One thing's for sure, it's going to be a long time between drinks before there's another tax cut. And what tax rises might be in the budget apart from a debt levy, or the way the furore is going perhaps instead of it, I wonder?
Bracket creep for one. That's where you automatically pay more tax because your pay has gone up. Fair enough, except that with both tax and inflation taking their toll, your real wealth will fall by stealth and, of course, the government can feign ignorance, something I suspect it's going to be rather good at.
But even Treasury has pointed out that the average pay packet of $78,000 will tip from 34 per cent into the 38 per cent marginal tax bracket next year.
Although Treasurer Joe Hockey seems to have accepted the Commission of Audit's recommendation to return bracket creep through ''periodic'' tax cuts, that depends on his colleagues holding down growth in spending to a degree no government has ever managed.
At the least, any tax cut would have to wait until the next election campaign. Meanwhile, you will still be going backwards, and increasingly so each year.
Within two years, if you are on the average wage, you will be paying $1000 more a year in tax. Yet there will be no ''Budget's $1000 tax grab'' headlines.
If you are on $37,000, after your next pay rise, you will jump from a 21.5 per cent marginal tax rate, including the Medicare levy, to 34 per cent in a single bound.
Even when you stay in the same bracket, your tax will still increase proportionately more than your pay, which is why it's also called fiscal drag.
Is there any way to beat bracket creep apart from not working at all?
Yes, sort of. You could negatively gear into property or shares, but this would be self-defeating. While you might drop down a bracket or two, depending on how much the investment is losing, it's a strategy for, well, losers. Going backwards just so you pay less tax is never going to make you rich. Trust me.
Or you could salary sacrifice more into superannuation. This is no help in the cash department either, unless it pulls you down a tax rung, but at least it's guaranteed to make you better off one day.
How so? Because tax is lower all the way through super, compared with putting money elsewhere.
Oops, that's unless you earn less than $18,200. I'm afraid one of the first things the Coalition did was ditch the low-income super contribution of up to $500, designed to offset the 15 per cent tax on salary sacrificing.
Don't confuse that with the co-contribution scheme, where the government also puts up to $500 into your super by matching only your non-salary-sacrificed contributions. That's still there.
Mind you, the trouble with super is that the government is bound to increase the age at which you can get to it, probably from 60 to 62, as it lifts the retirement age.
So what other tax nasties might be in store?
Let your imagination run wild, but cutting the private health rebate and family tax benefit, reindexing the fuel levy and doing something with the Medicare levy all come to mind.
Increasing GST would be too obviously a carbon-tax moment, but there's one possibility that doesn't break a promise, is easy to do, and comes with a convincing economic case. Oh, and I nearly forgot: it could raise a lot of money.
I'm talking about lowering the GST threshold on internet shopping from $1000 to $100 or $200. Although the extra billions of dollars would go to the states, it would be the perfect excuse for the Commonwealth to cut other grants to them.
Read David Potts in Weekend Money, with The Sunday Age every week.
Twitter @money potts