1. Bill’s bumblathon
In the Courier Mail the bold words leapt from the page:
It was page 2, and a full-page advertisement from Optus, apologising for its soccer coverage, not a front page treatment of Bill Shorten’s backflip on taxing small to middle companies.
Tim Colebatch at Inside Story asks Is this Bill Shorten’s worst week?
One would hope so. Colebatch asks:
- What on earth was Shorten thinking when he made this “captain’s call”? It offers no gain, and a lot of pain. It could cost him the election.
He points out, rightly I think, that an attempt to raise tax cuts already delivered would not pass the Senate.
Bill Shorten, having contemplated the carnage for several days, and having consulted cabinet, called a press conference in the garden, flanked by shadow finance minister Jim Chalmers and Chris Bowen, was very, very sincere:
Bowen looks very, very worried, Chalmers has a face of stone. Shorten does not have the Peter Beattie skill for backflips.
Shorten was actually very, very clear. As Phillip Coorey put it:
- Under Labor, businesses with turnovers capped at $50 million will have a tax rate of 27.5 for ever more. Larger businesses will have a rate of 30 per cent.
Under the Coalition, all businesses will have a rate of 25 per cent by 2026-27.
Labor will still rescind the reduction from 27.5 to 25 for small to middle companies, not due to be delivered until 2022.
Shorten made it clear that he supports company tax ‘reform’. However, for the foreseeable future we can’t afford the LNP company tax cuts and should preference maintaining and restoring essential services, plus paying down debt.
Turnbull will avoid engaging on this policy issue, preferring to denigrate Shorten as a person, casting him as a sycophant, sucking up to corporate heavies, as a person with no relationship to ordinary working people having attended a private school, a man who hates business, who would “attack” every hardworking family trying to run a business in every electorate, a man dangerous to the welfare and aspirations of ordinary Australians. If he makes a captain’s call he is arrogant and non-consultative, if he consults he is weak and not in control of his party.
Turnbull’s tax policy is based on trickle-down economics, discredited since the 1970s.
The best reporting, I think, comes from Laura Tingle and Phillip Coorey:
Tingle – Labor’s policy split with the Coalition is now the clearest in years
Coorey – Memo Shorten: Backdowns are not bad compared with persisting with a dumb idea
Coorey on RN Drive – Labor backs down on corporate tax
Tingle and Coorey are more in touch than most about what is going on inside the ALP parliamentary opposition.
A couple of points need to be made.
First, Anthony Albanese is a leadership rival, but not a challenger. Tingle says he is the ultimate loyalist. However, Labor is presently a party of cool-headed pragmatists, and if the coming bi-elections go badly there will be conversations about leadership. Sure the current party rules make it hard to change leaders, but the current rule is a caucus rule, and can be changed by caucus.
However, Turnbull would almost certainly pre-empt this by going to the polls. He does not want to face Albanese, or Tanya Plibersek.
Secondly, Shorten did not make a ‘captain’s call’. He enunciated a position the shadow cabinet budget committee had come to, but had not yet taken to shadow cabinet or caucus. The committee includes Bowen and Chalmers, of course, but also Plibersek and Jenny Macklin.
I think Shorten’s premature release of the policy was not a strategic error, just a slip of the tongue, a one-word answer to a question on the run.
So the answer to Colebatch’s question is that Shorten was not thinking at all, which is uncharacteristic, because his discipline is normally very tight.
2. Swan ascends the throne
I have a deal of respect for both Mark Butler and Wayne Swan, so in that sense I thought the ALP should be in good hands whoever won when Swan threw his hat into the ring in March for the party leadership. However, as Laura Tingle outlined the different and contrasting priorities of both candidates it became clear that much was at stake.
Butler wanted more party reform, to enable a category of ‘registered party supporters’ to vote on internal elections of candidates.
Swan essentially said this would devalue membership when the ALP needed it most. He did not dismiss party democratisation but argued Labor risked “getting too fixated on structures and not enough on the battle of ideas”.
Citing the phenomena of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, he said:
“what has inspired people to join their parties is their authenticity of belief and articulation of powerful ideas”.
- “What I didn’t realise until we got into the global financial crisis and attempted big structural reforms was just how powerful the gorillas are in the private sector”, he said.
These powers could not be beaten without big ideas, he said.
Prior to entering parliament, Swan was a lecturer at QUT, worked on policy advice to Bill Hayden, Mick Young and Kim Beazley and as the State Secretary of the Queensland Labor Party. Swan’s first bookPostcode: The Splintering of a Nation was published in 2005 (review by Farah Farouque). For Swan inequality is a central concern of the ALP.
