As even the most careful Keynesian will agree, there is no discussion about economic cycles that is not improved by a visit to the pub. Years of beer consumption and bullshit production with my drinking buddy Michael Tunn produce this fantasy budget, which is based on our mutual agreements that (a) social history proceeds from material sources and (b) In our discussions about macroeconomics, it is probably my shout.

The Wayne to my Julia and the Friedrich to my Karl started with a bourbon and a mania for a Tobin Tax, which we’ll rename a Tunn-Tobin Tax as we’re taking Tobin’s idea of placing a levy on currency exchange and blowing it up. All exchanges in fiscal markets will incur a charge, with the exception of those exchanges made by individuals and super management funds.

Oh. We’re not taxing super, by the way. We’re just going to cap it at $100,000 per year. You simply can’t receive a pension that exceeds that indexed amount.  I had reasons for preferring a cap on super than a tax, but I left them on the floor of the Union Club Hotel in Fitzroy. If you are Simon Crean, feel free to read them.

Anyhow. Not only would a levy on spot market currency exchanges diminish the value of the Aussie dollar, thereby saving me the trouble of understanding quantitative easing, but it would bring in revenues that we could spend on lovely things.

So, every transactions in all financial markets — including derivatives and the AUD — will be taxed at 10 basis point. Easing pressure on export industries will assist Clive in his ambition of eating a 1:1 scale model of himself made entirely of chevre every day for lunch and discourage dangerous high-frequency trading, which can cause flash crashes.

Speaking of crashes, I had another pot of Pale and decided that I would bring back the 10BA concession to the Australian film industry. This generous  incentive to film investors gave us some of the best — and the worst — of Australian cinema in the 1980s and with a little finesse, could really bolster an industry replete with talent but miraculously bereft of anything anybody actually wants to watch.

“When we were three drinks in, we decided that cigarette tax would be cut to low-income households.”

After I close down the Film Finance Corporation and make sure another movie about taking heroin or committing incest in the bush will never again be made in this nation, I will just basically pass the 10BA back into law allowing investors a generous 150% on all their dosh, BUT I am going to call it the  36DD Tax Concession, and it is only for p-rn movies. Other genres which we have done reasonably well — such as horror, dystopian violence and crime — will receive a similar concession.

Look. The p-rnographic industry has been hit terribly hard in this nation not only by a moral and punitive drive passed down to us by fathers of federation and abstemious suffragettes but, just like print, by the internet. So 36DD or bust. LOLs.

When we were three drinks in, we decided that cigarette tax would be cut to low-income households. We decided all drugs should be medicalised and taxed. They will be manufactured by Australian Pharma, giving the industry a boost.

And speaking of boosts, let’s give one to the Northern Territory. The Intervention is expensive and more than a teensy bit racist. So we’ll trash that punitive approach and take up a positive one fuelled by the simple idea that government not only should not but actually CANNOT impose its morality. All it can do is collect revenue and spend it, and why not do so in the NT, which will now be known as Happy Tax Land and will be a special economic fun zone to encourage investment and employment in high-tech industries, health, biotech, pharma and IT&C — 150% concessions!

Look. I can’t be certain, but I think Tunn might have had a flavoured cider. On my Android, it says: “The phase-out over three  years of the negative gearing tax loophole. A new deduction to allow new homeowners to deduct interest for their first home, phased over three years F-CK YEAH.” And something about an audit of housing.

We bid each other good night and reminded the other that all history was the history of humankind against material wealth and agreed, as we always had, that the budget is government at its purist and best.

Peter Fray

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