I've always thought Peter Whiteford sounded very reasonable. (I recall he has made occasional appearances over the years at Catallaxy in threads to challenge arguments put up by Sinclair Davidson. He has seemingly given up on doing that, given the rabid threads as well as the evidence-resistant propaganda-ish nature of many of the posts.)
The approach taken in this report is good and a necessary corrective to the over-simplified complaint of the "small government, less tax" lobby:
A final issue that arises from this analysis relates to the question of whether people can be characterised as “lifters” or “leaners”and relates to the idea that it is only the rich that effectively pay (net) taxes. A lifecycle perspective shows that people whose lifetime annualised income is less than $25,000 actually pay more than 10% of their lifetime income in taxes (rather than near to zero), and this doesn’t include indirect taxes.
In contrast, middle income people over their lifetime receive far more in social security benefits than do people in these income brackets at a point in time. The implication is that a much wider range of people benefit from the welfare state and pay taxes to support it than is often acknowledged.