John Davidson has drawn my attention to Andrew Leigh’s article in Inside Story Rising to the challenge of inequality, worth a post when I get time.
I think Mark Butler has the more persuasive personality, but I prefer Swan’s agenda. Certainly, the contest was not a right-left battle as far as I can see.
3. Liberal Party moving to the right
When the Liberal Party passed a motion to privatize the ABC, senior Liberal politicians came out strong saying “Never”, with Turnbull explaining that in Liberal politicians determine policy, not the party.
Former ABC Chairman David Hill said the ABC faces ‘most serious threat to its existence’:
- “It would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. This wasn’t the resolution of some radical branch of the Liberal Party. It is the national executive of the Liberal Party. It was overwhelmingly supported and nobody spoke against it,” Mr Hill said.
Laura Tingle in her Monday stint on Late Night Live said selling the ABC is not an issue now, but eventually it will be. She explained that many on the political far right rather than set up their own party were instead successfully penetrating and infesting the branches of the Liberal Party, and now dominated several states. The party may not determine policy, but they do preselect the party candidates for election. So in the longer run they will get their way.
4. Harley Davidson heads out of town
Trump at first threatened Harley Davidson over moving part of its production to Europe, then he begged.
Trump’s Europe tariffs would cost the company $90 to $100 million per year. Not sure Trump understood that production of bikes for the American market would stay in the USA, where unfortunately sales are falling.
The company already has factories in India and Brazil, and is building one in Thailand to get behind their 60% tariff wall, and export from there to the rest of Asia.
Trump said it was easy to win trade wars. He may be learning the hard way.
59 thoughts on “Saturday salon 30/6”
Good sleuthing Brian.
Now for something completely different….
Scruffles is our leader
Scruffles is our king
Scruffles is the captain of our pack
Scruffles’ praises we each sing
Scruffles is who we always follow
Scruffles shows us all the way
Scruffles led us to an abandoned factory
In the middle of freaking nowhere
And not even a fun abandoned factory
But one that made belt buckles
Now Scruffles is why we’re all thinking
We really need some sort of voting process
Or at least a system of checks and balances
– from “I Could Chew on This – and other poems by dogs” by Francesco Marciuliano; San Francisco: Chronicle Books
No honest economist uses the made up term “ trickle down economics “, it supply side economics.
Warren Mundine explains Bills ( and others I suspect) initial silliness,
Also, since when are businesses taxed more on turnover rather than profit ?
100% correct Mr J!
The term was coined by Will Rogers, but it accurately reflects the mindset of supply side economists (as so cogently demonstrated in your quote from Warren Mundine).
For the record:
WILL ROGERS, St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 26, 1932
Jump, Warren Mundine is partly right and partly wrong, but I had never thought of him as the final arbiter on matters economic. Suggest you google “trickle down economics debunked”. You’ll have plenty of work to debunk the debunkers there.
So Robert Reich, who uses the terms ‘trickle down’ and ‘supply side’ interchangeably when he’s debunking trickle down economics.
So he’d be dishonest for sure, a dill, and couldn’t hold a candle to Warren Mundine.
Not sure you can get Alan Austin’s Australian trickle-down economics is dead: the five final nails in ScoMo’s fiscal coffin at Crikey. It includes:
That was from June, 2017.
Company tax rates.
Netherlands-20 to 25%
So, collections are higher when the rate is lower, who’da fuckin thunk it !!
Just a minute there… what is the definition of “higher company tax collections than Australia”?
Higher as a proportion of GDP?
Higher as a proportion of total taxation?
It can’t be higher as a gross figure, not with Luxembourg, Estonia and NZ in the list.
Cattle and Dairy Colony
Take it up with Brian’s trusted source MrA, I’m just a Tradie working with what he’s given…..
But at least that’s one less nail in ScoMos coffin, can’t read the rest ( paywalled), and couldn’t be bothered given that.
Haha, Robert Bernard Reich dated Hillary. You learn something awesome every day.
Many thanks to our celebrity gossip correspondent, who reads New Idea so we don’t have to.
Well Jump, indeed you should take it up with Ian Austin, because you and I are not economists. I know that the effective tax rate (after concessions and such) is much lower then 30% in Oz. There is also the question of profitability – whether companies make a profit, and goodness knows what else.
Mundine makes two alternatives for what to do with extra profit. Either increased dividends, or:
Or they can spend it on dud investments that lose money, takeovers that are negative for profits (in fact they are seldom positive), or the lazy way is to buy back and cancel their own shares, which increases profitability, but not economic activity.
Mundine doesn’t actually know much about this subject. His article was published on the opinion pages of the AFR, but only, I think, because of who he is.
