• Germany edition
 
Leftists demand 100 percent tax on the rich
Photo: DPA

Leftists demand 100 percent tax on the rich

Published: 01 Feb 2013 10:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Feb 2013 10:25 GMT+01:00

“We are suggesting that no-one should earn over 40 times the societal minimum,” said The Left's co-leader Katja Kipping in the party's draft election platform, which was seen by regional newspaper the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.

The party paper said the total tax on those taking home over €40,000 per month would be used to fund social welfare and investing in the country's future.

“Explosive inequality is threatening democracy,” said co-leader Bernd Riexinger. “I call capping income at half a million euros a democracy tax.”

The upcoming campaign for Germany's election in September was going to be one focused on wealth redistribution, said Riexinger.

The Left, born from a merger of former East German communists and disgruntled trade unionists, has struggled to raise its profile under its new leadership after failing to make political capital from the global financial crisis. It sits in the Bundestag and several state parliaments, but failed to win representation in Lower Saxony last month.

Tacking hard to the left with its 100 percent tax idea could mean the party has given up all hope of tempting the centre-left Social Democrats into a coalition at the federal level after this September's general election.

French President Francois Hollande tried recently to impose a 75 percent tax on top earners, but was struck down by the country's courts.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:56 February 1, 2013 by zeddriver
From the article. The Left, born from a merger of former East German communists and disgruntled trade unionists.

What! They just don't get it. Their system collapsed. It is human instinct to want to do better for ones self. Whether it be gathering grain and meat to save for the bad times. Or making more money to put away for the bad times. Or to hand down to your heirs.

As I recall. The heads of the communist/socialist parties throughout history always treated them selves rather nicely. But we must not talk about that. Communists/ socialists always operate on a theoretical ideal. And minus the innate human drive to do more to secure the future of ones self. This communal everybody shares equally might work. But I dare them to show a point in history that it has actually worked.
10:57 February 1, 2013 by pepsionice
We can do better than this....let's go to 101-percent taxation. Make it bold and interesting....as you flame out. And while at this redistribution business...let's force people living in Stuttgart to move to Hamburg, and people in Munich to move to Wiesbaden. Onward and forward, or such.
11:06 February 1, 2013 by whiteriver
very populist action and most probably the extra income is not significant. Like in France, people will move their assets abroad to avoid the high tax.
11:21 February 1, 2013 by Aasvogel
"¦quot;We are suggesting that no-one should earn over 40 times the societal minimum,¦quot; said The Left's co-leader Katja Kipping in the party's draft election platform, which was seen by regional newspaper the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung."

No you are not.

You are suggesting that the state loot and redistribute every euro fairly earned by anyone capable of doing so above an arbitrary limit of 40 times the minimum wage, which is also an arbitrary amount. Well, not quite every euro. A big chunk of euros will feed the bloated state bureaucracy that runs this highway robbery.

There is nothing new in state looting of successful individuals. Nothing good, either.

This will simply accelerate the departure of the most able, the future employers, job creators and innovators to more tax-friendly countries.

Another own goal from the left wing. Well done.
11:30 February 1, 2013 by DoubleDTown
You'd think since Katja grew up in DD that she'd have some familial experience with the tragedy of the commons and have learned that Socialism doesn't work. On the other hand, since she has never had a real job (as far as I can tell from her Linke bio) and continued her studies while already supposedly serving full time as a politician, perhaps she has closed a blind eye to the tragedy of the commons and that is why she mistakenly soldiers on believing that some other phantom "rich" person will always refresh the resources of the commons so that society has a commons to enjoy. Put this up there with her idea that there should be no politics on weekends so that politicians can enjoy a better family life... When does she think her few supporters are going rally for her? While they are at work Monday to Friday?
11:31 February 1, 2013 by Eastard
There is a global perception evolving that rich and poor are accidents requiring a fix. In each country there are groups who seek attention/votes with orations of where to get more money for those who want it... In the US it is Obama selling wealth with his union attitude speeches that are attractive to anyone believing they will benefit. That is now the plural voter in the US...and Greece... and France.... Be careful that you, Germany, do not end up with the same imbalance. Yes 100% tax is ridiculous, however be careful because it is also attractive to a growing number of have-nots who really don't care... "I'll take care of you at someone else's expense" has been used to buy allot of votes in recent times...
11:35 February 1, 2013 by pjnt
Stupid article. TL brings out this same story every month or two. I guess it generates activity on their site.

