German solution: Tax the young!

posted at 8:30 am on April 7, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

For those who like to cite Germany as some sort of model of fiscal probity and “getting it right” in terms of economic modeling, think again. Like many other nations – ours included – the Germans are looking a decade or two down the road and seeing that their tax base simply isn’t going to support all of the pensioners collecting benefits. They’re experiencing their own “baby boom” problem, with projections that there will be seven million fewer workers paying into the system by 2030.

But fear not. They’ve come up with a solution!

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats have drafted proposals that, if law, would require all those over 25 to pay a proportion of their income to cushion Germany against a looming population crisis.

The German Chancellor’s ruling party is seeking extra sources of revenue to pay for soaring pensions and bills for social care costs as Germany’s ”baby boomer” generation ages amid a decline in the birth rate.

The proposals, to be adopted by Dr Merkel’s party cabinet after the Easter break, have not yet set a figure on the age tax but officials are considering a special levy of about 1 per cent of income.

Sound familiar? The Germans aren’t facing a theological problem or an ideological problem or a philosophic problem. They’re looking at a math problem. The numbers just don’t add up. Michael Walsh at National Review thinks he recognizes a pattern.

Utterly predictable, of course, especially in the land of Kinderfeindlichkeit. The Germans never really thought this whole la dolce vita thing through. They believed that, via a combination of the American nuclear umbrella and NATO forces (which meant they could cut their defense budget to nearly nothing) and the Teutonic ability to extract a stunning portion of worker salaries to spend on the “safety net” — a safety net that included months-long vacations, free medical care, and trips to spas — they could enter the work force at 28, retire at 50 and spend the rest of their lives in Italy or Greece at someone else’s expense. Nice work if you can get it. But now the party’s over.

Germany realized the same sort of long term benefit in the post-WW2 era that Japan did. (Not that anyone would want to trade places with them, obviously.) By essentially being locked out of any spiraling arms races they were freed from the expense of maintaining and expanding a military. They also got a lot of help with rebuilding their essential infrastructure. They still collected significant taxes, but as Walsh points out, they had the luxury of dumping all of that money into a system which even Americans would regard as extravagant, if not luxurious.

Now the bills are coming due. We certainly haven’ stumbled upon a solution to this riddle yet. Let’s see if the Germans can figure it out.


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Bring on the Weizen tax.

hillsoftx on April 7, 2012 at 8:35 AM

LOL…I love that picture.

ddrintn on April 7, 2012 at 8:38 AM

There is a solution. Increase retirement age to 65, at minimum, and slash the pensions. Reduce the benefits packages. Explain to the Volk that the “Party is Kaput” and that hard times are here once more.

You either act like an adult and pay what you owe, reducing your expenses wherever and whenever you can, or you risk losing everything and going back to the days of the Weimar Republic, where, because of inflation, almost everyone became a millionaire! Of course, a loaf of bread was $10,000 marks, but hey! They were millionaires!

I would hope that Germany gets things right. They have an awful lot of “immigrants” there and if they mess this up, the Reichstag may well have minarets gracing it in short order.

TKindred on April 7, 2012 at 8:41 AM

Ponzi Schemes! The Global solution to… um, ah, er… global problems!

ExpressoBold on April 7, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Seems to me the USA did this already. SS fiaco. Sure they “taxed” the workers as they “contributed”, but then instead of staying actuarilly sound, they gave some 40 raises over the yrs to SS recipients——thus essentially taxing the “young”—-ie a generation transfer of wealth.

Many retired workers maxed out SS pymts at about 800.00 per year back up thru the 70′s, they now receive easily 1200 per month—in constant 2011 dollars that is a 2300% return with no downside risk of a “investment”, but not being Insurance because the end indemnity got raised some 40 times with no true coresponding premiums changes to keep it a sound system

—-they taxes the young, a generational transfer of wealth at this point.

