“Money Money Money – It's a Rich Man's World”
More evidence has surfaced about how the rich rig and rort the system to get rich and richer. And how they buy politicians and parties.
In 2016-17, 69 millionaires in Australia “arranged” their affairs and paid zero tax.
Principally they claimed massive deductions for the cost of “managing their tax affairs”, and for gifts and donations.
Many also claimed franking credits from their share portfolios, to avoid income tax or even to receive a payback from the government: 37 millionaires claimed $7.8 million in deductions.
Landlords claimed losses on their property investments, including:
• $18 billion in interest payments
• $2.7 billion for capital works (they upgrade their properties and we pay)
• $1.9 billion for repairs and maintenance
• $1.6 billion for property agents' fees, and
• $400 million for travel expenses.
Meanwhile, big businesses donated massive sums to buy the parliamentary votes and policies of parties and politicians.
For example, over a decade, the gambling, alcohol and tobacco industries donated $14.1 million to the parliamentary parties. These donations spiked at times when debate was occurring about alcopop taxes and gambling reform.
Australia's pathetic laws only require disclosure of donations above $13,800. So, there are multiple secret donations of just under $13,800.
The spotlight has recently been focused on the supposed influence of Chinese companies and individuals, but by far the biggest bribers are US and other multinational corporations and industry groups.
Incidentally, Pauline Hanson and One Nation supported the meagre laws banning foreign donations to political parties, only to be caught with their hand in the till soliciting huge donations from the US National Rifle Association.
Research in the US has tracked the relationship between donations to US parties and politicians, and their voting behaviour in Congress.
There is a clear and consistent correlation.
In the capitalist system, parties and politicians are for sale. Money doesn't just talk – it rules.