Image: Larry Pickering
Treasurer Wayne Swan delivered the John Button lecture and in the preliminaries did the rounds of the media talking mainly about making and slicing pies and handing them out. He also waxed lyrical about his guru, Bruce Springsteen and how he had heeded Bruce’s warnings in his songs, not to follow the “New Jersey experience.”
Tim Andrews of the Australian Taxpayers Alliance has put out a press release on the parallels between government in that state and Swan’s tax and spend policies here:
The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance today responded to comments made by The Hon Wayne Swan MP in the John Button Lecture to not “let Australia become a down-under version of New Jersey” by releasing research that New Jersey’s economic and civic decline was caused directly by identical policies to what Mr. Swan is now advocating.
“The experience of New Jersey is a warning to all Australians to reject Mr. Swan’s radical ideological agenda” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. “For decades New Jersey has been driven into the ground by the exact failed tax-and-spend policies that Wayne Sawn is himself pursuing. The State of New Jersey has consistently ranked as having the highest taxes, greatest regulation, and more spending than almost anywhere else in the United States. This is why their economy failed, and this is what Mr. Swan wants to bring to Australia.”
The Washington DC based Cost of Government Center, in their 2011 report on the cost of government, ranked New Jersey as having the 2nd highest government burden of any US state in terms of taxation, spending, and regulation. Similarly, The Mercatus Center at George Mason University, in their 2011 “Freedom in the 50 States” index, ranked New Jersey 49th in the United States.
"At the Time Born to Run and The River were released, the New Jersey General Assembly & the New Jersey Senate were controlled by Democrats, and the Governorship was also held by a Democrat, Brendan Byrne, who was elected to office on the basis of his opposition to a state income tax – and who then imposed this great new tax after his election” continued Mr. Andrews.
“The parallels to the Federal Government are obvious.” “If Mr. Swan truly wanted Australia to avoid New Jersey’s experience, he would stop burdening families with crippling taxes to pay for wasteful spending, cease class war rhetoric, and bring in desperately needed economic reform. Mr. Swan says he is a friend of the workers. His actions show that he is their greatest enemy.”