Tag Archives: SGC

Australia, You Are All Idiots: Only Labor Knows What Is Best For Your Money

9 Aug

If ever a TV panel discussion typified the galactic disconnect between the collective wisdom of the Australian public, and the infinite stupidity of our self-proclaimed (pseudo)intellectual betters, then Sunday’s ABC Insiders program demonstrated it to the full.

The topic?  The government’s planned increase in the compulsory superannuation rate from 9% to 12% –

Is superannuation the wrong use of wages?

Watch the segment, and note carefully the man taking up the baton for the collective wisdom of Neville and Sue Ordinary Voter.

Mr Brian Toohey, of the Australian Financial Review.

An old bloke.

A gentle bloke.

A sometimes stammering bloke.

A thoughtful, observant bloke.

A bloke who wrote an AFR column titled “Big sister knows what’s best for you” on just this topic back in February (summary via Media Monitors):

Proposed increases to compulsory superannuation contributions are unwarranted and under-scrutinised. The Gillard government does not trust citizens to allocate their own resources responsibly. Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan spent the revenue from the failed Resources Super Profits Tax, now whittled down into the minerals resource rent tax, without considering future colossal expenditure on defence, health care, disability services and general maintenance of a rapidly aging population. Instead, these funds were allocated to the aforementioned super contribution increase and company tax cuts. Bill Shorten, Superannuation Minister, even told the Australian Workers Union conference last week that he would push for a bigger increase than had been initially announced. Enforced superannuation itself belittles the everyday, responsible citizen, and does not help ‘working families’ in the slightest.

Brian, you are my newest hero.

Note carefully too, those disputing most forcefully with Mr Toohey on the Insiders program.

The program host. A long time employee of the “Left”.

And a younger bloke. The Political Editor for a major city newspaper, and the most unashamed espouser of the arrogant “Government knows best, ordinary people are idiots” line of unreasoning.

What we have here then, is a 2-pack of Canberra press dogs, rounding on a wise old bloke.

And why?

Because he dares to declare that Neville and Sue Ordinary Voter are smart enough to know and do what’s best for themselves, with their own money.

Quelle horror!

Isn’t it interesting though.

Even when the facts prove they’ve been utterly wrong, these immaculately-clipped Canberra journo’s poodles will always return to their vomit.

Rather like their mates, the mainstream Australian economists.

Those same drooling imbeciles who all utterly failed to foresee GFC1 coming:

Senator Barnaby Joyce was laughed out of his opposition finance portfolio for his forecasts that included saying more than 18 months ago that the US could default on its debts.

It’s not so funny anymore, as veteran journalist Michelle Grattan said last week on Twitter.

“US struggling through its crisis – remember how we laughed at Barnaby when he raised the spectre of US default? Oops.”

Joyce certainly remembers.

“I got absolutely smashed by (Kevin) Rudd and (Lindsay) Tanner and Swan,” he said.

“To be honest, my own side got scared, and said ‘we think you’ve gone out on a limb’.

“There was a whole range of economists who all lined up to say how outrageous I was. Now the media is going back to those economists and asking how we got into this situation.

“I was listening to one last night, I was almost about to drive off the road it was pissing me off so much. I remember exactly what this person was saying on how wrong I was.”

Yes, dear reader.

Dogs returning to their vomit.

Seriously … Why Should Any Sane Person Trust Economists After The GFC?  You’d have to be scattered like a mad woman’s sh*t (h/t to reader Medusa Knows for that colourful line).

I found the cognitive dissonance of Mr Kenny particularly telling.

All the panellists recognised that (quite unlike our spendthrift government) ordinary Aussies have been responding to GFC1 by doing the sensible, practical, wise thing.

Saving money.

And yet, Mr Kenny still arrogantly insisted on spouting off with a high-minded stereotype – that if allowed to keep more of their own money, ordinary voters would spend it all on flat screen TV’s.

Whereas Mr Toohey sagely pointed out the truth:

You get better economic outcomes if you let people make their own mind up how to allocate their income … it’s just a matter of standard economic theory which happens to be correct in this case

Indeed.

And you get even better economic outcomes if you basically ignore everything the mainstream economists say.

Or best of all, if you adopt the opposite view to the “mainstream”, as your default position. On everything.

Adopting that contrarian attitude is at least partly how your humble blogger was (like many other ordinary Aussies) able to see the writing on the wall in America, when none of our mainstream economists could.

And contrary to strident “professional” “expert” advice, pull all his super out of the global sharemarkets in May 2007:

As we all know, the fit has hit the shan in global sharemarkets once again.

And what we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a government wanting to force employers to somehow find another 3% (or more, if Shorten has his way) on top of workers’ salaries … to pour into the sharemarkets!?!

(Or, into something else?)

Do you really imagine that, in the present global economic environment, this would not lead directly to job cuts?

Do you really imagine that it would not lead to even more money going up down in red LED’s … with parasitical, useless, butt-lazy, white-collared, producers-of-nothing professional “fund managers” waltzing away with their percentage cut of your vapourised superannuation money, regardless of the outcome for you?

The Insiders panel discussion this Sunday typified one of the biggest problems in this country.

The arrogance of those who think they are better, and know better, than We The People.

Our lamestream ivory-towered Canberra lapdogs simply cannot bear to conceive of the possibility that (shudder!) ordinary voters might be the best people to decide what to do with their own money.

Stealing Our Super – I DARE You To Ignore This Now

8 Aug

Caricature by Zeg | click to enlarge

My sincere apologies, dear reader.

I understand that you are probably a little concerned about the future for the economy right now.

If you own shares, then you are probably worried about last week’s bloodbath in global sharemarkets.

But I have a very important question to ask you.

It’s a bit of a reality check, I’m afraid.

Do you think your Superannuation “nest egg” is safe from the greedy hand of government?

If you answered “yes”, then …

I dare you.

I dare you to ignore the rest of this blog.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Senator Barnaby Joyce – the only Australian politician who foresaw and forewarned about America’s present debt nightmare – gave this warning on 5th May 2011:

In response to a question I put in Senate estimates, Treasury revealed that $64 billion of the difference between our gross debt and our net debt is made up of the cash and non-equity investments of the Future Fund. The Future Fund is there to cover the otherwise unfunded costs of public servants’ superannuation.

