Thursday, May 26, 2011

Taxpayers To The Rescue

Mid 2010 and West Australia mine owner Gina Rinehart is clambering aboard a pick-up truck in a park in the ritzy Perth suburb Subiaco. Gina was there to protest the new mining tax being proposed by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

"We'll all be rooned" was the basic theme as mining magnate after magnate mounted the tray of the pick-up to proclaim the evil tax on Australia's mineral wealth would be the end of life as we know it.

Fast forward a year and we are pleased to announce Gina Rinehart has weathered the socialist storm and today has been declared Australia's richest citizen with a fortune estimated at $10.3 billion.

In the BRW magazine Rich List released today Gina's pal who joined her that fateful day in Subiaco Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest is calculated to have a $6.18 billion bank account, a jump of $4.24 billion from the day Rudd unfairly proposed these upright citizens should contribute more to the general economy.

The rotund Clive Palmer who bankrolled a million dollar advertising campaign against the mining tax has seen his wealth jumped to $5.5 billion, trousering an extra $3.92 billion in just one year.

The Rudd government famously crashed and burned following the mining tax debacle (with just a little nudge from News Ltd) but just to show there were no hard feelings over the mining tax Palmer announced a bumper profit at the end of 2010 and treated 55 favoured employees to a brand new Mercedes saloon each for Christmas.

Who said Australia wasn't still  the Lucky Country ?

Marc & Elaine Rich (c)
Romping in second on the Rich List is the reclusive financier Ivan Glasenberg with a lazy $8.8 Billion to his name.  Glasenberg runs the world's largest commodities trader Glencore.

For those with short memories Glencoe was the corporation run by Marc Rich who went on the lam with the FBI on his trail over some racketeering charges. The Shuttle once attended a party given by Rich's wife Elaine in a grand New York penthouse duplex apartment that covered the entire 2 top floors of a skyscraper overlooking Central park.

The bash was for Milton Berle's 90th birthday. The Shuttle chatted to another guest at the party, Joyce Wildenstein the woman famous for having so much plastic surgery. She was standing next to a man grinding an organ that had a monkey on a chain attached. The colours Joyce was wearing matched those of the monkey's outfit. It was a strange party.

If Elaine Rich was worried about her husband being a fugitive she didn't show it and was a gracious hostess. In 2001 and on his last day in office Bill Clinton gave Rich a presidential pardon.

In 2004 a CIA report stated that Glencoe had avoided UN sanctions and paid Saddam Hussein $US3.2 million in illegal kickbacks for oil from the Iraqi regime.

Nice work if you can get it.