The biggest thing I think Mundine missed was that he seems to assume that all companies are ‘public’ companies, listed on the stock exchange, paying dividends and transparent accounts.
I’d wager that most of the companies in the $10 to $50 million revenue range are private companies. The owners can do whatever they like with profits and no-one is the wiser apart from their observed behaviour.
Luxury retailing is flourishing, expected to grow by 10.2% pa over the next five years.
Many of the better off spend a lot of their loot on luxury imported goods or overseas trips.
Jumpy: Be careful about comparing country tax rates on the basis of particularly if what is being quoted is the national government taxes. Countries like the US have state income taxes as well as federal income taxes.
You also need to look at the various subsidies and tax deductions being offered. For example, tax deductions for depreciation are an effective way of returning money invested to investors that doesn’t show up in taxable income.
My experience is that most real investment takes place when an increase in sales is expected to justify investment. Bit hard to increase sales if the customers can’t afford what you are producing.
The media hysteria about Bill Shorten and his backing off on reducing tax cuts to a small slice of the business world is incredible. Understandable as a result of the ALP not playing the bloodsport game that the media so loves for such a long time and the failure of the killbill campaign to have any noticeable effect on the polls.
My take is that what Bill proposed would have affected a very small number of voters who are inclined to vote against Labor.
In the mean time what Bill said has reminded voters that, if anything we need higher taxes and fewer rorts if a Labor government is to do the things that need doing and aren’t being done at the moment.
Ii may be naughty to point out how much the Turnbull’s will benefit from the individual and company tax cuts but if this is naughty the “KILL BILL” campaign is a bit on the naughty side too.
The most apt comment I have heard so far on The Tax Cuts came from an ordinary worker now surviving on the gig economy, “Yeah, they’ll give us a five hundred dollar tax cut with one hand and steal five thousand dollars off us with the other hand”.
There’s nothing like attacking your own supporters to show you are unfit for government; That’s what the National Executive of the Liberal Party and its nodding donkeys did when they resolved to sell off the A.B.C. That was a classic example of “It seemed like a good idea at the time ….”
At Guardian Australia
Australia’s middle class being given a new look; and it’s not pretty.
The really poor and casual workers mostly are ignored. Gig economy indeed.
Maybe the lower company tax rate isn’t the only factor involved in those countries having higher GDP growth and jobs but it’s impossible to state a higher headline rate is.
Let’s look at the standard GST/VAT rates as another factor,
So the things things ALL those countries have in common is lower headline corporate rates and higher GST/VAT standard rates.
Now obviously those are only 2 of the many factors in the big picture and I’d be happy to accept any other factors presented with the relevant data.
Ok, how about highest marginal tax rate for those Countries ( in order highest to lowest)
Czech Republic- 29%
We’re in the middle so not really as compelling as Corporate rate or VAT/GST I’d recon.
I’ve heard Wayne swan twice now in his presidential role, once to Patricia Karvelas on ABC RN Drive and on the Insiders.
He’s literate in economics and very articulate. Also very supportive of Shorten.
He reckons it is a matter of finding the right balance between the various taxes and public expenditure, which is to state the obvious. Obvious too is that Turnbull/ScoMo/Cormann are setting us up so that the welfare of the rich will be ensured while they continue to rip money out of essential services.
Been meaning to post this about Postcode:
Don’t know what he on about “phasing out private debt and consumption”, but I’d suggest he’s been thinking about the right stuff.
Swan put forward the notion of mandating worker representation on boards, which is a very mild move towards industrial democracy.
Ambi, that piece by Greg Jericho is a ripper. Let me remind people of how the personal tax changes sit with the income quartiles from last week’s S Salon:
Median earnings are only $52,988, or $46,800 if you are a woman. However, to Turnbull and company the upper middle-class, the school principals and police superintendents, are the new battlers, and actual middle and low income earners have been erased from view.
There is a class war going on, being fought and won by the tories, and anyone who objects is accused of “attacking” hard-working Australian families, engaging in class envy and class warfare.
Turnbull is now citing his wealth as evidence of his competence, and from his place of privilege and entitlement it is only proper that he denigrate the unworthy pretender who would intrude beyond his station.
What essential services are receiving less money now than under Swans Treasury ?
Actually, I recon the coalition wouldn’t be unhappy with Swan taking the POALP, it may see them win 2 more elections.
The cherry on top would be if Swan got his mate Bruce Hawker to run the campaigns.
Jump, I predicted to myself that you would ask that question. First up, it is irrelevant to make comparisons with 2008 to 2013. We are often still spending “record’ amounts after cuts have been made, because there is population growth and inflation.
