January 2011

The day in politics

A very interesting day in politics.

National’s candidate Jami-lee Ross has covered¬†the¬†electorate in his bill boards. Driving around it is a sea of blue. I haven’t seen a single Labour sign anywhere. Perhaps Labour needs to borrow Conor Roberts to get their campaign off the ground.

Matthew Hooton on Radio Live today at 12:30 is pretty certain that Hone Harawira is bolting to form the new left wing party with Sue Bradford as co-leader.

Bomber of course is wetting his pants at¬†the¬†prospect, though I am not sure¬†the¬†electorate in general is going to be too happy at the prospect of seeing Sue Bradford’s face back on the public teat. iPredict, meanwhile is showing a surge in the likelihood that such a party will be formed.

Still in a democracy it is a contest of ideas and with Hone Harawira holding his seat and the new left wing party grabbing 3-4% and stealing 5 seats the next parliament could well be very interesting.

But for Labour to govern they would still need Winston Peters to make a come back, completing the spectre of the evil left. There is a slight problem with that however and the rise of the new left party. My deep throat spies in NZ First tell me that Winston’s strategy is all hard right.

Could Winston Peters be making a play for the Act party’s neglected members. My understanding is that Winston will make his play on three core policies that will attract the FU vote. But at least one of those platforms is going to put him in direct conflict with a prospective coalition¬†partner¬†that features Sue Bradford.

One of NZ First’s major policy planks will be to campaign to reverse the anti-smacking law. They hope to hoover up the constituency that John Key ignored when bypassing the wishes of nearly 90% of the population. Winston only needs to pick up a few per cent out of those opposed to Bradford’s bill and he is a shoe in again. The problem though is that in campaigning on¬†such¬†a platform will he then chuck it in to form a coalition with Bradford’s new left party and Labour?

Winston at least will for once be acting with some¬†consistency¬†as he voted against Bradford’s bill in 2007. What are his other two major platforms? Well that is a secret for now but rest assured this blog will release them shortly. Suffice to say the policies are more hard right than anything remotely close to a party that will include Hone Harawira, Sue Bradford and Matt McCarten.

Meanwhile¬†Duncan Garner is blogging that Ruth Dyson is a¬†goner in Phil Goff’s line up. One wonders if Goff should stop at stabbing only Dyson. He will however have to watch out for her retribution as that is now nigh on guaranteed.¬†Ask any Labour insider and they will tell you that Dyson is the most spiteful, even evil, person in caucus.

Understanding Goofy-nomics

Phil Goff and Labour like to use terms like Keynesian economics. It makes them sound smart and clever about how they are going to spend money we don’t have.

I will explain in simple terms for you what it all means. In terms that everyone can understand.

Keynesian economics works like this.

In Keynes’ theory, one person’s spendings goes towards anothers earnings, and when that person spends her earnings she is, in effect, supporting anothers earnings. This circle continues on and helps support a normal functioning economy. When the Great Depression hit, people’s natural reaction was to hoard their money. Under Keynes’ theory this stopped the circular flow of money, keeping the economy at a standstill.

Keynes’ solution to this poor economic state was¬†to prime the pump. By prime the pump, Keynes argued that the government should step in to increase spending, either by increasing the¬†money supply or by actually buying things on the market itself.

Still confused? Of course you are. Even a simpleton can see that this circle jerk has to end somewhere.

Well let’s explain it in simple terms, ones you can understand.

You have a¬†mortgage, but things are a little tight, you are having trouble meeting your bills, including the bank’s mortgage interest rate. Then you lose your job. This is the “depression” that Keynes talks about. Following Keynes’ brilliant suggestions to keep the pump primed you go visit the bank manager and suggest he follows Keynes’ plan for paying your bills with other peoples money, even though you don’t have an income anymore. You tell the bank manager that in order to keep going with your current spending levels and in order to pay his mortgage interest you want to borrow even more money, but don’t worry Mr Bank Manager you get it straight back with your interest payments. Then when that money runs out because you are still spending like you have the income to support the borrowing you go back and ask for more from the bank manager. On and on it goes and its all good because some smart American economist said it would work.

Except it doesn’t. The bank manager knows this, that is why you would never have got the increased loan to pay your bills or your mortgage, in fact what would have happened is that the bank manager would have made demand on you to repay what you did owe, now.

The piper must be paid and no amount of wanky weasel words can get around the fact that borrowing to fund a lifestyle is doomed ultimately to failure. The sooner Labour realises this the sooner we can all stop being lied to by them.

In a country the size of New Zealand we are essentially a great big household. Keynesian economics doesn’t work at teh household level and it sure as hell won’t help New Zealand. We as a country must cut our clothe according to our income, and the sooner all politicians stop pretending we are a first world country with an income from¬†the¬†first world we will all start getting better off. We can’t keep borrowing for our lifestyle, sooner or later teh bills must be paid.

