Enough handouts – tax reform is what’s needed

Has anybody noticed that the whole Federal financial debate has become
one about handouts? Which group gets what? Which electorate, which
marginal voter, which demographic gets a handout?

Nobody looks at the high tax system which is causing this handout
mentality. The government takes a whole whack of people’s income and
then hands some back, minus the government overhead. It amazes me that
nobody talks about the cost of channeling all these programs through
Canberra. What does it cost to have a Federal Public servant administer
all these programs? Why not leave the taxpayer with a bit more of
there own money and let tham administer their own social welfare?

The tax threshold is still $6000 a year. Is it worth the cost of
collection to take money from someone on $6000 a year? If there was a
decent threshold which allowed unit of parents, children and live-in
grandparents to have anough to live on before tax, government overhead
would be reduced considerably, as is the case with the Hong Kong system.

How long is it before our whole tax system collapses under its own
weight ie becomes too expensive to administer? Latham addressed none of
this as he is stuck back in the 1990’s with his “Tony Blair lite”

Wide ranging tax-cuts?

Presumably, all taxpayers contributed to the surplus; how come we don’t
all receive tax cuts? A question I believe the Treasurer should answer.
Perhaps your media comrades may like to ask him.

Gary Carroll

Latham shaken by Budget

Listening to Mark Latham on ABC Radio this morning (12 April), I got
the very distinct impression that he was rattled…and BADLY, even more
so than during the “plagiarism” scandal.

Latham’s Budget Reply speech on Thursday night better be a blinder, but
I believe this Federal Budget has done for Labor’s election chances in
2004 what the Tampa did in 2001.

As always, I appreciate your comments and insight.


Howard hard of hearing

Have a look at the Costello Budget speech video when Pete says there
are extra $ for cochlear implants. Little Johnnie unconsciously puts
his hand to his left (hearing aide) ear.

Locked out of the Budget lock-up

Re: Why was Crikey banned and Computer World tolerated?

The Australian Nursing Federation feels your pain. We publish the
Western Nurse, a monthly magazine for members, and we’ve been kicked
out of State Government media conferences. As far as we know, everyone
else is permitted to attend, including the AMA and the student press.

When it first became an issue the boss of WA’s Government Media Office,
John Arthur, intoned only “impartial” media could attend: “…that is
The West Australian, The Australian, The Sunday Times, TV stations,
radio stations and community newspapers”.

Too bad for the Fin Review, the Bulletin and numerous other areas of the media!

Yours in isolation,

David Cohen
Australian Nursing Federation WA media officer

Exclusion of Crikey from Budget lock-up

I am disgusted at the exclusion of Crikey from the journalists’ Budget
lock-up and I will not accept any bureaucratic excuses
whatsoever. Censorship is Censorship and that is certainly
not what my fellow war veterans and I put our lives on the line to

Sack whatever fools were responsible!

Graham Bell
(ex-3SAS Sqn, SVN. 1966-1967)

President Bush’s shabby prison record

I’m puzzled as to why the Australian media has not caught up with the
current US debate on the relationship between the domestic US gaol
problems and the difficulties in Iraq.

This is especially relevant in that while President Bush was merely
Governor Bush of Texas, the US federal authorities had to intervene in
Texan gaols due to the institutional and institutionalised violence
(which obviously exceeded even the general US tolerance for such

It should also be noted that a number of the US players in Iraq had
also had not nice things attributed to them in their administration of

For example see:

NY Times: Mistreatment of Prisoners Is Called Routine in U.S.
NY Times: Abuse Suit Focuses on a Guard Involved in Earlier Scandal

Iraq and tainted soldiers

Interesting to see the comparisons being drawn between Iraq and
Vietnam. Being close to both adventures through family and friends I
see any connection as bollocks, except that Australia was ill-advised
to be involved in either.

The Australian military has shown its smarts this time in getting most
of our people out after 3 months rather than 7 years, and in leaving
only a token presence in training or security roles (that’s how we
began in Vietnam, and fingers crossed that’s how we’ll end in Iraq).

My biggest worry is that the disgraceful behaviour of undertrained US
personnel (most of the prison guards had never heard of the Geneva
Convention) will taint the honest and honourable service of Australian
personnel, as happened in Vietnam.

As the wife of a conscripted Vietnam veteran, I have lived with the
damage inflicted by an under-informed, partisan media for more than 30

My hope is that Australians won’t buy into any sort of blame game
against Australian personnel who have served in Iraq or the Middle
East. Our people are well versed in the principles of the Geneva
Convention. They’re highly trained specialists who don’t need to use
sadistic power games in order to gain the upper hand. None have been
involved in prison duties.

My greatest fear is that these young Australian men and women, several
of whom are the sons and daughters of our friends, will be subjected to
the same unjustified taint that my husband and his fellow servicemen
endured upon their return from Vietnam, labelled as murderers,
baby-killers, rapists etc.

Australia’s media have a responsibility to offer the truth to the
Australian public, and that means telling stories that mightn’t jibe
with the mainstream view. Crikey does this better than most, but
potentially could do better by discarding any remaining vestiges of
political correctness.

Having said all that, with a clearly vested interest, I really enjoy the site, and keep the Kooka Bros on the payroll.

Not a Packer fan

It’s been driving me insane for months. Channel 9’s blatant
attempt to string out a series by padding them out with re-runs is
causing me to turn off entirely. They do it with Friends, CSI and
Sex in the City that I know of… could be plenty more
shows. It’s frustrating for viewers and I’ve had it and am
boycotting the shows for good.

I’ll be waiting for Foxtel to pick up the re-runs! Does anyone
know of any other station that does this or is it just Packer’s mob
that are to blame?

Disgruntled viewer


Is the voting rigged in My Restaurant Rules?

It seems to me that the biggest problem with the MRR “fair” voting
system is that the regions (electorates) are unequal in
populations. This means that the value of a vote made in a
smaller region is greater than that made in a larger region. The
percentages from the 5 unequal regions are simply summed to determine
the total vote. This is a gerrymander in any other language.

SA and WA are much smaller than NSW/ACT combined and VIC/TAS
combined. So it’s easier to affect the regional percentage by
casting your vote in one of the smaller regions. To have a vote
counted in a different (smaller) region from your own, one simply uses
the 190 or SMS number for that region (advertised on the web site),
rather than the numbers broadcast on your local channel 7 repeater.

Even playing by the spirit of the rules, I think this voting system is
biased towards smaller states, which could partly explain Sydney being
voted out in the first round against Perth. It will also make it
hard for Melbourne this week.


CRIKEY: See the debate between Rebecca vs Channel 7 on the MRR voting on the site here.

New site for websurfers

I like the website www.singlerepublican.com you mentioned in the sealed section the other day a lot! Thought readers might be interested in the politicalfriendster website.

Try the “visualise” link at the top for the pretty effect.