Tax Us More?

Don’t ask. It’s a German thing.

Taxes

Germans Agree CO2 Taxes Aren’t High Enough and Want to Pay More – Germans say they’re ready pay a higher national levy on carbon pollution after utilities and policy makers joined climate activists in rebelling against proposed below-market rates deemed insufficient to fight climate change…

Merkel said the levy was the “centerpiece” of her government’s move to get Germany back on track to cut emissions.

Now if we could only get Merkel & Co. to cut their emissions. German oddity 10: Germans have more words for taxation than Eskimos have for snow.

German Of The Day: Transaktionssteuer

That means financial transactions tax.

Tax

And that means, as usual, taxing the little guy tying to get ahead while letting the big time speculators off the hook. All in the name of Social Justice. Or Social Democracy (SPD), if you prefer.

Germany Pushes Forward on European Financial Transactions Tax – Under a new blueprint for the tax, sent by Germany Finance Minister Olaf Scholz to the other governments on Monday and seen by The Wall Street Journal, anyone buying shares in large companies domiciled in those countries and with a market value of over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) will have to pay a minimum 0.2% tax over the transaction value…

Germany is under some time pressure to deliver an agreement since the government has already earmarked the expected proceeds to pay for higher state pensions for the poor starting in 2021. It expects revenues of about €1.5 billion a year from the tax.

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

While Russia Simulates Bombing Germany…

The Germans are up in arms about Donald Trump’s tax code overhaul in US-Amerika.

Russia

I don’t make this stuff up. It’s all about setting priorities, people. One has to stay focussed on the real dangers facing Germany out there today. Getting annihlated by Russia would be unfortunate, for sure, but the American President handing out “a Christmas present that the majority does not even want” is just too damned much to stomach.

Who knows? That could even give taxpayers in Germany ideas about getting tax breaks over here. Nah. Believe me, it couldn’t.

Das Verhältnis des Westen zu Russland ist seit der Krim-Krise stark belastet. Eine Entspannung ist nicht in Sicht. Nun soll das russische Militär in einem großen Militärmanöver namens “Sapad” die Einnahme Westeuropas geübt haben.

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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.

This Just In: Governments Waste Money

In Germany, too? You bet.

Waste

The latest “black book” has been published by the German Taxpayers Federation and here – not counting your regular, every-day kind of wasteful government spending – are just a few of the more special ways in which government tosses money out the window:

Garbage cans in the city of Leverkusen that cost  1,258 euros a shot.

A fish ladder near the town of Lauterbach that cost taxpayers 100,000 euros. The only problem is that the fish can’t reach the ladder.

Or how about a townhouse in an exclusive location in Manhattan, owned by the Federal Republic of Germany. The only problem here is that it’s been empty since 2009 and costs taxpayers over 80,000 euros a year in upkeep.

“Politik und Verwaltung gehen verschwenderisch, sorglos oder leichtsinnig mit Steuergeldern um.”

Eat More Rich People!

Germans should be ashamed of themselves. Again, I mean. The amount of personal wealth just keeps on rising here – another 79 billion this past quarter – and has reached yet another historic level. The Germans, it seems, have never been richer. And this, as we all know, is a bad thing.

Rich

Haven’t you people ever heard of Umverteilung (redistribution) over here? What do you need all that damned money for? It’s not like it’s yours or anything. Well it is but it isn’t, if you know what I’m sayin’. And who says it doesn’t stink? It stinks that you still have it. What you folks need is leadership like we have now been graced with in New York City itself. You’ve already got all the tax loopholes you’ll be needing so roll up your sleeves and let’s get this party started!

Im vierten Quartal 2013 wuchs das Vermögen der privaten Haushalte in Form von Bargeld, Wertpapieren, Bankeinlagen oder Ansprüchen gegenüber Versicherungen im Vergleich zum Vorquartal um rund 79 Milliarden Euro oder 1,6 Prozent auf den historischen Höchstwert von 5,15 Billionen Euro, teilte die Deutsche Bundesbank mit.

Crime Does Not Pay TV

Uli Hoeness hasn’t yet begun his three-and-a-half year jail sentence for seven cases of tax evasion (his lawyers are appealing the decision) but when he does, it’s going to be absolute hell.