The older workers responded by having less children, ie a declining birth rate, so the burden actually falls on less and less future workers.

sbark on April 7, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Hasn’t anyone thought that building weapons not only employs people to design, manufacture, ship, maintain, utilize, and recycle, but also leads to long term progress and stability?

TinMan13 on April 7, 2012 at 8:48 AM

The administration here in the US wants youngsters just trying to form families, get homes, buy cars etc. to pay more for health care than their own costs justify to support the elderly social security and medicare benefits that the retiring baby boomers voted for themselves and these kids had no voice in. The administration wants to run up huge deficits for current election buying purposes and to leave the bill plus interest for the youngsters. They prop up bloated higher education expenses with loan programs that will burden these youngsters for decades and cannot be released in bankruptcy court. When will the young figure it out and stop voting against their interests?

All this will just drive the low birth rate even lower as the youngsters find they cannot pay all their taxes and raise even moderate size families. What is more the left’s ethos of encouraging childlessness will just make the demographic problems worse down the road.

KW64 on April 7, 2012 at 8:49 AM

Gee – maybe you should work past age 50

datadriver on April 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM

The Cain sales tax proposal to pay for social security, medicare etc. spread the costs of these programs over the whole population rather than just on those people currently working. This was not only fairer but allowed tax rates to be lower so that investment and working more hours would not be discouraged. There are many retirees receiving benefits from the taxes on the young that have way more in assets than the kids do and are no longer supporting growing children. These people do spend money so they would contribute through sales taxes to paying for the costs of the benefits they receive. Those with little money, spend little and the sales tax would collect little from them. Maybe that is one reason the Cain proposal was so popular.

KW64 on April 7, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Some alcoholics can remain “functional” longer than others, but it always goes wrong eventually.

forest on April 7, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Hey, is that a picture of O’bumbles reacting to not getting his way?

Moose Drool on April 7, 2012 at 9:00 AM

This idea by the Germans just tells me that do not know what to do when their economy goes down the toilet from the European recession that is currently percolating up. Moreover, I would postulate that liberalism does not have any other way to deal with revenue other than through taxation. Germany and California seem to have a great deal in common when it comes to taxation: they love it despite that it is killing them.

Weebork on April 7, 2012 at 9:02 AM

We’ll just eat our young.

KOOLAID2 on April 7, 2012 at 9:03 AM

How about we exempt male-female marriages from taxes if they have 4 children in the first eight years of marriage? Make all the money you want for eight years and you get to keep it all. The only taxes you have to pay are property taxes and sales taxes.

platypus on April 7, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Let’s be like Europe!! Yay!!

/

CW on April 7, 2012 at 9:11 AM

How about we exempt male-female marriages from taxes if they have 4 children in the first eight years of marriage? Make all the money you want for eight years and you get to keep it all. The only taxes you have to pay are property taxes and sales taxes.

platypus on April 7, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Can it be retroactive? I did my part already. Four kids in the first seven years of marriage and we paid taxes.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Fallon on April 7, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Hasn’t anyone thought that building weapons not only employs people to design, manufacture, ship, maintain, utilize, and recycle, but also leads to long term progress and stability?
TinMan13 on April 7, 2012 at 8:48 AM

There is certainly a return on investment in defense. But even more costly is the endemic atrophy associated with paying people to not work. And the horrific devastation caused by paying people to have children out of wedlock.

Liberalism is like “investing” in a crack addiction. Not even the wealthiest person, or nation, on earth can afford that.

logis on April 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Um…isn’t this the same thing Italy did? Grandfathered the grandfathers? Italy’s under 30 unemployment is now like 37%.

