Monday, February 08, 2016

Some odd Ergas lines

Henry Ergas gets decidedly carried away in his column in The Australian contemplating a GST increase today.  First, there's this:
Little wonder then that increasing the GST is as about as appealing to the electorate as a dose of cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.
As I noted yesterday, I would have thought that a Newspoll showing a 37% approval of a GST increase to 15%, before the government has even attempted to sell it as a policy, is actually pretty damned good.   Dear Henry seems not to think so.

The writing gets even more flowery, and rather oddball, further down:
But imposing such a change would require “a strong hand and an outstretched arm” worthy of the divine intervention that ­allowed the biblical escape from Egypt; and even a moment’s reflec­tion on the politics forces us to come tumbling down from the thunderbolts of Sinai to the ­insensate debauchery of the Cities of the Plain.

Nor is there much doubt what form that debauchery would take: as the battle over the proposed tax change heated up, giveaways to low income earners would proliferate at higher income earners’ expense. As a result, far from being compressed, effective rates would, in the immortal phrase of British comedians Max and Ivan, end up as stretched as a dwarf in an orgy, aggravating the damage our tax system causes.
I had not even heard of said comedians, or their dwarf joke, until now.  Obviously, I am not as hip a dude as Henry, but the net effect of the line is not exactly amusing, or enlightening.  Just - peculiar.

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