Back in May when everyone else was calling the Budget stingy I wrote a piece for the National Business Review called it the “war chest” budget.
I hate to say I told you so but… well, actually, I don’t. I’m a bit smug about it all.
Not as smug as Cullen was yesterday though. If he’d purred any louder at the Treasury lockup he’d have upset the TV and radio sound equipment.
In this year’s Budget there was already a cumulative $13.6 billion in new spending in this year’s Budget for the next three years. Most of that – $11.4 billion – was unallocated new spending – i.e. money set aside for new initiatives. a war chest, in other words.
Remember that was before yesterdays’ extra $2 billion revenue.
Yet they can’t afford to lower taxes.
Cullen is arguing that lower taxes are not more efficient. I’ve heard him do this a lot and it – deliberately – misses the point.
The argument for lower taxes is actually not about efficiency.
It is about, firstly, allowing people the right to hold onto as much of what they earn as possible.
Secondly, lower taxes is a constraint on government. We’re now seeing shameless vote buying by Labour.
This is what governments – of all political stripes – do.
The idea is to take as much tax as they can get away with from everyone and distribute it to the ruling party’s client groups.
It is fundamentally corrupt.