Limerick on April 7, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Sound familiar? The Germans aren’t facing a theological problem or an ideological problem or a philosophic problem

I disagree. Fundamentally they have a moral/ideological problem that is shared by liberal / progressives everywhere… they eat their young. They have no moral qualms about sacrificing the future lives of their children and grandchildren for the sake of their current leisure and convenience. The same thing is happening here as noted by one commenter above, though we’re doing it more stealthily. We are systematically robbing from the wealth and potential wealth of the young (and relatively poor) in order to prop up the lifestyles of the old and rich. No one wants to cut SS or Medicare, so we raise taxes or increase debt. It is fundamentally a moral issue.

theblackcommenter on April 7, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Liberals don’t love children. Real mothers would do the math to prevent future harm to their children. Unfortunately, children are just pawns to help pay for what liberals want today. It’s as simple as that.

beatcanvas on April 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I don’t think conservatives quite get it. If we slash pension programs (more) in the U.S. all this means is that more older Americans will reach out to their families for support. Those who have significant means will be able to handle this burden, those in the middle and working class will find themselves with dependents. When you raise the retirement age you *also* ensure that older Americans will stay in jobs longer causing an unemployment backup amongst the young. Something we’re already seeing in this country because the elderly have so much debt.

These things can not be blamed on government policies. They are, in fact, the result of trickle up economics that we’ve been engaged in for the last 30 years and which the Obama administration

libfreeordie on April 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

I posted this news at 12.30 am under the Buffett rule

No amount of taxation is enough if spending is not cut. And the Germans are not taxing only the Buffetts.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/germany-set-to-tax-young-20120405-1wfh3.html

GERMANY is proposing to levy extra taxes on the young to pay for the costs of the country’s growing numbers of old people, under government plans for a ”demographic reserve” levy.

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats have drafted proposals that, if law, would require all those over 25 to pay a proportion of their income to cushion Germany against a looming population crisis.

galtani on April 7, 2012 at 12:30 AM

galtani on April 7, 2012 at 10:12 AM

These things can not be blamed on government policies. They are, in fact, the result of trickle up economics that we’ve been engaged in for the last 30 years and which the Obama administration

libfreeordie on April 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

And which the Obama administration…what?

It can be blamed on government policies, it will be blamed on government policies, and rightly so. There are three small groups of folks screwing shit up in America today: Government, union leadership, and libs like you that enable government and unions.

gryphon202 on April 7, 2012 at 10:18 AM

These things can not be blamed on government policies.
libfreeordie on April 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Speaking of “not getting it”…..

Wendya on April 7, 2012 at 10:21 AM

libfreeordie on April 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Is there such a thing in life called responsibility. Do you realize that one day you will retire and you should save some money towards that end instead of spending to the hilt and borrowing more to boot. Despite tax incentives for saving instruments like IRA, 401k etc, a lot of people just think that there will be government money (Obama money, as they glibly proclaimed) and programs so they do not have to do anything on their own. People are already paying a substantial amount to support ponzi scheme like Social Security and unfunded and unsustainable programs like MediCare. I am afraid for myself, when I reach the age to qualify for those programs, they will not be there or I will be mean tested out of them, despite years of paying into those programs on top of regular income tax.

It is true that if the seniors did not save anything and just stay on the job way past retirement age just because they need to, will impact on the young who want to embark on a working career.

But save your rhetoric against conservatives.

galtani on April 7, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Germans don’t retire at 50 like some of you are suggesting. In Germany the retirement age is 65, increasing on a sliding scale to 67. But don’t let facts cloud your judgment. Is there a way we can blame this on Obama?

Time Lord on April 7, 2012 at 10:31 AM

These things can not be blamed on government policies.

libfreeordie on April 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

.
Oh yes they can be attributed to government policies! The over-abundant regulatory policies which spawned the EPA, Dept of ED, Dept of Energy, and annual increases on all other Executive departments are directly responsible. The encroaching of Federal dominance in everyday life is responsible, along with the growing bureaucracy and increasing demands of government employee unions. All of this is reversible in just a few years.
.
Example: Administration stupidly denies the Keystone Excel pipeline as a way of placating his environmentalist base, a minority of constituents and not as a result of an economic consideration but a threatened species consideration. Gas, $3.99/Gal in Central Virginia.
.
You people have been told and told and told that government is in the way of productivity and revenues but you people are so ignorant of economics that you keep arguing about it and promulgating lies like you did you your comment. You people are the problem. Have I written “you people” enough? It’s like Øbama’s “There are those who…” identification trick.