This was Muldoon’s fundamental error and many governments before and since. The older generation of New Zealanders, the very same people who pine for Winston Peters to return are the ones who had the best of this country, but they borrowed to fund it, and they left the following generations with the bills to pay for their lifestyle. They also have the temerity to complain that they still don’t get enough.

The economic bullshit must end and Kiwis need to start getting real and honest about economics.

The violence of the left wing in New Zealand

Much was made, erroneously, of the motivations of Jared Laughner. The Standard leapt straight in and branded him a Tea Party supporter without a shred of evidence, and then went on to malign and implicate Sarah Palin as well. Bomber at Tumeke also falsely brought Sarah Palin into the blame game for the crazed actions of an idiot.

Both of these left wing hate speech sites somehow connected political rhetoric with violence by someone not even connected with either Sarah Palin or the Tea Party. In fact all evidence points to Jared Laughner being a anarco-communist. That however doesn’t stop them telling the story they want to tell no matter how false or misleading it is.

The left-wing holds itself up as being enlightened, and above such violence. Their rhetoric never uses such nasty words as ‘target’, or ‘hitlist’, oh no, they hold much more considered debates with their followers. Like this poster currently adorning fences on¬†the¬†North Shore in Auckland

Judith Collins Shoot Yourself poster from People Not Profit Collective

Poster on North Shore, Auckland

I have no idea who “People Not Profit Collective” is but I’ll bet a million dollars that they aren’t Tea Party members or Sarah Palin supporters. If posters can make people flip out and attempt to kill politicians then this one is right up there.

I doubt though we will see any left wing blog decrying this poster though. Because, you know, they have a much higher and more peaceful level of debate than the right wing who are all gun crazy, baby eating demagogues.

Getting real on Goff's Bullsh*t

Phil Goff and Labour are liars. They lied to the nation on Tuesday when they said that Kiwi’s can have the first $5000 tax free. I say lie because when you look at some credible analysis like that from the NZIER it is clear that Labour and Phil Goff have had a rush of shit to the brains.

Labour’s proposed tax-free threshold for the first $5,000 of wages and removing GST from fresh fruit and vegetables will cost around $1.7 billion in the first year. This is to be funded by raising the top tax rate for high income earners. From an economic perspective, these proposals would be a big step backward.

One of the big concerns is what raising the top tax rate would do to New Zealand‚Äôs attractiveness as a place to live and work. For example, a new tax rate at $100,000 pa would have to be 53% ‚Äď affecting around 131,000 people ‚Äď to fund the $1.7 billion. Table 3 shows other combinations of tax rates at different income thresholds. A high marginal tax rate would just encourage efforts to avoid tax. Introducing exceptions to the broad GST structure would be inefficient as well.

Labour’s policy of soak the rich is destroyed with just one graph from IRD the department that is going to have to go after teh rich to pay for Phil’s folly.

Source: IRD

The problem NZ has is that there simply are not enough rich people to soak, and also that those same people are highly mobile and committed to not being tucked by rapacious politicians intent on spending other peoples money.

The NZIER notes that the numbers simply don’t line uop beside the rhetoric of Labour and their lickspittle cheerleaders.

Introducing a tax-free threshold by increasing the top tax rate would be harmful for the tax system. Labour’s proposed tax package would make the New Zealand tax system less competitive against Australia, which already enjoys higher wages. A highly skilled New Zealander earning $150,000 would become $150 a week worse off in New Zealand than earning the same income in Australia (from $17 a week better off in New Zealand currently). The removal of GST from fresh fruit and vegetables would cost nearly $250 million and only benefit the poorest 10% of households by a paltry $1.50 per week.

Labour’s balloons are getting popped all over the place. Of course skewing the tax system in this way might sound good to moronic new repeaters who just regurgitate the lines and the lies, but to any one with a modicum of intelligence can see that the arguments don’t stack up.

Paying for Labour’s folly is another yet again. When Phil Goff lies and accuses the National¬†government¬†of spending $200 billion per annum to fund tax cuts he forgets that National made some hard decisions (which Labour opposed)¬†to make ttax cuts fiscally neutral – the borrowing is because of the previous Government’s unfunded and unsustainable hand-outs, which Labour now wants to extend, making them even more unsustainable and unfunded. In the breath as his lies he then commits to spending even more, which can mean only one thing, massive tax hikes. The NZIER knows this, Phil Goff doesn’t.

