Loose cannons

May 23, 2005

American Dream

"Working and low-income families from New York to California face an affordable-housing shortage that threatens to spoil the 'American Dream' of a decent home if you get a decent job. A recent Center for Housing Policy study found 76% of working families in the United States pay more than half their income for housing." — United Press International, May 5.

Keep 'em struggling

"I reckon you'd be struggling on $40,000 to $50,000 in Australia if you were paying a mortgage and raising some kids." — Federal treasurer Peter Costello on May 16, justifying his latest tax cuts, which gave these taxpayers an extra $6 a week.

Working class

"Anybody who derives their income from labour is part of the working class. Since I derive my income in that way, draw your own conclusions." — Treasurer Costello, who earns $200,200 a year plus perks, May 16.

No working-class solidarity

"A 2.5% tax cut for average joes, 9.5% plus for people with salaries twice as big. On the face of it, ordinary workers didn't seem to fare too well. If the PM and the treasurer had heard the scornful comments of those who do the real work in Parliament House — cleaners, security staff, parliamentary attendants — their ears would have been burning." — Nine Network political correspondent Laurie Oakes, May 18.

Sanction busting

"'I did a bit of sanction busting', he said, brandishing a cigar. 'I smoked a Havana cigar just like this one. I smoked it inside the Capitol building, I even blew the smoke at the White House.'" — British anti-war MP George Galloway after his testimony before a US Senate subcommittee, quoted in a May 18 Reuters report.

From Green Left Weekly, May 25, 2005.
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