A bit of this, a bit of that: Stage 3 tax cuts, the Australian welfare state and Republican identity

I’ve been on holidays on the Sunshine Coast this week with my wife Nancy. I’d normally be racing in the SC 70.3 Ironman, but breaking my wrist a month ago put paid to any training (I’m recovering well, but slowly). We still had the accommodation booked, so we’re enjoying a relaxing time by the sea.

Before we took off, I submitted a bunch of articles that have now come out. I already posted my piece on the Ethereum merge so, rather than bombard you with emails, I thought I would wrap up the rest in one post. Here they are

Scrapping Stage 3 tax cuts is essential, but won’t be an easy ride, Independent Australia, 6 September.

“Republican” as an identity a Crooked Timber posts asking why supposed moderates like Susan Collins and Ross Douthat continue to support a Republican Party dominated by Trumpism.

Income redistribution or social insurance? A federal MP considers the future of the welfare state A review of Daniel Mulino’s new book Safety Net, and also my 100th article in The Conversation 8 September.

5 thoughts on “A bit of this, a bit of that: Stage 3 tax cuts, the Australian welfare state and Republican identity

  1. Stage 3 tax cuts.
    I agree with those who argue for repealing the stage 3 tax cuts laws. JQ, you expect a modified scheme would pass in both chambers. What do you have in mind?

    IMHO, something like keeping the marginal tax rate reduction for those on incomes between $90,000 and $110,000 could be a reasonable compromise.

    A commenter on an article on this topic in the e-version of the smh suggested some time ago to adhere to the tax cuts but simultaneously introduce a compensating but time limited ‘budget repair levy’. The time horizon was left unspecified by the commenter.

    To me the obvious reason for reviewing the 2018 decision is new information – the unforeseen pandemic and associated expenditure, including the partly excessively generous job-keeper payments by the then government (ie debt was incurred to help corporations that didn’t need it) resulting in a huge public debt; the ongoing supply chain problems and the war of aggression by Russia on Ukraine with associated boosts to inflation; the natural disasters in Australia and elsewhere, all of which adversely affect the cost of living, relative to wages, for all but the most wealthy. There are also reports about problems with expenditure on car parks, etc by the previous government. There may be more.

  2. In the social insurance piece:
    “This was the last and greatest achievement of the UK’s Liberal Party, before it was shattered by the catastrophe of the Great War, which broke out in 1914.” I take it that “it was shattered” refers to the Liberal Party not the People’s Budget.

    Missing: any reference to the likely expansion of the role of the state in covering growing climate risk. The US federal government is already the insurer of last resort for coastal flooding and nuclear power stations, though thankfully the latter risk is now capped.

  3. I can’t comment on Douthat, bc I pretty much never read his pieces. (I don’t think much of most NYT columnists – though I still like Krugman. But, I also feel like I know what he’s going to say, so I don’t often read him either.) (Also, to a large extent, I think part of the problem with columnists is that they’re expected to perform on a schedule – so they end up saying a lot of trivial things. It isn’t their fault really.)

    The identity thing though – I totally get it. And out of the moderate Reps that I know personally, none have left the party. Nor do I think they should. They should do like Cheney the Younger. (I just like how that sounds. I don’t know a thing about Rome.) (I think she could be president some day.) Fight, fight, fight!! I have been disappointed by how few of them have chosen this option.

    And for me personally, living in a state so dominated by the Democrats, and being a frustrated one, I know exactly why they don’t leave. It’s because there is nowhere for them to go. (Don’t wish for a single party dominance, people – it stinks!! Let me tell you…) Quitting means nothing and may be the cowardly choice. They must take back their party. We can’t just have one party committed to democracy – we must must must have two.

    There have been polls recently showing that Voldemort is losing his grip on the GOP. I hope it will be true. Plus, remember – he may end up in the clink. There’s still time! And, that might mean we just get a more focused version of him. That wishing thing again.

  4. Identity politics…nah, diversionary but the comments from the “othered” are relevent in fleshing out the ” cultural” heuristic to the neo lib problem.

    Social insurance and welfare, why tamper with stuff that isn’t broken, leave the dole alone and maybe employers wont be in such a hurry to sack if the politicians complain to them about costs. A bit like enviro, downstream DOES count, as we are just finding out.

    And tax cuts, not if there is damage done through them throughtout when sociual infrastructres need mending. with the community. Forget the Oligarchs, they already have bludgeoned thru covid to the tune of $trillions and let them go and digest their ill-gotten gains leaving those who actually “need” rather than “greed”to a few crumbs.

    Hope you get better. just had a cataract removed meself, the wrinkling process waits for no one.

  5. Good article by Adam Morton in The Guardian today.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2022/sep/12/reasons-for-cautious-optimism-the-good-news-on-the-climate-crisis

    Key points. 1. Renewable energy investment accounts for more than 80% of total power sector investments and increasing. (Its needs to get to 95% as soon as possible).
    2. Carbon emissions in China have fallen for the fourth straight quarter. 3. Polysilicon production is increasing substantially and all components of solar panel supply chains have surplus capacity despite an anticipated 30% increase in solar panel production in 2023 to 320 GW of new capacity. (A major problem here is that the vast majority of polysilicon production is in China with half in Xinjiang. This needs to be fixed). 4. Australia and US climate change policies have improved greatly.

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