I’m not going to scurry around, but in this interview Tanya Plibersek (from 4:00 to about 5:30) mentions schools, hospitals, TAFE. I’ve heard her give a longer and more specific list.
This article answers a different question, but on social security we are spending more on disability and everything else is being squeezed in the face of greater need.
We know that NDIS is underfunded.
This was from February last year, but gives an indication of their intent:
Turnbull government ties welfare cuts to NDIS funding
but somehow he can afford $144 billion worth of tax cuts that give nothing to people with a taxable income of $20,000 p.a.
Are all libertarians as classy as David Leyonhjelm?
I hope so.
Jump, You asked, “What essential services are receiving less money now than under Swans Treasury ?”
Reaganism, Thatcherism and neo-Brezhnevism triumph in Canberra and thousands of millions dollars in our exports go down the gurgler – not even the useless A.L.P. is that stupid.
zoot and ambigulous:
SHY and DL truly deserve each other, because the people of Australia truly deserve neither of them. What say we do a deal with Britain and have one appointed Resident at South Shetland Islands and the other Resident at Coat’s Land? Couldn’t send either one to Nightingale Island because of the high risk of anti-Australian protests from inhabitants of other islands in the sector if word got out that we were considering it.
For pity’s sake. What grudge do you hold against penguins??
Graham, bio security, yes.
One of the few things the Federal Government IS responsible for and stuffs up royally because their attentions are focused too much on a plethora of areas they should stay out of.
On SHY, she insulted all men.
She never said “ ALL men “, she didn’t have to, it’s a given in the collective word “ men”
If she had prefaced with “ some “ men there wouldn’t have been a drama.
DL was correct in his response.
Many people maintain females are a given in the collective “men”.
Are you arguing they are wrong?
Jump it’s pretty simple.
David Leyonhjelm is milking this moment, rallying his supporters with offence
One of the great failings of Thatcherism and Reaganism was that, for all the hoopla-and-ballyhoo about smaller government, a lot of what were formerly government services and functions were privatized piecemeal then became expensive, bloated, uncoordinated and horribly inefficient: it all became whopping big government but in private hands. They forgot to factor in that failing of human nature: the lust for empire-building. which afflicts all organizations whether government or private The same thing is going on in Australia: (“those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”).
The fantasy of getting small government and revenue savings by slashing services is one of the chief factors in Australia’s biosecurity mess. Both sides of politics have failed to distinguish, clearly, the areas into which government must be involved, and involved heavily, from the areas into which they should not.
Insinuating that I do not have the right to hold a grudge against penguins is a clear breach of sections LXXVII and CXIX of the Act hummmpf.
David Leyonhjelm must be whistling the Newcastle Song right now: “Don’t you ever let a chance go by ….”
zoot and Jump:
SHY has been an utter disaster for The Greens – she is the best membership recruitment preventer they have ever had. Christine Milne: please come back; all is forgiven!
SHY has made a career of milking moments to rally supporters with contrived offence taking.
Well I’m convinced. Since you approve of Leyonhjelm’s behaviour, that must make what SHY has done OK.
In what drug induced mind frame does,
equate to the same behaviour zoot ?
I don’t know Jump – what drug induced state were you in when you made the comparison?
Jump, whatever SHY has said does not make what Leyonhjelm said OK. That’s kindergarten reasoning.
On your earlier error in logic, saying “men do such and such” does not mean all men do it.
It is true to say “Men like sheds”, which does not mean all men like shads. I don’t.
It’s quite clear there is a double standard.
When Pauline Hanson said “ Muslims should stop doing terrorism “ she was immediately condemned as blaming ALL Muslims and the vitriol from the greens was huge.
But when SHY says “ men should stop raping “ it the opposite argument.
DLs bill was for women to be allowed to carry pepper spray to defend themselves in the event that she was attacked. If that measure resulted in one less rape or one more rapists goes to jail shouldn’t it at least up for consideration ?
DLs position was, as far as I can see, anything misogynistic. But he’s not going to take shit from a green, woman or man.
..anything BUT misogynistic…
David Leyonhjelm can’t remember the quote that he thinks he heard Sarah Hanson-Young had said. See the interview broadcast on Monday, Jul 2 on ABC 7:30 here, and it includes a transcript. Included in the transcript:
I think Trioli makes an excellent point.
DL was there, VT was not, as is evident in another part of that hit piece interview.
And what’s more you and I were not there.
Has SHY, in her multitude of media appearances, volunteered what she said that lead to DLs comments?
I think not.
I wonder why…..
Has the media even pressed her in her preceding remarks ?
That’s a more concerning aspect, the media bias.
