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John Passant

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April 2011



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Cut spending on business, not us

Budget surplus fetishism is not about good policy. It is cover for attacking public services to the poor and working class.

So it is that this Labor Government is softening us up for major Budget cuts. Why?

Well in part it is because company tax collections have fallen a staggering $3.5 billion on estimates of only a  few months ago. The main reason according to the Treasurer is a collapse in company capital gains tax (CGT) collections.

Most commentators have linked the fall in share prices during the Global Financial Crisis to the fall in CGT from companies.

But there is something else going on – it is called tax planning. In the last year or so the Australian Tax Office has been losing a large number of cases in the courts involving hundreds if not billions in revenue. 

Recently the ATO lost the Foster’s case, involving $850 million worth of deductions, and also lost Axa with a capital gain of $383 million and News Corp with a capital loss of $1.5 billion. 

Each court victory for the tax avoiders sees the schemes proliferate as other business adopts the arrangements if it can to reduce its tax bill and remain competitive.

Now a reforming social democratic Government might change the law to address these massive ‘tax planning’ cuts to revenue. Not Labor. Instead they are going to deny tax deductions to…students on youth allowance. That’s showing them Labor.

But it also shows us clearly which side Labor is on – the side of capital.  

It explains why Labor will do nothing about the tax gap. As the Australian economy and profits have been growing company collections have been falling.

It also explains why Labor has done nothing to redress the fact that almost half of all big business pays no income tax and of those that do pay some tax most pay much less than the headline company tax rate of 30 percent.

The tax system not only raises revenue – through tax exemptions and extra deductions it is also a quasi spending program. Every year Treasury puts out estimates of that spending program and this year it amounts to $113 billion – about one third of actual government spending of around $350 billion.

Thus for example we spend almost as much through the tax system on superannuation as we do on government pensions. By 2013 Treasury predictions are that we will be spending more.

We spend through the tax system tens of billions on business, yet no-one questions the efficacy let alone efficiency of these spending programmes.

A simple tidying up of tax laws to get rid some of the more egregious tax planning opportunities, coupled with removing a few of the tax concessions for business would yield tens of billions every year. That would wipe the Budget deficit out overnight. Overnight.

But of course capital is sacrosanct so we can’t tax it. We have to cut spending on the poor and working class instead. It is truly all about priorities for Labor – the wrong priorities.

Last year Prime Minister Kevin Rudd attempted to introduce the Resource Super Profits Tax or RSPT, a mild resource rent tax. Capital went on a war footing against the tax and Rudd lost his job.

Gillard’s compromise tax will raise about ten billion a year less. The RSPT would have wiped out the Budget deficit with enough left over to spend more on public health, education and transport.

Don’t cut services to the poor and workers, Gillard and Swan. Stop spending our money on subsidies to capital. Tax big business and the rich.



Comment from Ross
Time April 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Austerity will not work.It will drive our economy into a deeper depression.

In 2008-09 the US Federal Reserve bailed out Westpac to the tune of $1.1 billion and NAB for $ 4.5 billion.The RBA also borrowed $54 billion from the Fed.Where did it go?The Gillard/Rudd Govt borrowed $40 billion from China.We borrowed to create inflation here for usless batts and school building scams?

In the last 2 yrs the US Fed a private group of banks created in their computers $2 trillion .This is almost twice our annual GDP.The US people are paying the Fed to have their currency depreciated.

Our Govt has borrowed from foreign sources who create phoney money as debt in their computers.What is wrong with our computers that can create new money debt free?

It is nothing but a monumental scam for a few powerful elites.

I would liken any economy to the internal combustion engine.Oil is the lubricant which keeps an engine functioning and efficient.In our economy money is the oil or the medium if exchange which makes our economies efficient and productive.

The capitalist system has hi-jacked our oil and made our economic engine very inefficient.The boom and bust cycles destroy small business,since they cannot plan for the future. The capitalist system has made oil more important than the engine.

So there has to be a balance of oil in your cars engine as with money in our economy.Currently the world’s Global banks have created too much money to bail out their derivative ponzy scams.But there is a shortage of money both in the USA and here.We have to realise that money is not wealth.Money represents human potential and work.

When the world bails out of US $ this money will enter the real economy causing hyper-inflation with high unemployment known as stagflation.

The pain is made necessary by the lust for money and power of a few.They are destroying the much of the human potential on this planet via this debt based monetary system.