That is a little fact that the people of Canberra might be interested in. When Wayne mentions net debt translate that to, I am going to pay his debt off with my retirement savings.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Barnaby repeated his warning on May 13th, straight after the Budget:

Of course, the public servants will not be happy when we use their retirement savings, put aside in the Future Fund, to pay off some of Labor’s massive debt.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the US Government has been stealing federal workers pensions since May this year:

Treasury to tap pensions to help fund government

The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations after the government lost its ability Monday to borrow more money from the public, adding urgency to efforts in Washington to fashion a compromise over the debt…

Geithner, who has already suspended a program that helps state and local government manage their finances, will begin to borrow from retirement funds for federal workers.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the US Government has been planning to steal their private citizens’ super too, since at least February 2010:

The plan, as sketched in the 43-page document, calls for the creation of something called  “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRAs). Biden slyly shifts the onus for the idea through weasel words typical of the federal government: “Some have suggested the creation of Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs), which would give workers a simple way to invest a portion of their retirement savings in an account that was free of inflation and market risk, and in some versions under discussion, would guarantee a specified real return above the rate of inflation.”

These accounts would be “free of inflation and market risk” because they would be under the direct and absolute control of the federal bureaucracy.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Argentina’s government stole their citizens’ super in October 2008:

Argentina’s center-left President Cristina Fernandez on Tuesday signed a bill for a government takeover of the $30 billion private pension system in a daring and unexpected move that rocked domestic markets.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Hungary’s government nationalised stole their citizens’ super in November last year:

Hungary is giving its citizens an ultimatum: move your private-pension fund assets to the state or lose your state pension.

Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy announced the policy yesterday, escalating a government drive to bring 3 trillion forint ($14.6 billion) of privately managed pension assets under state control to reduce the budget deficit and public debt. Workers who opt against returning to the state system stand to lose 70 percent of their pension claim.

I dare you to ignore the fact that France began stealing their citizens’ super in late 2010 as well:

France seizes €36bn of pension assets

Asset managers will have the chance to get billions of euros in mandates in the next few months for the €36bn Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), the French reserve pension fund, after the French parliament last week passed a law to use its assets to pay off the debts of France’s welfare system.

I dare you to ignore the fact that “Europe’s economic superstar”, the one EU nation that (like Australia) came through GFC1 with positive economic growth, began stealing their citizens’ super in May this year:

It appears moving backwards on pension reforms has become the thing to do on both sides of the Atlantic.

Hungary last year moved much of its private pension assets to the state. Last month, new rules came into effect in Poland diverting 5% of the 7.3% of salary going to private pension funds to the state.

I dare you to ignore the fact that Ireland too, began stealing their citizens’ super in May this year:

Irish Bombshell: Government Raids PRIVATE Pensions To Pay For Spending

“The various tax reduction and additional expenditure measures which I am announcing today will be funded by way of a temporary levy on funded pension schemes and personal pension plans.”

I dare you to ignore the fact that the UK Government announced plans to steal public sector workers’ pension entitlements in June this year:

Thousands of teachers, lecturers and civil servants joined a UK wide strike yesterday in a mass protest over pension reforms.

The government … wants to impose a 3%-of-pay levy on public sector workers’ contributions to help reduce the budget deficit. This amounts to a pay cut to follow on the heels of the current pay freeze.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the Liberal Party of Australia quietly announced a new policy on June 3 this year – sneakily disguised as a helpful “reform” – that should make your hair stand on end:

Further relief for small business

The Coalition will relieve the red tape burden from Australia’s small businesses by giving them the option to remit the compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers, directly to the ATO.

Small business will be given the option to remit superannuation payments to the ATO at the same time as they remit their PAYG payments.

This will require only one payment to one agency – rather than multiple cheques to multiple superannuation funds. The ATO will be responsible for sending the money to superannuation funds directly.

I dare you to ignore the fact that an “option”, can very easily become a “non-option”.

I dare you to ignore the fact that our Green-Labor Government announced plans in the May Budget that should also make your hair stand on end:

The Gillard government’s 2011-12 budget has proposed a raft of initiatives aimed at encouraging superannuation fund and private investment in infrastructure projects.

I dare you to ignore the fact that “encouraging”, can very easily become “enforcing”.

I dare you to ignore the botched “school halls” program, and the white elephant NBN, as you ponder whether or not you really trust this government to wisely and prudently invest your super in Government infrastructure projects, and achieve a reasonable return on your money, when even so-called “experts” have doubts:

The government’s plan to use tax incentives to encourage superannuation funds to invest in new infrastructure could be thwarted by inadequate returns on projects and a reluctance by the states to take on project risk, experts say.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the government’s white elephant NBN is a(nother) Green-Labor thought bubble, drawn up on the back of Kevin Rudd’s in-flight napkin, with no cost/benefit analysis:

Trust us with the NBN; we’re politicians

I dare you to ignore the fact that Bill Shorten, the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, already thinks of your super as a “significant national asset” … a kind of “sovereign wealth fund”:

Superannuation is our sovereign wealth fund

This week marks 12 months exactly since the government announced plans to take compulsory superannuation from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.

… our superannuation savings place Australia fourth in the world. Its $1.3 trillion in funds under management through superannuation significantly boosts national savings and provides greater retirement security for millions of Australians. Superannuation is also a significant national asset because it strengthens our financial sector.

I dare you to ignore the fact that our government has guaranteed our banking sector using the promise of your future earnings as collateral, and that Moody’s ratings agency has put our government on notice that our banks are Too Big To Fail – just like in the USA, UK, and Europe:

Heavens to Betsy.  It’s finally out in the open. The big four are too big to fail and Moody’s rates the Australian government’s implicit guarantee of the banks’ wholesale debt (as well as the explicit deposit guarantee) as worth two ratings notches. Moreover, by phrasing it this way, Moody’s has essentially put the Australian government on notice that if it dares back away from that guarantee then it can count on the result. The further implication is that the Budget had better remain shipshape to provide the guarantee.

I dare you to ignore the fact that the government’s carbon pricing scheme scam includes a new “independent” Clean Energy Finance Corporation (carbon bank) that will be permitted to borrow against future government revenue – your future tax dollars – in order to invest in “green” energy projects:

The Clean Energy Council will today release a discussion paper proposing the carbon bank, which it says could be allowed to borrow money to invest in renewable energy projects against the future revenue of Labor’s proposed carbon tax and emissions trading scheme.

The Gillard government is examining the creation of a multi-billion-dollar carbon bank to drive renewable energy technologies as the Greens demand “complementary measures” to cut emissions in return for accepting a lower starting price for the carbon tax.

