budget still expands spending to $412 billion – still susbtantially more than spending levels when Labor came into government. So this suggests on the face of it that welfare priorities may have changed, but that welfare as a whole probably didn’t receive many cuts.

    Forgetting the generic statement you’ve made, have you actually read the budget and if so, what’s your substantive beef?

Comments are closed.