Julia apparently thinks so.
“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
In today’s Australian there is a short article on the tendency of the government to label tax increases as savings:
Here are some examples of what Gillard includes in her list of so-called savings. A one-off dividend of $150 million the government demanded from Australia Post, $555m from luxury-car tax rises, $402m from higher visa application charges and, in the most recent budget, $275m from more fuel taxes as a result of amending ethanol arrangements.
Added to that are billions of dollars from alcopops and tobacco tax rises. Even the yet-to-be-collected mining tax is included in the $80bn in so-called savings.
Savings are that part of income that is put away for the future benefit of the saver. Essentially it involves keeping back from expenditure some of the fruits of your labor in order to meet future expenses, invest in an asset, or whatever other reason is out there. The reason is however irrelevant, the term means putting away a proportion of income.
This is clearly not what the government is doing, in fact since it came to office it has blown most of the savings of the previous government and has embarked in a debt fuelled extravaganza. For the government to make savings it would have to cut back on expenditures, something it is loath to do.
Clearly, Gillard’s ‘savings’ are not savings at all by any standard use of the term. So is she being dishonest, or has she got herself a new progressive definition of the word?
Recently in the US a debate raged over the incredible proposal by the Democrats to increase taxes by allowing the ‘Bush’ tax scales expire, and go back to Clinton’s higher rates. It was never a debate about tax cuts but the Administration promoted tax increases as denying tax cuts to the rich. Was this spin, or was it a genuine belief? Perhaps we should examine the possibility that the state and the creatures of it have a different belief system to the rest of us.
A landlord, who increases his rents by, say 5%, has not made a saving. He may have boosted his take on assets that he places at the disposal of his tenants, who then have the right if they feel they are not getting value for money, to look for something more reasonably priced. This is the free market at work. This is in no way consistent with the government increasing taxes or creating new ones.
For Gillard to refer to increased taxes, as savings seems to assume that she genuinely has a sense of entitlement to the fruits of our labor to whatever degree she chooses to apply it. To argue that taking more of what is ours is a saving, she obviously believes that the whole economy is hers for the taking. To save by taking more, means that in her opinion, what is ours is in reality hers, and it is only by her benevolence that we are allowed to retain any of it.
This means that the attitude of the Australian government is that we and all we have is at their disposal and we are effectively vassals of the state.