6.2.1 The Clean Energy Finance Corporation

The $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation will invest in businesses seeking funds to get innovative clean energy proposals and technologies off the ground. These Government-backed investments will deliver the financial capital needed to transform our economy.

A variety of funding tools will be used to support projects, including loans on commercial or concessional terms and equity investments.

The Corporation will be independent from the Government. The Government will appoint an independent Chair who will have appropriate banking or investment management experience.

I dare you to ignore international banking’s core philosophy, now rendered infamous by GFC1: “Privatise the profits … socialise the losses”.

I dare you to ignore the fact that another sharemarket collapse – like in 2008 – would be a perfect pretext for nanny-state, “Big Brother knows best” governments everywhere to step in and “safeguard your retirement”, by taking and “investing” your super in Government-approved “safe investments” … just like the US Government’s planned, doublespeak-titled “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts”.

I dare you to ignore the fact that this blog has documented in detail the wave of super confiscations that is already rolling around the Western world, and the clear evidence that both sides of Australian politics already have their own quiet, sneaky plans to do the same.

I dare you to not bother reading any of my many articles on this topic –

No Super For You!!

US Treasury “Borrowing” Of Federal Pensions Brings Theft Of Private Pensions One Step Closer

Now The UK Government Is Stealing Super Too

Fresh Evidence Our Banks In “Race To The Bottom” Means You Can Kiss Your Super Goodbye

Fitch Ratings: Australian Banks Most Vulnerable To Europe’s Debt Crisis

Our Banks Racing Towards A “Bigger Armageddon”

Money Morning Agrees – Your Retirement Savings Under Threat

The Pricing Carbon Choir – Why Should *Any* Sane Person Trust Economists After The GFC?

Why Would Any Sane Person Believe Treasury’s Carbon Tax Modelling When Its Budget Forecasting Record Is This Bad?

How Wayne ‘Franked’ Another $20 Billion

Wayne: OOPS! I Did It Again

Liberal Party’s Sneaky Plan To Steal Your Super To Pay Labor’s Debt

Dear reader …

I dare you to ignore, mock, and ridicule Barnaby Joyce’s warnings … again.

I dare you to bend over … grab your ankles … bury your head in the sand … and keep telling yourself that “She’ll be right mate”.

I dare you to ignore the fact that …

Barnaby is right.

* A hearty “Thank You” to the inimitable Zeg for his brilliant cartoon drawn especially for this post, and at very short notice.

Please follow him on Twitter – @Zegcartoonist and subscribe to his blog – http://zegsyd.blogspot.com/

Better still … hire him!

Money Morning Agrees – Your Retirement Savings Under Threat

22 Jul

Sorry dear reader. I’ve simply been too busy trying to get this NGER Register debunking research finished to offer you anything original today.

But in a timely and thematically happy coincidence, the estimable authors of Money Morning yesterday published their must-read free newsletter on a topic that has been covered at length right here on barnabyisright.com.

The coming theft of your super by our government.

Below I’ve taken the liberty of quoting some of Money Morning’s commentary on this topic, along with a link to their complete article.

h/t to Twitterer @Kmorefive for bringing this to my attention:

Special Report: Your Retirement Savings are Under Threat

A week ago we got an email from the Australian Treasury.

It was titled: “Exposure Draft – Legislative Framework for Public Ancillary Funds”

In a moment we’ll explain why that email is more proof the federal government secretly plans the wholesale taking of individuals’ retirement savings.

Normally these Treasury emails are dull.

And this one was no different.

In fact, the email’s headline is usually enough to put us off reading further.

But this time, something made us look.  Perhaps it was the words “public” and “funds”.

So we read the document… we didn’t like what we saw…

In our view, this is the next step in the federal government’s plans to nationalise retirement savings.  We’ve been ahead of the game on this for the past three years.

We warned bureaucrats and politicians regret giving up control of retirement money.  That there’s a big stack of cash – $1.3 trillion – the government can’t easily get hold of.

But over two years ago, things started to change.

It started with the government and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) taking the unclaimed superannuation accounts of foreign temporary workers.

Over $700 million of private savings was “transferred” to the federal government’s coffers.  But the government didn’t invest it.  Instead, it went to consolidated revenue.  Consolidated revenue is the government’s day-to-day spending.

In other words, private retirement savings have been taken to fund the public service… while at the same time leaving the taxpayer on the hook to repay $700 million if the foreign workers ever ask for their money back.

Who says governments plan for the long term!

But that wasn’t the end of it.  The next step was to grab Australians’ retirement savings… under the ruse it’s too expensive for private funds to take care of unclaimed accounts… only the government can do that… apparently!

Back-door savings grab

And now, the next stage of the retirement grab is in train… with your savings next in line for the government’s sticky-fingers treatment…

We’ve seen the nationalisation of retirement funds in Australia (examples above).  And it’s happened overseas: Argentina, Ireland and Hungary are just three examples.

But now, with the proposed amendments to Public Ancillary Funds, Australia is set to follow suit.

The call for more public spending on infrastructure gives the government a perfect excuse.  And the country’s biggest and most influential bodies will help – namely the banking and funds management industries and the trade unions.

Beware government offering gifts

Stock market volatility and low savings means many realise they can’t retire without government help.  Public Ancillary Funds are the answer to the government’s problem.  They’ll enable individuals to make voluntary “donations” to the State.  In return for receiving extra credits for the State Pension.

Notice we say voluntary.  That’s how it’ll start.  But odds are that won’t be enough to raise the billions of dollars the government needs to fund its programmes and welfare.

The next – and inevitable – stage is for compulsory investment in Public Ancillary Funds.  Most likely through the back door.  Such as requiring private fund managers to hold a percentage of assets in Public Ancillary Funds.

[click here to read the complete article]

I wonder if the fine lads at Money Morning are aware of the Liberal Party’s quiet, unnoticed-by-all policy announcement on June 3, which is in my opinion by far the clearest harbinger yet of the super theft to come?

Please do take the time to read over just some of the many articles that I have written previously on this very same topic.

And please do especially note the fact that both major parties have clear policy plans already in train, to get their hands on your super –

No Super For You!!

Liberal Party’s Sneaky Plan To Steal Your Super To Pay Labor’s Debt

Why They Are Planning To Steal Your Super, Explained In 4 Simple Charts

US Treasury “Borrowing” Of Federal Pensions Brings Theft Of Private Pensions One Step Closer

Now The UK Government Is Stealing Super Too

Now The UK Government Is Stealing Super Too

5 Jul

From the Daily Post, 1 July 2011:

Thousands of teachers, lecturers and civil servants joined a UK wide strike yesterday in a mass protest over pension reforms.

