Opposition and leftie
groups fell into the Treasurer's little trap before the budget. Peter (Smirky)
Costello hinted there would be no tax cuts 'because of the hard
times Australia has faced'. He mentioned drought, Iraq, SARS - three of the four
riders of the apocalypse (war, pestilence, plague, and famine) as reasons why
he couldn't possibly give our money back.
Apparently letting taxpayers keep their own money is an indulgence which
the Liberal government bestows upon
its subjects only in good times, and it says a lot about the mentality of the
party. Every housewife knows that when times are hard the necessities still
have to be purchased, and the little luxuries have to be given up. So for the
national economy, what are the luxuries and what are the necessities? Clearly
Peter Costello feels that government expenses are the necessities, and private
money (little things like investing, employing people and so on) are mere
luxuries - that's why governments can't afford tax cuts in hard times. In other
words, the real economic force is the government - private enterprise is just
Hardly the hallmark of a party which is committed to free enterprise and
limited government is it, Peter?
But there was a little sugar on the bitter pill. The highest taxing
government in the history of this country is giving back four dollars a week in
tax cuts. Imagine the pork-barreling which the
Liberal party must have given up to achieve that.
The net effect? Bracket creep was wound back by a whole 18 months! Not bad over
a three year period! Thanks Peter.
The left, who had been screaming about there being no tax cuts, suddenly
had egg on their faces, and had to go back to screaming 'what about the little
children?' in order to get some media coverage.
At any rate, this budget was rumored to be Peter (PM-in-waiting) Costello's
last. We can only hope!
Bring back the budgets of old, where it was a predictable "beer and cigs up", and the money was
spent on good-old middle-class
welfare. Like tertiary education and the ABC.
Those were the days.