A ''modest cull of the enormously poor'' has been suggested by right-wing business lobbyist Toby Ralph in a tongue-in-cheek opinion piece written in reaction to the federal government's attack on the ''fabulously wealthy'' through superannuation taxes.
A modest cull would strike at the root of our fiscal dilemma.''In contrast to the fabulously rich, the enormously poor make little useful contribution to society,'' wrote Mr Ralph, a long-time Liberal Party campaign strategist.
''They consume more than they contribute, putting tremendous strain on the national budget.
''This bold initiative would rid us of indolent students, hapless single mums, lower-order drug dealers, social workers, performance artists, Greenpeace supporters and the remaining processing personnel in our collapsing yet heavily subsidised manufacturing industries.''
Mr Ralph's bloody prescription for national economic recovery was written strictly as satire, he told Fairfax Media, saying ''some people want to be offended''.
The article ends with a suggestion that the government could recoup the $900 million it will gouge from the rich in super taxes by simply spending within its means for six days - but ''that's clearly just daft'', he wrote.
That has not stopped critics, including Mr Swan, questioning the wisdom of Menzies House publishing the article.
Menzies House was founded by Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, recently sent to the backbench over his comments on same-sex marriage leading to legalised bestiality.
Menzies House stemmed from Senator Bernardi's Conservative Leadership Foundation but he has since insisted he has no active role or editorial influence over it.
Chris Browne, a long-time employee of Senator Bernardi, resigned as editor-in-chief of Menzies House after an anonymous article was posted describing Joe Hockey as incompetent and a stain on the Coalition's reputation as a good economic manager.
Mr Browne was replaced by Tim Andrews, executive director of the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance and a former vice-president of the NSW Young Liberals.
Mr Andrews said of the article: ''It's a satire in the tradition of Jonathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal' and, as such, I do not see any cause for persons to be offended.''
The 1729 essay suggested the impoverished Irish could ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for the rich.