[NB: other countries call their supernannuation “pensions”]

More than 200 schools were closed or partially shut, across the region with lectures cancelled at colleges and universities, and disruption at courts and Jobcentres.

An estimated 7,000 members from University and College Union (UCU), the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) were involved in the action in North Wales.

In Wrexham all four unions were represented at a mass rally involving well over 100 members in the town centre’s Queens Square, joining the other 750,000 across the UK.

They accused the Government of betraying promises to give public sector workers and teachers a fair pension and claimed they were siphoning off billions to pay the black hole left by the banking crisis.

And they warned this was just the beginning demanding the Government think again.

Shouting “Shame on you” at the Government, President of the NUT in Wrexham Ian Farquharson, a teacher at Rhosnesni High School, said: “The Government are stealing our pensions.

“If they tell us there is no other option, then publish the figures and let’s see them – but they wont.”

Steve Ryan who sits on the PCA Wales committee said: “The banks have been paid £7 billion in bonuses, there is £120 billion in uncollected taxes from the rich because they avoid paying them and the pension money is going to fund this. It’s a disgrace.”

From the Guardian, 30 June 2011:

The government … wants to impose a 3%-of-pay levy on public sector workers’ contributions to help reduce the budget deficit. This amounts to a pay cut to follow on the heels of the current pay freeze.

The UK Government’s plan is remarkably similar to that of Ireland.

As we saw only weeks ago, the Irish Government too has announced a raid on citizens’ super, to raise funds to pay for their budget black hole. The difference being, the Irish Government is imposing its “levy” on both public and private workers’ pensions:

Irish Bombshell: Government Raids PRIVATE Pensions To Pay For Spending

“The various tax reduction and additional expenditure measures which I am announcing today will be funded by way of a temporary levy on funded pension schemes and personal pension plans.”

There’s a clear trend developing here.

We have seen previously ( “No Super For You!!” ) that Argentina, Hungary, France, Poland, Bolivia, Ireland, and the USA have all either nationalised citizens’ super funds outright.

Or, imposed “levies” (ie, new taxes) on citizens’ super.

Or, as a more subtle beginning, simply reduced the amount that the government pays into government workers’ pension (ie, superannuation) funds. The equivalent to this in Australia would be if the government began setting aside (eg) only 5% of public servants’ salaries into the Future Fund for their retirement, compared to the compulsory 9% that private employers are required to pay for their workers.

We will not go into the issue of whether or not – just like the USA and many others – there really is money set aside for public servants’ retirement sufficient for the governments’ obligations (called “unfunded liabilities”). Indeed, there are very serious questions to be asked about this – and Barnaby Joyce has alluded to them – but we will leave that to another day.

In Western nations, the pattern of theft – the governments’ Modus Operandi (MO) – is disturbingly similar.

1. The country first sees its housing bubble burst – see USA, UK, Ireland.

2. Banks go bust, and are bailed out by the government (ie, by borrowing against the promise of taxpayers’ future earnings)

3. The cost of bank bailouts sends the government into deep, and unmanageable levels of sovereign debt (ie, private banksters debts, are socialised into higher public debt instead). The sovereign debt is made all the more unmanageable because the economy is badly damaged by the fallout from the housing bust. And, by hugely expensive, wasteful “green” public policy programs, in the lead up to the bust.

4. A “leftist” government is taken over by a “rightist” government.  Or, as with the USA, the “rightists'” regain the balance of power.

5. Prompted by the “fiscal conservative” rightists, new “reforms” are introduced. To “fix the budget”. Reforms that include raising the retirement age … and stealing citizens’ superannuation savings.

First, they come for the public servants’ super.

And then, they come for yours.

Now, what do we see happening right here in Australia?

Barnaby Joyce has already given at least two public warnings that the government is going to take public servants’ super in the Future Fund to pay down debt – pretty much exactly what the USA and UK are doing right now.

Already, the Green-Labor government has quietly introduced “incentives” in the latest budget, to “encourage” super funds to put your money into government “infrastructure projects”. You know, brilliant infrastructure schemes like overpriced school halls, and a technologically-redundant-before-its-finished, no cost/benefit analysis Nation Bankrupting Network (NBN).

And the Liberal Party – who if polls are any guide, will in all likelihood take power at the next election – have recently and quietly announced their own “reform” policy. One that even less subtlely aims to do the same thing – get the government’s hands on your super:

Further relief for small business

The Coalition will relieve the red tape burden from Australia’s small businesses by giving them the option to remit the compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers, directly to the ATO.

Small business will be given the option to remit superannuation payments to the ATO at the same time as they remit their PAYG payments.

This will require only one payment to one agency – rather than multiple cheques to multiple superannuation funds. The ATO will be responsible for sending the money to superannuation funds directly.

In recent weeks we have seen countless evidences that:

1. Australia’s banking system is stuffed and ripe for collapse,

2. Our housing bubble is bursting, and

3. The economy is “stuffed”, with Eastern Australia in “deep recession” and the national economy “almost certainly” in recession in the second half of 2011.

The writing is on the wall.

I’ll now simply repeat the conclusion of my magnum opus article on the fate for our super:

If like me you are under 50 years old – indeed, if you are under 60 years old – then I’m willing to bet you all of my super that you will never see all of yours.

And unlike our bank(st)ers and government … I never bet.

First they came for the Yankees’ super.

Then, they came for the Pommies’ super.

And then last of all … they came for mine.

* For more information on this subject, please read –

No Super For You!!

Fresh Evidence Our Banks In “Race To The Bottom” Means You Can Kiss Your Super Goodbye

Why They Are Planning To Steal Our Super, Explained In 4 Simple Charts

Our Banks Racing Towards A “Bigger Armageddon”

US Treasury “Borrowing” Of Federal Pensions Brings Theft Of Private Pensions One Step Closer

25 Jun

Regular readers will know that this blog has been closely following the wave of government confiscations of private citizens’ retirement savings that is quietly rolling around the world.

It is a wave that is already silently lapping at our shores, with both major parties having released policies that sneakily move towards taking our super, to pay down government debt.

If you’ve missed any of these posts, you can catch up with the following –

“No Super For You!!”

“Why They Are Planning To Steal Our Super, Explained In 4 Simple Charts”

(There are multiple links to previous posts at the end of the 2nd link above)

One of the interesting features of this wave of super thefts, is the different methods used in different countries.  In some, private retirement savings have simply been “nationalised”.  In others, the government has started with a “softly softly” approach, by “borrowing” the retirement savings of government employees first.

