German Government Has Too Much Money, Returning It To Taxpayers

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

For Americans, the thought of getting extra money from the government because it has more than enough is just laughable, but in Germany that idea is a reality.

The German government has run a surplus for the last four years, so Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble announced that not only was he going to allow for an increase in government spending, but also give some of the money back to the taxpayers.

In a Bloomberg report, the newfound generosity of the tight-fisted Schaeuble could be more of a political act, seeing as this past week’s elections have shown that voters aren’t happy with the status quo.

Germany’s new political leadership seems to be coming from the far-right AfD party, which beat out Angela Merkel’s CDU party in her regional district elections, and a tax credit may offer some reassurance that despite the rising number of refugees, it has had little impact on the country’s excellent financial standing.

The act of generosity is of course receiving some criticism, at least within the German political structure. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, who would no doubt prefer to see his own Social Democratic Party pull ahead of the CDU in next year’s election, criticized the tax plan, saying it should be given to the needy instead.

“We shouldn’t give people the impression that politicians in Berlin always have plenty of money when they need to bail out banks or help refugees,” Gabriel said in response to Schaeuble’s plan. He criticized the government for doing little to help the poor who feel their cries for help are greeted with a response that implies, “Sorry, we’ve got no cash”.

Both sides have valid arguments, but the end vote will come from the people, and in a world where money talks, the German public will be seeing green with Schaeuble’s plan.

Sources: Bloomberg

Photo: Lif… [Flickr]

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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