Category: Foreign Affairs
The country that gave the world Monty Pythons Flying Circus, Mr Bean, and The Goon Show, has just held a General Election. In true comic form, standing alongside the British Prime Minister Theresa May as results were read out for her Maidenhead constituency, were Lord Buckethead, Howling “Laud” Hope, and Elmo.
I can say without hesitation that this was the worst election I have known in my sixty years of election watching. A seemingly insuperable lead of over 20% disappeared as blunder after blunder was made by our supposed team of brilliant strategists.
The Trump administration has bit the bullet, and to the outraged dismay of the political left has withdrawn from the Paris accords. That agreement, which went into effect on November 4, 2016, just days before Donald Trump’s election is a complex affair in which the United States made the key “voluntary” commitment to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions in the next decade by about a quarter of their 2005 rate, with further reductions to come thereafter.
National has long promised tax cuts once the books return to a surplus - as a pathway to stronger economic growth and higher living standards. With the Government on track to achieve a full-year surplus of at least $1.8 billion in the Budget, the time is right for them to keep their promise.
The Trump administration has revealed a one-page tax plan that, if implemented, could have vast consequences for the economy of the United States. The high points of that plan are simplification and repeal. The brackets go down from seven to three - 10%, 15%, 35%. Corporate tax rates are slashed from 35% to 15%.
2016 has been a year of significant political change. Establishment politics has been turned on its head. From the Brexit referendum in the UK, to the election of Donald Trump in the US, the shock waves kept coming.