[Guest contribution by Brian Smith, Australia]
I recall some years ago the Liberal (read conservative) Prime Minister of Australia John Howard (a friend of the GOP even to the extent of being invited to their conventions) proposed giving tax cuts. There was uproar by the general community at large. The well to do and the not so well to do exclaimed very loud and very clear that they DIDN’T WANT tax cuts.
The concensus was that the amount given back wouldn’t make that much difference and the money would be spent better on either education or health care. And so it was.
Australians DIDN’T WANT tax cuts.
Some years earlier in another incarnation John Howard had wanted to propose getting rid of our National Health Service and replacing it with one along the lines of the USA. He was made to realize very quickly that that would be political suicide in Australia and was wise enough to drop the idea.
I think that this is the big difference between Americans and Australians. We understand that the Federal Government has the power to protect all Australians by using our taxes properly so that nobody is disadvantaged when it comes to important matters like health, welfare and education.
It seems to us that the American voter
is politically naive.
We get pretty mad if we think the government of the day is misusing our money, and they receive the “Honourable Order Of The Boot” at the polling booth. And believe me they know this because we are required to get out there and vote, and our memories are long and we’re alert to political bribes.
It seems to us that the American voter is politically naive when it comes to politics and government, and can’t grasp the simple fact that one single federal agency can run something as massive and important as health care better than many businesses masquerading as health care providers who have to make a profit.
The government doesn’t have to show a profit, it’s nice if they do have a surplus because they can then direct the money elsewhere where it is needed, not into the pockets of some shareholders.