Dracula has come back to the blood bank for MORE! - AEd TWH
Dracula has come back to the blood bank for MORE! - AEd TWH
Julia Gillard’s flood levy to rebuild Quensland is now also a Greens levy for mad green schemes that Labor admitted only two weeks ago were a huge waste of money:
As she struggled to muster enough votes to win approval for her $1.8 billion flood levy, the Prime Minister yesterday scrapped $100m in proposed cuts to her solar flagships program and $264m to the national rental affordability scheme, to win Greens support.
That’s 20 per cent of the $1.8 billion to be raised for Queensland flood damage - siphoned off to buy the Greens’ vote.
Leticia Lyons notes that Queensland is the only state in Australia that does not comprehensibly insure its assets and infrastructure and points out the moral hazard this creates:
In his article of February 2nd on this site, I note with interest that Robert Candeliori writes about Wayne Swan on Lateline saying the Government would not raise the levy if reconstruction costs blowout.
After reading an article in Wednesday's Australian by Lauren Wilson "State goes it alone in shunning insurance" the Federal Government should not be imposing a levy or tax on anyone.
It seems Queensland is the only state which does not comprehensively insure its assets and infrastructure, and prefers to have the Federal Government pick up the tab to 75% of rebuild costs - a longstanding arrangement under the "Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements” between the Australian Federal Government and Queensland Government.
John Humphreys, a Queensland based economist whose home was destroyed in the flooding, responds to those who say the levy is too small to make a difference, and demonstrations the negative impact it will have:
The primary way that taxes hurt the economy is by changing people's incentives at the margin. Each small change in taxes may not seem like a big deal to any one person, and for many people it won't change their behaviour, but it is possible to measure the change in behaviour and assess the economic consequences through statistical analysis. The economic cost caused by changed behaviour from taxes is called the "deadweight loss" and has been estimated at anywhere between 20% and 40% (depending on the study and depending on the tax). That means that for every $100 in tax raised, the economy shrinks by $20 to $40. So for a levy of $1.8 billion the deadweight loss costs are likely to be in the order of $0.4 to $0.8 billion.
In addition to this, there are the administrative and compliance costs, but these are likely to only be in the millions and so are less costly that the deadweight loss described above. A third way that tax can negatively impact the economy is if the government is more wasteful in their spending. Generally, people spend their own money more carefully, and there are good reasons from public choice theory (and plenty of evidence) to suggest that the government can be wasteful in their spending of taxpayer money.
These are the broad economic costs. Of course, there will also be some pain to families who will pay an extra few hundred dollars a year. For many, that extra impost will be easy to pay. For some, it will be more difficult as they juggle their household budget. You need to remember that while each tax increase may seem small, the sum of many small increases eventually creates a substantial cost. Seventy years ago there was no federal income tax, and next financial year it is expected to raise $156,050,000,000.
But for me, one of the biggest reasons to be opposed to this tax is that it is another small knife in the back of voluntary community and a vibrant civil society. Humans are social animals, and we get a lot of value out of the social interactions we have through social and community groups. These are the places where we learn how to be decent people, and were we learn the value of tolerance, compassion, love, belonging, self-esteem, and forgiveness. Civil society groups promote independence, strength of character, consideration for others and a sense of moral responsibility to get active and make the world a better place.
There is clear evidence that big government crowds out civil society, and I think we have seen some of the consequences of that in long-term dependence, sometimes leading to low self-esteem, xenophobia, and anti-social behaviour. Children in dependent households have worse health, worse educational outcomes, lower life expectancy, and are more likely to end up in jail. These are innocent victims of a system that has prized the bureaucrat over real community.
It may not be easy to fix this, and I don't pretend to have all the answers. But the first thing to do is to stop going in the wrong direction. Stop increasing taxes and stop increasing the size of government.
John Humphreys is an editor of Menzies House and the President of the Human Capital Project (a non-profit operating in Cambodia). His personal blog can be found at http://johnhumphreys.com.au/. This was initially posted in the comments section of a facebook hate page dedicated to attacking Stop The Levy. Menzies House, and our administrators.
“We have an obligation to take care of our weakest and only the Government can fill that role.”
So say the cheer squad from the Left and you know what, we do have an obligation to help but I think I have a different definition of “we” than they, the Left do.
The kind of capitalism that has failed us is “soulless capitalism,” because success without compassion results in greed and excess – and we had plenty of both. But that soullessness didn’t come out of nowhere, it was bred by government that continually tries to step in to do the job that individual Australians should be responsible for.
