Budget 2014: setting up for more tax cuts for the rich, funded by grinding the poor into the dust

How to give a certain class of Australians what they want.

Tony Abbott at Daily Tele post-budget party

Tony Abbott at tonight’s Daily Telegraph post-budget party

  • Step 1: Win government, promising that, even though the country’s finances are well-known, you can magically create a “budget surplus” whilst simultaneously cutting taxes, and not cutting spending.
  • Step 2: Exaggerate budgetary difficulties. Double the deficit. Lock in revenue cuts (eg abolishing the mining tax) that help your rich mates. Lock in company tax cuts.
  • Step 3: Claim “budget emergency” (even though anyone paying attention can see that the only things that have changed since the election were done by you)
  • Step 4: Slash basic services for the poor – drive those on NewStart further into poverty, deny young people even that support, bully the poor out of going to the doctor or even the emergency room, cut services for the disabled.
  • Step 5: Cover your permanent assault on the poor with a comparatively small “deficit levy” on certain wealthy people that is, unlike the service cuts, only temporary.
  • Step 6: As soon as the unnecessary cuts produce a surplus, give the proceeds to the rich in more tax cuts.

In short –
Times are good: lock in tax cuts.
Tax cuts wreck the budget: lock in service cuts.
Service cuts create a surplus: more tax cuts.
REPEAT

End result: America.

Still, after all, it’s just what Australians want – which is why before the election we had to tell them none of it would happen. Because of how much they support it.

Oh, alright, yes, they’re angry – now, two and a half years out from the next election, when they can’t do anything about it. Sure, we’ve got a lot of votes to buy back in the next two budgets – but with the money we just gouged out of the poor and vulnerable, history indicates we can do it.

Trust us.

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15 responses to “Budget 2014: setting up for more tax cuts for the rich, funded by grinding the poor into the dust

  1. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, you’d have to be stupid or selfish or both to vote for Tories.

    “End result: America.”

    It blows my mind that any western nation would attempt to emulate the US health or education systems, systems that cost more and have worse outcomes.

  2. Many are oft of the view that “Australian voters aren’t stupid”.

    So…either they are stupid and they actually believed Tony and Rupert…or…this world of hate is what they actually voted for…they knew he was lying, they just really wanted the exact opposite of what he was saying.

    So now either..they’ll realise how stupid they were or….rejoice.

    I am proud not to have had anything to do with letting these barbarians into office. I am not stupid, I knew he was a bottom dwelling scumbag from the start …. it’s always been…obvious how far right he and his closest mates actually are.

  3. Thanks for posting again. I have been reading your blog for a few years but never left a comment… Probably because I don’t feel articulate enough most of the time. Just wanted to say glad you’re back.

    As to the view that “Australian voters aren’t stupid” I beg to differ. I actually think most people are in fact pretty stupid. Which is depressing, especially when they are forced to vote.

  4. You have worked it out perfectly and so have people who read your blog.
    Unfortunately. as Dr. Green has noted, many people just don’t get it.
    Sad.

  5. I disagree that Australians are stupid. I think they are totally fed up with both of the major parties. We don’t trust either of them, but the system we have ensures that you usually end up eventually voting for one or the other.
    Over the past 4 elections (at least) I believe we have voted for the least worst option, and our loss of trust in the established parties has seen the rise of the smaller parties and independents.
    I look forward to the day when the dominant parties are PUP and the Greens. There’ll be a lot of independents.

  6. ” but the system we have ensures that you usually end up eventually voting for one or the other.”

    There is nothing stopping anyone voting for a minor party. I would contend that the Greens would already be a dominant party if people thought for themselves and didn’t accept the BS nonsense peddled by the major parties and their friends in the media.

  7. I live in an electorate where the Greens are highly unlikely to win a majority – they usually poll around 5-7%.
    To cast a formal vote I have to place a number against every candidate.
    So when I vote Greens 1, I am then forced to also put a preference against the Leprosy Party and the Cancer Party or my vote will not be counted.
    Eventually I have to choose between Leprosy and Cancer.
    In my ideal world I would only vote for the parties I feel positive towards.

  8. narcoticmusing

    I agree with zoot (and whole heartedly approve of the disease based rating system for candidates). The greatest challenge in my ridiculously safe seat electorate was who not to vote for. I wanted to put Leprosy last and maybe cancer 2nd last, but there were so just so many damned fabulous candidates for last place on my ballot, yet so few to go in first place.

    The competition for last place on my ballot was far greater than the competition for first, 2nd or 3rd. We had everything there, ranging from Leishmania to acute defenestration to (my personal favourite), the huntavirus lobby: I know, prime candidates. I am sure you are all swooning and wanting to live vicariously through me at the ballot if you only got dumped with a shitty antibiotic resistant TB candidate.

    It meant, however, the first few places were chosen on a basis of elimination in which one of the major parties ended up as one of the top-3 (which I get is me being really wishful that the chemo won’t hurt so much this time and/or their political idiocy will go into remission). So first place was pretty easy, but 2nd place felt eerily like stabbing myself with a random, used hypodermic needle I picked up in an alley behind the George.

  9. jordanrastrick

    I would contend that the Greens would already be a dominant party

    They’re arguably getting pretty dominant regardless. In the WA recount they polled almost the same primary vote as Labor, and its been quite a while since they haven’t formed a significant part of the balance of power in the Senate, often holding it outright. And of course they have a lower house seat now Federally and would very likely hold a couple in NSW if it were not the crappiest of the state branches of the party .

    “In my ideal world I would only vote for the parties I feel positive towards.”

    If there were only a candidate each from the two major parties running in your seat, would you prefer not to vote at all?

  10. If there were only a candidate each from the two major parties running in your seat, would you prefer not to vote at all?

    That’s very unlikely, and my decision would depend on a number of factors, but in most cases I would say yes, I would cast an invalid vote.
    My ideal solution would be an extra box on the ballot paper labelled “None of the above” and a requirement that to be elected, a candidate had to attract a minimum percentage of first preference votes.
    If “None of the above” won, or no candidate reached the threshold, the election would be re-run with every candidate on the first ballot prohibited from standing.
    Wishful thinking, I know.

  11. jordanrastrick

    “I would say yes, I would cast an invalid vote.”

    Really? Fair enough, then.

    If “None of the above” won, or no candidate reached the threshold, the election would be re-run with every candidate on the first ballot prohibited from standing.

    So everyone who wanted to actually contest the seat would be barred from doing so. What if the hopefuls who then put their hand up for the second round based on little more than the race being wide open were even less popular? Would we after the expense and delay of half a dozen by-elections or so just draft some citizen at random to do the job, perhaps?

  12. So everyone who wanted to actually contest the seat would be barred from doing so.

    No. They’d be barred from contesting the same election twice. It would be an incentive for them to make their case effectively and convince most of the electorate to vote for them the first time. It’s just a variation on run-off voting, which many countries find quite affordable.
    I’m not sure why you’re taking the suggestion so seriously. There is no chance of it ever being implemented. But to really twist your knickers, I am a firm believer that anybody who seeks political office is ipso facto unsuited for it. I have yet to imagine a way around that particular problem.

  13. I think that perhaps this is them budget we had to have. As far as I can remember it is the first time in my life (I am 63yo) that the people of Australia have been so verbal about politics. This budget has created a massive discussion about what sort of Australia we want

  14. *the budget we had to have*

  15. narcoticmusing

    Best description I heard of the budget was from a couple weeks ago: It is a mind over matter budget – those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

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