Comment from Marc
Time April 13, 2011 at 10:49 am

Interesting article John, particularly in reflection of an earlier post of yours purporting your opposition to the carbon tax (which is actually a levy as it will not have a long life, being replaced with a carbon trading scheme). At the outset I should state that I am all for increasing taxes on where wealth and power concentrates. However in relation to the carbon tax and the current government’s unwillingness to upset big business too much, would not the carbon tax provide a form of wealth redistribution function (if nothing else), based on messages coming from the government this morning around ‘overcompensation’?

Comment from Calligula
Time April 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm

As everyone knows by now my pen-name is Calligula.

It has been educational to read the adverse reaction to that mere whim.
I’ve been boning up on poor old Gaius ever since.

Most historians rate him as an overassertive sort of bloke lacking administrative experience.
His uncle dropped off the perch and left him contending with a situation beyond his political control.
His opponents manipulated the political situation and stage-managed the emotional situation to brand him insane.
Sounds familiar?

Similar situation to Madame Gillard.
Caligula needed to introduce reforms and feed the people.

In other words a pivotal redistribution of wealth was evidently, absolutely necessary when he became Caesar.

A thankless task.
He was assassinated after four years and vilified thereafter.

Caligula had to deal with the situation confronting him in order to maintain a status quo and thanklessly got the chop for his efforts.

Our Julia, on the other hand, staged a coup.
Somehow she must manage a massive redistribution of wealth – likewise to poor old Caligula.
She was too impatient to let her old emperor die.
She and her faction, knew better.

Anyone with half a brain can see how this will pan-out.

Abbott doesn’t have to do anything.
Her own faction will decide to assassinate her before too long.

The much needed redistribution of wealth will not happen.

Some usurper will capitalize on the confusion.
And Australia, as a nation state shall collapse – sooner rather than later.

There seems to be some lack of understanding of responsibility at the top.
Moving forward burns irreplaceable fuel and resources.

Looking back to historical precedent requires a place to stop and take heed of how we might be fouling up.

Gillard is a usurper – she lacks enough ‘traction’ to move forward – she lacks the insight to understand precedent – is bereft of fuel and resources to grind remorselessly forward – most certainly lacks supply dumps or partisan support along the way.

I feel sorry for her – ‘cos if poor old Caligula looks sick in the historical account – and if Jules does now – then who the hell is her Nero gonna be.

Is she going to just stroll off to the circus and let herself be assassinated – let herself be replaced by some perfunctory Claudius (another dictator with his ‘line’ to protect) only to end with a similar disaster.

When it happens the jug eared pugilist will come out from behind the drapes and assume the ‘purple’ after julia’s demise.

He’ll be briefed to the job and carry on in his mindless, testosterone driven way.

Only one thing will be assured and that is he will treat the poor and disadvantaged abominably.
And that is because his mind is wired that way.

His Nero will be waiting for the opportune time.
Waiting for Tony to finally sicken his right-wing mates beyond belief.

Then Tony will be deposed.
After all , there ARE precedents.
Then infinitely worse will happen.

Then that will be that.

Good luck young Australians.
Written for the particular advice of – Django Merope Synge, 21 YO, completely out of his depth, and (poor him at that age) an advisor to A.Wilkie MP

Comment from Ross
Time April 14, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Calligula ,the reason why Tony Abbott will be deposed is the Carbon Tax.Malcolm Turnbull is all about the big end of town and they need the carbon tax and the ETS to rip even more wealth from the masses.

It has all been planned by forces that even Tony Abbott has has yet to realise.

Pingback from En Passant » Attack the real bludgers, Gillard
Time April 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

[…] leave aside the fact that that is precisely what our tax system does for business and the super rich, channelling tens and tens of billions to […]

Comment from calligula
Time April 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I fear, I really do fear, that against my hopes and yours and against that of all the vast majority of the population, that Abbott will be the next pm.
Because nothing could ever possibly be worse.
Sorry about that but that’s how it is going.
Now if someone can come up with an article worse than him – then I’ve lost my bet.

Jeeesus but you’d have to dig deep.

Comment from Ross
Time April 16, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Calligula,I think that Turnbull will be a worse solution than Abbott.Turnbull wants the carbon tax.Turnbull is the big end of town and he is so damned arrogrant.

Comment from Calligula
Time April 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Ross –
It’d be difficult to determine whether Abbott or Turnbull is more arrogant.
I reckon Gillard manages to match their arrogance with less resources.
Anyway, I’m sure there are plenty of actors waiting in the wings.

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