We have never solved problems efficiently from the top down, we solve them from the bottom up. In countries with strong central governments, the people with the money and the power are the politicians instead of the businessman. Are those politicians selfless and charitable? Of course not, they’re greedy and corrupt – and the poor are even worse off than they are here.
My point is that capitalism itself is just a vehicle – we’re the drivers. Any economic system will inevitable fail if individuals stop caring about the welfare of others. But which economic system is more likely to drive people out of poverty, one that cherishes the slogan “from rags to riches” or one that aims to help the poor via government bureaucracy?
If you’re struggling to answer that, consider what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and what will happen here after the Queensland Floods and Cyclone Yasi.
Alan Lazarus submitted this piece to us in the midst of the devastating Queensland floods, yet unfortunately, it got caught up a particularly ferocious pack of online gremlins and we did not see it until now. With the imposition of Julia Gillard's unfair and destructive new tax, it not only remains highly relevant, but is also quite prescient as to what was about to occur:
As scenes of tragedy and heroism continue to unfold in Queensland, the spectacle of our treasurer and his sidekick Bill Shorten (unfortunate initials) "swanning" around like heroic crusaders against the Insurance
Leviathan is only slightly less ridiculous than the media coverage being wasted on Kevin Rudd and the infected scratch on his foot which he incurred during his photo-op (he should be awarded the Purple Heart maybe?)
Do these two "economic leaders", of all people, not comprehend that we live in a Free- Market Economy? They may as well expect Myers, Woolworths and Coles to justify to their shareholders why they are donating all their existing stock to flood victims.
Maybe this profligate Labour/Green government should establish a national fund for such disasters, or even nationalise the insurance industry which would no doubt cause their Green cohorts to quiver with glee (has anybody seen Bob Brown in all this, by the way?)
I have some better ideas, though.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s flood tax is less a life ring for soggy Queensland than for her government’s sinking budget and political fortunes. She could have expected a better reception had Labor something to show for its green cash splash and the squandered financial legacy bequeathed it.
Few Australians would not have been moved by the images of the Queensland floods. Most Australians, who’ve never balked at lending a hand in times of need, at home or abroad, would now agree that the entire nation should help Queensland get back on its feet. The federal government has a role to play.
Taking a page from US President Barrack Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s playbook, the Prime Minister has decided not to let this crisis go to waste. The instinctive response of Gillard has been to raise taxes to pay for it in the form of a Medicare levy increase.
Who could blame the instinctive response of many Australian taxpayers to want to sit on their wallets?
To be sure, the flood tax is unfair. It does not apply to half of all income earners and, as we’ve come to expect from this Labor government, it slugs the more affluent though hardly rich.
But Australians’ reluctance to hand over more of their hard-earned wealth to the Gillard Labor government is less to do with Labor’s typical class war approach to taxation. Their enthusiasm to help is more likely tempered by their experience with Labor’s incompetent extravagance.
Taxpayers have seen their dough done on a swag of green-appeasing, preference grabbing, job (and people) killing Rudd-Gillard government boondoggles in response to dubious UN (but I repeat myself) sponsored weather catastrophe scenarios and the most impressive (Al Gore) special effects since Cecil B. DeMille parted the Red Sea.
Never underestimate the ability of Labor to take a social concept such as 'mateship', find a way to regulate it, and then tax it. It sounds like it’d be a good joke to tell at Liberal Party conventions and functions, and we’d all have a laugh. Unfortunately, it seems to be exactly what now passes for Labor Party policy.
At first, I saw no reason to write this, since everyone and their dog appeared to be writing an article on the so-called levy. However, after checking Facebook, I saw a large amount of illogical leftist nonsense about people opposing the levy being “scrooges”, and what seemed to be zombie-like responses from trolls on the “Stop The Levy” fan page, I felt I had to respond.
Let me begin by demonstrating exactly where the problem lies: the information provided on the tax by the Prime Minister is pure spin, and does not address any of the criticisms to the tax. Labor doesn't seem to understand people’s gripes on the issue, and is hell-bent on politicizing the flood by ignoring our grievances. We’re not idiots, and we've heard all of this before, but we still oppose it. It has nothing to do with people not wanting to send an extra dollar or five to Queenslanders.
Let me make it simple for Labor and Gillard: the case against the levy hasn’t been addressed by any of your points. The Australian people aren’t cheap; I think the record levels of donations indicate quite the opposite. Rather, we oppose the levy on a number of grounds, including: