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AFP: 40 Germans Demand Higher Taxes

From the egalitarian Agence France-Pressee:

[AFP caption:] Some rich Germans think it is time the wealthy came to the aid of their country

Rich Germans start campaign for higher taxes

October 22, 2009

BERLIN — Some rich Germans have launched a petition to call for the resumption of a wealth tax to help the country bounce back from an economic crisis, because, as one said, he had "a lot of money I do not need."

The text, posted on the Internet at www.appell-vermoegensabgabe.de, has been signed by more than 40 people who want to convince the government of newly re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel to raise their taxes.

For retired doctor Dieter Kelmkuhl, 66, it is time the wealthy came to the aid of their country.

He reckons that if the 2.2 million Germans who have personal fortunes of more than 500,000 euros (750,000 dollars) paid a tax of five percent this year and next, it would provide the state with 100 billion euros.

Kelmkuhl got the idea when Berlin stumped up billions of euros to save banks and give the recession-hit economy a boost.

"It made me mad to think that we suddenly found all this money for the banks, money that we did not have before for urgent programmes like education and the environment," the left of centre weekly Die Zeit quoted him as saying.

The former doctor would like Germany to have its own version of the the US group United for a Fair Economy (UFA), which includes around 700 wealthy US residents, according to the left-of-centre daily Tagesspiegel.

His plan would see a five percent tax for two years to fund specific projects followed by a reduction to one percent, the level of the tax when it was abandoned in 1997. Germany still slaps a 25 percent levy on capital gains.

One signer, 69-year-old Peter Vollmer told AFP he backed the petition because he had inherited "a lot of money I do not need."

Following her September 27 election victory, Merkel and her Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) are currently locked in talks hammering out a common programme with their new partners, the Free Democrats (FDP).

The FDP promised 35 billion euros in tax cuts in its election campaign, but with Germany’s public finances shot to bits by the recession, Merkel’s party is wary of agreeing to such reductions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party and the FDP ran and won re-election in a landslide promising to cut taxes.

But now somebody has managed to find 40 Germans to sign an internet poll saying they want to pay higher taxes — that makes the international news.

Of course the real reason for this piece is to get press to these American crackpots:

The former doctor would like Germany to have its own version of the the US group United for a Fair Economy (UFA), which includes around 700 wealthy US residents, according to the left-of-centre daily Tagesspiegel.

From their website:

United for a Fair Economy

United for a Fair Economy is a national, independent, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. UFE raises awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. We support and help build social movements for greater equality.

UFE’s “racial divide” program explains “the historical and contemporary barriers to wealth creation among communities of color.” They also feature charts showing how much filthy lucre wicked CEOs make.

UFE even provides a handy calculator, so you can see how much money you have stolen from the ‘community’ through Bush’s evil tax cuts.

According to Wikipedia, UFE’s current ‘Executive Director’ is Brenda L. Cotto-Escalera. Here is her bio:

Brenda L. Cotto-Escalera is a Puertorriquena theatre artist who has worked extensively as director, writer, dramaturg, and sometimes performer. Her work focuses on the development of new performance through collective creation and actor-centered research and improvisation. She also works with Popular Theater techniques in a variety of grass-roots community organizations. Her latest works include Motherlands (the exploration of a young Latina’s coming of age while reconciling with her culture, her family, and her lesbian idenity [sic]), produced by Boston’s Theater Offensive, and Pajareo Boricua (an allegory of Puerto Rican society done with bird puppets). Brenda is currently teaching at MIt, where she has developed courses on Contemporary Latin American Theater, Theater and Cultural Diversity in the U.S.A., and Gender Performance. She also teaches introductory courses on theater arts and studio courses on collective creation and actor-created theater.

Surely it is only racism that is keeping Ms. Cotto-Escalera from untold wealth creation.

By the way, many countries (such as the United States) allow their citizens to donate to the budget. In the US, you can send your donation to the Bureau Of The Public Debt.

But it would seem that not that many rich people avail themselves of the opportunity.

Contributions for the fiscal year the contribution was $2,189,358.89. So far for fiscal year 2009 it’s up to $3,034,539.51.

Which, alas, is not even a drop in the bucket to what is owed to ‘community.’

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 23rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “AFP: 40 Germans Demand Higher Taxes”

  1. Petronius says:

    If one believes –– and I do –– that the end of the Western world has to be epidemic insanity, this certainly measures up.

    If this article proves anything, it is that there is no positive correlation between having money and having brains.

    How laughable, how pathetic, that these 40 crackpot petitioners –– who propose to redistribute the wealth of 2.2M of their fellow wealthy Germans –– can be taken seriously –– taken seriously even by the Leftist media.

    “One signer, 69-year-old Peter Vollmer told AFP he backed the petition because he had inherited ‘a lot of money I do not need.’”

    So how does it help the economy by withdrawing Herr Vollmer’s money from the bank –– the bank which has presumably put the money to work in the private sector –– and recycling it though the government into arbitrary spending projects, or into “urgent programmes like education”?


    Note the automatic assumption that increased government spending will “give the recession-hit economy a boost.”

    This assumption is always accepted without question, as settled fact, with almost scientific finality. To deviate from this accepted wisdom is to stigmatize oneself as a heretic –– or worse, as a racist. Why, to take exception to this assumption is enough to get you sacked at MIT, or locked out of the Congressional committee room.

    Yet, if the Austrian school of economics is right –– and the theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that they are right –– the best political approach would be precisely the opposite of that advocated here by Dr. Kelmkuhl, Herr Vollmer, and the other 38 German loonies.

    Indeed, higher taxes and increased government spending on arbitrarily chosen projects will only destroy capital formation, misallocate resources, and generate economic imbalances that will impair and delay an economic recovery. As we currently see here in the USA, high taxes and increased government spending have done nothing to address the problems that led to the present recession.

    Thus we have the spectacle yesterday of White House chief economist Christina Romer, who testified to Congress, predicting that the massive Obama Stimulus “will likely be contributing little to growth” next year.

    According to one report, the $787B Obama Stimulus has generated about 30,000 private sector jobs –– in other words, it cost the American taxpayers about $26M in added government spending for each job created.


    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Ah, but Petronius, you forget the accumulated value of the “feel good” factor.

      By destroying wealth that the evil capitalists have earned, and redistributing it to the undernourished, underprivileged, underappreciated masses, the feel-good factor is satiated and made whole. There is no way to attach a value to it unless a person of great wealth who attained that wealth through hard work, great effort and self-sufficency is brought to crushing insolvency by the owners of the chalice of wealth redistribution! Hail the redistributionists! Long may they reign.

      (the preceding in no way reflects my true sentiments, which I cannot publish here for fear of being hunted down by the obamabots and left in a cell to die)

    • proreason says:

      On another thread, I brought up the topic of women who are attracted to violent men and said the psychology behind that might help explain why Jews in this country are following the obviously anti-Semetic pied piper in the White House.

      This “I need to pay more taxes” phenomenon might have the same psychological roots.

      Since I’m not a mental health professional (side note: isn’t that 3-word combination a scary thought all by itself?), I’m free to speculate. It probably has something to do with self-loathing. And in the case of the Jews following the pied piper and Taxaholics, the self-loathing is enough to wish the retribution on everyone who is like the self-loather, because if it was only personal, nothing prevents the self-loather from giving everything he owns to the government. But that never happens, does it?

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