Friday, June 11, 2004

What are they afraid of?

Had last night's "State of the Nation" program been on the state of street lighting in the Nations inner cities I'm sure Gerry Brownlee and Stephen Franks would have been among the first to point out that "honest citizens have nothing to fear from improved lighting". How strange then that they should react with such vehemence to a program which honestly set out to enlighten us about our country's history and constitution and, in the process, demonstrated as nothing has ever been demonstrated before just how badly we need it.
That being said I would have no hesitation giving Stephen my vote for ACT leader (were I eligible) on the strength of this gem -
"the claim that Maori paid more in income tax than they received in tax funds, when the amounts reportedly received were only cash distributions -- that ignored twice as much in tax-paid services."
In the 2003 fiscal year Cash Benefits paid to all New Zealanders, Total Income Tax Revenue and Total Government Expenditure were 13 billion, 26 billion and 39 billion so when he accuses TVNZ of comparing the Maori share of Income Tax (26b X f where f is the Maori share of the economy) with the Maori share of Cash benefits (13b X f) he implies that the correct target should have been the Maori share of total Government Expenditure (39b X f) and so introduces an almost exactly equal error in the opposite direction. I expect ordinary hypocrisy from any politician but this sort of Precision Hypocrisy requires a certain Chutzpah.


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