Which German political parties are favored by the rich, and act on behalf of the rich? The oligarchs who rule Germany would like the voters to believe that it’s the upstart AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) that is the party of the rich, while the established parties are looking after the interests of the little people.
The establishment line is, however, a fairy tale. Many thanks to JLH for translating this report from Geolitico:
The Rich Are Supporting Merkel’s Popular Front
by Wolfgang Prabel
October 8, 2016
The so-called “leftist” policy of the Merkel popular front, consisting of CDU, SPD, GREENS and LINKE [Left] favors the rich while it bleeds the working population.
As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has discovered, the ex-director of West German Radio (WDR) Monika Piel has a pension with a cash value of €3.2 million.
“For the present director, Tom Buhrow, the sum of 3.1 million was quoted. For all current members of the business leadership in 2014, the WDR is providing 15.1 million. Exactly which pensions are coming out of that, the broadcast company prefers not to say. What is clear is that they are sumptuous. BILD magazine has calculated that Tom Buhrow will likely receive little less than now. Recently, he was being paid €359,000 annually.
So, about €25,000 per month. That would be almost OK for a year — but a month? Tax-financed millionaires are not just turned out in state-run television. It’s also possible to make a mint in the Bundestag and municipal savings banks.
The LINKE on Supervisory Boards
Why I mention this is because Gregor Gysi accuses the AfD of being in with the rich people, while heads of DAX companies and TV chiefs would rather cut off an arm than vote AfD. The AfD barely gets a toehold in the rich quarters of large cities. In the villa district of Berlin-Zehlendorf or some time ago in Hamburg-Blankensee, AfD trailed the Greens and even the FDP.
The reproach of helping the rich is much more appropriate to the LINKE than the AfD. The AfD did not agree to the broadcasting contracts in Germany. That was the leftists. And by doing so, they let the scandalously high pensions and salaries go through.
It is not the AfD that is sitting on the boards of municipal savings banks, but (at least in the East) the leftist party. It was not the AfD that voted for the raising of parliamentary per diems, but the CDU/CSU and SPD. Here, the LINKE must be allowed some credit for voting against it.
LINKE Policy Against the Little People
On the other hand, the LINKE supports a poor tax — the renewable energy charge [EEG] — which bleeds German households of ca. €25 billion annually. Without regard to income. On July 6, 2016, it entered a document in the Bundestag in which an increase of the EEG beyond the administration’s proposal is asked. That has to be savored. Neither the head of DAX and the director of broadcasting use much more electricity than an ordinary person. EEG and GEZ (TV tax) are really head taxes. So it is of little or no help that the LINKE is suggesting the freeing of the poor from the electricity tax. What the welfare recipients are exempted from, ordinary people will take on as an extra burden. Because the wind power millionaires want to take nothing away from the LINKE.
Theater directors, too, are utterly overpaid. And again, the AfD does not sit on the oversight committees of the theater. It is the old parties that are feathering the nests of their acting comrades.
Gysi demanded the reintroduction of the wealth tax. Apparently, he did not consider that the property tax (at the moment more than €12 billion annually) is an assets tax ,which is especially burdensome to the little people. Anyone who believes that the property tax only affects homeowners is mistaken. It is added to the rent in apartment buildings.
The wealth tax brought €4.5 billion into the coffers when it was removed. It was very susceptible to argument and gave the financial administration and taxpayers above average instances of litigation, with evaluative battles before the financial courts. Because of the principle of equality, wealth must be determined globally and contemporarily. The evaluation of private possessions — like art and antiques — is very expensive for tax authorities and gathers comparatively little tax income. Antiques had long before 1996 ceased to attract the tax offices, because it just wasn’t worth it.
The Burden of Social Security Taxes
In a brief interview, Gysi acted as through the income tax were the most tolerable payout in Germany. Here are the figures: the Lohnsteuer was somewhat more than 15% of the total German tax burden, while the Einkommensteuer was somewhat more than 4%.
By comparison, the pension insurance payments were 18%, medical and nursing care insurance 20%, unemployment insurance 3%, sales tax 18%. Even the sales tax has long since overtaken the wage (Lohn) tax. And it is a greater burden to those with a low income than to the wage earners.
The little people are especially plagued by the social security taxes and typical poor taxes: sales tax, TV license tax, renewable energy tax, property tax, energy tax, electricity tax, insurance tax, tobacco tax, vehicle tax and beer tax. By the wage tax, not so much.
Now an example. With a monthly gross of €1,500, a single person pays €86 in wage tax, and together with the employer ca. €600 social security tax. With €2,000 gross, it is €207 or ca. €800 per month. And then there is the whole mess of the excise tax, amounting to considerably more than the wage tax.
The AfD is planning several good acts, which Gysi prefers not to mention. AfD would like to completely repeal the TV fees (€8 billion) and electricity tax (€25 billion) and considerably raise the exemption for the wage tax. There are good reasons that the rich DAX CEOs, radio directors and savings bank directors prefer to vote for Merkel’s people’s front of CDU,SPD, GREENS and LINKE, than the AfD.
|1.||Gregor Gysi, member of the Bundestag for LINKE|
|2.||DAX = German stock exchange|
|3.||Einkommensteuer vs Lohnsteuer. Since I can barely understand my own taxes, it is bitter irony for me to attempt to explain someone else’s, but my research seems to indicate that Lohnsteuer (wage) — as a subdivision of Einkommensteuer (income) — has to do with money earned by working independently.