Tax

Bin Shaming

The bright sparks inside the City of Adelaide Council believe that “bin shaming” residents into correctly separating rubbish is the way forward to save the planet. Not only will they replace perfectly good plastic rubbish bins with see-through plastic bins made from fossil fuels but tell us the other merits.

Adelaide City Councillor Robert Simms said, “having transparent bins would be helpful to people fishing for cans and bottles to recycle for 10c a pop as part of the state’s container deposit scheme.”

Such genius! Imagine being one of the 25,000 residents waking up at 2am in the morning because someone was rummaging through their bins to save the planet. Just what they want the council to do.

Ratepayers don’t need sanctimonious lectures from activist councillors to tell them how to behave. What is the bet these bins start to get incredibly grimy after repeated use? Never mind they’ll just produce more.  Afterall pretending to care about the planet is more important than doing anything truly meaningful to mitigate climate change. The only transparency in this program is the space between the ears of the council.

CM is currently running through NSW council budgets to look at trends in their spending. The first cut looks damning.

Alberta cancels carbon tax

Alberta United Conservative Premier Jason Kenney has repealed the carbon tax placed by his predecessors. It was a key election promise and he has vowed to challenge any attempt by Ottawa to force adoption of a federal carbon tax.

In Alberta, Jason Kenney of the United Conservatives gained 63 seats from 25 at the last election handing victory over incumbent Rachel Notley of the New Democrats which fell to 24 seats from 52.

In Ontario, Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives surged from 28 seats to 76. His main rival, incumbent Kathleen Wynne of the Liberals fell from 58 to 7. He also repealed the carbon tax soon after election.

Justin Trudeau is fighting a losing battle if he thinks a carbon tax will help his re-election.

People want jobs not useless taxes which achieve nothing.

If climate scientists were surgeons would you let them operate on you?

Why do our politicians continually recycle and peddle climate experts that have made so many dud predictions? If they were major organ transplant surgeons with this record of failure, would you ask them to operate on you?

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government has stumped up $142,000 to hire the Brisbane Convention Centre for former VP Al Gore to lecture on a subject where his prophecies have been way off the mark. The Office of Environment has chosen not to release the full costings. Now that Adani is back on, it makes them look even more stupid for inviting a quack.

Gore made ridiculous statements that Arctic sea ice could be completely gone by 2014. It’s still there. Thicker too.

Who could forget his mysterious absence from the 2009 Copenhagen UN COP summit when the Climategate scandal unfolded.

The National Center for Public Policy Research obtained Gore’s electricity usage information through public records requests and conversations with the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In powering his home, Gore still greatly outpaces most Americans in energy consumption. The findings were shocking:

• The past year, Gore’s home energy use averaged 19,241 kilowatt hours (kWh) every month, compared to the U.S. household average of 901 kWh per month.3,4
• Gore guzzles more electricity in one year than the average American family uses in 21 years.5
• In September of 2016, Gore’s home consumed 30,993 kWh in just one month – as much energy as a typical American family burns in 34 months.
• During the last 12 months, Gore devoured 66,159 kWh of electricity just heating his pool. That is enough energy to power six average U.S. households for a year.
• From August 2016 through July 2017, Gore spent almost $22,000 on electricity bills.6
• Gore paid an estimated $60,000 to install 33 solar panels. Those solar panels produce an average of 1,092 kWh per month, only 5.7% of Gore’s typical monthly energy consumption.

There is an irony in Palaszczuk’s backflip over Adani. Here she was thinking that Shorten would win and that her anti-coal activist environment team could get some status from Gore to kill it off for good.

Now the cost to save her political career far outweighs the planet. Tells us all we need to know.

Illinois wants $1,000 EV rego tax to make up for fuel excise they skip

CM has always argued that governments will eventually realize that moving to full EV policy will mean losing juicy ‘fuel excise’ which makes up c.5% of total taxes. Point 16 on page 19 for those interested.

Cash strapped Illinois has proposed the introduction of a $1,000 annual registration fee (up from $17.50) to account for the fact EVs don’t pay such fuel taxes. Note Illinois has the lowest investment grade among any other American state and has to allocate 40% of its budget just to pay outstanding bills. It is also home to one of the largest state pension unfunded deficits per capita in the country.

Michael McHale, spokesman for electric truck maker Rivian, said, “Imposing fees on EVs that are over 400 percent more than their gasoline-powered counterparts is not only unfair, it discourages promising new technology that will reduce our dependence on petroleum, reduce emissions, and promote the Illinois economy,”

Here is the ultimate irony. Many bought EVs to show their ‘climate change mitigating wokeness. Now that they maybe finally forced to ‘pay’ for that privilege somehow free market economics would seemingly look to sway them to go back to being dinosaurs again.

Don’t think Australia will head straight down this route too if our 50% EV target by 2030 is pushed through as a policy. By that time if you have an EV then you’ll be trapped in your own virtue signaling. CM would prefer to be Mad Max and raid fuel trucks.

Aussies pay more tax than Japanese and Shorten wants to raise them higher!

CM is repulsed by the confetti blowing promises being made ahead of May 18. This election is about cost of living to be sure. It is not about climate change and not about resettling refugees. Yet there has to be a limit on the free give away with a growing deficit. Where is the fiscal responsibility? Do politicians run their own household budgets like this? Not in a million years.

Our federal tax receipts are A$430bn this year. Did you know Japan collects $A750bn at the national level? So Aus is 1/5th the population and raises 1/2 the coin of Japan. Having said that the Japanese government must raise A$500bn EVERY YEAR to plug the national deficit! That’s what happens with poor fiscal management. So doing the math including the debt financing, we still raise 31% the revenues than the Japanese on 20% of the population. We might argue our economy is 1/4 Japan’s but we’re following an unsustainable trajectory. It’s insane. How can we tax people more? Yet that is what Shorten will do.

