A LETTER — from 50 socialist activists — calls on Canberra to collect “more tax, more equitably” to pour more money into Health, Education and Transport whilst maintaining welfare spending. Ostensibly aimed at Coalition plans for a stimulatory company tax cut, the letter does not mention efficiency, is mute on waste inherent in current expenditures, and shows ignorance of cost of living pressures already hurting ordinary Australians.
The problem with socialism, as Margaret Thatcher famously observed, is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money to spend; here in Australia, this truism — combined with the ingrained notion that the state knows best, and that alleged elites of the Left know best how to direct it — has seen a situation where simply flinging billions of dollars of taxpayer money at a time has become the entrenched norm whenever a problem or spending deficit is identified: whether real, imagined, or invented through political expediency.
I have been a consistent critic of blatantly political government expenditures in this column, with some of that criticism applying to the middle class welfare measures introduced by the Howard government as much as to the electoral enslavement of poorer people through recurrent largesse financed on international money markets by the odious Rudd-Gillard government; the merit, at face value, of some of these measures is not questioned, but the practice of simply borrowing infinitely to fund socialist pedagogy is a blight this country neither needs nor can afford.
And taxing people more, when Australia is not a low tax country as many assert — when the Medicare levy and GST are included in such pronouncements, from which they are usually omitted — but one of the higher-taxing OECD countries, is no solution either.
And just in case anyone was deluded enough to think this stunt was independently motivated…the same newspaper covers opposition “leader” Bill Shorten “warning” about mooted Coalition plans for a company tax cut here.
Heaven forbid the Left should neglect to co-ordinate and synchronise its crap.
I saw a report earlier in the week that noted the program instituted by the Coalition to weed out disability support pension recipients who didn’t qualify was on track to save $680 million per annum; this is one spending program, one bloated, wasteful budget, and one sacred cow of the Left among thousands of others on the statute books.
These are people who — rather than take the government assistance they are entitled to, and do the right thing by not pushing the favour — have simply been found to be overclaiming on welfare or, even worse, claiming payments to which they were not entitled at all.
And the Left — including many of the names on that letter — opposed the crackdown to the hilt.
If you have a look at the names on the letter, none of them are what a reasonable person would describe as being in any way right of centre; most are openly or latently hostile toward the Liberal Party, and none is so insufficiently remunerated as to be in any way adversely impacted by their own calls for big tax hikes.
These are the people who, in the main, are already loaded; that list is heavily comprised of people who have made millions off the back of one form of constituent contribution or another. It’s not that I necessarily begrudge them their wealth — with a few exceptions, I don’t — but to have these people shaking their fingers at the rest of us whilst agitating to get their filthy paws further into our pockets is inappropriate.
These are the kind of people who are utterly resistant to any attempt at getting value for money; the $680 million saved by not paying disability pension recipients who could only be described as rorters is, to them, proof of what nasty arseholes the Liberals are: a rorter and a bludger addicted to welfare rather than trying to help themselves is a rorter and a bludger who will vote for the Left, which is the only group prepared to further the scam when in office.
Any suggestion for these people that perhaps Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan didn’t get it right first time around with the NDIS — and that at least a few billion could be chiselled out of its obscene $24 billion eventual cost without making an iota of difference to service delivery — is jumped all over as evidence of how heartless “non-believers” are, replete with vicious declarations about attacks on the sick and suggestions those who merely wish to ensure good value without jeopardising the scheme in any way are willing disabled people to die.
It’s the same over at Health, where billions of dollars are wasted through duplicate state-federal bureaucracies, and armies of well-remunerated pencil pushers soak up disproportionate amounts of health budgets that could and should be diverted to frontline service delivery if the back office wasn’t filled with unionised personnel hiding from the real world at taxpayers’ expense.
Over at Education — where, like Health, more money is being spent in real terms than ever before — there is a huge problem: despite the largesse, record teacher numbers, record real teacher salaries and record low teacher to student ratios, educational outcomes at Australian schools are falling fast, with ballooning numbers of school leavers unable to read, write or add up properly.
