And there will of course be the damage to the budget, with a fall in the carbon price to $10 reducing revenues to 2016-17 by about $14bn. There must be a likelihood that loss will be partially offset by extending the scheme’s coverage, further cutting the diesel fuel rebate and slashing the number of free permits. But all of those amount to tax increases, imposing distortions of their own; and with mining and many other industries already reeling, how can those increases be justified?
Ultimately, the only certainty that emerges from this ever-moving fiasco is that the government’s climate change policy is anything but a “market mechanism”. After all, markets, to work effectively, require meaningful property rights and price signals that allow decision-makers to weigh the costs and benefits of alternative decisions. Having trashed those, the policy has degenerated into a random tax, liable to be changed at each turn of the polls and (through its dependence on the EU carbon price) captive to the follies of European politics.
No doubt, Rudd will brush all these issues aside. No doubt too, as in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, new modelling, showing massive gains, will be released; and as in Orwell’s Ministry of Plenty, the officials compiling those estimates will comfort themselves with the thought that it is “not even forgery: merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another”, as the adjustment to “the constantly changing party line” requires updating “statistics that were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version”.
Long forgotten is “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”. And forgotten with it is the virtue of taking commitments seriously. Instead, all that remains is the truth Peter Garrett blurted out in 2007: “once we get in, we will just change it all.” Indeed they have, and indeed they will.
Here at the Sandpit I have been entirely consistent in cynicism about any efforts to “change the climate” because it strikes me as being utterly stupid and impossible on a political level even if the alarmists are correct in their claims about the science, which is dubious enough to start with. When our new again Dear Leader announced that the much reviled carbon tax will be converted a year earlier into a trading scheme than originally planned I could not help being very sadly amused. Its all straight from the empty promises play book. In essence what the new dear leader is promising is to lessen a burdensome tax that his own ideology and party has itself imposed on a long suffering nation. Worse yet he expects to be lauded and to receive electoral advantage from this empty promise.
Further our new again Dear Leader seems to think that the utter failure of the overseas ponzi schemes to make a bind bit of positive difference to the climate or economic behavior (apart from encouraging scammers ) can be safely ignored because there is still an aura of credibility to the notion that “market mechanisms” are the best way to address “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” . None the less it seems that the short memories of the voters is what our new again Dear leader is relying upon but I don’t think those memories will remain immune to the truth once the campaign proper from the coalition begins. Then the voters will be reminded that the negative carbon tax effects for which our new again Dear Leader is claiming credit are all a product of the devils alliance made by his own party under Gillard and the Greens.
At present the “floating” price of emissions is between $6 and $10 a tonne and the way that Europe’s economy is going there is no reason to believe that this is as low as it will go. To my mind the whole thing is pointless and that an honest government (the last thing that we can call the Labor administration) would just admit that indirect economic “tools” like ” market mechanisms” are a crock of shit and they never work as their proponents claim. All the while we long suffering energy consumers are paying more for or electricity due to the Carbon Tax and nothing being offered by the new again Dear Leader will make certain that this unjust impost will be removed if the scheme is converted early to a trading scheme .
The politics of the compensation package are interesting here and you just have to admire the political smarts of the opposition in deciding to continue the largess when they abolish the tax. Our new again Dear leader is thus forced to retain the compensation himself even if the change to an ETS lessens the raison detre of the payments because he can not afford to look so mean to those on low incomes or government benefits. What the whole thing turns on is just how much our new again Dear Leader can be believed when he makes new promises and on that I think the coalition can make big dents in his credibility by reminding the voters just how wrong his calls in the past have been as they do in their new ads:
Add to that the calm sensible and dare I say it “Grown Up” tone of this ad:
Personally I think that the opposition are going for the right balance here reminding the voters of Labor’s very poor record and presenting the positives of their policies. Our new again Dear Leader certainly has the Kardassian factor at present however like the feelings that silly woman love can turn to hate in the blinking of an eye so do we really want our government chosen purely on the celebrity of its leader? During the course of the last three years Labor have stuffed up so much that they have to distance themselves form just about every action and policy that they have enunciated so I want know; just what are its policies? We really have no idea at all apart from Rudd assuring us that he is all for “Positive politics”:
Of course its fine to want see a plan but what Rudd is offering is no plan , its only a plan to get a plan which amounts to Fuck all in the real world sadly to quote a friend of mine says it all:
I simply observe that whilst you can’t polish a turd, you can roll it in glitter, and that is all Rudd is doing: it’s all bullshit, but covered in fairy dust and dressed up with a story, he’s betting just enough people might buy it.