Well, I've been saying for a long time that Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda, who has called for Japan's sales taxes to be doubled, will be out of a job by July of this year - especially when he keeps throwing money away!
I've also stated repeatedly that Japan's problem of debt is not only declining revenues but a problem with Japan's government bureaucracy in not cutting of wasteful government spending. The debt and interest on that debt, along with an aging population, and energy crisis and a host of other problems will lead to our undoing. Without addressing the spending problem, Japan (and every other country in debt) will never dig out of the hole they are in. Please refer to: Japan's Noda Government Passes 200% Tax Increase - Look for Noda to be Out by July, September at the Latest:
....Without massive cuts in today's current spending, they can raise taxes to the moon and it won't help. Either way, I predict that this tax increase hasn't the chance of a snow-cone in hell of passing into law. The Noda government is extremely unpopular. The Daily Yomiuri reports in Noda Cabinet approval ratings slides to 30%:
The approval rating of the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda fell to 30 percent from 37 percent in a January survey conducted immediately after a Cabinet reshuffle, a Yomiuri Shimbun survey has found.
And, now, if I read the results of this survey correctly, I have 100% of the Japanese public agreeing with me. Never mind the poor reporting of the story I am about to show you by local English language news sources, let's just look at what they've reported, shall we?
According to a news story that appeared today in the Japan Today web site entitled, "58% of companies say conditions not yet ripe for consumption tax hike", it says:
In a further sign of trouble for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, 58% of companies say that conditions are not yet ripe for a hike in the consumption tax, according to the monthly Reuters Tankan business sentiment survey of 400 companies conducted last week.
Noda has been struggling to win support for a plan to raise the 5% tax to 10% by late 2015 to fund bulging welfare costs in a fast-aging society.
Of those wary about tax hikes, 78% called for sweeping administrative and political reforms, while 66% urged policymakers to present a clear outline for the future of social security. Respondents were allowed to pick more than one area of concern.
The poll underlined public distrust of policymakers who have failed for years to cut wasteful spending and curb public debt now twice the size of Japan’s $5 trillion economy - the worst among industrial countries.
Yeah. People aren't that stupid. I think that, as I've written, most people understand that unless we control spending, we can raise taxes to the moon and it won't matter.
I've also mentioned on several occasions that I think these surveys that show any percent of the public thinking raising sales tax is a good idea are highly suspect, but today's survey takes the cake. Before I go and show evidence of that, let me just explain something that seems to have fallen down the memory hole for most people; and that is that the political party of which Yoshihiko Noda is a member of came to power in a general election in Japan on a platform that was against raising the sales tax!
The Asahi News reports in DPJ's Governing Fiasco: Party Never Challenged Finance Ministry:
The DPJ thrashed the Liberal Democratic Party in the August 2009 Lower House election with a promise not to increase the consumption tax rate for four years.Uh, don't look, now Yoshihiko Noda and the DPJ, it's not 2013 but only 2012, you've now broken the promise that won you the election.
Can anyone say "Four prime ministers in four year?" Shoot. I knew you could. Quick! Someone cue that 80s song by Beck!
But I digress....
Back to the results of the survey. The Japan Today site reports the above. But let's look at how the Japan Times reports the very same story: "58% of poll respondents oppose consumption tax hike":
Fifty-eight percent of respondents in a nationwide survey in Japan are opposed to the government's policy of doubling the consumption tax rate in stages by the mid-2010s, according to The Tokyo Shimbun daily Sunday.
The survey, based on face-to-face interviews, was conducted on 3,000 people on Dec. 17 and 18 by a nationwide opinion poll body organized by Kyodo News and 38 of its members. Of the total, 1,756 replied, a response rate of about 58 percent.
Wait! What? Read that again! "58% of poll respondents oppose tax hike." Okay. Then it goes on to say that 3,000 people were polled and 1,756 replied, "A response rate of 58%."
So, I may be confused, but this convoluted sentence, seems to me could be read to mean two things:
a) 58% of 58% of people oppose a sales tax
b) Of the people polled, only 58% responded and those were all negatives; meaning they opposed the proposed sales tax increase.
Even though the reporting seems confusing, now, (b) makes sense to me. Because I don't believe that there's a people in any nation of the world who wishes to pay more sales tax... The only ones who would be in favor of a sales tax increase are people who are able to pocket that increase. I doubt that there's a working person alive who can perform that magic trick.
This looks to say to me, that "100% of poll respondents oppose a sales tax increase." But maybe it doesn't? So I asked all my friends and co-workers if they opposed a sales tax increase, and guess what? It was 100% opposed! No surprises there.
Noda is out on his a*s by July. Mark my words.
Look for Ichiro Ozawa to be Japan's next prime minister. When that happens, all bets are off the table. (But it can't be any worse than what we have now!)
UPDATE! As of last night, in my direct and informal survey, I have asked 42 people if they are against a sales tax hike. I have a solid 100% strongly against. My survey has a margin of error of zero.