399,000 Euros

That’s what one regional director among the “public-sector broadcasters” (state TV) earns here annually – that guy down there. There a dozen or two of these directors out there, by the way.

Intendant

Why that’s more than the President of the United States makes (not that our current President particularly cares about what he gets paid).

Is TV that good here in Germany, you ask? Why yes, it is. Just ask that regional director. It is in fact so good that all Germans are permitted to finance it with a so-called Abgabe, or contribution. Contribution sounds better than tax. Contribution contributes more to the warm and fuzzy feeling everybody has here about state-run TV. And it also contributes to that guy’s ridiculous salary, too. But quality has its price. And as viewers are told time and time and time again, what they are watching is Quality pur (pure).

Wenn man immer geringere Bezahlung fordere, könnten sich am Ende nur noch Milliardäre leisten, eine öffentlich-rechtliche Anstalt zu leiten.

 

Advertisements

Germany Outraged Over Swiss Outrage About German Outrage

So that’s why Germany has indicted a Swiss citizen on suspicion of espionage for spying on German tax investigators.

Data

It’s complicated and goes like this: The German state government of North Rhine-Westphalia (SPD – at that time) decided to openly deal in stolen goods by purchasing, from a criminal who worked for a Swiss bank, a CD containing details on German clients of said Swiss bank. These Germans were dodging German taxes and this illegally acquired CD was then used to pursue numerous tax evasion cases in Germany.

The Swiss, outraged by this, had one of their spies try to obtain information on tax officials in North Rhine-Westphalia and wiggle his way into their system but he got caught doing so.

The Germans, outraged by this, have now indicted him for this outrageous activity and are outraged, as usual, that anyone could ever be outraged by any of the outrageous stuff Germans are always doing, which, in and of itself, is also an outrage. Like I said, complicated. Outrageously complicated.

Zunächst beschaffte er laut Bundesanwaltschaft persönliche Daten von drei nordrhein-westfälischen Steuerfahndern. Später platzierte er demnach eine Quelle in der nordrhein-westfälischen Finanzverwaltung.

More Government In Action

Here’s how this one works.

Tax

Step 1: The German government invents a new tax back in 2011 (before Fukushima even) making German energy utilities pay the government for using the nuclear fuel rods they already use.

Step 2: The utilities raise the price of energy they produce directly after that so the German consumer covers this arbitrary government interference.

Step 3: The German supreme court now rules that this tax is unconstitutional (you can’t just make up taxes that don’t have a constitutional basis, not even in Germany) and that the German government must now pay back the six billion euros (with interest) it took from these utilities.

Step 4 (still to come): The utilities will not compensate the German consumer nor reduce the price increases it passed on to them for having had to pay for this illegal German government tax.

Step 5 (still to come): The German government has already spent the six billion euros, of course, so it will need to round up that money from somewhere else.

Step 6 (just a question): Who do you think the German government is going to get this money from?

The system is rund (round), as the German say. And it works perfectly, as usual.

Der Gesetzgeber, so die Begründung, kann nicht irgendwelche Steuern erfinden, sondern nur solche einführen, die im Grundgesetz vorgesehen sind.

German Of The Day: Spitzensteuersatz

That means maximum tax rate. In Germany that’s 42 percent at the moment – and climbing.

Taxation

But the cool thing about the maximum tax rate in Germany is that you don’t have to be a maximum earner to have to pay it. More and more regular folks are permitted to pay this killer rate – some 3.7 million Germans at the moment – and climbing. In 2004 it was 1.2 million taxpayers. Now that’s what I call Fortschritt (progress).

Unter Berücksichtigung der Zusammenveranlagung von Eheleuten betrifft dies damit 3,73 Millionen einkommensteuerpflichtige Personen. Damit unterliegen 6,4 Prozent aller Steuerpflichtigen dem Spitzensteuersatz von 42 Prozent, wie es in einer Antwort des Bundesregierung auf eine Anfrage der Linken im Bundestag heißt. 2004 fielen noch gut 1,2 Millionen Steuerpflichtige in diese Kategorie.

What Goes Around Comes Around

What’s worse? Governments that openly deal in stolen information (Germany buying CDs from informants with lists of Germans having Swiss bank accounts) or Governments that spy on governments who do so?

