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Levying a tax

I liked the article (unfortunately paywalled) by Jacob Greber in the AFR today on the proposed income tax hike. The motivation is to avoid a decade of widening fiscal deficits. The government promised no new taxes but promised also not to spend less on pensions, education, health and defence while, at the same time, reducing [...]

Abandoning the US alliance

Malcolm Fraser argues that Australia should pursue an independent foreign policy so that it does not get dragged into unwanted wars between, for example, China and Japan. I found this discussion (with Robert Manne) fascinating. US military installations at Pine Gap and in Darwin are portrayed as a chain around our neck. ANZUS ineffective. And [...]

Muzzling the ABC

The Coalition-Newscorp campaign to muzzle the ABC seems to be gathering force with proposals to cut the ABC’s Asian news services. As a means of promoting Australia in Asia I think this news service is very good and not expensive – far better than the BBC. The premise that pursuing “soft diplomacy” by means of [...]

Kevin Rudd

Goodbye Kevin you waste of space. You are a limited human being who never had any grasp of his own personal limitations. You were a disastrous PM and spent most of the rest of your stay in politics facilitating the election of a feeble conservative Coalition government in Australia. Your existence disadvantaged Australia. (1604)

Triumph of politics

The Coalition win with a 1.2% swing to the Liberal primary vote and a 0.9% swing to the Nationals. The main gainers were the “others” (Clive Palmer, perhaps a Libertarians etc…) – no mainstream groupings here. The election was a vote against mainstream political parties in Australia although Tony Abbott ran a much better campaign [...]

Vote Labor

Who am I to make such a claim? Particularly when my long-term distain for anything associated with Kevin Rudd is one of the few consistencies in my politics. Rudd is a grub who was kicked out of the PM position because he couldn’t manage or lead, who then undermined his replacement and damaged his party [...]

Election forecast – Coalition to win comfortably

My very conventional view – backed by a synthesis of recent polls – is that the Coalition will win the forthcoming Federal election easily. That isn’t surprising but it does raise the question of what Labor gained by replacing Julia Gillard with Kevin Rudd. Fewer Labor seats will be lost but my guess is that [...]

Australia’s economy

Overseas economic experts are often amazed at the pessimism that Australians express towards their economy. Part of the story is our national affection for some drama. Partly it is just the lunacy of the far right in trying to exaggerate the perils our economy faces to advance their political and Newscorp-style journalistic objectives. I like [...]

$250b cost of Kevin Rudd

You don’t have to pay newspapers to have the views of your political opponents demolished. You do however need the support of the newspaper proprietor. Paul Sheenan provides some specific motivations for Rupert Murdoch’s recent stance.

Kevin Rudd has cost Australia $250b according to Henry Ergas and Judith Sloan.

An amazing rant that takes the [...]

Turnbull should challenge Abbott

I am disappointed by the comments of Malcolm Turnbull suggesting that he would not challenge Tony Abbott for the Liberal Party leadership prior to the forthcoming election. The Labor Party is a train wreck being led by a verbose simpleton who really should retire. The Labor Party should be replaced as the government if he [...]

Return of a hyperactive, shallow leader

I am dismayed by the return of Kevin Rudd to a leadership position within the ALP. Rudd destabilised the Gillard Government for nearly 3 years and has been rewarded for his treachery. Rudd’s campaign in 2010 against Gillard cost Labor outright government and was a major factor behind Gillard’s ensuing problems. If Labor now loses [...]

Thanks Julia

What a disaster it would have been to have had Kevin Rudd back as PM. Fortunately enough Labor MPs saw this and Rudd did not have the numbers. His exaggerated claims about being honest reflect only the sickening shallowness of this foolish little man. We want a PM not a disorganised, hyperactive clown with an [...]

Mining tax & Abbott

The relative failure of the mining tax reform was certainly due in part to its poor execution and particularly the inability of the then Rudd Government to explain the motivation for a decent tax reform that shifted the incidence of taxes away from output-destroying output-based royalties towards a tax that took most only when the [...]

Dump Abbott

The pragmatic obvious strong case for dumping Tony Abbott from the leadership of the Liberal Party and replacing him with Malcolm Turnbull is the fact, that with 60% voter support, Turnbull enjoys twice the popular support of Abbott. Moreover while it is true that much of Turnbull’s support is among Labor voters a majority of [...]

Ridiculing Julia Gillard

The repugnant remarks of Allan Jones on Julia Gillard’s alleged role in causing her father’s death reflect on Jones not on Julia Gillard. Jones should not be in the position of manipulating public opinion. 2GB should sack him and if they cannot because of his shareholding then advertisers should desert 2GB. I can only urge [...]

Henry Ergas on Ken Henry on the RSPT

This piece in The Australian today is unfortunately behind a pay wall. If you insert the title of Henry Ergas’s piece in a Google search you will get the whole article. Henry Ergas is a professional economist who has some very sensible things to say on other issues but who evidently he doesn’t understand the [...]

Changing political views

John Quiggin has a post on people who switch from one side of politics to the other – from “left” to “right” or visa versa. There are profound semantic issues here that, if taken seriously, can trivialise the analysis of such shifts – most of us are, in fact, social democrats. However despite this broad [...]

Electoral slaughter in Queensland

The devastating defeat of the Labor Government in Queensland means that Federal Labor cannot win its forthcoming election. The Labor Party is in desperate straits having lost government in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and now Queensland. But the scale of the Queensland massacre is unprecedented with nearly a 16% swing against Labor – about one [...]

Defending the MRRT

This fact sheet on the new Mineral Resources Rent Tax is worth reading if only because disinformation campaigns are currently being launched by right wing ideologues such as Alan Moran.

Moran dismisses the notion of a tax that does not have disincentive effects. But most first-year economics students know of two such taxes – lump-sum [...]

Labor self-destruction

Julia Gillard has now publicly and explicitly identified the reasons Kevin Rudd could not continue as PM. His administrative incompetence was a primary difficulty. These reasons have long been recognised but Gillard’s public expression of them, and attacks on Rudd by senior ministers in the government, make Rudd an impossible choice as alternative PM. Gillard’s [...]