In the following article from The Examiner (USA), we find the opinion expressed that the US Treasury’s recent “borrowing” of federal workers pension funds is simply a first move. And that confiscations of non-federal workers pension funds – called “401K plans” in the USA – is now one step closer (emphasis added):

This step in pulling from government held retirement funds is once again bringing up the potential for the Obama administration to seek acquisition of the public’s 401K’s to help pay for spending and debt.

On May 16th, the Obama administration agreed to tap into federal retirement programs to help fund programs and agencies that would otherwise be funded through borrowing before the debt ceiling was reached.

The use of retirement and pension funds as the first resort of the government to pay for programs, debt obligations, and even ongoing military operations is a large warning signal to the American people regarding a huge and untapped resource that up until now, the government has refrained from exploiting.  The amount of money stored in corporate retirement funds, federal retirements, and market based 401K’s amount to several trillion dollars that unlike Social Security, which it is collateralized by IOU’s, this is real money that the government has already sought to acquire in budgetary discussions.

The plan, as sketched in the 43-page document, calls for the creation of something called  “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRAs). Biden slyly shifts the onus for the idea through weasel words typical of the federal government: “Some have suggested the creation of Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs), which would give workers a simple way to invest a portion of their retirement savings in an account that was free of inflation and market risk, and in some versions under discussion, would guarantee a specified real return above the rate of inflation.”

These accounts would be “free of inflation and market risk” because they would be under the direct and absolute control of the federal bureaucracy. There would be no risk because the funds would no longer be moored to the free market and subject to the fluctuations thereof. Rather, the retirement funds of every hard-working American dependent on a 401(k) for their retirement security would be nationalized and made subject to the whims and will of the executive branch. – New American (May 2010)

The track record of the Federal government towards retirement accounts is not very good.  Over $3 Trillion dollars has been removed from the Social Security trust, and spent by the government under general budget spending.  The money that was taken out of Americans paychecks each month to be used for retirement was instead replaced by Treasuries that are now on the brink of default.  With the Treasury Departments use of Federal pension funds now to pay for budgetary obligations because the government can no longer borrow money, the next viable step is the acquisition of private retirements and 401K’s.

And as noted from the 43-page document already created last year, this is not a plan regarded as a contingency, but instead as one that is intended to be implemented in the future.

The US government has failed in its opportunities over the past decade to cut spending, and slow down on its debt borrowing.  Now that the rubicon has been crossed regarding the debt ceiling, and the Treasury Department accessing federal retirement funds to pay for general obligations, how soon before the government has no choice but to access the trillions of dollars available in the market, and give the American people another ‘promise’ that they can take care of your money and retirement future.

In Australia, our two major parties have also begun planning for the theft of our super, but in slightly – and slyly – different ways.

The Labor Party has first announced (in the recent May budget) new legislation intended to “encourage” super fund managers to “invest” your super in government “infrastructure programs”.

The Liberal Party has taken a different tack. On June 3, they quietly announced a new policy – sneakily dressed up as a “helpful” business “reform” – that aims to have employers send their workers’ Compulsory Superannuation payments directly to the ATO, rather than directly to your super fund.  It would then be up to the ATO to pass on your super to your fund manager (!?!).

If you are unwilling to see the danger that lurks so thinly-veiled behind these “positive” and “helpful” policies, then consider this.

Senator Barnaby Joyce has directly warned at least twice this year, that the government plans to steal our super to pay down debt. And exactly like America, he has indicated that they intend to start with public servants’ superannuation set aside in the Future Fund:

In response to a question I put in Senate estimates, Treasury revealed that $64 billion of the difference between our gross debt and our net debt is made up of the cash and non-equity investments of the Future Fund. The Future Fund is there to cover the otherwise unfunded costs of public servants’ superannuation.

That is a little fact that the people of Canberra might be interested in. When Wayne mentions net debt translate that to, I am going to pay his debt off with my retirement savings.

Straight after the May budget, Barnaby spelled out his warning even more clearly:

On Tuesday night’s budget, Labor sneaked in an Amendment of the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911. Here is the most telling statement for where our nation is going under this Green-Labor-Independent Alliance. Under Part 5 Section 18 subsection 1 “omitting ‘$75’ and substituting ‘250’ ”.

Now that is in billions ladies and gentlemen and it is real money that really has to be paid back. If we have all this money stashed away under the lower net debt figure that is always quoted by Labor, then why not use some of this mystery money to pay off what we owe to the Chinese and others who we are hocked up to the eyeballs to.

The reason why we can’t is at least $70 billion that makes up ‘net’ debt is tied up in the Future Fund and student loans.

Of course, the public servants will not be happy when we use their retirement savings, put aside in the Future Fund, to pay off some of Labor’s massive debt.

Stealing public servants’ superannuation in the Future Fund will only be the beginning. We can be sure of this, simply by looking at what is happening abroad. And by carefully examining the implications of the policies – quietly released, without fanfare – of our own politicians.

Barnaby is right.

Liberal Party’s Sneaky Plan To Steal Your Super To Pay Labor’s Debt

7 Jun

From the Liberal Party’s website, Latest News, 3 June 2011:

The Coalition will relieve the red tape burden from Australia’s small businesses by giving them the option to remit the compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers, directly to the ATO.

Small business will be given the option to remit superannuation payments to the ATO at the same time as they remit their PAYG payments.

This will require only one payment to one agency – rather than multiple cheques to multiple superannuation funds. The ATO will be responsible for sending the money to superannuation funds directly.

Senator Barnaby Joyce writing for The Punch, 13 May 2011:

On Tuesday night’s budget, Labor sneaked in an Amendment of the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911. Here is the most telling statement for where our nation is going under this Green-Labor-Independent Alliance. Under Part 5 Section 18 subsection 1 “omitting ‘$75’ and substituting ‘250’ ”.

Now that is in billions ladies and gentlemen and it is real money that really has to be paid back. If we have all this money stashed away under the lower net debt figure that is always quoted by Labor, then why not use some of this mystery money to pay off what we owe to the Chinese and others who we are hocked up to the eyeballs to.

The reason why we can’t is at least $70 billion that makes up ‘net’ debt is tied up in the Future Fund and student loans.

Of course, the public servants will not be happy when we use their retirement savings, put aside in the Future Fund, to pay off some of Labor’s massive debt.

