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article imageOp-Ed: Planned austerity for a country that doesn’t need it — Australia

By Paul Wallis     Apr 28, 2013 in World
Sydney - Just when austerity is going out of fashion around the world, our brainless leaders are all for it. Australia’s deficit was caused by political ineptitude and policy mistakes. The economists are now talking about “savings”, aka austerity.
The Daily Telegraph has a list of “ideas” to cover a piddling little $10 billion or so hole in a pathetic budget. This budget deficit is approximately 0.01% of GDP. The deficit was created by a shortfall in revenue, which anyone but a dead chimpanzee would be able to trace back to the economy.
These ideas include some of the dumbest ever seriously suggested for an economy which doesn’t live on nuts and berries. It’s a matter of opinion whether economists are trained to feel embarrassment, but they should be. This list is available on the DT page. I’ve paraphrased it to save space and not use too much of its material and simply selected the dumber, more self-contradictory ideas.
End baby bonus, schoolkids bonus, hit welfare in general- Affects the poor and cashflow through the baseline economy.
Raise qualifying age for the age pension- With an increasing sized older population this idea would make sense, except it also means these people will be applying for other benefits, so this can’t work at all. People plan to retire at 65. What are they supposed to do, beg?
Medicare-style levy to fund disability care- Penalizes both carers who are saving the country a fortune and disabled people
End private health insurance rebate- Meaning more people will drop out of the private insurance sector, which was supposed to reduce the load on the public health sector
And, classically: “INCREASE the Medicare Levy Surcharge to encourage people to take up private insurance”- Meaning having removed the 30% rebate, it’s supposed to be more affordable and appealing. This is exactly how idiotic these policymakers are. They can’t even see where they’re shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly.
Industry & Infrastructure:
End government industry assistance- So they can die of other government policies, presumably? Having thrown hundreds of millions at car manufacturers which promptly shut down, everyone else gets penalized?
Encourage private sector involvement in infrastructure investment- An old idea which has cost New South Wales alone billions for decades as private sector corporations have charged for the sun rising and still gone broke.
End negative gearing of property- If you want to send the country broke overnight, this will do it. It will crash the property market overnight and could kill the bank portfolios just as quickly. “Negative gearing” is a process whereby the cost of investment properties is defrayed against income tax. There are literally trillions of dollars involved. and those dollars will want to be safe.
End grants for first home owners – Not as big a deal as it sounds, because first home owners can’t afford to buy, anyway.
Full tax on capital gains- As good a way of encouraging tax evasion as any
Public sector:
Cut red tape/bureaucracy- Meaningless statement, used for the last 112 years to support a “war on waste” which nobody has ever won.
Reduce spending on security, including airports and security agencies- Then pay billions in liability for terror attacks, etc.
Retire debt to reduce interest payments- Wow! Does this come with a free balloon? It should.
“RAISE the rate of the GST and apply it to a wider range of goods like food”- Prevent people eating and reduce the amount of cash in the baseline economy. Dumb as hell. So people who currently can’t afford to pay electricity bills, (20,000 people have been disconnected recently) now won’t be able to eat, either?
Raise the mining tax “and apply to a wider range of commodities”- What, like bullshit, for example? As popular and as productive as herpes, this idea will get exactly nowhere in Parliament or anywhere else.
Raise Petroleum Resources Rent Tax- Sure. The oil companies are already offshoring. This will encourage them to do more of that.
Rework the tax concessions on superannuation- Just when they’re bitching about retirees not having enough money and needing welfare, they want to make it worse?
You’ll also notice the effect of this on any sort of personal financial planning- A go to woe disaster. Any prior financial plans will have to be scrapped.
This collection of blunders is about as incompetent as it is possible to get. The most basic first day in class level of knowledge of revenue and economics gives a lot more than lip service to capital management than this pile of garbage.
 It’s a total failure to understand basics. Not one single economic principle is involved.
 It ignores all economic issues and sticks to revenue at the expense of the economy.
 A kid with a bucket and spade could do better.
 Why is this claptrap being taken seriously by adults?
 It’s a lousy few billion deficit. It’s not the end of the world. This garbage could well be the end of Australia as a rationally-managed nation.
Here’s a few equally cute suggestions:
Sell Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. See if you can get a few bucks for them, even if you can persuade someone to take them off our hands.
Tax personal space based on body mass. You’ll find the obesity issue ends overnight, which will save money on funerals and health care.
Tax egos and conceits. Should cause a wave of emigration of morons.
Tax vowels.
Tax consonants.
Tax hysterical mismanagers and self-proclaimed economic geniuses for existing at all at a rate of about 200,000 times their net incomes. That’s what the cost of these “suggestions” will cost the nation.
For masochists, here’s Wikipedia’s basic revenue management page. Now equate this with a collection of policymakers who’ve done everything they can to sabotage economic and business diversity in this country for 112 years.
For Australians, here’s the Ukraine tourism page. Ukraine also has Chernobyl, which is what Australia’s economy is likely to look like if any of these zero-IQ ideas happen. So you’ll be able to get a feel for the future.
The Australian translation of the above:
Find out what you’re talking about you useless bludgers and be quick about it for once in your worthless professional lives.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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