When Peter Costello assumes the prime ministership, probably sometime in 2005, he could do a lot worse than offer the Treasurer’s gig to Mark Latham.
Although Latham shows a finer grasp of national economics than anyone in memory within the Labor party, he’ll be looking for a job by then.
With the loopy left — under the presidency of Crazy Carmen Lawrence — about to drag the party off to quite possibly a terminal spell in the wilderness, Latham must know his tour of duty as Labor’s fiscal commodore is heading for treacherous reefs.
It’s a tragedy because he knows more than the out of touch wankers who dominate his once-great party that to get the Australian vote — or anyone’s for that matter — you have to appeal to the hip pocket. All the wailing and gnashing of teeth about reffos, stolen children, stolen republics and the plight of endangered gay rainforests mean diddly squat in the burbs where elections are won, pay rises are rarely certain and mortages are a bloody big worry.
Latham on tax relief:
The harder people work, the more likely they are to fall into the top marginal tax rate of 48.5 per cent (for incomes over $62,500 – that is, just 1.3 times average weekly earnings). Australia has a vast army of wage and salary-earners – people who have studied hard through TAFE and university and got themselves into decent jobs – who are paying up to 48.5 per cent in income tax. Yet for the owners of companies and capital, paying more than 30 per cent is optional.
This is the great imbalance in the taxation system. Honest, hardworking pay-as-you-earn taxpayers are cross-subsidising the corporate sector – in some cases, cross-subsidising high-wealth individuals who are avoiding tax altogether. The incentive system is all wrong. The hard workers are being punished while the rorters are being rewarded. This is a barrier to economic growth in Australia, a barrier to productivity. For the people who do the right thing in our society, the system is crook.
If parents are raising children and they have a mortgage, especially if they are living in expensive cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, then nobody should pretend that $65,000 is a huge amount of affluence.
It’s a media cliche that John Howard is Bob Menzies writ little.
Rubbish, Latham with his learned acknowledgement of the aspirers from battlerdom is virtually a Ming clone.
He knows the vast majority in the outer burbs and regional cities are decent, hard-working people with a modest determination to successfully raise families, aquire a property and a few material benefits and retire contended and optimistic.
They rightly don’t feel responsible for wrongs done by others in other times and different places and would sooner a benign symbol of power than some noisy stirrer tramping around the campfire and stirring up the stock horses.
When Lawrence and the left ratbaggery do Latham in, as they will, especially with the support of car wreck watchers like Phatty Adams et al, he should dust himself off, explain himself clearly to Costello and other compassionate neo-cons and bargain himself the counting house gig. To paraphrase Carly Simon, no one could do it better.