Thursday, June 10, 2010

Windfall tax grab by Rudd has killed the ALP

| The Spectator

Miscellaneous factoids I dug up: did you know AngloGold Ashtani CEO Mark Cutifani worked in a mine in exchange for university tuition, and now runs a multibillion dollar company? That BHP has lost more market capitalisation (as of last week) courtesy of the super tax than BP has lost post the Gulf oil spill? That no-name African finance ministers have approached big mining delighted with the Rudd muck-up?

At breakfast the next morning I ran into the Australian’s ever-gracious Paul Kelly, and I tried out my Rudd Theory of Decline on him, the outline of which I’ve laid out in WSJ editorials over a period of months: that provided Australians didn’t feel the effects of the global recession, Rudd was popular, and that popularity fed the belief he could do what he liked to the economy (reunionisation, healthcare ‘reform,’ higher taxes, blowout public spending), but the ‘super-tax’ is a step too far because now ordinary Aussies understand their prosperity is under siege. ‘Sounds right, Mary,’ Paul said, smiling. You know where this is going: call us the canary in the mine.

Mary Kissel is editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal Asia and a member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.