Michael Pascoe writes:

Wander into any hospital, get caught in any
traffic jam, ponder the state of education and it’s pretty easy to ask: where
the bloody hell are our tax dollars?

But for gold-medal political despair, you
only have to open today’s Sydney newspapers and calculate how much of our money
Dollar Sweetie and Premier Dilemma are blowing out of their political egos in
pointless full-page ads ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of federal, state and territory
treasurers. If Costello and Iemma were required by law to use our money
responsibly, they’d both be behind bars.

The Daily Telegraph and SMH are the
beneficiaries of political largesse as Dilemma cranks up the “NSW robbed of GST
billions” campaign while Costello revisits his “Time to end double taxation in
NSW” line.

The hypocrisy is neck deep on both sides.
The feds are right about NSW dragging the chain on abolishing various stamp
duties and being the highest-taxing state, while NSW has Reserve Bank approval
for its complaint about being ripped off on GST distribution. The net effect of
the ads though is just to convince taxpayers that both levels of government
wilfully waste money.

Maybe Canberra thinks the hapless NSW Liberal Party needs all the
help it can get
or it will follow the Tory performances in Tasmania and South Australia
next year. They’re right – the NSW opposition is hapless and does
need all the help it can get.

And the NSW Government remains desperate to
find someone, anyone to blame for its own mess. While Dilemma is paying for
ads, the Terror has joined the SMH in campaigning over the government’s many
failures. This morning’s efforts include Sydney’s traffic
gridlock
and lies over Rivercat ferries stirring up dioxins.
With stories like that around its ads, does Macquarie Street think anyone cares?

Peter Fray

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