New policies need to be funded. Given Government borrowing is already beyond comfort levels, we have made estimates assuming the policies are fiscally neutral. We estimate that:

  • the $5,000 tax-free threshold will cost $1.5 billion2
  • a top tax rate of 53% starting at $100,000 is required to pay for the tax-free threshold and removal of GST from fresh food
  • the required top tax rate rises rapidly as the threshold is increased.

Note the following numbers do not take into account other potential adverse impacts of increasing the top tax rate, for example:

  • the exodus of more skilled labour to Australia will likely increase
  • there will be increased use of trusts/companies/PIEs to avoid personal income tax
  • incentives for high income earners will be to work less due to lower marginal rewards.

A 53% tax rate is something that only Muldoon contemplated. Trevor Mallard signalled a return to Muldoonism in his Summer Series interview with me but I don’t think he contemplated the return would look like this.

At some point good journalists need to stop repeating Phil Goff’s lies and start asking how he is going to pay for his rash promises. Soaking the rich and plugging loopholes National has already plugged isn’t going to work. Labour needs to start coming clean on how they are to pay for all their rash promises.

So far all Labour has come up with as a plan is how to spend even more money, while on the other side John Key has signalled that increasing borrowing must come to an end, that we need to be investing in our own country through our Kiwisaver accounts and other investments and reduce the increases in government spending. Labours solution rests upon Keynesian dogma. Unfortunately the piper must be paid. The piper cannot be paid by borrowing more.

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Monday Mullets – The Phil-let

Another of Phil Goff’s planned “style make-overs” has been leaked via the tipline. The notes are:

The mullet is a hairstyle that is short at the front and sides, and long in the back. Often ridiculed as a lowbrow and unappealing hairstyle, the mullet began to appear in popular media in the 1960s and 1970s but did not become generally well-known until the early 1980s. It continued to be popular until the mid-1990s. Much like Phil Goff.

However with a suitable colour we believe that Phil Goff can return himself and the mullet to a new peak of popularity. The mullet appeals to core Labour blokes in Western Auckland with cross over to some of the more bogan townships and cities like Hamilton and Palmerston North. It complements his Triumph Bonneville and leather ensemble.

We call this the Phil-let.

Phil Goff's Mullet - The Phil-let

Citizen A – 29 January 2011

Citizen A – replayed 8pm Sunday Sky 89 & Freeview 21

Tune in to join Bomber and his revolving panel of bloggers and Auckland opinion shapers as they offer an up-to-date half hour review of the political media issues of the current week from a very Auckland perspective.

THIS WEEK: Bloggers Cameron Slater & Phoebe Fletcher…

Issue one: Phil Goff gave his state of the Nation address in New Lynn while John Key gave his in Henderson, Goff says the fist $5000 will be tax free while John Key wants to privatize assets and implement austerity measures. No one can pretend that National and Labour are fighting over the centre ground any more. Who won?

Issue two: Did Rodney Hide’s concession to appoint 38 unelected Maori to Auckland Council committees just cost ACT the Epsom seat?

Issue three tonight: Len wants Auckland to be a Green city with a target to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% – Great idea or wanky nonsense?

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Politician of the week – Russel Norman

You know you have won the argument when the far left are on your side.

The Greens are advocating a capital gains tax, excluding the family home, because we think that’s an essential component of the tax system which is present in just about every developed country apart from New Zealand”, he told Newstalk ZB.

“(It) would make a significant impact in fixing up the governments books.”

Mr Norman says a capital gains tax would bring in over four billion dollars a year, enough to make a significant reduction to debt, and is also advocating capping government borrowing.

By telling that he wants to reduce debt and cap borrowing not piss away other peoples money on halfwitted projects like climate change promotion Russel Norman is showing that more fiscally conservative than Bill English who never talks about debt reduction or capping government borrowing. He just watches and commentates.

Russel Norman wins Politician of the Week.

Meanwhile in other news Phil Goff continues to just make shit up, this time pulling numbers out of his arse.

“Phil Goff is completely misleading the New Zealand public,” Key said today. “It is simply not affordable unless the top personal tax rate is raised to at least 60 cents in the dollar.

Goff countered Key with: “That’s a curious accusation because this government is borrowing $200 billion a year to pay for its tax cuts.

Uhmmm no they aren’t Phil. They are borrowing about $16 billion per annum, mostly to fund Labour’s election bribes from previous years like Working for Families and Interest free student loans.

Even if they were borrowing that amount, Labour’s prescription is to actually borrow more. Phil Goff shows in that single sentence just exactly why he is a fiscal fool.

Now if you look at Phil Goff’s¬†pronouncements¬†that include spending way more money than National and Russel Norman’s statement on fiscal rectitude you have to wonder if Phil Goff has got ANY coalition partners to work with except the long shot that Winston makes it back.

