Speaking of taxes…

We have now reached the point where folks volunteer, plead to be taxed.

A group of 50 rich Germans has joined the ”tax me harder” movement by renewing their open call to Angela Merkel to ”stop the gap between rich and poor getting even bigger.”

Sure, these particular folks have money to burn. Unfortunately, the taxation never stops with them and does absolutely nothing to fill this “gap” they pretend to worry about. How does giving your money-to-burn to the state so it can burn it for you change anything?

”None of us are in Buffett’s or Bettencourt’s league, most of our wealth is inherited. But we have more money than we need.”

“Imagine that a genie magically appeared and offered to grant you one wish – and, being a decent sort, you wished that everyone’s income would be doubled. That could bring down on you the wrath of the political left, because it would mean that the gap between the rich and the poor had widened. That is basically their complaint against the American economy.”

We will tax them in the brothels, we will tax them on the street, we shall never surrender!

This is yet another example of German Steuergerechtigkeit (tax justice) in action.

The city of Bonn has introduced a parking meter for prostitutes working on the street. They are now required to pay 6 euros in tax per night to carry out their trade. And they must show their tickets to tax inspectors sent to check (and some of these guys will check again and again and again). This is only fair or something as the girls in the brothels already have to pay.

Hmmm. Is this a progressive tax or a regressive tax? Is it a corporate tax or more like property tax? It’s not a pole tax, is it? An incum tax?

Es drohen Bußgelder bis zu 100 Euro.

“Egalitarians create the most dangerous inequality of all – inequality of power. Allowing politicians to determine what all other human beings will be allowed to earn is one of the most reckless gambles imaginable. Like the income tax, it may start off being applied only to the rich but it will inevitably reach us all.”

Reality Bites Biting Again

Are we having a mutiny yet?

The seething discontent in Germany over Europe’s debt crisis has spread to all the key institutions of the state. “Hysteria is sweeping Germany.” Uh, hysteria is always sweeping Germany. So what’s the big deal this time?

It’s not all that big, really. On September 7, a 440 billion euro EU bail-out fund (EFSF) package (empowering the EFSF to buy bonds pre-emptively and recapitalize banks) goes to the Bundestag and to the country’s constitutional court for a ruling on it’s legality.

German media reported that the latest tally of votes in the Bundestag shows that 23 members from Mrs Merkel’s own coalition plan to vote against the package, including twelve of the 44 members of Bavaria’s Social Christians (CSU). This may force the Chancellor to rely on opposition votes, risking a government collapse.

So? It will pass, of course, because it doesn’t really matter what the man on the street thinks, hysteria or not. This is just another case of what happens when political dreams collide with reality. When the dreamers aren’t held accountable for what they dream, I mean. Happens all the time. No accountability, no problem. Let’s face it: Everybody’s living in the Matrix here and everybody loves it.

“Behind Winston ‘s back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away about pig-iron and the over fulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan.”

Seven Years Of Famine Or Something

No short-term pain, no long-term gain.

“There might well be seven lean years ahead for the world economy,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in a speech at a meeting of Nobel laureates at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.

What he really meant was seven years of fiscal consolidation (austerity measures) in Europe (and elsewhere?). This is the key to long-term growth, he says. My, how, uh, German or something.

Jiminy Crickets. As if the ten plagues of late hadn’t been bad enough already, now the Germans themselves (they own Europe, you see, and are recreating it in their own image) are going to inflict the Pharaohs of the EU with seven years of boils, hail, locusts and darkness. In the form of austerity measures, I mean. Or maybe they won’t. Hard to say for sure. Could be that monkeys will fly out of their butts instead.

Muddy Waters knew the deal:

On the seventh hour, of the seventh day,
on the seventh month, the seventh economic witch doctor say:
“He’s born for good luck, and I know you see;
Got seven hundred euros, and don’t you mess with me.

“Germany hasn’t been a reliable power for several years”

“Neither domestically nor abroad,” Mr. Kohl said.