So you won’t vote for the Coalition then?

There’s no salvation on the Left.

Labor has already introduced legislation in the 2011-12 Budget that aims to grab your super too.

In fact, Labor’s Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, published an op-ed a month ago stating that he views your super as “our sovereign wealth fund”.

There is a wave of government confiscations of private retirement savings rolling around the Western world right now.  The first ripples have quietly rolled onto our shores already.

Your super savings are not safe.

From either party.

Learn the full story, in “No Super For You!!”

No Super For You!!

6 Jun

* Extended update of original article published 18 May 2011. Includes details of a disturbing new Liberal Party policy, announced Friday 3 June.


What will you do when they take away your super?

From the Washington Post, 17 May 2011:

Treasury to tap pensions to help fund government

The Obama administration will begin to tap federal retiree programs to help fund operations after the government lost its ability Monday to borrow more money from the public, adding urgency to efforts in Washington to fashion a compromise over the debt.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has warned for months that the government would soon hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling — a legal limit on how much it can borrow. With that limit reached Monday, Geithner is undertaking special measures in an effort to postpone the day when he will no longer have enough funds to pay all of the government’s bills.

Geithner, who has already suspended a program that helps state and local government manage their finances, will begin to borrow from retirement funds for federal workers.

The USA is taking public servants’ pension funds, to pay government bills.

Note that well.

Because just over 3 weeks ago – and 4 days before that Washington Post story hit the wires – our own Senator Barnaby Joyce made a very disturbing revelation (below).

Think it could only happen in America?

From Reuters, 21 October 2008:

Argentina’s center-left President Cristina Fernandez on Tuesday signed a bill for a government takeover of the $30 billion private pension system in a daring and unexpected move that rocked domestic markets.

From Bloomberg, 26 November 2010:

Hungary is giving its citizens an ultimatum: move your private-pension fund assets to the state or lose your state pension.

Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy announced the policy yesterday, escalating a government drive to bring 3 trillion forint ($14.6 billion) of privately managed pension assets under state control to reduce the budget deficit and public debt. Workers who opt against returning to the state system stand to lose 70 percent of their pension claim.

“This is effectively a nationalization of private pension funds,” David Nemeth, an economist at ING Groep NV in Budapest, said in a phone interview. “It’s the nightmare scenario.”

But Argentina and Hungary are not like us, right? That couldn’t ever happen in a Western economy like ours, could it?

From eFinancialNews, 29 November 2010:

France seizes €36bn of pension assets

Asset managers will have the chance to get billions of euros in mandates in the next few months for the €36bn Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), the French reserve pension fund, after the French parliament last week passed a law to use its assets to pay off the debts of France’s welfare system.

Oh, but that’s France. They’ve got hangover problems from the Global Financial Crisis, right? That couldn’t happen in a really strong economy like ours, one that sailed through the GFC without even having a recession … right?

Wrong.

Poland was the only economy in the European Union to achieve economic growth through the GFC. It then doubled economic growth in 2010. It is the sixth largest economy in the EU, and is considered “Europe’s new economic superstar“.

Despite this apparent success, Poland too has just passed new laws to steal more of its citizens’ private retirement savings.

From Warsaw Business Journal, 9 May 2011:

The government’s controversial pension reform plan, which slashes the percentage of workers’ salaries going to private pension funds (OFEs) from 7.3 to 2.3 percent, became law on May 1. OFEs will start receiving the reduced amounts from June.

The changes mean that the state-controlled social security and pension fund, ZUS, will now receive 17.22 percent of workers’ salaries…

Critics have said the changes were nothing more than some creative accounting by the government to shore up its budget deficit

And from Global Pensions, 6 May 2011:

It appears moving backwards on pension reforms has become the thing to do on both sides of the Atlantic.

Hungary last year moved much of its private pension assets to the state. Last month, new rules came into effect in Poland diverting 5% of the 7.3% of salary going to private pension funds to the state.

another recent reversal we’ve seen has come from Latin America. In the 1990s, Bolivia’s decision to move its pension assets from the state to private managers placed it among the most advanced pension systems in the region. However, the current government has decided to nationalise the assets once more claiming it is creating a pension system that is equal for all.

Oh yes, but Poland is really just a Central European economy, not long removed from communism. Something like that couldn’t ever happen in a mid-level, “advanced Western economy” like ours … right?

From Business Insider, 10 May 2011:

Irish Bombshell: Government Raids PRIVATE Pensions To Pay For Spending

“The various tax reduction and additional expenditure measures which I am announcing today will be funded by way of a temporary levy on funded pension schemes and personal pension plans.”

But the Irish had a really big housing bubble, didn’t they? No way anything like that could happen here … right?

From the Sydney Morning Herald, 4 March 2011:

Australian house prices remain the most overvalued in the world, according to the latest quarterly ranking of global house prices by The Economist magazine.

But our housing market could never fall. Not like it did for Ireland … or the USA … or the UK … or Spain … right?

From AAP, 29 April 2011:

Capital city home prices have posted their biggest quarterly fall in at least 12 years, as more stock in the housing market allows prospective buyers to wait for bargains, a survey shows.

Capital city dwelling values fell by a seasonally adjusted 2.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index.

The quarterly change was the steepest since the index series began in June 1999, RP Data research director Tim Lawless said.

And from the Sydney Morning Herald, 17 May 2011:

Real estate slump will leave banks in pain too

Australian real estate, long the subject of global concern, bears all the symptoms of a market that simply has run out of puff.

Ever since America’s housing bubble burst in 2007, setting off a chain reaction in Britain and across Europe – which then infected the global financial system – international pundits have been warning of a similar catastrophe here.

Do you remember what our government did the last time our real estate market began to fall sharply?

It was during the 3-month peak of the GFC, in late 2008 / early 2009:

Steve Keen's Debtwatch

The Labor Government guaranteed to use taxpayers’ future earnings to underwrite our banks’ trillions in foreign liabilities. Poured $20 billion in borrowed money into Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS). And borrowed billions more to prop up the housing market. How? By bribing thousands of young people into massive debt, thanks to the government’s double-trouble First Home Owners Grant.

About that $20 billion in RMBS that Wayne Swan purchased.  With borrowed money. Just how safe is that $20 billion “investment” looking?

From the Sydney Morning Herald, 26 May 2011:

Arrears on mortgage repayments spiked to a record high in the first three months of 2011, as more Australians struggle with rising costs, Fitch ratings agency says.

