In bed with [redacted]

Jenesa Jeram
Insights Newsletter
13 April, 2018

Every Friday, regular Insights readers undoubtedly look forward to the Initiative’s take on public policy and current events. This week, however, I want to share something a bit personal. You see, I’ve been in a relationship for about as long as I can remember. But lately I’ve been feeling uncomfortable.

And I think it’s time I started talking about it.

At first, the warning signs were small. I’d try phoning [redacted] but they weren’t returning my calls. [Redacted] kept telling me my call was important to them, but would proceed to keep me on hold until I eventually gave up trying to initiate contact. I found out the hard way that I get in a lot of trouble if I do the same and ignore their communication.

If that wasn’t bad enough, [redacted] has also tried to make me feel self-conscious about my body and lifestyle. I’m constantly reminded that the foods I like will make me fat, and that [redacted] will stage an intervention if I can’t make responsible choices.

I’m no lush, but [redacted] has made me feel bad about my drinking too. And don’t even get me started about the time I tried having a mature conversation about marijuana with them.

The biggest warning sign, though, is when we talk about money. I’m noticing a bit of hypocrisy. I’ve been told that I’m bad with money. But I’ve noticed that [redacted] is pretty bad with money too. In fact, [redacted]’s confidence in their ability to pick winners is surely a symptom of a gambling problem. A particular obsession with boats has me worried.

But whenever I question how our money is spent, [redacted] sweetly whispers in my ear, “tax is love”.

I’m telling you all of this, dear reader, because I’ve recently found out that I’m not the only woman in [redacted]’s life. In fact, let’s get rid of the redactions, I may as well come out and say it: I’m in a relationship with The Government.

The Government has been flirting with readers of The Spinoff, using an IRD sponsored series of articles to promote the message that tax is love. One of the articles even tried portraying anyone who disagrees with the ‘tax is love’ sentiment as old fashioned and un-progressive (‘Leighton Smith generation’ was the term used).

If that’s the case, then excuse me while I grab my chastity belt because I’m becoming old-fashioned. Tax is about as romantic as a candle-lit dinner in a shopping mall food-court. But at least in a food court you get some choice. 

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