The government has a tough job ahead of them. Here's some free advice.
Ok, let me declare a bias here. I'm a wealthy guy. I run a successful business. We pay a butt load of tax.
So, when I say I reckon the government should get the proposed business tax cuts through, you need to know that would put a lot of cash in my pocket.
That's not why I'm saying they should. But I can't pretend it's irrelevant either. From my perspective, I have an objective interest in the truth. But I also know that humans that think they're being objective are kidding themselves.
At some deep level, I'm probably biased. So with that in mind, let me talk about how we can make these tax cuts a reality.
Ok, so, in case you missed it, there's a bit of a campaign gearing up to try and get the proposed business tax cuts through.
You probably did miss it because it's coming at an unfortunate time. The Barnaby Joyce debacle (Barnacle?) is swallowing everything in its path and making everyone in Canberra look like a bunch of hypocritical self-serving clowns. (News-flash!).
That's not the ideal time to be trying to delicately work a major piece of controversial legislature through the houses of parliament.
And Barnaby has a bit of a reputation for getting cosy with the titans of big business, like his special relationship to Gina Reinhardt.
The most challenging visual the government's got to work against is the idea that they're just helping out their mates in business. Having mates in business is not a reason to not do something good for business and good for the country, but people don't expect much from their politicians these days, and definitely not integrity.
And they're probably right.
So I think the tax cuts are a good idea. I generally like to see government's constrained to a tight budget and the public service kept on a strict diet. That's good enough reason in and of itself.
I also think it would be good for business. I personally would have a lot of things I could do if the tax man left a couple of mill extra in my account each year. I'd grow, expand, hire – just generally get on with the business of doing business.
And you can see it in the US. Whatever you think of Trump, you have to admit is tax cuts have lit a fire under the US economy. People are talking about rate hikes being a reality for the first time in ages – the economy is looking that strong.
So I'd like to see them get across the line. But I'm looking at the current state of play and I just can't get all that hopeful that this government is going to get this thing through.
The Turnbull government is not an inspiring government of action.
So you know, I'm in sales. Let me give them some sales advice. How do you sell this thing?
1. Pull in the big corporate mouthpieces
The peak business bodies have taken the offensive and are out lobbying for the tax cuts. It's really hard for this not to come across as self-serving when it puts a lot of money in their pockets. They can talk about ‘good for the country' but no one's going to believe them. And right now, they're on a road-show with Australian politicians in America.
Remember ‘drain the swamp'? One of the key electoral themes right now across the globe is the murky connections between business and government. When big business leaders sit down with Premiers, in flashy American hotels, it doesn't help matters, no matter how much they go on about “jobs and growth.”
2. Rework the wages angle
Morrison's idea that ‘business needs to have money to be able to pay more' isn't great. It's true enough, but not persuasive. I think people know that their wage depends on their own bargaining situation. If their boss has more money, that doesn't necessarily mean they'll be able to get it from them.
If anything, getting people to meditate on this could actually reinforce any felt power imbalances, and frustration with how much power and privilege big business has.
I think I saw someone say that the tax cuts should be tied to wages. I think this is actually a pretty good idea. The proposed tax cuts are rolled in over ten years. Maybe you could receive it all up front, depending on how much you let feed through to wages growth.
I don't know what the formulas would be, but you can bet workers would be more supportive of tax cuts if they knew for certain they'd translate into wages growth.
3. Compete on your vision for the economy
I think the government could go harder on Labor. They went in the right direction last week saying that sure, Labor want to invest in health and education, but that money has to come from somewhere.
I think you need to point out the realities of our economic situation. Right now, the public sector is holding up the rest of the economy. Most jobs growth is happening in the public sector, while the private sector is flailing.
That's just not sustainable.
So they need to spell out a vision for how to get the private economy going again. That probably involves tax cuts but it wouldn't end there. Maybe phase in the tax cuts industry by industry, focusing on the areas that need it most (post-autos manufacturing would be a good start).
Just sell it, you clowns
So that's a start, right? I'm not holding my breath. This government hasn't given us a lot to be hopeful for.
But I think it can be done.
For the good of the country, for jobs and growth. 😉