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Mar 3, 2012

Wayne Swan; Billionaires opposing Labor are evil.

Cartoon: By Pickering.

“… 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.

Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan has launched into a diatribe of class warfare and envy politics against billionaires who in his narrow opinion hold too much power:

Treasurer Wayne Swan has lashed out at the rising power of vested interests in Australia, warning that they are a threat to Australia's ethos of a "fair go." In an article in the Monthly magazine, Mr. Swan took aim at Australian mining magnates Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Andrew Forrest, as well as radio shock-jocks and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Curiously, Wayne seems only to be concerned about certain billionaires, those who oppose confiscatory taxation and wealth redistribution. According to Forbes, there are 17 or 18 other billionaires out there in this country, (for some reason Clive Palmer is missing.) It isn’t that they wage political campaigns either that seems to be the problem; Gerry Harvey has been waging a political campaign to have more taxes and duties imposed on his internet competitors, but gets a pass.
He said the presence of "vested interests" had been most obvious in "ferocious and highly misleading" campaigns waged against the federal Labor government's mining tax and pricing carbon plans.

"The infamous billionaires protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favorable reception two years ago," Mr. Swan wrote. "A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation's economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia's future to satisfy their own self-interest.”
Ah yes, those ‘vested interests’, the people who have invested in enterprises that create development and employment and are threatened by the element of capital risk caused by the redistributionist policies of the government. It seems that the “Australia Wayne grew up in” is a different one to the one most of us grew up in, as in ours we tended to defend what we had achieved by our own effort.
He says as US President Barack Obama has pointed out, well-funded lobby groups give an "an outsized voice to the few." The treasurer says in the last couple of years, Australia has seen the emergence of its own distributional coalitions willing to use their considerable wealth to oppose good public policy and economic reforms designed to benefit the majority.
Swan is clearly completely dumb, or is ignoring the facts here. Obama is raising a billion dollars from vested interests to fund his reelection campaign while railing the class warfare rant. The business people who are effected by federal policies to milk their enterprises and use the proceeds to prop up lagging areas of the economy at substantial cost to the future of their industries would be mad to go along with it.

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