Friday, 8 March 2019

The Twerps Got The Capital Gains Tax They Deserved

A Multi-Layered Conspiracy

There is something truly engaging about Chris Trotter.  He is a left-winger with an "independent"  brain.  A rare thing.  His blog, Bowalley Road, subtitled "Ruminations of an Old New Zealander" holds forth on many issues political and otherwise. 

His latest piece reflects upon the proposed Labour Government's  Capital Gains Tax.  The thing that troubles him the most is the public face of Labour being, once again, tone deaf when it comes to the New Zealand voter.  One can only imagine that Labour is so far in love with labour unions that it simply cannot break its tryst with them over "taxing the rich".  In this case, however, it's patently obvious that in rushing to "tax the rich" it's going to tax the struggling Kiwi battler first and foremost.  What madness is this? 
WHY CAN’T LABOUR take “No” for an answer? When the party first offered voters a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in 2011 they responded by giving Labour 27 percent of the Party Vote. Undaunted, David Cunliffe and his team doubled-down on the CGT in 2014. Labour’s Party Vote slumped to a risible 24 percent. Point taken?

For a while it looked as though Labour’s ears had started working again. Cunliffe’s successor, Andrew Little, moved swiftly (if unilaterally) to take the twice-rejected CGT off the table. Which should have been the end of the story. But, it wasn’t. Within Labour’s caucus there remained a tight little clutch of CGT supporters who simply refused to let the policy go.

That tight little clutch: led by the current Finance Minister, Grant Robertson; which recoils in horror at the very suggestion that Labour should tax the incomes of the very wealthy without mercy; remains absolutely convinced that taxing the local dairy owner’s capital gains will produce nothing but sweetness and light. They’ve run their blue pencils through Inheritance Tax, Land Tax, Financial Transaction Tax and Carbon Tax: but in spite of its emphatic rejection in two successive elections, they continue to give their CGT the big tick. [Bowalley Road]
It has long been part of the leftist mental furniture to see conspiracies at every turn.
  It's got something to do with a deep ideological belief in rich capitalists conspiring at every turn to oppress the poor. This inbred commitment to conspiracies has been turned on its head by Trotter.  He suggests that the latest attempt by Labour to get a CGT passed is doomed to failure because of a conspiracy from a most unexpected quarter.

The conspirator is none other than Dr Michael Cullen, former Minister of Finance in the Clark Labour government. 
The most puzzling aspect of “Stage 1” – the Tax Working Group – was why the former Labour Finance Minister, Sir Michael Cullen, was roped-in to chair it.

In the media “lock-up” which immediately preceded the release of the Tax Working Group’s report, Sir Michael vouchsafed to journalists the following, typically cryptic, observation:
“I had a brief period as finance spokesperson for the Labour Party for some 17 years. You will not find a single comment by me publicly advocating a capital gains tax. You might draw your own conclusions from that fact.”
You think!  Cullen’s aside, properly decoded, offers up just one meaning: “This is a damn fool’s political errand, which I only accepted so that I could deliver these twerps a CGT of such breadth and bite that only a complete idiot would consider implementing it!” If that is not what it means, then we must, reluctantly, conclude that the former Finance Minister has lost his wits.
That observation provokes a belly-laugh of elephantine proportions. 

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