Arrears on prime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) of 30 days or more hit a record high of 1.79 per cent in the first quarter, from 1.37 in the final quarter of 2010, the group said, as Christmas spending and the Queensland floods forced more Australians to struggle in repaying their mortgages.

RMBS are home loans which are bundled together and sold to institutional investors by banks and mortgage lenders. Misrated RMBS were at the heart of the subprime crisis in the US which lingers to today.

It only gets worse though:

The increase in arrears for the most fragile band of mortgage borrowers, low-doc loans, with payment delays of 30 days or more hit 6.74 per cent in the first quarter, up from 5.7 per cent in the final quarter of 2010, a higher level than December 2008 quarter, when the financial crisis hit and the Reserve Bank began rapidly lowering rates.

Low-doc mortgages are written for riskier borrowers than prime mortgages, which are written for customers who have a reasonably safe ability to borrow.

Delinquencies of three months or more on conforming low-doc mortgages, which are used by people who are self-employed for example, soared past 5 per cent in the March quarter, from about 3 per cent the December 2010 quarter.

Would our Wayne have “invested” any of that borrowed $20 billion in low-doc RMBS?  Or, did he stick with prime RMBS?

From the Australian Office Of Financial Management website:

Purchase of RMBS – Program Update

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

* Low documentation loans, that is loans underwritten using alternative income verification procedures, may be included in mortgage pools.

Well done Wayne.

$20 billion worth of RMBS. With low-doc loans included. A brilliant government “investment” in keeping our property bubble inflated. And now that investment too, is failing, with record-high arrears on the mortgages backing those “securities”.

But there’s nothing really to worry about, because we’ve got the “strongest banking system in the world”, right? Even if the property bubble does pop, our government would never need to go looking for even more money, to bail out our banks … right?

On 17 May 2011, leading credit rating agency Fitch’s downgraded 54 ‘tranches’ of Australian Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities, indicating that “cash-strapped borrowers and tight-fisted mortgage insurers are a greater threat to Australian banks than previously thought.

The next day, another leading credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded our Big Four banks.

From the Sydney Morning Herald, 18 May 2011:

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded the long-term debt ratings of Australia’s big four banks to Aa2 from Aa1, citing their relatively high reliance on overseas funds rather than local deposits.

Moody’s explanatory paper effectively stated that our banks are Too Big Too Fail.  That the Big Four’s liabilities must continue to be supported by the Australian Government Guarantee For Large Deposits And Wholesale Funding that Labor “decisively” introduced (like Ireland) in response to the GFC. And if the guarantee is removed, Moody’s indicated that the Big Four’s long-term debt ratings will be downgraded by at least two further ‘notches’.

Meaning?

Moody’s has just placed our government on notice.  Australian taxpayers are now effectively on the hook – permanently – to bail out our banks when our housing bubble bursts.

Exactly the same thing that happened in the USA, UK, Ireland, Spain et al.

Don’t believe that we have a housing bubble?  Think the nightmare housing-driven bank collapse scenario that is throttling the rest of the Western world won’t ever happen here?

Fine.

If the housing-collapse trigger event is not enough to bother you, then take a moment to think about derivatives.

Those “exotic” financial instruments that were at the heart of the Global Financial Crisis. The ones that famously prudent investor Warren Buffet referred to as “a mega-catastrophic risk”, “financial weapons of mass destruction”, and a “time bomb”, way back in 2003.

The same kind of exotic instruments that lauded economist Saul Eslake also referred to just a few days ago, in an argument with me on my blog over my criticism of his public lobbying for a carbon dioxide “pricing” scheme (emphasis added):

“And while it is true that banks might make money from an emissions trading scheme, they could just as likely lose (as many banks have done from trading other ‘derivatives’”.

Do our banks have much exposure to derivatives now – even before an emissions trading scheme is introduced?

Sure do.

Prepare to be shocked.

According to RBA statistics at December 2010, Australia’s banking system has $15 Trillion in Off-Balance Sheet “Business”, versus a mere $2.66 Trillion in On-Balance Sheet “Assets”.

And exactly what kind of “business” makes up 92.3% of that “Off-Balance Sheet” $15 Trillion – more than 10 times our nation’s annual GDP?

You guessed it. Derivatives.  Those “financial weapons of mass destruction” which so nearly blew up the whole world in 2008-09.

Finding it a bit difficult to get your head around these huge numbers?  Pictures often help.

Take a look at this simple chart comparing our “safe as houses” banks’ On-Balance Sheet “Assets” (blue line) – which are 66% loans – versus their Off-Balance Sheet “Business”, 92.3% of which is derivatives (click to enlarge):

$2.66 Trillion in "Assets" versus $15 Trillion in Off-Balance Sheet "Business"

Still feeling confident about our banking system?

There’s more.

Australia’s banking system only just dodged a bullet in 2008-09, thanks almost entirely to the government (taxpayer) guarantee which is still in place today.

“Almost” entirely thanks to the government guarantee, you say?

That’s right. Something else helped save our banking system too.

The Australian public remains blissfully unaware that during the GFC, two of our Big Four banks, and our very own central bank, the RBA, all obtained secret emergency loans from the US Federal Reserve – which is simply printing new money, Zimbabwe-style.

From Business Spectator, 3 December 2010:

National Australia Bank Ltd, Westpac Banking Corp Ltd and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) were all recipients of emergency funds from the US Federal Reserve during the global financial crisis, according to media reports.

Data released by the Fed shows the RBA borrowed $US53 billion in 10 separate transactions during the financial crisis… according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.

NAB borrowed $US4.5 billion, and a New York-based entity owned by Westpac borrowed $US1 billion, according to The Age.

If you think “it could never happen here”, if you think that our government would never take away your super to pay for its massively wasteful spending, its crappy “investments”, or to bail out our Too Big Too Fail, very recently downgraded, multi-Trillion derivatives-laden banking system, then it’s time for you to think again.

Were you one of the many who ridiculed Barnaby Joyce’s warnings in late 2009, about the possibility of a US debt default (“Barnaby Warns Of Bigger GFC“)?

That’s coming to pass right now. Trying desperately to avoid a default is the reason why the US Treasury has now resorted to stealing federal workers’ retirement savings, to pay government bills.

So pay close heed to another prescient warning from Barnaby, given on 13 May 2011:

On Tuesday night’s budget, Labor sneaked in an Amendment of the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911. Here is the most telling statement for where our nation is going under this Green-Labor-Independent Alliance. Under Part 5 Section 18 subsection 1 “omitting ‘$75’ and substituting ‘250’ ”.