You only have to read the first few articles in any Australian news portal to spot the problem. If, that is, you are literate enough to know the difference between proper English and what some of these sites publish in the first place.
But suggest paying the best teachers more than the also-rans — or even getting rid of the worst of them — is to invite a barrage of militant bullshit from powerful education unions, which arguably have been the greatest beneficiaries of the various Labor governments that have ruled most states for a majority of the past 30-odd years.
You hear how hard teachers work, despite the fact teaching contact hours are now just 20 hours per week to free up time to stop them having to spend much of their own time on the job at all.
You hear how nasty Liberals have “secret agendas” to smash education, destroy public schools, and “divide and conquer” teachers by paying some more: not that the no-hopers in their ranks deserve to be paid at all.
Meanwhile, the best teachers (and there are many) are unable to earn more to reward their competence, and are forced to watch on as the clods in their staff rooms turning out kids who are not adequately equipped for life get paid exactly the same money as they do.
It’s a bit rich for the 50 socialists behind that letter — and I am not going to dignify any of them with the publicity they clearly seek by naming them, except to say some, like Ged Kearney, are no more than jumped-up noisemakers who should simply be ignored — to assert the current federal government is somehow defective because the budget deficit has increased during its tenure.
After all, it was their friends and henchmen who created the problem in the first place, and their friends and henchmen — in the form of the insidious Shorten and his colleagues — who have led the charge to ensure the present Senate denies the present government virtually all of the savings it has sought to achieve in order to fix the deficit.
And it is perhaps no surprise that the “policies” announced to date by Shorten boil down to just two words.
If these people want more spent on Health, Education, and those who would rip the taxpayer off by claiming more than they are entitled to, they should first be prepared to accept a rigorous, line-by-line review of the record monies already being spent, for nobody (except those with their snouts in the trough) could credibly suggest adequate value is being realised from that expenditure.
There is no such thing as “government money:” there is revenue collected from the payments of wage and salary earners, consumer spending, and businesses. Every dollar spent by a government has been paid for by someone, and the cavalier assumption the pot is endless is obscene.
The idea people can simply be fleeced more to pay for this week’s Utopian fantasies is even worse.
This “open letter” (a tactic that is becoming as overused and clichéd as sealed sections in teenage magazines) purports to be aimed at rumoured Coalition plans — yet to be confirmed — that the company tax rate is set to be cut from 29% to 25% in Treasurer Scott Morrison’s looming pre-election budget.
Of course, anything that might grow non-unionised businesses must be belted out of existence using any and all means available.
Anything that might help create non-unionised jobs must similarly be smashed into pieces using any and all means possible.
And, naturally, anything that allowed non-unionised businesses to give their non-union staff pay rises, without Trades Hall being able to claim bragging rights for them, is an absolute no-no under any and all circumstances.
Whether they care to admit it or not — given everything that is wrong with government funding, the waste and inefficiencies involved, and the fact such expenditure is already running at record levels in real terms — what these people are really advocating is the ability to stack even more cronies and fellow travellers into unaccountable jobs at public expense, away from prying eyes, but whence unions can take aim at any government with the temerity to come looking to upset the apple cart.
Don’t believe it? Then let’s have these people jointly declare for an efficiency drive to free up some of the funds to cover the new measures they want and/or to enact budget redress. After all, it doesn’t take a genius to surmise that the scope to realise efficiencies — without jeopardising services, if not, perhaps the jobs of socialist stooges — runs to the tens of billions of dollars.
Don’t hold your breath.
Until or unless that happens, Australians are taxed quite highly enough as it is: and if 50 pinkos with more money of their own than most normal people will ever have don’t like it, there are plenty of Eurosocialist countries they can move to: where, of course, more of other people’s money has been spent than was ever on hand to begin with, and the ruinous state of those countries is a monument to the end destination people like the 50 pinkos are seeking to push Australia towards.