• Germany's news in English
 

Leftists demand 100 percent tax on the rich

Published: 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)

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
'Auschwitz bookkeeper' trial nears verdict
Oskar Groening, the 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz'. Photo: DPA

'Auschwitz bookkeeper' trial nears verdict

A former SS officer known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz" and a woman who survived the Nazi death camp delivered wrenching testimony in a courtroom on Wednesday as his historic trial neared a verdict. READ  

Assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
A photo of a Volkswagen assembly line, not related to the incident. Photo: DPA.

Assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen

A worker was setting up a robot at a Volkswagen factory when the machine grabbed him and pressed him against a metal slab, causing lethal injuries. READ  

Greece crisis
Greek offer 'no basis for discussion': Schäuble
Pro-EU Greeks demonstrate outside the Athens parliament on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Greek offer 'no basis for discussion': Schäuble

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Wednesday crisis-hit Greece was sending mixed signals in debt talks and called on its government to "clarify its position" before negotiations with creditors can resume. READ  

Weathermen issue snow alert in heatwave
Could this be July in North Rhine-Westphalia? Photo: DPA

Weathermen issue snow alert in heatwave

The German Weather Service (DWD) issued a weather warning for North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Wednesday predicting 5 to 10 cm of snow and winds of up to 60 km/h. READ  

Analysis
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
Angela Merkel faces a battery of microphones and cameras at a eurozone summit in Brussels on June 22nd. Photo: DPA

How German media shaped the Greece crisis

It's often said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the one person who truly matters when it comes to how the eurozone deals with Greece. But how much freedom does 'Mutti' really have in the face of the public and the media? READ  

Women trade punches over neglected dog poo
'This is not a dog toilet.' Photo: DPA

Women trade punches over neglected dog poo

Bergisch Gladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, hometown of supermodel Heide Klum, was once linked in Germans' minds with the catwalk. But now it is just as infamous for a dog walk, after two women came to blows over a mound of pooch poo. READ  

Referee costs Germany dear against USA
Head coach Silvia Neid (r) with Celia Sasic (l) on the bench. Photo: DPA

Referee costs Germany dear against USA

Germany coach Silvia Neid said she found the referee's decision-making 'sad' in her country's 2-0 semi-final defeat to the USA in the Women's World Cup in Montreal on early Wednesday morning. READ  

Train strikes
Train drivers and Bahn bury the hatchet
Three ICE (intercity) trains stand in a siding. Photo: DPA

Train drivers and Bahn bury the hatchet

The Train Drivers' Union (GDL) and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have finally agreed to end their dispute over drivers' work conditions, offering hope that nine months of rail chaos has finally come to an end. READ  

European heatwave
Keep cool and stay safe in the July heatwave
A couple leaping into an open-air pool in Freiburg. Photo: DPA

Keep cool and stay safe in the July heatwave

Here's how to keep cool as the mercury soars during this week's heatwave in Germany. And don't forget your pets! READ  

Former judge to see NSA target list
Photo: DPA

Former judge to see NSA target list

The Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA) has chosen a former judge to examine lists of targets given to German spies by the Americans. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
Politics
Follow our LIVE blog as Europe holds breath over Greece crisis
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Culture
What's top of the charts in June
Gallery
Germany's most beautiful cycle routes
Business & Money
The business case for Britain in the EU
Rhineland
Why farmers are free to pong up the countryside
National
German restaurants among world's best
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

6,946
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd