If you choose to live in dirt and filth and you wind up getting an infection, whose fault is it? Is your fault for choosing to live in filth or is it the bugs’ and rodents’ fault for spreading bacteria in the welcoming environment you have created?
TAFKAS has been engaging in a number of tax policy skirmishes on Twitter. They start as responses to manifestly wrong and misleading posts from ALP representatives and devolve into the usual twitter nonsense. The particular issue du jour is the ALP proposals around changes to dividend imputation.
To start with, it is a complete lie to suggest that this is about addressing some sort of largess of the Howard government. It is also a lie to suggest that it costs the budget something, because the absence of a revenue is not a cost. If the absence of revenue is a cost, well then the Commonwealth budget needs to start accounting for the remainder of the economy and private wealth that it is about to grab.
What the ALP’s dividend imputation policy is, is a hit; a direct hit against a particular segment of the community. It does not hit pensioners. It does not hit industry funds. It does not hit charities. It does not hit the ultra-wealth people.
It hits people with a bit more money necessary to qualify for a pension and a bit less money than the top hat wearing, champagne drinking, first class flying dilettantes who generally demand climate action. Basically, it’s a hit on the people who probably vote Liberal and are being punished for the temerity of doing so.
If this tax change applied to everyone equally, a reversal of the 2001 change, that would be one thing. It would be bad, but not as bad as this. This is a targeted hit against a particular demographic segment. Dare one say this is round 1 of identity tax policy?
When it comes to their dividend imputation proposal, the ALP is either deliberately lying about how it would work or they are completely ignorant of how the dividend imputation system works. The ALP has form in being both dumb and duplicitous and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they are both in this case.
And then you must add in the twitter tribes and mobs egging them on. Those tribes and mobs who would argue for mass suicide if an ALP representative said it would be good policy, would help them get elected and would contribute to action on climate change.
But the conditions that have allowed the ALP to engage in this hit did not come out of thin air. There was a time when such policy would not be dared to be proposed. But the welcoming conditions that have allowed such policy to be proposed were created by the Liberal-Nation Government; this Liberal-National Government.
To start with, changes, retrospective changes, to superannuation were an idea of this Liberal National Government; a policy idea taken up by then Treasurer ScoMo, Revenue Minister KelDwy and endorsed by Prime Minister MalTurn. This made the case that retired superannuants, with a bit too much, are a revenue cost to the Government.
Then another policy gem from then Prime Minister MalTurn, Treasurer ScoMo and Revenue Minister KelDwy; the bank tax which was sold as being paid for by banks and not by customers or shareholders.
And then the company tax cut fiasco by suggesting that small company tax cuts, much like accelerated depreciation, are different and more than cash flow timing policies. Oh and let’s not also forget the wet lettuce response to the lie that was Mediscare.
When a political party strays from its principles, or at least stated principles, this is what happens. In this case, the principles of small government, low taxes, small business and economic self-reliance were jettisoned for … what? What it did do was give the ALP the space to appear as a credible alternative.
Ironically, TAFKAS suspects that this proposal won’t generate any additional tax revenue because of behavioural changes by those impacted, including by going onto the pension. One day these geniuses will learn that there is a difference between tax rates and tax revenue, and that they don’t necessarily follow each other in a proportional and linear manner. You know like the mining tax which generated all of no revenue.
This Government has become so sullied they cannot smell their own stink and therefore cannot even notice the stench of their opponents.