“If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.” – Thomas Paine
Recently an editorial in “The Australian” commented skeptically on Wayne Swans tendency to play fast and loose with the truth:
WAYNE Swan's political alchemy must stop. He can't be allowed to get away with describing tax increases as budget savings to firm up the misleading statement that he has instituted "the fastest fiscal consolidation since the 1960s".
It is a fiscal consolidation only because the government blew the budget during its first two years in power - some will say justifiably, fighting the global financial crisis; others will say recklessly, with poorly targeted and unnecessary spending. You can decide. …
Of the savings Swan claims credit for, he includes every tax increase this government has implemented or intends to implement (alcopops taxes, the mining tax, tobacco taxes, you name it). He even includes money raised such as a $150 million one-off dividend extracted from Australia Post in the 2008-09 budget.
The political alchemy doesn't stop there. Swan's so-called savings includes $555m raised by increasing luxury car taxes, $402m from increasing visa application charges and, in the most recent budget, $275m by amending the arrangements for ethanol (in other words, more fuel taxes).
Andrew Bolt among others feel it’s an indication that he is in over his head - and not telling us the truth.
Undoubtedly it is spin, undoubtedly he is not telling the truth, at least the truth as a rational person understands it to be. There is a growing perception on the left that money we are allowed to keep by the state is revenue forgone.
This sentiment is echoed often in the US where the Democrat mantra is that extending the “Bush Tax Cuts,” is extravagant government spending that has to be reigned in. In an appeal to the good old ‘class warfare’ argument they, in the face of voter anger are willing to extend what Bush did for the middle class but argue that extending them for higher income earners constitutes, “Tax cuts for the wealthy.”
In reality a failure to continue with present tax rates is a tax hike. It might be, by omission, but still a tax hike.
Any argument about extensions not being affordable ignores the fact that the deficit is caused by too much spending, not too little taxing. It also exposes, as is the case here that those in charge are operating from a sense of entitlement rather than from any sense of economic rationality. Modern government has the some attitude of all tyrants through the ages, they rule, you obey, and they are entitled to take whatever they like from you.
Swan, like Gillard, Obama, and Co. seriously believe that we are property of the state, as are our possessions, and our role is to give them whatever they wish in order to do that which they deem to be good for us. What is left is ours for the time being, less of course any charges they chose to put on spending on non approved items as yet unbanned.