What astounds me is the high number of New Zealanders who are happy letting Clark, Cullen and all of the others take such a high proportion of their income to spend on what Cabinet wants.
Where does this come from? Would YOU let Helen Clark take a portion of your income to buy your clothes, buy your groceries, buy your house? If not, why are you happy for her buying you health care, your kids education, helping other people's businesses, funding TV programmes you don't watch, paying for other people to not take the jobs they don't like?
Imagine if the government supplied you with a food hamper ever week, paid for by taxation, everyone got an allowance - except some bureaucracy would make you queue up for it, and decide at will whether you should get chicken, veal, fish, bread, eggs or kumquats. One week you might find there isn't much chicken, or maybe some group is "meat disadvantaged" and they get it, but you don't. Of course you can spend extra money and get what you want when you want - but the government isn't keen on it, it's the food system for the rich - and the food suppliers union says if the government gives you taxes back to buy your own food "it will disadvantage the poor, and undermine the public food system". Food is essential, it is more essential than healthcare. A person can live many years without seeing a doctor, but only weeks without food.
Helen Clark and Michael Cullen buy your health care and your kids education, based on what bureaucrats think is best. If you're lucky it will meet your needs, and at best if you are involved in an accident, you'll probably get good quality health care - but if it isn't critical at best you'll spend years waiting for surgery, at worst you'll die while you wait. For education, your kids might get a good teacher at a well run school, or a lazy one in a badly run school - and Labour doesn't want you to choose, because it wants everyone to have the same standard - sorry parents don't know what's best for the kids say Labour. Or rather, because a minority aren't very good parents, then everyone must be brought down to that level - keeps the union from losing poor performing members, and losing the best performing ones (who wont NEED the union if they had individual contracts with performance pay).
Anyway, back to the main point.
That is one of the fundamental points of THIS election. Don Brash, to his credit, says it is YOUR money - YOU earnt it, and he is prepared to let you keep some (modestly in my view) more of it than Helen is. Rodney Hide would let you keep a lot more, and of course Libertarianz would let you keep nearly all of it (as a transitional measure till you got it ALL back).
Helen Clark and Michael Cullen don't believe it is your money. I remember in a politics lecture fifteen years ago Steve Maharey said it was the price you pay for the social contract of everyone looking after each other - ever known a contract you didn't choose to enter, that you can't leave and which one party has the right to use force to enforce and change without your consent? Yep that's a socialist contract - they tell you what they will do and demand payment for it. If you want some back, you're greedy and you wont be able to look after yourself.
The world will end if the state doesn't increase expenditure as fast as Labour says. See National will grow state spending too, at a slower rate, which as limp wristed as it is, is still too scary for the kiwis who love Nanny Helen.
So why? I figure a good portion of the adult population have either not grown up, and believe they are not competent enough (or they are too lazy) to decide what to do with more of their own money, or they believe everyone ELSE needs looking after.
The first lot fear they can't buy healthcare, education, insure themselves against losing their jobs or sickness, and think the government is some big caring loving warm mother who they can run too, and Helen wraps her arms around them and says "there there, I'll look after you" as she slips her talon into your back pocket and takes what she wants. The victim feels comforted, and almost like an abused child, doesn't care that mum beats them and steals from them, just that she cuddles you at the right moment, and gives you the gruel and bare attention you think you deserve -AND she tells you "don't let that bad rich man next door tell you go over there, he wont love you like I do! He wont cuddle you, he'll tell you to get a job and gives you some money only if you are really really good, and those who are good are spoilt anyway! He lies, and you can't believe YOU can look after yourself, what would happen if I left you to fend for yourself?".
The second lot know they can look after themselves, but all those incompetent poor, low income people - well THEY can't. They wont send their kids to the best schools, they will not bother with health care, they wont save money, they are not as smart as you or I - so these people are prepared to sacrifice their freedom and money, to ensure the poor are looked after. You see, letting Helen take your taxes means you feel better - the chardonnay socialists of Wadestown don't have to give to charity, or help out at soup kitchens, or actually DO anything for the ones they claim to care for. The state does it for them, then they can drive past them, fly over them and generally completely ignore them. Nanny State is there, job done - doesn't matter than so many of the bureaucrats in the system don't have much incentive to really make a difference. Their jobs are secure, and it doesn't matter if you perform badly - the welfare beneficiaries are hardly going elsewhere for free money are they? More nauseating are the claims they want to pay MORE tax - but you don't see them donating that money to charities in the meantime - no, they have to be forced to care, or feel better than you are forced too - you greedy rich bastard earning more than $38000 a year! (you Montgomery Burns types on more than $60000 are doubly evil!).
So it's the self proclaimed incompetents, and the do-gooders - they will vote this election for you to lose more of your money to Helen Clark and her merry band. Do they get indoctrinated in this at our Nanny State schools that teach that education and healthcare must be state funded and run? Would they think the same about food, if that was state funded and supplied? Do they really think? or are they scared of the freedom and choice getting more of their own back would mean.
and why oh why, when Brash is NOT going to cut any services back, do they feel scared with his modest tax cuts?