Germany still aims for ‘fair taxation’ of Apple, other tech companies

“The German finance ministry denied a newspaper report on Wednesday that Finance Minister Olaf Scholz had given up on plans to make internet giants, including Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, pay more tax,” Michael Nienaber and Tom Körkemeier report for Reuters. “The top-selling Bild newspaper, citing a confidential finance ministry document, reported that Scholz had abandoned plans to hike taxes for big digital companies because a ‘demonization’ of the firms was seen as ‘not productive.'”

“The move would have been a reversal for Scholz, a senior member of the Social Democrats (SPD),” Nienaber and Körkemeier report. “In last year’s national election, his party campaigned for higher taxes on large, global internet firms. The SPD is the junior partner in a coalition led by conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel.”

“Germany’s powerful BDI industry association weighed into the debate on Wednesday, urging Scholz to stop a proposal by the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union. ‘The BDI is against the introduction of a digital tax. The planned tax is a one-sided and premature step by the EU,’ BDI managing director Joachim Lang said. ‘It leads to double taxation of companies and will harm German industry, which is currently in the middle of the process of digital transformation of its business models,'” Nienaber and Körkemeier report. “Germany has long been cool on proposals from the European Commission which would make firms with significant digital revenues in Europe pay a 3 percent tax on their turnover on various online services in the European Union. That would bring in an estimated 5 billion euros ($5.78 billion).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Some truths are self-evident:

Ggovernment is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price. — Ronald Reagan, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981


  1. Germany and the EU as a whole should increase taxes on Diesel Fuel given they are dirty and polluting. The current regime of diesel emission is very lax and manufacturers find many loop holes to pass their dirty engines as clean in a lab atmosphere / bench test. In the real world the diesel engine pollution is a lot higher and no realist tests are done out on the road.

  2. OMG are we seriously listening to the long gone Ronald Reagan for Taxation and economic advice. For the second time today ‘we are doomed I tells ya we are all doomed’.

    (In this case ‘Dads Army’ is even more appropriate if totally unknown most like to the majority of readers here. But hey who cares)

    1. Anyone who thinks “currently drawing breath” is a criterion for universal wisdom is a fool.

      Here’s a quote from another dead guy:

      Government control gives rise to fraud, suppression of Truth, intensification of the black market and artificial scarcity. Above all, it unmans the people and deprives them of initiative, it undoes the teaching of self-help. ― Mahatma Gandhi

  3. “OMG are we seriously listening to the long gone Ronald Reagan for Taxation and economic advice.”

    Timeless advice never gets old. Timeless principles like the U.S. Constitution never gets old.

    What’s the problem? …

  4. 3% tax on sales harms the smaller domestic internet companies more than the international giants, because the giants have economies of scale. It’s similar to why Facebook is not opposed to regulation, since they know that regulation will increase costs for all internet companies, not just theirs, and that since they’re already hugely profitable, they can tolerate increasing regulation and costs better than smaller companies.

  5. Lastly, I forgot to mention, when a politician or gov’t bureaucrat mentions the word “fair”, be sure to check your wallet. “fair” is in the eye of the beholder, and to a politician or bureaucrat, everything in your wallet is “fair” game.

    1. I don’t have any more faith in the meaning of the word “fair” when it is used by most of the people in this country. Honestly, the word has been twisted to mean the same thing as “advantageous.”

      Furthermore, the politicians are predominantly funded by the wealthy. Therefore, the definition of “fair” is primarily defined by the wealthy. What most people would consider “fair,” they consider to be “theft” or, at best, “redistribution.” Because they control many of the politicians and most of the media, they have been able to dupe many regular working Americans to buy into that interpretation of fair. It is really rather astounding how people have been led to avidly support measures which make things worse for them.

    2. Yes, the left has never opposed raising taxes. Nancy Pelosi held a press conference today promising higher taxes if they take over the House. They are the party of tax and spend. Don’t tar all politicians with the same brush I count in two posts …

      1. From my quick search on iPad, Rightwinger Abraham Lincoln created the first federal income tax. It was to finance the Civil War.

        Then William Howard Taft endorsed the 16th Amendment, the federal progressive income tax.

        Then Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower,
        Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bush I fell into line to raise taxes.

        The majority were war mongers, with Reagan invading small, defenseless Granada and Bush I invading another small defenseless independent nation: Panama. Most needed taxpayer money to pay for their criminal wars.

        1. “From my quick search on iPad, Rightwinger Abraham Lincoln created the first federal income tax. It was to finance the Civil War.”

          Yes, technically temporary effort for a just cause.

          “Income Tax Form, 1913. Record Group 56, General Records of the Department of the Treasury, Entry 357A, Internal Revenue Division, Income Tax Forms. Passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913, the 16th amendment established Congress’s right to impose a Federal income tax.”

          As to the rest of your selective partisan post, will leave it at that …

        2. You neglected to mention:

          “Congress repealed Lincoln’s tax law in 1871, but in 1909 passed the 16th Amendment, which set in place the federal income-tax system used today. Congress ratified the 16th Amendment in 1913.”

          — History Channel

      2. Donald J. Trump raised my individual income tax, and a lot of other people’s, too. He has pushed inflation by increasing government borrowing to pay for his special projects after cutting the taxes that were used to finance most government spending. That means that most Americans are objectively worse off than they were on January 20, 2017. His Congressional cohorts do not represent a workable alternative to “tax and spend.” They want to not tax those best able to pay, while spending anyway for programs that chiefly benefit those who are no longer paying for them.

        1. Glad to hear from the FAKE CONSERVATIVE.

          Certainly you are totally oblivious to two facts:

          1) The economy is roaring under President Trump and setting several all time-records.

          2) Obama’s doubled the national debt in eight years more that 40+ presidents before him COMBINED and not a PEEP OUT OF YOU. But now, suddenly it’s a problem??? Right.

          This is the main problem with politics today. Common sense and shared truths and fairness for everyone no longer matter to partisans such as yourself. You post almost everyday barbs and selective putdowns of anyone that is not a Democrat.

          Come to think of it I have never heard your criticisms of ANY Democrat. Par for the course, FAKE CONSERVATIVE.

          Your daily selective partisan obfuscation is noted and doesn’t amount to a hill of beans …

          1. While you and I may be fairly well off, we are not Wall St. where the economy is in fact soaring; It’s not soaring in the lower and middle classes and you surely must know that. I also see more and more homeless sleeping at store entrances and also see them on the river bottom during my bike rides.

            Lesson: Wall St. got a tax cut and is not Main St. which got a tax increase. Also the 1% are not the 99%. You should be for the 99% first and foremost.

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