The 14 Words

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Great Start In Germany: Three Days After Election Victory, Merkel’s Party Breaks Campaign Promise Of “No Tax Hikes”

Marxist Whore Merkel

Germans already pay a lot of taxes. The value added tax (VAT) was raised in 2007 to 19%. The state grabs 42% of any income above €52,882 and 45% of any income above €250,731. The list goes on: church tax, solidarity tax (“temporary,” to bail out East Germany), gasoline tax.... Not much is left over when a German is through paying taxes.

With consequences, among them: a twenty-year decline in German retail sales and a national passion for tax evasion. So, with an eye on the economy in the midst of a debt crisis, the conservative CDU, the party of Chancellor Angela Merkel, and its sister-party from Bavaria, the CSU, campaigned on a categorical pledge not to raise taxes.

“We don’t want to punish the top performers in the middle of our society with tax hikes for their efforts and daily work, but relieve the burden – unlike Red-Green,” a campaign flyer said (via Bild). Red-Green, the opposition pair of SPD and the Greens, inexplicably campaigned on jacking up the top income tax brackets and imposing a wealth tax, among other beloved goodies.

Merkel herself emphasized during a debate with her top challenger, Peer Steinbrück, on September 1, that 
“we must get by, and we can get by too” with the current tax revenues.  
“If we put people who create jobs into a situation where due to the wealth tax and higher top income tax rates they no longer create jobs ... that would be exactly the error....”  
Three days before the election, she warned: “Never put solid growth in jeopardy through tax increases.”
The pledge was successful. On September 22, the CDU/CSU won with (for Germany) a phenomenal margin that left them only a few seats short of an absolute majority. But their traditional coalition partner, the FDP, didn’t clear the 5% hurdle and got kicked out of parliament. Now, in order to be able to govern, the consummate political has to form a new coalition – with the SPD or the Greens. Or face new elections.

Kiss of death is what such a coalition is considered on the left among the rank and file, though the top echelon would love to grab some juicy ministerial jobs and taste the luxurious sweetness of power that come with being part of the government. The Finance Ministry for Steinbrück? Hardly. But he did have that job under Merkel during the last Grand Coalition. So maybe the Foreign Ministry? During this sort of horse-trading, planks of one campaign platform are junked, and planks from the other are inserted. In the process, the future coalition partner exacts their pound of flesh.

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