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Jul 17, 2014

James McGrath; another ‘Libertarian’ senator?

On the basis of Senator James McGrath’s maiden speech he has a lot going for him among libertarians. Some of his views are straight from the Liberal Democrat’s playbook, while others are consistent with our aims:
Getting rid of compulsory student union fees isa step in the right direction.  The idea that an organisation be allowed to charge a compulsory fee on those it claims to represent because of their employment or other status is akin to granting ownership of those people or allowing a taxation power over them.
Having a senator with a strong commitment to freedom of speech is a welcome addition to a house that sadly lacks many members who have either an understanding, or real commitment to the concept.  It will be interesting to see how many qualifications he puts on it, given that the LNP tends to be rather PC whipped and timorous on the issue.

His support for the abolition of the federal departments of Health, and Education are basically the same as the LDP case and for the same reasons.  Neither of them actually run a school or hospital and merely intrude on what is a state responsibility.
There are though a number of other departments and bodies that need the axe, the Department of Climate Change, being one that immediately comes to mind, as well as the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.  The first is designed to engage in histrionics on Global Warming, while the latter helps the new generation of carpetbaggers to invest in more expensive green energy that is compulsorily sold off to consumers under a government mandate.
There is no place in a free society for the government picking winners or engaging in social engineering.
This raises the issue of his call to increase the GST by 50% and extend it to cover all purchases including food ‘with compensation for low income earners’.  While the taxes he mentions need to be abolished or reduced, especially payroll tax, slimming down the federal government and passing some of the savings to the states would be a better idea than a tax increase.
The idea of a consumption tax replacing stupid and iniquitous ones like payroll tax is admirable however, these taxes were supposed to be abolished under the original GST proposal, but weren’t. This seems to be rewarding bad behaviour by the states. 
Low-income earners need just as much basic foodstuffs as the rich although perhaps at a lesser quality.  There seems little point in increasing the price by 15%, then compensating them for it.  This merely creates churn, which requires more public servants to administer the scheme.
GST funding is not distributed rationally among states but is rather sent out on the basis of ‘each according to his ability, to each according to his need’, which would have to be reformed for any sort of fairness to exist.
Another problem is the ABC.  While he correctly makes the case for it to be sold or abolished, he claims that it should be done as some sort of penalty for left wing bias.  In an age where there are numerous sources of commercial TV and radio entertainment there seems to be little reason to spend over a billion dollars per year providing a government network to compete with that.
It’s rather irrelevant that it’s left wing; that is merely the consequence of being a state media entity dedicated to providing ‘high brow’ stuff that the ‘common heard’ doesn’t require and is therefore not catered fo by commercial networks.  We don’t need it.
The senate will be better for having this guy in it depending on whether he follows through, or merely votes the party line, good or bad.  

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