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Tax

Entry 175, on 2005-05-24 at 16:14:06 (Rating 3, Politics)

With the election looming, the National Party opposition here in New Zealand, has resorted to classic tactics to gain support and attempt a surprise win. If all else fails, tax cuts are always worth trying. If the voter doesn't analyse what you are saying too closely, and just accepts the idea on an emotional level, they will likely be sucked in to something which is totally contrary to their best interests.

There's no doubt that voters are more sophisticated now, and the tax cut strategy isn't a sure thing, but it is still a useful tactic when everything else (such as racist attacks, personal politics, etc) has failed.

But why are tax cuts not a good thing? Surely everyone could do with more money in their bank account and less in the government's? Well yes, but there is a price to pay. Lower taxes inevitably means reduced government services and increased expenses, through increases in mortgage interest rates, to many average people. Also tax cuts seem to inevitably favour the rich (what would you prefer: 5% of $200,000 or 5% of $20,000?), and the rich aren't the ones who really need it.

Unfortunately, many people avoid analysing the situation too closely and react in an overly simplistic way to the more simple message: less tax. You can see a similar reaction to simple, emotional politics in the US. Of course, unlike the US, we do have a certain amount of choice here. The US parties are almost indistinguishable, but Labour, even though its far from perfect, is a distinct improvement over National here in New Zealand.

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Comment 4 (72) by OJB on 2005-08-10 at 19:56:19: (view earlier comments)

What's money wasting and what's not is very much a matter of opinion. The way these things are presented by the opposition and media often make them look ridiculous, but its often not that obvious behind the scenes.

Of course, I'm sure there are some real dodgy deals out there, but the danger is always throwing out the baby with the bath water, and I'd rather waste a little bit than miss out on useful services because of over-enthusiastic National cost-cutting.

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Comment 5 (80) by Sean on 2005-09-04 at 20:01:10:

I guess that behind-the-scenes, some of these programmes may be different from what they are portrayed, but do these "useful" services need to be taxpayer funded? Few would say they were essential services.

Why is your website down so often? This must really affect your traffic.

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Comment 6 (92) by OJB on 2005-09-05 at 10:46:00:

I would really like to know why you think my web site is down. Could you contact me about it next time it appears to be down? It is monitored 24/7 and has been down for about 12 hours in the last 3 years - and that was just for system upgrades.

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Comment 7 (98) by SBFL on 2005-09-05 at 19:22:01:

Will do. Last week it was down for 24 hours (I tried across 2 days). On the first day it loaded the frontpage but timed out when I clicked on any of the links. The next day it only loaded the frontpage without the graphics.

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Comment 8 (104) by OJB on 2005-09-05 at 22:37:44:

The site logs show the site is being accessed successfully every minute of every day, and the monitoring service I use has detected no down time, so I'm mystified. If anyone else is reading this and has noticed any down time please email me with details (my email address is at bottom of every page). Thanks.

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