the downside of the Greens

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at
Fri Oct 2 09:40:42 PDT 1998

Dennis wrote:
>On Thu, 1 Oct 1998, Johannes Schneider wrote:
>> - Taxes: The Greens want to reduce the tax rate on the higest incomes to
>> percent. The SPD is somewhat unclear om this issue, but it seems
>> is more in favour of a 49% rate.
>> This issue is a highly symbolic one, because every percent of reduction
>> serves as an indicator how far the specific party one to make concessions
>> huge income earners and the bosses.
>But they would also abolish all the tax breaks, shelters and other goodies
>which enabled half of Hamburg's millionaires to pay no income tax in 1995
>alone. The biggest tax cuts would be for the lowest income earners, who
>would receive big breaks on their tax bill;
At the same time the Greens even want to abolish those tax breaks working class people profit from.
>> Tax on property ( Vermoegenssteuer ). The election platforms of both SPD
>> Greens proposed to reintroduce it. But in an interview with Frankfurter
>> Allgemeine Zeitung the spokesperson on fiscal issues argued against a
>> reintroduction. (Source FAZ oct. 1st).
>The Greens' Magdeburger program calls for a 1% wealth tax, plus a special
>solidarity tax of 2% on the superrich, which would last 15 years or so.
>They'd also like to see a Tobin tax on financial transactions. Wealth of
>up to 400,000 DM would not be taxed.
Just a few words on the 'famous' Magdeburger program: Among other things to attract some left-wing souls it called for a withdrawl of German troops from Bosnia. This weeks the Greens agred on the use of German fighter plans for air-strikes on Yugoslavia. Furthermore the Magdeburg program called for a gasoline price of five marks a litre. During the election campaign the Greens did everything to hide the Magdeburg program. Today it can be considered as obsolete. In general one should not take Green programs at their face value. More importants is what the leading people around Fischer tell.
>> Tax on petrol: The Greens want to increase this tax considerably. I doubt
>> whether this is a progressive measure, because it will hit primarily
>> woking-class people, who need a car to get to work. In the end it means
>> Greens are arguing the consumption of working class people is too high.
>Most people in Germany could take mass transit if they really wanted to;
>its population density is one of the highest in Europe and mass transit is
>quite good, on average.
Perhaps from the point of view of a North-American tourist mass transit in Germany might look nice. For a person who has to use it every day to get to work in time its not like this. Trains are crowded, dirty and unreliable. So I can understand everyone who does not want to it.
>The tax on gasoline is designed to reduce carbon
>dioxide emissions which happening to be heating up the atmosphere, not to
>punish the poor; who anyway would receive big reductions in their income
>taxes, so the net effect would still be positive for them.
Thats what the Greens are saying, but in the end it will just another tax increase common people have to bear. At the end of the day we will hear taht any reductions wont be possible because of the 'current budget' situation. Since nobody likes to pay taxes, its sounds much better if you are saying one has to pay taxes to protect the atmoshere instead of saying its cannons instead of butter. Johannes

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