January 18th, 2011
Guido Westerwelle ran on the day the three kings to the Saviour offered up gold, frankincense and myrrh, especially at a place in top form on “What's that decadent understanding of the state, that tax relief for the average citizen a gift of the state! The taxpayer gives the government some money – and not vice versa, ladies and gentlemen “.
In fact, our image of the state is particularly dependent on how we keep it with their taxes. We understand them as gifts as theft, as the price or membership fee? Depending on which of these metaphors borrowed from the private experience we choose for the existing or desired for the transfer ratio, we choose the image we have of the state.
Taxes as gifts?
The metaphor of the tax as a “gift” is apparently the most adventurous. Recently, it has the “poetic philosopher” brought into play. Sloterdijk is first a “tendency to exploit reversing” set: the old exploitation scheme of capital versus labor does not apply in a long time and could be immediately reversed as meaning “that the unproductive indirectly at the expense of productive life” – which is at least as a numerical relationship between fiscal net contributors and net recipients in many European welfare states not only poetic, but also empirically well emerge.
Sloterdijk drives the poetry but two steps further by the first “participating source” at least not the way to a “legally restrained state kleptocracy” looks and observes: “A modern finance is a Robin Hood who took the oath made to the Constitution, “which allows him without one,” “having to risk being” anti-fiscal Civil War, every finance minister of absolutism to be green with envy “, as he does,” Every year, half of all economic success “for themselves, the state, to complain. Again, this is as poetically thrilling as empirically empty stomach can not be denied completely. The second step, of course, leads from the realm of fiscal reality and necessity in a rather fantastically drawn Nirvana: Sloterdijk's demand for a “revolution of the giving hand.” This presupposes a “reinvention of social psychology, society, '” and “led to the abolition of taxes and forced to turn them into gifts to the public.'
At least here there is even one.
With robbery with charitable gifts can still be a legitimate, even liberal finance, government, or “make”. Paul Kirchhof is therefore quite right when he priority “large owner” “woo and flatter.” The “Price of Freedom” – the absence of feudalism, political economy or “rent-seeking” – is thus the general tax penalty.
Therefore, the idea of ”taxes as a gift” as an ideal under realistic conditions, good for little, but it has some justification as a description of reality in less idealistic terms. If we understand by “gift” or a money-happiness-cost advantage for others, whose performance can be avoided entirely, it can also be found everywhere in the state tax donations! Then again, the honest and loyal taxpayers: if one of the last German tax reform corporate tax laws to their computers for years and therefore could not teach self-display ask you is the ideal of voluntary payment of taxes no longer far away. Similar St. Martin's motives might be subordinated to the taxpayer, the enticements resist shadow or foreign business: he paid for “loyalty” is a kind of “gift” to the rule of law or the home state if he waived legal or illegal tax avoidance, although they came cheaper.
The term “gift tax” is just as relevant on the part of the state itself, the state so that it can not be enforced. And other than expected justice charity gratitude. The more the taxpayer and the tax collector to and fro “gift” and will accept the “gifts” in the form of evidence, thank you, the more one can also speak of the tax as a “price”.
Taxes as prices?