Whose Money is it?

Are you enjoying your hamster-wheel yet? Would you like another carrot cube?


If we didn’t allow our federal government, its agencies and quangos to become so big in the first place, we would not be debating the need for a federal ‘integrity’ commission. We also wouldn’t be funding a museum to house Julie Bishop’s stinky used shoes (yes, really).

Unfortunately, our federal government is the biggest game in town and it’s been acquiring extra influence and power for some time.

Federal government spending

Don’t believe me?

Here’s a federal budget pop-quiz for you: when was the last time the federal government spent more than 25% of GDP for 7 years running?

The answer, of course, is never… until now (see pages 11-5 and 11-6).

(Note: I’m assuming here that the federal government will have no trouble in meeting its 25.4% and 25.0% spending ‘targets’ for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years).

GDP Graph
‘Government Warming’

Just stop and think about the above:

  • Before even a single cent is coerced out of our pockets by State and Local governments (and their agencies and quangos), the Federal Government hoiks-out a quarter of our productivity*.
  • The current record levels of federal government spending have been achieved under a Liberal government. Now stop and think about what a Shorten-Labor federal government is going to do from mid-2019 onwards…

(*) PS: when you add in what State and Local governments take**, we’re well on our way to being a 50% socialist nation. (Shhhhhh, be cool man).

(**) PPS: sorry, but 2016-17 is the latest available data available for this. Yes, that’s the ABS giving yet another ringing endorsement for government efficiency.

Federal government revenue

Still having trouble believing me about how big our government has become?

Then, how about we change over to the tax side of the equation and compare the increase in government revenue with the average wage for the last 15 years?

To be ‘fair’, you will see that this analysis includes the years in which government revenue decreased during the GFC.

Firstly, let’s look at the Federal Government’s revenue for the last 15 years:

  • Government receipts 2003-04: $217.8 billion
  • Government receipts 2017-18: $445.1 billion
  • Average annual increase over 15 years: 4.9% (Note: the average over the last 10 years has been 4.3%).

As for average wages, I’ll illustrate this one graphically and let you decide whether you think our wages have risen by more or less than 4.9% over the same time:



Trying to get people to absorb the true state of our federal finances – and the impact it is having on their everyday lives – is no easy task. That said, I’m hardly surprised given the advent of:

  • PAYG/PAYE tax – where people are divorced from their money from the time they earn it, such that they think it was never theirs to begin with (it’s ‘the government’s’ – just ask Kelly O’Dwyer for example).

Just imagine how different things would be if people went back to paying their tax in arrears. What would people think of the government’s big spending projects and welfare payments then – if they had to physically hand their money over to the government themselves like any other bill?

The fact is that most people are now so enamoured with ‘getting by’ and ‘the cost of smashed avocado sandwichesliving’ that they are completely apathetic to how the political system is being run and, more importantly, what is happening to their hard earned money.

Make no mistake, the government is getting bigger and we are getting smaller – and we’re allowing it to happen. The problem is that, when people become apathetic, they become controllable… and fungible.

First comes ‘intervention’.

Then ‘regulation’.

Then ‘protection’, ‘support’ and ‘democratic socialism’.

After that, all that’s left is a complete takeover.




One thought on “Whose Money is it?”

  1. TMR, thanks for pulling this together in a simple, digestible format and in one location. I have directed many friends and family to your past budget post containing some of the above graphics but this is succinct and scary.

    I was a long time Liberal member, even going so far as to stand for pre-selection in the 2008 Qld state election for my local seat of Bulimba, until the introduction of the ‘debt repair levy’. I knew then we were in serious trouble and the knifing of Abbott really opened the floodgates. I wasn’t a huge Abbott fan but by removing him in the manner they (the ’54’) did the Libs lost the moral high ground against Labor for ever. If they had held their nerve and even lost the 2016 election under Abbott they could always have remarked ‘at least we don’t remove sitting PMs. That is up to the Australian people’.

    I am now wandering the political wilderness looking for party who can convince me they are serious about smaller government, lower taxes, personal responsibility and freedom. The LDP come close but still have a faint whiff of lunatic fringe with some of their policy positions.

    I am truly fearful for the economic future my 12 year old twin boys will inherit from us.


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