Doh! Got caught again.
13:04 February 1, 2013 by ichbines
I hope they take region and marital status into consideration because 40k does not get you very far here, at least not in Frankfurt. In Berlin it gets you an only mildly luxury lifestyle, for example you could maybe buy a car, but not a house at least not if you eat bio and wear suits to work. But of course 500k is above and beyond what any normal person/family would need regardless of region and marital status.
15:47 February 1, 2013 by taiwanluthiers
Now we know the Deutsche Democratik Republik has won and has taken over the EU.
19:00 February 1, 2013 by agbjr
¦quot;Explosive inequality is threatening democracy,¦quot; said co-leader Bernd Riexinger. ¦quot;I call capping income at half a million euros a democracy tax.¦quot;

Typical Marxist, wants to take everything away from those who actually produce to distribute to those they themselves deem more deserving and calling it "fair" and in the name of "democracy". Asinine. Just remember there was no democracy in the "equal" DDR.
20:35 February 1, 2013 by Englishted
@ zeddriver

"As I recall. The heads of the communist/socialist parties throughout history always treated them selves rather nicely. But we must not talk about that. "

Throughout history ?, the very first would be Russia in 1917 hardly along time although your other points are valid .

Personally having read Marx ,I find very little difference between that and "love thy neighbours as yourself" do unto others as you would have them do to you.

Just because the people who implemented got it very wrong does not mean that the principle and the theory is incorrect.
23:23 February 1, 2013 by vonSchwerin
100% tax? What planet do these people live on? (Wait, I know: Planet Marxengelsulbrichthonecker.)

Obviously, this will never be enacted, but the day it does, that is the day that the German economy completely collapses and Siemans, VW, Daimler, and every other German firm loses its entire upper management to American or even, Chinese and Russian firms. 500.000 Euros sounds like a massive sum if you are a Hausmeister making 20.000 Euros a year. If you are a heart surgeon making 300.000 Euros a year, 500.000 isn't that far off. We're not talking about 5.000.000 Euros a year, which still -- obviously -- should not be taxed at 100% or anything close to it.

This is so laughable in its pathetic populism, it wasn't even worth publishing.
00:34 February 2, 2013 by zeddriver
@Englishted

history. "the study of past events" That would apply to even a minute ago. :)

I disagree with the premise that those in the past just got it wrong. It went wrong due to human nature. But you are correct in that the theoretical idea of "from each according to their means. To each according to their needs"

Sounds great for sure. But until you totally eliminate the instinctual human trait of trying to better ones self and "getting ahead" Or the corrupting influence of power. It will never work.

I might ask the communist/socialist next door the following.

Did you go to collage or learn a skill? If so why? Did you do it "just because". Or was it to better yourself by gaining knowledge or to get a better job. If everyone gets paid equally. Why would you want to go through 8 years or more of higher education to become a Dr. and then get paid the same as an unskilled laborer.

That's why the theoretical ideals of communism won't work. And always has to be forced upon the population. Look at modern China. How did they as communist's become so successful? Easy. The communist government backed off the pure hard line commy ideals and adopted capitalist policies. OPPS!
09:43 February 2, 2013 by Englishted
@zeddriver

Looking at modern China ,I would put down most of the growth to Western companies who are prepared to sacrifice workers jobs in search of a quick profit,that and the fact China pays so poor wages and totally unsafe working conditions that production cost attract greed minded capitalist with no interest in the long term well being of anyone or anything but themselves.

I would also point out that according to your ideas none of the world religions can work and only the one with the biggest gun can dictate the lifestyle of the rest .

Which is probably true but a damming indictment if one were needed on mankind.

With unemployment high in the €uro zone and not likely to go down because of no job creation and outsourcing that would be a better OPPS! ;-(
12:40 February 2, 2013 by Louie
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:20 February 2, 2013 by Vargaz
The real question is: What are the cigars these leftists smoking made from? Sounds like a combination of crack, fantasy dust, and jealousy. Keep huffing and puffing pinko all you want, this is one haas you'll never blow down.
19:16 February 2, 2013 by Englishted
@ Louie

With a low tax rate ,"they have fled to other countries to organize industries that outsell and bankrupt yours."

It is called selfish greed in my book.
20:04 February 2, 2013 by raandy
communism what a failed ideology, and yet there are these dupes than continue to promote it, kinda like beating a dead horse.
02:59 February 3, 2013 by alliskool
It seems that taxing the rich is the new norm, or the idea of it anyways. Per the German news source, the German leftist party is considering a 100% tax on anyone making over €500,000.

