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Bouncy castle blows away with children on board May 15, 2014

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SMH: Two young boys were seriously injured after a bouncy castle they were playing in flew metres into the air and tossed them to the concrete below.


In unrelated news, I have an idea for a TV show: A strong wind – caused by global warming – causes a bouncy castle with a group of racially diverse children to get swept up and carried to various locations around the world. In each place, they help the locals reduce their carbon emissions before piling back onto the bouncy castle, bouncing from place to place, hoping that their next bounce will be the bounce home.

We Keep Promises? May 14, 2014

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We Keep Promises?

The LDP Alternative Budget May 12, 2014

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Here is the AFR article on the LDP’s alternate federal budget for the coming financial year. (It’s titled, “A budget for a real liberal” – a nice dig at the Libs). I summary, it proposes decreased spending by $40 billion dollars to bring the budget into immediate surplus, and reduces the top tax rate to 33%. This is a huge cut, which alone would have an enormous (positive) impact on growth. The top two rate are currently 37% over $80,000 and 45% over $180,000, so this represents a reduction in the top two rates. Compare that with the Liberals plan to increase taxes, and that’s quite a good deal.

Other suggestions include:

  • $2b – Reducing politician and public servant pay by 10%: I have to admit, this seems a bit gimmicky. I want cuts to the size public service, and maybe a pay freeze on those remaining…
  • $6b – Remove FTB-B and schoolkids bonus: Don’t disagree, but a hard sell politically.
  • $4b – Keep welfare payments constant for one year: Wow, we can save $4b just by not indexing welfare for a year? What are we waiting for?
  • $5b – Include family home in pension assets test: Agree in principle, but politically a hard sell and I’m not sure this is as simple as people think. My particular concern is that I don’t want to see people forced out of the family home which contains a lifetime of memories. There are plenty of old grannies who own their own home (and therefore basically rich), but are living poor. Obviously this is inefficient – and it’s silly that an old couple living day to day whilst leaving half a million dollar plus home as inheritance to their (much richer than they are) children – but I don’t know that changes here are achievable in one year. Baby steps, people – baby steps.
  • $2b – Efficiency gains from growth: OK…
  • $2b – Introduce medicare co-payment: Fully support
  • $6b – Means test medicare “so the rich pay their fare share”: So the rich pay their fair share? Which LDP idiot thought it was a good idea to push class-warfare rhetoric? Just because you get embarrassed that people accuse you of being “for the rich” doesn’t mean you have to pad things out with nonsense like this – this is the Libs mistake (they’re introducing a debt levy on the rich using the same reasoning!)  I’m not saying I disagree with the means-test, but whoever added the words, “so the rich pay their share” should be expelled from the LDP for gross stupidity.
  • $5b – Reduce higher education subsidy: A bit more detail would be nice, and it’s also worth pointing out that whilst this improves book position, it puts large load on student loans (ie, the government doesn’t actually get the money – they just increase their “asset” of getting money from the student down the track). Other than that, I support.
  • $7b – Remove corporate welfare and reduce R&D: I might want more info on this, but mostly support 
  • $1b – Remove subsidy for ABC & SBS: Fully support, but again I’d recommend baby-steps. The ABC and SBS should transition to a model fully-funded by advertising, but expecting this much savings in first year might be unrealistic.

The LDP budget also supports workplace reforms which should help growth significantly, as well as reduce welfare dependance.  Not mentioned in their budget are expenses like NDIS, Gonski, PPL, and so on. I assume this is because they weren’t in the last budget, and that’s what they were working off, but there’s plenty of savings there as well.

All things considered, this is a budget I could get behind… aside from the silly class warfare rhetoric.


The Blog of Fleeced May 11, 2014

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Well, the Libs have been back in power for a few months, and are about to deliver their first Federal budget on Tuesday, 13th May. So… what better time to re-launch my blog? Alas, given what we already know of the budget – namely, higher taxes – it seems we are all going to be fleeced (see what I did there?)

There has been much discussion of this at the Catallaxy Blog, with a daily broken promise thread. It’s sad to see so many people defending the Liberal Party’s actions, though I guess I can appreciate their fear of returning to the ALP. Nonetheless, the Liberal Party has brought this on themselves, and Sinc is right to keep applying the pressure.

Meanwhile the LDP is preparing an “alternative budget,” which somehow, they are getting published in the Australian Financial Review tomorrow (Monday, 12th May). I suspect I will enjoy their alternate budget much more than the efforts of Joe Hockey.

Congratulations to the LDP, not just on this coverage of course, but on getting David Leyonhjelm elected to the NSW senate! He doesn’t take his seat until July, but will no doubt be voting on some of the elements in Tuesday’s budget. As Australia’s only libertarian party, it’s great to see LDP having such success, and this is another reason I wanted to start blogging again – I’m sure we are in for some exciting times.

This will be my third or fourth go at running a blog – my first was before blogs were actually invented (it was basically an open diary). The Blog of Fleeced kind of died after the 2007 election, and despite the odd post since, never really recovered… to be honest, I was worn out with politics, and stuck to posting occasional comments at Catallaxy Files instead.