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Monday, May 13, 2013

Lapid's Marie Antionette Style Budget

There isn't much  good I can say about our new Finance Minister's budget, except that Yair Lapid has a lot of guts.  There's hardly anyone, especially among those who voted for him, who likes and agrees with Lapid's first budget.  I agree this the detractors here.  This budget makes no sense to me.

In terms of the cuts in the military, it's outrageous, ridiculous and dangerous.   On one hand Lapid and the Israeli government still say that they want to draft pretty  much all the chareidi men, claiming the army needs them, but if the military budget is reduced, there won't be money for that.  And that's one of the simpler points to ponder.
With a vote in the full cabinet expected Monday on Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s budget proposal for 2013- 2014, the security cabinet met throughout the day Sunday and into the night to parse out NIS 4 billion in proposed cuts to defense spending.
I agree with Professor Ron Breiman that reducing army service will only endanger us.
Only once before in Israeli history has a similar measure been taken, and only two draft classes were able to enjoy it. I'm talking about those who were drafted in August and November of 1964 and served only two years and two months. Not long after, the quiet along Israel's borders, since 1956, was broken and the winds of war began to blow from Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The result was the Six-Day War in 1967.
In the years following the Six-Day War -- the years of the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, the First Lebanon War -- it was clear to everyone that there was no choice but to maintain the three-year mandatory service policy. Only in the 1990s , when the bells of "peace" rang in "the new Middle East" did country's leaders think again about shortening military service. This time, however, the easing of the security burden was directed at the reserve army, not towards changing the three-year mandatory service policy. The reserve service cut-off was lowered to 40 years of age, the need to receive a permit for travelling abroad was cancelled, and more.
It will make a much less professional and competent IDF.

I call it a Marie Antionette budget, because it harms the poor more than the rich.  In a rare move, I agree with Labor's  Shelly Yacimovich.
According to her figures, after factoring in tax changes, price increases, National Insurance Institute child allotments and so forth, the bottom 10 percent of Israelis would lose a whopping 25.1% of their income while the richest decile would only lose 2.2%. The majority of the changes stemmed from proposed reductions in child allotments.
“A picture arises of a heavy bur- den from difficult, regressive, non-egalitarian cuts that clearly hurt the poor and middle classes, primarily, and hardly touch the rich,” Yacimovich said.
I work in one of those minimum wage jobs, and none of us have any "fat" to trim from our budgets.  So, big deal if the wealthier will take fewer trips abroad or keep their cars a year or two longer.  For many of us those sorts of luxuries are just dreams.

Please add your opinions on the various aspects of Lapid's budget in the comments, thanks.

13 comments:

dvorah rut Weidner said...

Actually, I just see the humor of HaShem. Lapid wants to take talmidim out of the yeshivot, yet he cuts the very same budget that is needed for the induction....I think there is lots of laughing going on above and we just have to remember the entire medinat Israel are marionette puppets in the Hands of HKBH.

Janet Clare said...

Also shocking is the ANNUAL PROPERTY TAX on the DEAD that Lapid is pushing for. That is, taxing the living for the space their dead and murdered relatives are taking up in the Holyland. What about Jews who have no relatives, like holocaust survivors killed fighting in Israel's War for Independence, or today's lone soldiers, H"YD? If he's successful, being dead won't put one out of reach of Yair Lapid either.

Shy Guy said...

Gee, Devorah. Glad you think Hashem laughs while the needy and those who aren't keeping there heads above water sink even deeper.

I don't think so.

Shy Guy said...

The solutions necessary:

1. No corporate tax.

2. No VAT.

3. Flat rate income leveled income tax rates from 10% to 25%.

4. Shut down Bituach Leumi. It's a pyramid scheme.

5. Gradually fire 50-60% of government, regional and municipal workforces.

6. Volunteer army and trim the tons of fat wasted in the military.

Vote for me! :)

Shy Guy said...

I forgot to add:

1. No more child allowances. Instead deductions for dependents.

2. No more special monies for anybody or anything.

Janet Clare said...

Im sure many of us could come up with other non-Marie-Antoinette ways to immediately help the economy and people Israel, such as to cease giving MILLIONS to the P.A., who want to NUKE Israel, for weapons and "economic" aid. In like manner, stop giving free electricity, water, medical care and other Israeli public services to the PLO/Hamas controled Philistines of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Furthermore, Lapid could return what's left of the millions -MILLIONS- of our tax shekels his father, MK Tommi Lapid, took in bribes to support Sharon's destruction of Jewish communities in Gush Katif and Samaria. These are just a few examples of honorable acts that would ease the tax burden on the people of Israel, as well as raise the quality of life.

Batya said...

Janet, you're right about the money being wasted because it's given to the PA. Excellent point.

Shy, I need my old age Bituach leumi.

Anonymous said...

Very good comments. Still wondering how Lapid was voted into office! He is a disaster and that people fell for it by Bennett attaching himself to him is beyond the pale. He is definitely getting his orders from ???, and that's why he got in (everything is always fixed). Liked Janet Clare's comment the most and Shy Guy with good suggestions. But like Dvora commented, everything is from Above and will in the end bring us the Geula, but, at what cost? Mercy is what is needed from Above. The world is in literal chaos.

Shy Guy said...

Shy, I need my old age Bituach leumi.
------------------------------------

And I need mine but the system is bankrupt and it will suck the earnings out of your children and grandchildren's wallets even more.

Pensions should be private - not government run.

You want to leave some form of national insurance for extreme cases of illness and disability? Perhaps. More thought is needed on how to do that without the massive waste that exists today - at your pension's expense, by the way.

Batya said...

Shy, I'm old and already get it. Not everyone is in a position to set up private pensions. You sound like Lapid. I live in the real world most people try to pretend doesn't exist.

a, Lapid was easy to market. Remember that most voters don't read the fine print.

Shy Guy said...

Batya, simply incorrect. All these years you've been forced to pay a fortune to a totally inefficient organization called National Insurance.

Next gilgul (chalila vechas!) enjoy deciding what to do with your own money by yourself.

Just putting it in a bank every month over the years would have given you a much bigger pension than what you're getting back.

You don't need a bureaucracy to babysit your money for you? Perhaps you do, but the rest of us should have a choice - an may the best babysitter win!

Batya said...

Shy and what's the chance we'd remember this gilgul's mistakes next time?
I'm a pragmatist, living in the here and now.

Shy Guy said...

Batya,

Chazal teach us:

אזהו חכם? הרןאה את הנולד

We are piling up the national debt for our children and grandchildren to inherit. Look at Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal and Italy, to name a few countries going down the drain.

A reminder from Honi Hame'agel:

"כשם שנטעו אבותי לי, אטע אני לבני"