And even he thinks a modest GST increase tied to health funding is arguable.
I find all this debate back and forth a bit tedious, because I decided what is politically safe enough and reasonable back in September, and I'm just waiting for the politicians to catch on:
1. a modest increase in the GST rate to 12.5%. This is low enough to not really be noticed, but I'm pretty sure it still raises quite a lot. As for its expansion - I would be inclined to leave it off fresh food, but wonder whether a reduced rate could be added to education services - say 5%? OK, that would be a hard sell to Liberal constituents, but it might be something Labor could live with;As for spending cuts: it's a continual irony that Liberals and Republicans always claim there is a government spending emergency, while at the same time ramping up defence spending and using defence in some of the most expensive ways possible.
2. superannuation tax concessions at the high end wound back harder;
3. a staged reduction in negative gearing. Not too staged. And didn't I suggest once that it be time limited, to like for the first 5 years? Increased turnaround in investment property sales would be good for stamp duty revenue too, as well as placing properties back on the market for potential owner/occupiers. Someone needs to point out to me the downside, as there almost certainly would be one.
In the Australian context: how tied are we really to the F 35 purchase? Why does it take a (Left) liberal (see Canada) to point out that you can get by with other, cheaper, fighters? Is there scope to at least cut back the number we intend buying?
I would still build submarines here, though. Forget about economic purism - supporting manufacturing abilities is a good thing, and shipbuilding seems a decent enough way to do that.
What about the cost of the paramilitary (and creepy fascistic Abbott idea) Border Force? It would do a lot for the country's self image to dismantle it as soon as possible, especially if doing so has increased costs.
As for welfare spending: I'm not sure if it is really worth it or not, and it would be mainly Sydney and Melbourne affected, but pensioners sitting in an expensive enough home - let's say $1,000,000 plus? - should face some formula for putting at least part of the value of their home into the assets test.
But as for taxes overall, let's not forget this point:
Update: I've sort of grown tired of pointing out Senator Blofeld's "look at me" speeches to an empty Senate. He isn't even proposing running again, so the publicity he craves is for just for his ego and his minuscule fan club. Anyway, apparently progressive taxation is "immoral", despite what Popes and bishops have maintained.