Jump (Re: JULY 6, 2018 AT 6:36 PM):
Indeed. But you seem to miss the point. Leyonhjelm can’t remember what SH-Y actually said. His argument hinges on his perception of what he thinks SH-Y said.
SH-Y denies she said what DL perceives he thinks he heard.
It seems to me that he may have misheard what SH-Y said, and now he won’t back down.
Even Peta Credlin is defending SH-Y.
I think DL will not be in parliament following the next federal election.
Can you, GM, transcribe exactly the last conversation that pissed you off ?
Do we have Hansard to help us out given it’s official Government discourse in the House ?
I suggest you, GM, are missing the central point that DL is highlighting.
That being the hypocrisy of the greens and media.
As opposed to the hypocrisy of the good senator.
Exhibit A: his response to the Chaser crew when they exercised their freedom of speech via a Wicked Camper.
BTW, the Senate Hansard’s here.
Any idiot can google the Hansard website evidently.
The nuance in DLs legal action was to highlight the stupidity of 18C.
Obviously zoot that went totally over your head.
Jump (Re: JULY 6, 2018 AT 8:18 PM):
In the interview on ABC 7:30 with Trioli:
It appears Hansard didn’t capture the offending remarks – so it seems a case of DL’s word against SH-Y’s word.
Do two wrongs make a right?
Sometimes, like fighting fire with fire.
Only the greens and left media happen to convince some gullible folk that political fire has different burning abilities.
Jump I checked with my wife who had a career teaching early childhood. As I said, ‘if he/she did it so can I’ is bog standard kindergarten behaviour.
Fighting fire with fire does not cut it either. The analogy is totally simplistic.
Anyway there will be a censure motion when parliament resumes, and SHY is apparently serious about legal action, which will be interesting but doesn’t always yield justice.
Jump at 9:02 pm
Evidently it’s beyond at least one idiot.
Jump at 8:18 pm
Since your wife has experience in early childhood education and in kindergarten behaviour, would she mind – at her convenience – taking up TWO soon-to-be emptied Senate seats – those of Sarah and David? She could keep both salaries; it would be well worth it to the people of Australia.
Her presence, especially with the exercise of her professional skills, would, I’m sure, improve behaviour and efficiency inside Australia’s most eminent kindergarten.
All those in favour, say “aye”. I think the ayes have it.
Ah yes, the legal action.
My guess is SHY will drag that out till the next election then drop it because it’ll have done all the damage she wanted to do in the electorate and she doesn’t want to be put in a situation where she has to reveal, under oath, what she said that day.
Let’s just see.
But the total lack of scrutiny on her part in the event by the media is a gauge of just how far left bias in the media has become.
That’s not good.
SHY entered parliament aged 25 with zero real world experience.
DL did it age 62 with vastly more real world experience than most other Senators.
Jump, she’s revealed what she said. She told DL he was a creep and he said “Fuck off”.
Nothing to do with left bias. Has a lot to do, as Gay Alcorn says, with Australia’s blokey culture.
I’ve said more in new S Salon.
Women are effectively banned from carrying pepper spray as a protection against rape in Australia. (WA allows it under some circumstances.) It is interesting to note that:
The article also quotes people arguing against the carrying pepper spray.
All I can say is that the female comedian who was raped and murdered recently by a strange stranger may have still been alive today if she had been carrying capsicum spray. I can understand why David Leyonhjelm was frustrated by Hanson Young’s position on the subject.
Sorry John but I agree totally with you.
I would add that those opposed may have an alternative agenda that has little to do with the safety of women.
Perhaps as a compromise, require a Category A licence the same as a slug gun or Category E the same as a vest rather than Category R the same as a grenade, machine gun or rocket launcher as it is now.
John D. and Jump:
I wonder too myself if those opposing the use of pepper-spray might have their own unmentioned agenda. I wonder if it would help by having a loud shrill distinctive sound emitter integral in the device, so that if the pepper-spray was activated, the whole neighbourhood would know in an instant. That would certainly reduce the incidence of improper use to near zero. Very few evil-doers would be tempted to misuse such a pepper-spray device if they knew that every stickybeak in the place would come running the moment it was activated.
Jumpy: There is also a concern that pepper sprays could be used by the bad guys to incapacitate potential victims.
GB: Alarm would be useful to reduce risk of spray being used by bad guys and/or to alert people that something was going wrong.
My view on safety related issues is that you should ask: This accident wouldn’t have happened if??
My initial reaction was in favour of pepper sprays, but not tasers, because they would require training to operate and are too dangerous.
I’d have some concern that people might take risks they would otherwise avoid.
However,the issue should have been discussed civilly, as Sue Lines, Deputy Senate President suggested.
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