The Czech parliamentary election is approaching. That means it is time to find a topic that connects with voters. At first, it seemed like coronavirus might be it, however, in a situation where the opposition has approved almost everything the government has proposed for the past year, it can hardly claim now that it would deal with the pandemic in a fundamentally different way, which means it needs to keep looking.
So, the opposition chose taxes with the backing of the media due to the Czech national debt increasing by 370.2 billion korunas (€14.4 billion) to 2.42 trillion korunas (€94.1 billion) in the first quarter of 2021.
I am very curious about some of these election programs. The left is already saying that it wants a sector tax, progressive taxation, a one-percent property tax, a high digital tax, a “fair” tax on the sale of real estate (as if “some tax” was fair), and much more. But this is no systemic reform. There is no point in changing just one tax.
I do not see how a right-wing party could have a chance to get into the Chamber of Deputies and, at the same time, tell people that raising taxes and government spending is a way to hell, or that the only solution is to reduce spending because taxes are already high enough. But that is what the left is doing.
The coronavirus as an excuse for everything
People are taking over the media mantra that tax increases are necessary. It is not true. The claim that we need higher taxes is like agreeing that in the future everyone will have to wear two respirators at the same time or a gas mask when alone. Only the naive believe that balanced public finances can be achieved by increasing taxes and expenditures simultaneously.
I think we can chalk this up as a reluctance to look in the mirror. People do not want to tighten their belts and believe that they will lose weight by eating more cakes and drinking more Cola-Cola. They refuse to admit that the only way is to reduce calorie intake and exercise, however, few have such will, and so many are looking for someone to blame for being overweight.
Success is not something to forgive. Envy commands the left to come up with a sales tax, which is a completely outrageous idea. Those who operate at a loss would also be taxed. It is as if society is holding on to a rock by its last finger, and these politicians are coming up to stomp on it as a solution.
Unfortunately, the left-wing media approaches left-wing economists to spread similar nonsense. They never did business, they never employed people, they were just paid by foreign corporations, and so they speak like recent graduates of the evening school of Marxism-Leninism. They say that we need to increase taxes, especially property taxes, but, actually, we do not have to.
However, the Czech media usually follow the same course as the US media. They are dominated by the same progressivism. In the US, President Joe Biden also says he will tax capital gains at a higher rate. Class hatred has flared up again, and the rich have to pay more to feed their employees and the state as if people have not already experienced that this does not end with equality in wealth, but equality in poverty. It seems that the young generation needs to experience socialism firsthand.
Even in the US, there are not enough courageous economists to stand up to this social demand for socialism. One of the few is the Nobel laureate in economics Angus Deaton. As one of the few, he boldly criticizes the taxation of the rich as an alleged way out of the coronavirus crisis. Deaton has the same opinion as I do. He knows that very rich people only pay symbolic taxes. Thanks to their advisers, they effectively avoid taxes. What the left proposes will not affect the “mean” rich people but the middle class.
The left wants higher real estate taxation and money without working
The property tax should reportedly reach one percent of the market price. However, this is a completely destructive amount. There are several people who have mortgages so that they could spend their retirement in their own apartment without having to pay rent. And suddenly, the price of their property would jump to an astronomical amount, and they would have to pay high sums of money even when they retire. It would be almost better for them to not take out the mortgage at all.
In essence, the comrades would make the retired people take part-time jobs so they could afford to live in their apartment, which they have paid for their entire lives. And can you imagine how could people, who struggled to get the mortgage, bear the cost jump by another percent each year?
What’s worse, money accumulated from higher taxes is supposed to go to such nonsense as unconditional basic income. They tried it, for example, in Finland and then abandoned the idea. But the left will keep trying to make it work, as alchemists have tried to build the perpetual motion machine indefinitely. This unviable shenanigan will be so expensive that the left really “needs” higher property taxes to finance it. And how do you think the owner of an apartment building will cope with the new tax? Yes, he will charge the tenants. And who lives in rented apartments – the rich or the poor? Right, the poorer ones. So the poorer people become even poorer despite the higher social benefits.