After a wonderful Easter break, I wish I had better news for you. Unfortunately it is back to the dangerous reality of creeping socialism.
Last week we saw Labor’s further financial assault on self-funded retirees and anyone else who invests to get ahead. Radical reform of capital gains, franking credits and borrowing cost deductions are just the start of engorging government at your expense.
Today the Greens are advocating for the government to provide money to every single Australian with no obligation to work. This is on top of their thought bubble to force the Reserve Bank of Australia to provide home loans at less than market interest rates.
Not to be outdone, a bunch of coalition ‘conservatives’ have started lobbying to have government spend $4 billion and nationalise a coal-fired power station. This is on top of the multi-billion dollar ‘battery’ project they call Snowy 2.0. Another boondoggle that will waste taxpayers’ money.
They would do better to stop all government subsidies for energy generation, slash red and green tape and provide contractual and operational certainty for new entrants wanting to build a power station – be it gas, coal, nuclear or renewable.
Wherever you turn, the demand from too many involved in politics is for bigger government even though most Australians think that governments (of all political persuasions) do a lousy job. It beggars belief that any sensible person can consider the cure to government’s perpetual failures is to actually have more government programs.
History serves as a good guide to government programs. We spend tens of billions of dollars more on education and our children’s reading and writing abilities get worse. We subsidise childcare to such an extent that more billions are scammed by crooked operators. We are spending at least $20 billion more than necessary building submarines to placate the demands of a marginal seat member of the government. The NBN is costing multiples of original estimates and delivering poorer services.
The truly unfortunate aspect of these and other government decisions is that they were repeatedly warned but chose to proceed anyway.
Unfortunately the irresponsibility isn’t limited to the Greens, Labor and the Coalition. The cross bench have put forward a range of spending demands as a condition of backing company tax cuts. These have ranged from the well-intentioned but financially irresponsible to the downright daft demands of the economically illiterate.
This stewing socialist soup is brewing up a bad blowoff for the country. When it arrives, the economic pain will be felt by every Australian for years to come, yet too few seem to care beyond the demands of today.
I know many readers of this blog care because they tell me so. More often than not, the most common response is ‘what are you going to do about it?’ or ‘we know the problem but why don’t you provide some solutions?’
The answer to both of those questions is clearly available to anyone with a genuine interest. A consistent and principled policy path has been proposed through this blog and my political activities for many years. Limited government, personal responsibility, market economics and civil society are all facets of broad public common sense, yet the fashionistas in parliaments and the media don’t think it will tickle the ears of their audiences. Socialist fashions are dusted off, rebadged or camouflaged to become another fad on the ideological catwalks.
But, as many parents will have observed of their teenage children, being a slave to fashion rarely makes for the best choices. Perhaps it’s time for politicians and other public figures to start behaving like adults.