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More strife for Rich

Dirty Rich Henry is a content stealer. He takes peoples content publishes it on his own site and sells advertising over the top of it. I called him out on it.

Now Google is adjusting their algorithm to penalise content stealers like Rich Henry.

Google updated its search algorithm this week to help reduce webspam in its search results.

These changes were made in response to increased criticism of Google and its search engine results. The criticism has been partly inspired by the emergence of newer forms of webspam alongside traditional webspam (pages that consist of lots of keywords and phrases without context or meaning that ‚Äúcheat‚ÄĚ their way up to higher search ranks).

The latest webspam outbreaks commonly come from content farms and sites that syndicate content. Earlier this month,¬†Stack Overflow‚Äės Jeff Atwood¬†pointed out that in the last year, some content syndicators have routinely began outranking¬†Stack Overflow on Google. In other words, the syndicates are outranking the originals.

Poor Rich Henry‘s content¬†stealing¬†isn’t going to work anymore through Google.

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Phil Goff – The Beehive

Phil Goff’s minders, fresh from getting him to dye his hair have come up with some a selection of new images for him. Some of the images from the consultants have been leaked to me via the tip line.

This image is entitled simply “The Beehive”. There were some notes about how Goff was to carry it off and answer any questions from the likes of Garner or Pedro Gower.

“This hair cut is aspirational, with a touch of colour. It highlights youth, vibrancy and the leader’s goal of attaining higher office.”

goff-beehive

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Botany Selection Process Winners and Losers

Following on from the lessons post of Friday, this post identifies the winners and losers from Botany.

Winners

Jami-Lee Ross: Winner on the night and likely to have a long career as an MP. A very safe pair of hands, and a guy that Len Brown will be pleased not to have on council holding him to account.

Maggie Barry: For a last minute sign up who needed board approval she did well to beat long time National Party activist Aaron Bhatnagar. The media have clearly pointed out that Maggie has huge appeal to the grey power crowd, and she is the antidote to Winston.

Ed Saafi: Ed was knocked out in the first round, but as a highly educated Pacific Islander he has a very good chance of picking up the board selected nomination in Mangere, and winning a list seat if National’s vote holds up.

Losers

Aaron Bhatnagar: Aaron is a mate and so hopefully he will take this commentary as it is intended, cold hard facts from the Whale, acting as a mate. By finishing third his reputation has taken a dent. He was graceless in his immediate response to Pansy‚Äôs resignation, and the negative campaign run against Jami-Lee and Maggie by his supporters hurt him. He now runs the risk of becoming the Phil Twyford of the National Party but without the Tizard Timebomb to gift him a seat. Needs to get new advisors and break his habit of playing dirty. It didn’t work for Banks,¬†it doesn’t work for Boag and it didn’t work for Bhatnagar. Aaron should now crack on and do what he was going to do all along and challenge Allan Peachey in Tamaki. He would¬†have¬†my full backing in doing so.

Maggie Barry: Impatience damaged her reputation. She could have negotiated a list only position and not suffered a selection loss that harms her reputation. Also needs to get some proper advisors who are not considered loonies by the party membership.

Hamish Price: Aaron Bhatnagar‚Äôs offsider. Self styled “regional power broker” who didn‚Äôt realise that in politics leaks are everywhere. Ran an exceptionally negative and scurrilous campaign against Jami-Lee Ross while pretending to be his friend. Stupid enough to tell tales to the media and party members without understanding that The Whale has sources everywhere. He is a nasty, offensive and divisive self important fool of a man that should be avoided at all costs by any candidate.

Final Thoughts

Maggie Barry could well fit into caucus but she cannot afford another loss at selection. She needs to get a board appointment, either as a list only candidate or by getting a red seat appointment in a seat like Mt Roskill or Mt Albert where there are not 200 members and the board make the appointment.

The challenge for Maggie is she will have to understand she is a saleswoman, and will have little influence over policy. She wont change the world in the short term, and may have to sell her soul to sell policies she disagrees with, but she could easily position herself as the replacement for Nick Smith, as there is a big gap in the environment portfolio area. One other seat that would suit her would be¬†East Coast Bays. The current MP is long in the tooth, not well liked, and has purposely kept membership under 200 as a deliberate tactic. By mounting a challenge it is at the Board’s discretion and could well see McCully farmed off as¬†Ambassador¬†to¬†Italy¬†to share war stories of his conquests with Silvio Berlusconi. The demographics of the electorate suit an older candidate with gardening credentials.

If Maggie does decide to pursue a career with National she should do what this blog recommends to all candidates. Get proper professional advise from discrete and competent people with a track record of winning. There are a number of people who work behind the scenes and shun publicity, and candidates can call the tip line for their details.