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The Forum > Article Comments > Intergenerational Report misses opportunity to lay groundwork for Tax White Paper > Comments

Intergenerational Report misses opportunity to lay groundwork for Tax White Paper : Comments

By Michael Potter, published 27/3/2015

While it has been subject to some criticism, the real issue missing from the IGR is modelling of one entire side of the Budget the tax side. As a result, an opportunity has been missed to enable a more informed discussion for the Tax White Paper.

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Modeling! Assumptions! But we don't know for sure!

Predicting the future is fraught with problems; besides, the only ones with crystal balls are gypsies! And for who bareback horse riding is nearly always a shattering experience.

Levity aside, the real problem is you/we just don't know, and given modeling relies on assumed scenarios, you'd likely need a thousand or more to cover every eventuality; and then still miss a few!

And a task made almost impossible due to MAN MADE complexity; which the Author (a complex rationalist) seems to want more of?

A well known Republican Senator, when here as a guest on Q+A, remarked, "at some point complexity always becomes fraud"! Quote unquote.

That said, one can agree wholeheartedly with the need to enact real reform and massive simplification; to in the first instance, remove most of the variables, any avoidance opportunities, or any perceived need to pay as much as 7% of the bottom line as tax compliance costs!

And the tax collection methodology ought to be massively reformed to eliminate the ability of some to avoid tax or a fair and equitable share.

We just don't need another hugely costly tax summit/talk feast and endless deferral of needed reform. Because that is all we and the endless summits have achieved!?

I mean Bob Hawke had one when he was PM, and as far as one can ascertain, all that has happen in the interim, (over a quarter of a century) is the introduction of the hugely unpopular Granny killing, cascading and time consuming GST?

And a hitherto unknown level of additional complexity!

Nor are we helped by so called leaders, who've allowed their hands to be tied by clever (young) people and their endless obfuscation and no can do obduracy!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Friday, 27 March 2015 12:01:17 PM
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Hear hear Rhrosty.

Yes this sounds like a plan. Well a plan if you are trying to find jobs for lots of rather excess economics graduates.

It appears Michael has never held any job where the usefulness of his ideas, or their success in the hard world can be evaluated for success or failure.

Obviously, as someone who's carer & income has & probably still is dependent on government expenditure, he' sounds pretty gung-ho on making sure the government has lots of nice disposable tax income.

When he starts advising in print, to cut government spending on wasteful white papers, I will be all ears.
Posted by Hasbeen, Friday, 27 March 2015 2:18:04 PM
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Hasbeen, you are a rude individual.

The author may have written an article you don't agree with, but he has hardly been in jobs where his ideas are ignored.

"Michael Potter is an economist working in Sydney. He has worked for the Parliamentary Budget Office, the National Farmers' Federation, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and as an adviser to the federal Coalition. He has worked at the Federal Departments of Treasury, Environment (advising on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan) and Prime Minister & Cabinet (where he advised then Prime Minister John Howard on the introduction of the GST). "

Maybe you can't understand what the author means, so you put him down?
I agree that there should have been more discussion about taxes in the IGR, in order to have the true picture about the budget and Australia's economic future.
How about you?
Posted by Suseonline, Saturday, 28 March 2015 11:13:02 AM
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Thanks Has; put 10 economists in a single room and they're sure to come up with at least thirty different theories?

A recent interesting ivy league study followed three hundred economists for around thirty years, and found that the more well known they became, the less accurate were their predictions!

I don't know what that says, except that economic theory is less than an exact science!

Better a return to tried and not found wanting common sense and or fail safe simplicity!

Arguably, the simpler something is as a concept, the less that can go wrong with it!

I heard a very successful multi millionaire speak as a guest at a business dinner some years ago; who impressed me, by saying and making his millions, by the real genius of applying simple workable solutions to solve complex problems!

That he said, is where the real genius lies; and sometimes the simplest solutions are hidden in plain sight; which is why the complex rationalist (circular thinker) never ever sees them; or just believes for no good reason, that if something is too easy, there must be something wrong with it!
Cheers, Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Saturday, 28 March 2015 11:29:49 AM
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Suse, judging by the thundering success, [?], of recent government policies & actions, I would think any job applicant would be glossing over, [or actually hiding] any involvement in government economic policy or activity.

This would go double if it was during the Rudd/Gillard years.

I wonder if my spade thinks I'm being rude, if I don't call it a shovel
Posted by Hasbeen, Saturday, 28 March 2015 11:41:43 AM
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thank you Suseonline.
I might suggest to other commentators on this thread to engage with the issues rather than who I am.
Posted by Michael P, Tuesday, 31 March 2015 9:08:29 PM
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