We can debate til the cows come home about how GST is funneled back to the states from federal coffers but we need to wake up to our relative costs! Our budget deficit is c.$600bn yet here we see Labor throw confetti promises around everywhere. $1.18bn in new aid to foreign countries over the next 4 years. PNG spent our aid money on 40 new Maseratis. Shorten pledged $1bn to acquire land to put the VFT in place. Surely the private sector can deal with that. $2bn for a Melbourne metro. We can go on and on.

Everyone seems like a winner until everyone becomes a loser. The sad fact is that we must wake people up to reality. We need to spend smarter, not chuck more money and hope it has impact. Neither government will see a surplus. Take it to the bank. The economic growth projections aren’t there. No matter who wins this election, the global economy is slowing and either party will be handed a basket case of economy controlled by external forces which includes a slowing US and China. It won’t be pretty. The question is who can best manage that? Not Labor. Climate change will be so irrelevant in this downturn.

It gets worse. The Reserve Bank and APRA are asleep at the wheel. Instead of navigating sensible policies to thwart the largest recession we will face in almost 30 years which will decimate housing, both are discussing climate change compliance reporting by corporates. Seriously? It is so telling they are focusing on the wrong message. Have they seen that the world’s central banks have printed $140 trillion in extra debt since 2008 and got $20 trillion extra in GDP. Shockingly poor returns. $7 of debt gets us $1 of GDP.

Yet our political system has only one pair of rose tinted spectacles where the prescription is 27 years out of date. They are equally as oblivious to the oncoming onslaught where our Aussie banks face a real risk of part of whole nationalization. Their position is as bad as the Japanese ahead of the collapse of their bubble.

Do not be fooled. CM personally believes that the Coalition is not deserved of government but the alternative is even worse. The last thing we need is to rest on that old Aussie saying of “time to give the others a go!” because this is a time when we can least afford change. It will be buyer’s remorse + alpha.

Paying someone to quit smoking on your behalf

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Jo Nova has put together an excellent piece on the Labor government’s plan to buy carbon credits overseas to atone for our CO2 sins. Buying air we can’t breathe is essentially like paying someone else to quit smoking on our behalf. How do we benefit?!?

Labor leader Bill Shorten may argue that the cost of doing nothing on climate change is a “charlatan’s argument” but CM costed it yesterday. Our CO2 emissions are equivalent to 0.000016% of the global total. No matter what we do our impact is nothing. What does tokenism get us? Zero. Zip. Nada.

Jo Nova wrote,

The 35 billion dollars we will spend on these useless, fraud-prone certificates is $35 billion we are taking out of the Australian labor market, or not spending on medicine, books or holidays in Bali. Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy, has noticed that this means $10b less tax will be paid too, which means less money for hospitals and schools.

There’s nothing wrong with payments to foreigners for real goods and services. But carbon credits buy us 0.0001C of theoretical cooling we don’t need and won’t be able to measure 100 years from now. It’s the dumbest deal Australia has ever made. Fraudsters and bankers will love it.”

Carbon credit markets have had a sketchy past. Hackers broke into poorly protected government and corporate carbon registries and swindled €3.7mn. So the credits we might buy to virtue signal may end up being fraudulent.

Carbon trading is a complete scam. As Jo Nova added,

“Independent modelling suggests the 45% emissions target of the Labor party will cost at least $264bn and as high as $542bn by 2030. The Liberal Party will “only” waste  $50 – $80b.”

All for absolutely nothing. When the economy tanks our politicians can brag about achieving lower emissions targets quicker because our climate policies will have accelerated the death of industry.

The Untrumpables & the bookkeeper

The NY Times has Donald Trump’s tax returns from 1985-1994. So what? He made losses 25-30 years ago. He obviously made some terrible business decisions to rack up $1.17bn in losses over a decade. Yet the laws allowed him to do so. Two years ago, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow hailed she had Trump’s 2005 tax return that showed he paid $38m tax on $150m income. So he has had some good with the bad.

Because the mainstream media and the Democrats couldn’t pin Russia collusion on him, they want to see if they can get him on tax evasion. Sounds like the accountant in the Treasury Department trying to bust Al Capone in The Untouchables. The Democrats want to make Trump talk with a gun in his mouth. Many Democrat-run states have passed legislation to ban Trump from the 2020 ballot if he doesn’t release his tax returns. CM has mentioned numerous times how this typifies the level to which Democrats think they are just in rejecting the democratic rights of their constituents.  Surely American voters can decide for themselves whether his tax returns are an important enough issue for them.

The question really boils down to whether he has “evaded” tax or “avoided” it? If he used the tax laws to minimise his ultimate tax liabilities then all power to him. In the immortal words of Australian billionaire, Kerry Packer, “if anybody in this country doesn’t minimise their tax they want their heads read. Because as a government I can tell you, you’re not spending it that well that we should be donating extra!

Truth be told, banks continued to lend to him despite having the highest tax losses of any American and he wound up in the highest office in the land. Even if his most recent tax returns show massive losses, if he hasn’t broken the law then what will House Democrats have gained?

Put it this way. The mainstream media might wish to point to the failures of Trump as a good reason to question his judgement. They might mock him by saying he benefitted from Daddy’s money. However, America has the lowest unemployment rate in decades, historic low black and female unemployment and 5.8m unemployed to fill 7m job openings. If individuals feel America is in a better place than when he started, one can be sure that he will be sworn in again in 2020.

When will the Democrats finally realise that putting forward sensible policies to convince the American public they are worthy of government is a more effective method than pushing more and more Trump Derangement Syndrome?