Uli

The JVA Landsberg prison he will most likely be doing time in does not allow cell phones and prisoners have to buy their own TVs! But even more cruel and unusual here is that they don’t allow prisoners to have satellite pay TV receivers. Watching Fußball on Sky just ain’t going to be happening, Uli.

By the way, this is where Hitler wrote Mein Kampf and he didn’t have a satellite receiver, either. I think I’m going to be keeping my eyes on this one.

Das bedeutet unter anderem, dass den Häftlingen kein Fernseher gestellt wird. „Sie müssen sich selber einen Fernseher kaufen und können damit dann die üblichen Kabel-Programme empfangen“, sagt Eichinger. Auch die Kabel-Gebühren müssen von den Häftlingen getragen werden. Da für den Bezahlsender Sky aber ein Receiver benötigt werde, könne dieser nicht empfangen werden.

Taxing Nuclear Fuel Rods That Aren’t Being Used?

You can never be too rich or too thin, I guess. And if you’re Germany, you can never tax too much, either.

Taxation

Germany’s biggest utilities, still reeling from the country’s early exit from nuclear power, scored a major victory Tuesday when a Hamburg court said the national tax on nuclear fuel rods may violate European law.

The Hamburg finance court said it “cannot assess beyond any doubt” whether the tax on nuclear fuel used for electricity generation complies with European law. It will now ask the European Court of Justice to decide whether the levy conforms with rules that prohibit member states from creating new taxes on electricity for “general budget financing purposes.”

The tax was introduced at the beginning of 2011 and came as part of an extension of nuclear reactors’ operating lives that the government had agreed on. However, the nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima power plant in March of that year triggered a U-turn in German energy policy, with Chancellor Angela Merkel ordering the immediate shutdown of the oldest plants and the early phaseout of nuclear energy by 2022. Out of 17 reactors that were in operation in March 2011, only nine are still producing power. But the fuel-rod tax remains in place, to the utilities’ annoyance.

Das Hamburger Finanzgericht will vom Europäischen Gerichtshof (EuGH) in Luxemburg zentrale Fragen zur umstrittenen Brennelementesteuer klären lassen.

Black Workers Are Everywhere These Days

No, not Afro-American workers. You know, Schwarzarbeiter (illegal workers).

Black

And they’re everywhere all over Europe these days, although Germany is the champion here again too, as usual.

Eight million Germans are working on the black market as we speak, so-to-speak, generating about 13 percent of the country’s economic output. And loving it, I hope for them, because many of them just don’t seem to have any choice in the matter. Nobody will hire them otherwise:

Punitive tax regimes, increased labor market regulation and a growing lack of trust in governments are causing many Europeans to abandon formal employment and enter into the murky, illicit world of shadow economies worth billions of dollars.

Unternehmen und Arbeitnehmer setzen auf Schwarzarbeit, dadurch entstehen zwei Drittel des Schadens. Für das weitere Drittel ist verantwortlich, dass viele zu geringe Einkommen und Erträge ausweisen.

Someone Needs To Finally Have The Decency To Tell The German Greens Which Country They Live In

When it comes to money matters, I mean.

Greens

Like I mentioned earlier, only in Germany can a political party go for (and actually get) votes by promising to raise taxes.

But I now stand corrected: (actually hope to get) is what I should have written. It turns out that not even do-gooder mainstream green-like German green people like the idea of increased taxes all that terrible much. At least not when the cameras have finally been turned off and they can answer a survey in peace and quite when the Green Shirt party watchdogs aren’t breathing down their necks.

Ever since the announcement of that wacky plan of theirs to raise the top rate of income tax to 49 percent for those earning 80,000 euros ($104,000) a year or more (and to 45 percent from 42 percent above 60,000 euros), voter support for them has dropped steadily.

I guess there’s GREEN in theory and GREEN in practice after all. And practice makes perfect, you know.

Die Grünen erreichen im Politbarometer nur noch 13 Prozent. Dass die Steuerpläne der Partei schaden, glauben 53 Prozent.