Robert Gottleibsen is clearly anti-government, and dare I say it, anti-Labor to boot.
Why do I make this estimation? One need only read his increasingly shrill commentaries over successive days in regard to the government’s mooted Resources Rent Tax (RRT) on mining. Notice, I say, ‘mooted’, because at the moment, it’s an idea only, but to the government’s detriment, an idea upon which last week’s budget was predicated upon.
I’ve written many, many times previously about the dark art which is economics, and the fact that unlike scientifically provable realities, economics is little more than fervent hopes, educated guesses and wishful thinking. Why economists attract such exorbitant salaries continues to escape me.
There are pro-RRT commentators in this debate, but because they aren’t shrill or politically biased, their opinions aren’t receiving media time. Ross Garnaut, Ken Henry – who’s explanation was particularly elegant – and Athol Fitzgibbons have all made a case for a RRT and all explained the basis of their support for the concept. Gottleibsen makes no such effort and appears decidedly partisan. It is this partisan political fog which obscures public debate on this, and many other issues this Labor government tries to instigate. Commentators such as Gottleibsen, whilst they may be astute in their respective fields, should stick to their knitting and refrain from the obvious partisanship both they, and certain elements within the main stream media seem intent on applying to practically every situation where the government attempts to make reform, however marginal.
The bottom line with the Resources Rent Tax being, as Ken Henry so succinctly stated in his address to the Australian Business Economists, that it is deliberately structured differently to the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax to account for the different industry sector to which it is aimed. I would encourage anyone who has even the slightest interest in the subject to indulge themseves in the last 10 or so pages of Mr Henry’s address, where he exhaustively details the rationale behind the RRT, and effectively blows holes in the politically driven arguments that one could drive a mining dump truck through.