Civility, Death Threats & Stop The Levy

A few days ago, the Menzies House team put up a quick website expressing our concern at the  macroeconomic implications of Julia Gillard’s plan to increase taxation at a particularly volatile time for the Australian economy, specifically noting the negative effects it would have upon aggregate demand as consumption declines, and that this would lead invariable to business reducing expenditure to recoup lost revenue through reducing  employment, which in turn would lead to further downward pressure upon consumption, and economic growth spiraling downwards. Of course, we supported the reconstruction efforts – how could you not? – and indeed encouraged charitable donations, but the argument rested upon the most effective fiscal response.

We specifically framed our argument in as broad a way as possible, and in such a way to bring in not only the more free-market argument against it, but also the numerous Keynesian critiques from the left; although our obvious preference is that reconstruction be paid for through redirecting other government expenditure (such as scrapping the White Elephant NBN), to try to be as cross-partisan as possible, we also included the possibility of financing through government borrowing and stressed affects on AD.

Now, obviously we expected a bit of pushback both from Labor hacks, and from people who don’t understand economics, don’t understand how decisions are made on the margin, don’t understand aggregate effects saying “but $5 a week won’t change my spending, I can afford it”. Which is quite okay, there are a lot of economically illiterate people around, and the fault lies with the education system, not with them.

What I did not expect, however, was waking up to this:

I am laying down five thousand dollars to whoever does a hit on any of the owners of this webpage.

Or to to receive well over 100  emails and messages and facebook comments calling me a “f**khead”, a “c**t”, telling me I ought “swing from a tree”. Indeed, I, Chris (who should be enjoying his well-deserved holiday right now and instead is holed up in a backpacker’s hostel netcafe somewhere) and John (whose uninsured house itself was destroyed by 1.7m of floodwater)  have been forced to deal with a torrent of vitriol and abuse on fb after Young Labor directed their members to attack the page, the majority of whom didn’t even bother critiquing the argument, and simply engaged in, well, abuse.

To stress: this was all triggered not by my saying all Queenslanders should suffer, nor even by my arguing against government spending, but simply my questioning the precise nature how these were financed.

Now, as someone who has been through the fire of student politics, believe me, I can deal with this easily – I’ve certainly had a lot worse thrown at me, and my skin is not particularly thin. And, to be honest, I’m kinda flattered by a site that was just set up warning people about how “dangerous” I am (although I really wish they’d be accurate and call me libertarian right, not religious right).

But, considering the nature of political discourse here in the last few few weeks, the next time a leftist hack dares to complain to about civility on the right, I will, very politely, very civilly, tell him exactly where he can go shove it.

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15 Responses to “Civility, Death Threats & Stop The Levy”

  1. Coralie Says:

    Excellent post, and yes, I too am shocked at this needless attack on anybody attempting to ask people to think. Unfortunately the world is full of people who shoot first and ask questions later.

  2. CJ Says:

    I am appalled by any threats of violence or language that suggests violence. I would have hoped that after the Arizona shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and others that such language would be banished from the social and political vocabulary.
    However I visited your Facebook Page and my posts were deleted. I was blocked from posting further, even though my posts contained no violence suggestion or profanity.
    Sadly it seems you could not accept criticism yourself, even though you seek to criticise Gillard and the ALP.
    For a site that declares itself part of a broad church I am saddened that you could not accept my criticism.
    I have not voted for the ALP since 2007 so please don’t label me and all others who disagree with you as Labor supporters.

  3. Jonathan Ring Says:

    I am happy for it to be noted that I was at least one of the people who called you a f*%khead (and in jest suggested you’d make a good plug for any leaks in Wivenhoe Dam).

    I am sorry that you had physical harm threatened upon you, but that is where the sympathy stops. The reality here is that the hard right, exemplified by yourself, have chosen to suddenly develop an aversion for levies. An aversion that didn’t exist in the lifetime of the past Government.

    In doing so you have exposed yourselves as being quite willing to exploit a true disaster for political traction. Your underlying desire is to reignite debate about issues like the NBN, which of course you oppose. This tying of two vastly different topics together is base politics at its worst.

    Please stop crying Tim, your crocodile tears might cause a flood…

  4. Tim Andrews Says:

    Mr. Ring,
    To clarify: I opposed Tony Abbot’s parental leave levy. I opposed Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal to increase the excise on tobacco. And, if I was older than 13 at the time I would have opposed Howard’s levy on guns (which, at least, didn’t come at a time of severe economic strain).

  5. Tim Andrews Says:

    Also: don’t you think Gillard using the QLD floods as a desperate excuse to pay for her profligate spending is “base politics at the worse”?

