Off to a cracker of a week already. Things that have annoyed me this morning include (but are not restricted to):
1. That an “inquiry�? into the comparative standing of the Australian tax system, commissioned by Treasurer Costello, is to be conducted by the head of ACCI, Peter Hendy, and the head of Castrol and TabCorp, Dick Warburton.
WTF? Can you get a more one-eyed duo to look at this? Um … where do considerations such as social welfare and equitable distributions of income fit into their sphere of thinking?
I am sure they will produce an unbiased comparison incorporating all elements of tax and transfer systems, and conclude that lower tax rates should be lowered so as to reduce effective marginal tax rates and provide more incentive to work for those at the bottom end of the income spectrum.
Perhaps even more disconcerting about this investigation is that;
(i) Costello already seems to know what the investigation will conclude, saying that;
“I think we’ll actually show that our company taxes and business taxes are quite low by developed economy standards�?
(ii) There is no mention of the investigation, let alone some terms of reference, that can readily found at the treasury website.
(iii) As the ubiquitous Andrew Leigh points out, there is no need for such a comparison … it has already been done by the OECD.
2. At work I am forced to use Internet Explorer to check news clippings, find articles, etc. etc, and that there is little prospect for respite from this ancient, inefficient and thoroughly annoying program, as it is part of a non-consultative policy that is imposed from above with little consideration for those that actually have to exist within the Standard Operating Environment™. IE is one seriously shit program.
3. That the Window’s Media Player (refer to the Standard Operating Environment™ above) that is my sole choice for listening to music on my machine here at work, is unable to play *.m4a files. Who are these luddites?
4. And I am a bit concerned about West Coast’s prospects this year, after we received a good thumping last night from a very slick, hard tackling Freo outfit, sans Pavlich (how good is young Peake?).
Our midfield will pick up — they are the best in the league — but the forward line’s lack of movement and their inability to achieve space, is a concern. McDougall and Staker have to show that they are good enough to play AFL this year, and it is Hansen’s time to bloom. Similarly, I am worried about the backline. They were getting pushed around last night (by Freo!) and what-on-earth is Quinten Lynch (the beginner of the WC tradition of bolting from the police) doing down there? He is far too thick to play in defence. In fact, I am not sure that he is smart enough to play football, which is a rather large call. Anyway … football is back, and that is good.