The Treasurer's new entry in the lexicon of dodgy political rhetoric this week has some application beyond the welfare v wealthy, lifters v leaners rhetoric it was intended to evoke. Some corporations are in danger of becoming taxed-nots as well.

First there was Wesfarmers and its lake of red ink revealed this week, then yesterday Woolworths confirmed its first loss as a public company. Together, our two biggest retailers managed $5.5 billion in losses, thanks to impairments, write-offs restructuring costs and other charges, all in 2015-16 alone.