“I have to ask myself, where does Germany actually stand today and where does it want to go?”

Merkel’s UN abstention was popular in German polls. And as the Libya NATO operation proved indecisive and messy, with rebels in pickup trucks taking towns and then retreating, and with talk of quagmire, some German officials were telling French colleagues, “We told you so.”

Germany Just Wants To Help

To help itself to a piece of Libya’s reconstruction pie, that is.

And they will get it, too. They always do, although they may have to squirm and grovel around for a bit first. Damn. If this were the US we were talking about here I’d have to say that they are only in it for the oil.
 
Hey, you win a few, you lose a few (nobody’s keeping count in the end, right?): The biggest loser — beside Gaddafi and his soul mates, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez — may well be Angela Merkel of Germany. She looks timid and vacillating beside Sarkozy, on Libya as well as on the European debt crisis.

That result could be ephemeral. But Merkel’s determined effort to dissociate Germany from any alliance role in Libya meant that the European Union lost a historic opportunity to create a leadership role for itself on a foreign-policy crisis that was strategic for Europe. France and Britain had to work within NATO, not the E.U., when their forces went into harm’s way.

The Draußenminister Speaks

Explains Libya, I mean. Who says that Germans don’t have chutzpe? But I guess that’s the only alternative you have left once you’ve so loudly and unnecessarily painted/isolated yourself into a corner (it’s not as if they could ever admit that they were wrong or anything).

Guido Westerwelle, who many Germans like to call the Draußenminister (the minister on the outside or the out of it minister, as opposed to Außenminister = foreign minister), has offered his take on Libya. Not that anybody really wanted to hear it or anything. But still.

Ignoring that big ugly elephant in the room, that a human catastrophe, a massacre can be avoided with rapid and determined military action, Guido informs us that Germany’s strict nein to taking part in this action (sanctioned by the UN, despite Germany’s abstention) and it’s electing to go it alone once again and push for gool old-fashioned “sanctions” instead, this is what actually brought about the change currently taking place in Libya. He never even turned red in the face once while explaining this to us, either. Diplomats can just do that stuff, I guess. Even when they’re on the outside. Looking in, I mean.

Der deutsche Außenminister gibt den Libyen-Experten und rät zur Vorsicht bei der Beurteilung der Lage. Dabei trifft Westerwelle wieder einmal nicht den richtigen Ton: Anstatt die Lektion aus dem deutschen Sonderweg zu akzeptieren, tut er so, als sei der Erfolg der Rebellen auch sein Verdienst.

Germany Now Prepared To Send Troops To Libya

Maybe. Just maybe. But first let’s wait and see what happens down there. And think this through thoroughly, as usual. Until it’s all over, I mean.

We don’t want to rush headless into this thing, after all. Spineless, maybe, but not headless.

Thanks, Germany or something. They couldn’t have done it without you but did anyway.

Die Bundesregierung wollte sich partout nicht am militärischen Einsatz gegen Oberst Gaddafi beteiligen. Nun zerfällt seine Diktatur – und für Deutschland zeigt sich das ganze Ausmaß dieser Fehlentscheidung.

Tribute

You got to pay tribute where tribute is due. And Germany’s Left party has done it yet again–and deserve the tribute (damn these guys are on a roll these days). By paying tribute to former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in a letter to mark his 85th birthday over the weekend, I mean.

“You can look back proudly on your life of battles and successful action at the head of the Cuban revolution,” the letter goes. OK. But always remember: The Left party is not communist or communist-like or even all that left-leaning in any way shape or form, as they say time and time again. They’re just, uh, progressive or something.

Auf die Genossen in Deutschland kann sich Fidel Castro verlassen. Pünktlich zum 85. Geburtstag des kubanischen Revolutionsführers hat die Parteispitze der Linken eine Grußbotschaft nach Havanna geschickt, die den Jubilar gerührt haben dürfte.

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