No need to go to The Avengers when we've gotten a steady flow of theater right here in our domestic politics. First the KMT staged a play as pious as any medieval Mystery Play on the proposed new taxes on income derived from securities transactions....
The Executive Yuan yesterday suffered a setback to a major policy for a second consecutive day when Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators refused to place on the legislative agenda an amendment imposing taxes on income earned from securities.One of the KMT legislators, Wu Yu-sheng, proposed delaying a review of the amendments, blaming it on being overwhelmed with the beef mess. But who is Wu?
Wu, who has been labeled a loyal soldier of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), yesterday said the “KMT caucus will not do whatever the executive branch wants the caucus to do from now on.”So... question to my readers: when the "loyal soldier" of President Ma opposes President Ma's policies, is it because he has switched sides, or is it because Ma wants him to? This way the Administration can say it pushed the law but oh so sorry our recalcitrant legislature decided to thumb its nose at us and isn't it a shame that no one can control those unruly lawmakers? [cue crocodile tears]. And lo and behold....
“The caucus will act at our discretion if the executive branch fails to communicate with lawmakers before a major policy is made,” Wu said.
With one month left before the legislative session enters the summer recess, it appears unlikely that the amendments to the Income Tax Act (所得稅法) and the Income Basic Tax Act (所得基本稅額條例) will clear the legislative floor this session.Alas, the revisions are delayed until the next legislative session. What a pity, eh?
Another bit of theater displayed this week was the F-16s. Remember them? Sometime back in the Qing Dynasty the Taiwan government decided it needed F-16s and sent a letter to the US government asking for 66 F-16s. Well, here we are years later and still no F-16s. No sooner did Obama announce that the US might sell Taiwan a few F-16s the KMT broke out in a cold sweat. Diversion! The prospect of F-35s is raised! No hope of that, but the idea makes a nifty dislocation. Further news came out: the budget might not be there for the new aircraft!
Oscars for everyone! As a longtime observer noted, whenever the US moves forward on the F-16s, the KMT has a sudden bout of budget indigestion, and whenever Taiwan presses on the F-16s, the US refuses to sell. The only problem is determining whether the cooperation is planned in advance or whether both sides are simply acting out roles they both know so well there is no need to notify the other guy in advance.
Yes, Taiwan, what a delightful place to live, so many plays staged for our benefit.
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