If anyone has read any economics course, or has common sense, would see why this would be a terrible mandate. Also, what is not clear is that if it only applies to people? And how much is corporate tax is going to be affected by the mandate. However, a 100% taxation on income after a certain threshold will discourage hardworking and geniune people from working and creating social value through their businesses. There is limited data on how many persons make such money. It is to be noted that it may work some very smart people from joining specific area of work. For example, if the same mandate is applied to income from financial institutions (or capped to per say a million euros), it will actually drive smart people to other industries (small businesses, technology), which may create increased value in socity as compared to banks. (read more at http://laymanfinance.com)
00:07 February 4, 2013 by Eric1
Leftist, communist, socialist, are the greediest people on Earth.
12:01 February 4, 2013 by Steve Potts
And will the rich people pay 100% tax or just flee?

The UK Labour part tried this in the 1970s by imposing a 97% tax rate on the very wealthy and of course most of the wealthy just up sticks and moved. Not a very bright idea...
14:59 February 13, 2013 by hboag
There is a growing cry from the liberal left in America that want to do the same thing; tax the "rich" and redistribute it to the Presidents voting blocks in order to shore up the next election in 2014 and 2016.
Today's headlines
Death sentence for Afghan reporter murderer
Anja Niedringhaus (r) with colleague Kathy Gannon in 2013. Photo: DPA

Death sentence for Afghan reporter murderer

A former Afghan police commander has been sentenced to death in Kabul for the killing of German war reporter and photographer Anja Niedringhaus in April this year. READ  

ECB blackmailed after data stolen
The ECB building (right) in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

ECB blackmailed after data stolen

The European Central Bank in Frankfurt has received a blackmail letter after its public website was hacked and contact data stolen, the bank said on Thursday. READ  

Top university switches master's to English
Munich's TU university wants to switch its master's programmes to English. Photo: DPA

Top university switches master's to English

One of Germany’s top universities wants to ditch German and switch almost all of its master’s programmes to English in the next six years, prompting fears that the academic standing of the German language is under serious threat. READ  

Berlin is Europe's fastest growing tourist city
Photo: DPA

Berlin is Europe's fastest growing tourist city

Berlin is the fastest growing tourist destination among Europe’s major cities, with overnight stays in the capital up eight percent in 2013. It could soon topple Paris as Europe’s number two tourist city. READ  

Lufthansa flight ban is 'surrender to terror'
Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International airport board shows cancelled flights from Europe on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa flight ban is 'surrender to terror'

Politicians criticized German flight operators for "surrendering to terror" after they refused on Thursday to resume flights to Tel Aviv, despite a US decision to lift a two-day flight ban to the Israeli city. READ  

Manhunt on for police officer's killer
Police searching the area on Thursday morning have released an e-fit of the suspect. Photo: DPA/Polizei Hessen

Manhunt on for police officer's killer

A police officer was shot dead in a street in western Germany on Wednesday night, prompting a large-scale manhunt for the culprit. READ  

'Auschwitz criminal,' 89, dies ahead of extradition
Photo: DPA

'Auschwitz criminal,' 89, dies ahead of extradition

An 89-year-old American and alleged Nazi war criminal died just hours before a US court approved his extradition to Germany, his lawyer said late on Wednesday. READ  

Robots could take half of jobs in Germany
The employee of the future? Photo: DPA

Robots could take half of jobs in Germany

More than half of the jobs currently being done in Germany could be taken over by robots in the next 20 years, according to a think-tank. READ  

Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online
Prisoners of War pictured in 1918. Photo: Bundesarchiv/Bild 183-S45825

Germany puts 700,000 WWI docs online

Hundreds of thousands of rare records and images from World War I have been put online by the German government, ahead of Monday's 100th anniversary of the start of the conflict. READ  

Merkel to push for 'swift' EU Russia sanctions
Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Vladimir Putin chat with Fifa President Sepp Blatter (c) in Brazil before the 2014 World Cup final. Photo: DPA

Merkel to push for 'swift' EU Russia sanctions

UPDATE: Russia's failure to help quell the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine and fully assist the investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 demanded a tough response, a German government spokesman said on Wednesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The Local List: 12 best words in German
Photo: DPA
Politics
View from Germany: 'Nobody will win in an economic war with Russia'
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Jobtalk: How innovative is Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: Submitted
Society
Is this expat cat the world's oldest?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,236
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd