Treasurer Scott Morrison and I have very different understandings of what comprises a “Taxed-Not,” a term it was yesterday alleged on Twitter he plagiarised from a Fox News anchor who coined it some six years ago.
Leaving aside the curly questions of whether or not it is possible to plagiarise Fox News and the length of time it’s taken Morrison to allegedly do it, the term is an ugly characterisation of human beings. So I naturally assumed it refers to those who are ugly in their behaviours.
When I first heard Morrison use it (apart from an immediate association with Dr Seuss) I thought, oh, the treasurer is referring to the churches, the mining magnates, the media moguls, the corporations, and the many politicians who rort the public purse for their private and/or ideological gain.
Friends, I could not have been more wrong. It turns out the “Taxed-Nots” are welfare recipients, and Morrison seems to be labouring under the misapprehension that if he takes from them what little they have, he will restore the budget to surplus.
Now I am, outside of my own relatively simple budget, financially illiterate but even I can see that taking the price of a cup of coffee from people on Newstart and pensioners is unlikely to curtail the budget deficit. I tried to begin a conversation with Mr Morrison about this on Twitter, but he blocked me. There are none so deaf as those that will not hear.
Perhaps I unthinkingly insulted Morrison’s faith. He’s a Happy Clapper at Hillsong, a Pentecostal outfit that believes God wants everyone to be rich and if you aren’t it’s because God doesn’t love you and if God doesn’t love you, you deserve what you (don’t) get because you are morally deficient. Like a Taxed-Not.
The term encapsulates a powerful, deliberately false dichotomy of wealth with morality and poverty with immorality that appeals even to the non-religious.
There are surely many avenues available to the treasurer that would go some way towards addressing the country’s allegedly parlous financial state. It would, for example, cost us a couple of billion less to resettle refugees from Nauru and Manus Island in Australia, rather than continue to bribe less developed nations to shoulder our responsibilities at the cost of some $55 million for two individuals.
Then there’s the $160 million plus marriage equality plebiscite: totally unnecessary if only the parliament would do its job.
Then there’s the $1.615 billion VET FEE-HELP loans rort. Yes, that’s $1.615 billion gone up in Joe Hockey’s cigar smoke.
Plus the ideologically driven and/or vengeful Royal Commissions, tax concessions to the wealthy, really, it can’t be that hard to grub up a bit more cash, can it, Mr Morrison? Try the almost 600 companies who pay little or no tax, such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft, for starters.
There obviously are people who rort the welfare system. But I suspect their numbers are inconsequential compared to the rorting wealthy.
In the LNP universe the wealthy don’t rort: they are entitled. In the LNP universe poverty equals immorality and therefore lack of all entitlement, indeed, in the LNP universe if you’re out of a job you don’t actually deserve to eat & they’ll take another $4 off you to make that even more clear.
Morrison and his multi-millionaire boss Malcolm Turnbull bullying the disadvantaged into deeper disadvantage while the wealthy flourish. What would Jesus say?