Mole

Ha. Ha. Ha.

German investigators suspect that a mole spied for Swiss intelligence from inside a government office which was trying to catch German tax dodgers… Switzerland objects to the practice of buying data stolen from Swiss banks.

SPD empört über Steuer-Spitzeleien der Schweiz.

Take From The Rich

And give it to the SPD, Left party, Greens, etc. They’ll give it to the poor later, right?

Earn

This is getting increasing more difficult to do in Germany, however, as a recent study reveals that the top ten percent of the working population (those who earn the most) already pay half of all income tax the country takes in.

And as recently reported, an average earner here already has to give up nearly half of what he earns. Sheesh. Crime just doesn’t pay anymore. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Robin Hoodlum kind of criminal, I mean.

Die Studie zeigt auch, wie stark Gering- und Durchschnittsverdiener durch Steuern und Sozialabgaben belastet werden. So zahle zum Beispiel ein Single mit einem Bruttogehalt von 1.940 Euro im Monat 46 Prozent Steuern und Abgaben. Ein alleinstehender Durchschnittsverdiener mit 3.250 Euro monatlich müsse 51 Prozent abführen, also mehr als jeden zweiten Euro.

German Of The Day: Netto vom Brutto

That means net pay from the gross. And gross is it ever. Only Belgium (think Land of the EU) does it better. Meaning worse, of course.

Netto

According to a report just published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Germany has the second biggest tax burden worldwide. And we’re talking about middle-income people here, people. Not millionaires or anything.

The OECD calculated each country’s tax wedge – the gap between what employers take home in pay and what it costs to employ them, including personal income tax and social security contributions. Germany had a tax wedge for single, childless workers of 49.4 percent, behind Belgium at 54 percent. That means nearly half of a single person’s income goes towards taxes and social security contributions in Germany.

Please remember this the next time somebody starts telling you again how wonderful everything over here in ze Europe is (“socialized medicine” and all that). There simply is no free Mittagessen (lunch).  You can go broke eating free lunch over here.

„Die Belastung der Bürger ist deutlich höher, als uns bewusst war.”

Remember: Germans have more words for taxation than Eskimos have for snow.

You Say You Want A Revolution?

An energy revolution? Then pay up front, Germany. It’s going to cost you a zillion dollars and you may not be able to come up with the cash for it later.

Germany

Germany spent 25 billion euros ($26 billion) on renewable energy in 2016, most of which—23 billion euros—consumers paid through a surcharge on their electricity bills. The rise in that surcharge is the single biggest reason that the amount the average German household spent on electricity rose to 1,060 euros in 2016, up 50% from 2007.

Next Delay For Berlin Airport Opening Postponed Until 2018

German newspapers are reporting that the latest delay announcement expected for the opening of Berlin’s troubled old new airport will now push the currently planned postponement back until the spring of 2018.

Airport

Disappointed Berliners had been hoping that the next delay announcement could have come as late as the spring of 2017 but this will now have to be moved forward as a new round of cost overruns and construction errors have caused yet another delay for that next planned delay.

Rumor has it that the Berlin Brandenburg Klaus Wowereit International Airport had originally been set to open in 2011 but no one can be located who can verify this with any certainty anymore.

The official announcement for the delay of the delay has been postponed until next year.

“Mir ist keine Entscheidung zwischen Weihnachten und Neujahr bekannt.”

No Taxation Without Decent Stations!

You say you want a revolution? Then GEZ out on the street and do something about it, people. “Public” TV? Sure. As long as the public has a choice about being forced to finance it or not.

GEZ

Since the 1970s, every German household with a television or radio has paid a monthly fee, called the GEZ, to finance public TV and Deutschlandradio, the national public radio network.

But in 2013, the government began to require every household and business to pay the approximately $20 monthly fee even if they don’t own a TV or radio…

In a sign of growing resistance, Beitragsservice issued more than 25 million warnings to households last year for not paying the fee, a 20% increase over 2014, according to its latest figures.

480 Millionen Euro nur fürs Personal: Das plant das ZDF mit Ihren GEZ-Gebühren.