“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).”
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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