The latest German them-up-there-and-poor-us-down-here outrage over The Case of the Liechtenstein Tax Oasis has reached its illogical conclusion for the moment, with the usual suspects like the Chancellor either calling on Liechtenstein to “quickly clear up” its act or the ever loud and loony left calling for the building of barricades and for free beer and non-violent fighting in the streets or for whatever the hell it is they always call for at a critical time in history like this.

But as a capitalist arch-enemy type over at the Wall Street Journal of all places calmly points out, maybe-perhaps-vielleicht it’s time for Germany to start thinking about cleaning up its own act instead: “Germany’s progressive income tax system, with a top marginal rate of 47.5%, pretends to be fair and just but its complexity actually smothers justice. The thousands of pages of tax law and myriads of exemptions are baffling. Citizens can never be sure whether they may pay too much by mistake or have exploited all available loopholes. This undermines public confidence in the fairness of a system that invites people to be creative with their tax forms — rewarding the clever and punishing the honest.”

He means well, of course, but I pity the fool. I pity this poor fool for thinking that anything fundamental or structural or systematic or whatever it is you want to call it can ever really fundamentally, structurally or systematically change in this country. His musing about here is more of a waste of time than he will ever be able to possibly imagine, at least when it comes to anything as byzantine as the German tax code.

So while we’re at it, musing about I mean, and now that the SPD is getting erregt (stimulated) at the thought of breaking ranks with the CDU and jumping into bed with the Left party (for now just at the regional level in Hessen, thanks Roland), why don’t the Germans consider getting this grand coalition nonsense over with for good and for all and call for new national elections so they can send the SPD off into the desert where they belong? Then it will be fundamental-structural-systematic change time, folks. Like I said, a big waste of time. That would be too easy. And that would be too hard.

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