Now that is in billions ladies and gentlemen and it is real money that really has to be paid back. If we have all this money stashed away under the lower net debt figure that is always quoted by Labor, then why not use some of this mystery money to pay off what we owe to the Chinese and others who we are hocked up to the eyeballs to.

The reason why we can’t is at least $70 billion that makes up ‘net’ debt is tied up in the Future Fund and student loans.

Of course, the public servants will not be happy when we use their retirement savings, put aside in the Future Fund, to pay off some of Labor’s massive debt.

!??!

That is exactly what is happening in America. Right now.

And Barnaby is warning that it could happen here too.

The first steps in that direction have already begun.

From Global Custodian (Australia edition), 11 May 2011:

The Gillard government’s 2011-12 budget has proposed a raft of initiatives aimed at encouraging superannuation fund and private investment in infrastructure projects.

In light of the botched “school halls” program, and the stalled white elephant NBN – which so far has only achieved a 12% takeup rate, versus their predicted 58% – would you really trust this government to wisely and prudently invest your super in Government infrastructure projects?

Others have their doubts.

From The Australian, 12 May 2011:

The government’s plan to use tax incentives to encourage superannuation funds to invest in new infrastructure could be thwarted by inadequate returns on projects and a reluctance by the states to take on project risk, experts say.

First, a little “encouragement” for super funds to invest in government spending programs.

Then, when the costs blow out, or when the government debt becomes unmanageable … or when the banks need bailing?

“No super for you!”

Barnaby is the only one on the ball.

And, he is the only politician in Australia with the honesty, decency, and courage, to (once again) try to forewarn the public about the risks of debt, and where this debt train is taking us.

Still not convinced there’s anything to worry about?

Then consider the words of Labor’s PM-in-waiting, the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten. He already thinks of your super as a “significant national asset” … a kind of “sovereign wealth fund”.

From Shorten’s op-ed published in The Australian, 4 May 2011:

Superannuation is our sovereign wealth fund

This week marks 12 months exactly since the government announced plans to take compulsory superannuation from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.

… our superannuation savings place Australia fourth in the world. Its $1.3 trillion in funds under management through superannuation significantly boosts national savings and provides greater retirement security for millions of Australians. Superannuation is also a significant national asset because it strengthens our financial sector.

Superannuation “strengthens our financial sector”? Can you see where this is going?

Shorten and his cohorts already have their eyes on our $1.3 Trillion in super savings. In Labor’s view, your retirement savings are “our sovereign wealth fund”.

When our Too Big Too Fail, derivative-laden banks inevitably run into trouble again – as indeed they are right now with a falling housing market – you should have no doubt that our government will follow the lead of the USA, France, Ireland, Poland, and all the rest, and simply take your super to prop up our “financial sector”.

After all, they have “guaranteed” our banks.  Your future taxes … and if necessary, your super … are the collateral for those guarantees.

But if the Coalition wins government everything will be fine, right?  They’re far better economic managers, right?  We can all trust the Liberal Party not to put their hands on our super, to pay down Labor-incurred debts … right?

Wrong.

Just this past Friday 3 June 2011, the Liberal Party announced a new policy that they will take to the next election. Loaded with weasel words, it is yet another harbinger of the super theft to come, sneakily disguised as a helpful “reform”.

From the Liberal Party website:

Further relief for small business

The Coalition will relieve the red tape burden from Australia’s small businesses by giving them the option to remit the compulsory superannuation payments made on behalf of workers, directly to the ATO.

Small business will be given the option to remit superannuation payments to the ATO at the same time as they remit their PAYG payments.

This will require only one payment to one agency – rather than multiple cheques to multiple superannuation funds. The ATO will be responsible for sending the money to superannuation funds directly.

Can you see the cunning plan here?

Billions and billions of dollars in compulsory superannuation payments, going directly from our employers’ bank accounts to the government’s tax department , every 3 months. And we have to simply trust the government of the day, that every cent of it will immediately be passed on to our private super funds. Not siphoned off into special “investments”, or government accounts.  Or simply “sat on” for a month or so, in order to prop up the government’s weekly cashflow needs.

Oh, but not to worry … it will just be an “option” for “small” businesses to do this, of course.

Right. If you believe that, then I’ve got an air-backed derivative called a “carbon permit” to sell you. Ever heard the old saying, “It’s the thin end of the wedge”?

A final thought.

Our government is presently considering the Garnaut proposal for introduction of a carbon dioxide “pricing mechanism”. A key part of this proposal that has (surprise surprise) drawn strong public support from economists employed by the banking sector, is the suggestion that the billions of dollars raised should be administered by an “independent” Carbon Bank. One that …

…could be allowed to borrow money to invest in renewable energy projects against the future revenue of Labor’s proposed carbon tax and emissions trading scheme.

In other words, a Carbon Bank run by unelected, unaccountable parasites – chosen from the banking sector, no doubt – with the government … meaning taxpayers … acting as the final guarantor for any losses made on their “green” “investments”.

Does that prospect concern you?

Can you see where this is all heading?

We have a government that has already racked up nearly $200 billion in gross debt.

Is running a “forecast” $50 billion annual budget deficit.

Is presently borrowing at a rate of over $2 billion per week.

And – like an America’s “Mini-me” – has now moved to raise our debt ceiling by another $50 billion (ie, a 25% increase), to a new record quarter of a Trillion dollars.

This is the same government of completely unqualified economic incompetents behind a string of costly disasters – killer ceiling insulation, overpriced school halls, “green scheme” rorts, subsidised Toyota hybrids (that noone except government is buying), the problem-plagued Nation Bankrupting Network … and their latest rort-ridden debacle, “free” set-top boxes.

Do you honestly believe that this government would not end up burying taxpayers with even bigger losses from their carbon dioxide “air tax” scheme too?

Do you honestly believe that this government would never follow the lead of Argentina, Hungary, Bolivia, France, Poland, Ireland, and now the superpower USA … and steal your super to pay for massive debts that they have racked up?

These are just some of the many sound reasons why Senator Joyce has persistently tried to raise public awareness of the real and grave peril of ever-increasing government debt and deficit, in a (supposedly) post-GFC world.

Your retirement savings depend upon your taking notice of his warnings.

Barnaby is right.

If like me you are under 50 years old – indeed, if you are under 60 years old – then I’m willing to bet you all of my super that you will never see all of yours.

And unlike our bank(st)ers and government … I never bet.

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