Thursday, January 10, 2008

ZenTiger Pat on the Head

Pat is a keen centre-left voter that has a talk back slot on NewsTalk ZB (AM 1035) tonight and probably most evenings. He doesn't want a tax cut from Labour, and suggested the Government should run as a surplus instead, or spend the money on infrastructure. He said he thinks of New Zealand as a big family, with the Government as the head who makes the decisions, and as a family, it is obvious we should run as a surplus and not be running skint.

There are just a few things wrong with that analogy.

Before I get started, he also mentioned that this also meant the government should not loan money for infrastructure, like National suggested, but use the surplus to fund this - and even to tax more so as not to have debt. He said you wouldn't really want to run a family like that. Oh really? What does he think a mortgage is? A big loan for a major infrastructure piece perhaps? Are we supposed to pay cash for our house? Reality check please.

Let's move on. Firstly, a family generally has a fixed income. A family has to budget, and a family might not be able to afford every thing it wants. However, the parents can go out an get a better job, or work longer hours to increase their income.

A family doesn't go next door and take some of that person's money to make sure they stay "in surplus". A family doesn't go next door and make up new charges, perhaps a "neighbours fee" to generate more revenue. A family doesn't have the power to suddenly decide to charge a "BBQ fee" to the neighbour every time the neighbour has a BBQ. And then decide that, having taken $50 from the neighbour, that deciding to only take $45 next month makes them some kind of generous saint.

But the government does. It doesn't work, it just demands a slice of all the action. It raises taxes on nearly every activity of the real families that make up the nation - to pay its budget.

Therefore, it has a responsibility to take the minimum amount possible to do its job. Because when it decides it needs to be in surplus, it is funding it from people that may end up in deficit because of this.

I acknowledge Pat's right to argue that the government should take more and spend it on "useful things", and agree that deciding how Labour has done on this score is highly debatable. But making the government out to operate just like a family doesn't quite ring true. Unless he was thinking of the mafia.

Related link: Labour borrows for tax cuts

4 comment(s):

Craig Foss MP said...

Exactly,
Have a glance at:
http://craigfossmp.blogspot.com/2008/01/labour-borrows-for-super-tax-cuts.html

Andrei said...

The trouble is with the government spending money on "useful" things is that "useful" is in the eye of the beholder.

I'm sure the pledge card was a "useful" thing if you happened to be Helen Clark.

The only way usefu purpose I could think of for it was to wipe my butt - but it was too stiff and shiny to make good toilet paper as it turned out.

MK said...

People like that annoy me to no end, why do you and i have to give up our tax cut because someone else feels they don't want the tax cut. If they like paying tax, then pay all you want to, i don't care.

People approach tax cuts like it's the government being nice, yes it's nice of them to take less of OUR money, money that WE worked for.

James said...

Just tell Prat that he's able to gift his cut back to IRD at anytime if he feels hes incompetant to spend it himself on something useful...

You wonder if people like this can wipe their own botties....sigh

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