  6. Jonathan Ring Says:

    Tim, Tim, Tim… Now this where you enter the zone of propaganda. She is not using the levy to “pay for her profligate spending”, and I defy you to demonstrate how she is.

    You can disagree all you like with the past budget and the schemes it will support, but the reality is that the levy pays for rebuilding infrastructure caused by recent natural disasters the country has suffered.

    Until you can appropriately demonstrate that the levy money is being somehow diverted, you will have to forgive me for dismissing your position as utter crap and for being outraged that you insist on peddling half truths for your own ends.

    As previously stated, tying your opposition to past policy with a levy to rebuild Queensland’s vital infrastructure is pretty shitty.

  7. Jonathan Ring Says:

    And if as you state, you oppose all levies implemented by all Governments, why didn’t you simply set up a page called I Hate All Levies, Always.

    Instead you’ve extrapolated your opposition into something entirely different. This is the point at which my side of the divide saw through you.

  8. andy semple Says:

    Tim,

    Always Speak with fear and question with boldness.

    Good post.

  9. John Humphreys Says:

    Jonathan Ring — the current issue of debate is the “flood tax” so it is very reasonable for Tim to be talking specifically about the flood tax. Given that you challenged him on other levies, and he met your challenge, the nobel thing for you to do would be to apologise.

    The levy is not needed because the government could pay for infrastructure out of the $321,800,000,000 tax money they already raise every year. Surely the government has bleed enough money from hard working people and should learn to spend more wisely before slugging them again.

  10. Jonathan Ring Says:

    Hi John, I fail to see where the need to apologise stems from. What is disgraceful about Tim’s argument is apparent for all to see in the line about “paying for her profligate spending”. This is a factual error (read lie), which is being rolled out to suit the political stance peddled here.

    As I’ve said earlier, linking the current situation back to the past budget smacks of unseemly opportunism. Whine on all you like about NBN and the rest, obviously we’ll often be on different sides of that debate but knock yourselves out.

    I’m not sure having Tim and yourself at the helm of the Government would have steered us through the GFC unscathed, and that you could provide a better technology infrastructure than what is proposed. Maybe you could, and it’s a debate we could have if you like. Just don’t link it with our current plight.

    Making your support of resolving the infrastructure dilemmas of Queensland conditional on scrapping policies you disagree with is just plain fucked. And don’t pretend that’s not what you jokers are doing, given that taxes have been reduced by Labor by a far greater margin than this levy takes back.

  11. CJ Says:

    And no apology … just self righteousness and crocodile tears.

    Thank goodness that John Howard did implement a gun buyback funded by a levy, otherwise Tim Andrews may encourage a lone nutcase to target Gillard.

  12. Stevo Di Devo Says:

    It’s amazing to me that under the withering barrage of certainly peeved people at the selfishness and greed of the Liberals, that You find the need to come up with any old excuse to pull the plug on your page because you can’t stand the heat/flak you’ve richly deserved.
    Death Threats I cannot condone. Hating all Liberals with a passion does
    not mean acting like a fool and for that I am sorry you have recieved.

    It might also be a right wing ploy to make the left look bad which is not entirely unexpected given the right’s past form to do just about anything to get that which they seek. The power to impose their will and agenda on others. Indeed Tim you may have come up with the remarks to further your own cause.

    If these were real you would have an email address which can have an ISP pulled which can locate exactly who where when and why and what connection they used to do it on with the FBI if the death threat is genuine. Your posting system requires specific bit of information that IS trackable. Why you are screeching about this and not keeping quiet to aid the investigation is suspicious and naive at best.

    The fact Tim you are hiding in the US doing this and not making your claims in Australia further reinforces you own personal cowardice and malice. Attacking from where you cannot be reasonably called out on an issue. Would not at all be surprised you are funded by the Heritage Foundation and the Koch Tea Party agenda.

  13. Stevo Di Devo Says:

    In fact Tim, upon further re reading of your little tirade, you reinforce every sterotype of a young liberal. Arrogant and deluded by self belief that you are always fundamentally right , and everyone else is wrong. Maybe if you actually got a life, you wouldn’t be such a loser.

    But that would require admission that your own way may not be the only way.

    Liberal Loser.
    Your party has no hope or future if you and Abbott are its leadership and future.

  14. elhombre Says:

    Yep, lot’s of sad, hate filled little leftards out there (lookin at you, Steve Di Devo !).

  15. The Reason Behind The Left’s Vitriol « The musings of an Australian classical liberal in Washington DC Says:

    […] The musings of an Australian classical liberal in Washington DC VENI. BLOGI. LIBERI. « Civility, Death Threats & Stop The Levy […]

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