ExpressoBold on April 7, 2012 at 10:33 AM

I don’t think conservatives quite get it. If we slash pension programs (more) in the U.S. all this means is that more older Americans will reach out to their families for support. Those who have significant means will be able to handle this burden, those in the middle and working class will find themselves with dependents. When you raise the retirement age you *also* ensure that older Americans will stay in jobs longer causing an unemployment backup amongst the young. Something we’re already seeing in this country because the elderly have so much debt.

These things can not be blamed on government policies. They are, in fact, the result of trickle up economics that we’ve been engaged in for the last 30 years and which the Obama administration

libfreeordie on April 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

I don’t think YOU quite get it.

Every damn problem we face today has been caused by government. Everything, from high health care costs, to high fuel prices, to inflation, to high unemployment, to high taxes, to more and more people dependent on government … everything.

darwin on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Liberals don’t love children. [...]

beatcanvas on April 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Please tell me more about how I don’t love my four children.

Time Lord on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

At what point do these countries, including ours, start asking their citizens to start having more children?

Donald Draper on April 7, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Please tell me more about how I don’t love my four children.

Time Lord on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Liberals are in favor of saddling them with massive debt, destroying their liberty and sentencing them to a lifetime of dependence on the government.

darwin on April 7, 2012 at 10:41 AM

You can see it coming. The next European war, I mean.

Bishop on April 7, 2012 at 10:41 AM

“I say, the earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and incumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on. For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation. Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.”

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison (September 6, 1789)

Cindy Munford on April 7, 2012 at 10:42 AM

How about we exempt male-female marriages from taxes if they have 4 children in the first eight years of marriage?

Trouble is in Germany the only ones who would be doing that are the (too many) immigrant Muslim families…

albill on April 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Why don’t they tax the Greeks? /s

Rixon on April 7, 2012 at 10:45 AM

How about adding an extra tax to those adult males and females who do not have any children…and/or they do not get government paid retirement?

Every child is future payer of retirement funds for someone. Those adults that do not invest in the future by having income producing children should have to pay a bit more….

In Germany over 30% of the women never have any children.

albill on April 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

The German Chancellor’s ruling party is seeking extra sources of revenue to pay for soaring pensions and bills for social care costs as Germany’s ”baby boomer” generation ages amid a decline in the birth rate.

Did you all notice, no effort is being made to try to live within their means. They steadfastly refuse to end the ponzi scheme that will bankrupt them.

If this law passes, I predict Germany’s youth will seek other pastures, which they will probably contaminate with more socialism.

I don’t think YOU quite get it.

Every damn problem we face today has been caused by government. Everything, from high health care costs, to high fuel prices, to inflation, to high unemployment, to high taxes, to more and more people dependent on government … everything.

darwin on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

FWIW I think lib is pasting that from some other source because all of her usual posts are short and contain numerous misspellings and grammatical errors. I have called her on it twice recently.

dogsoldier on April 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Obamacare is exactly that, a tax on the young. Who, apparently, are too stupid and busy texting to notice.

Viator on April 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

At what point do these countries, including ours, start asking their citizens to start having more children?
Donald Draper on April 7, 2012 at 10:37 AM

In Germany they already do. There are added incentives for more “kindergeld”, plus the mother and father can get up to 18 months leave from work to care for the new born child. Plus better day care services.

The problem that most people have is that Muslim (Turkish) families are taking advantage of the more babies programs and cranking out non-Germans…

albill on April 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Donald Draper
No the democRATS don’t want us to have more children, they would rather bring more third worlders into our country to prop up their base. They know the ppl who come to here are pretty dumb and will believe their lies. The a more ppl on the government teet the more ppl to vote Democrat for more free stuff.

angrymike on April 7, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Irony is that many of the politicians in Germany, Merkel included, never had any children to help pay or have to pay for the retirement programs of the elderly.

albill on April 7, 2012 at 10:53 AM

More like reichslaverei, no?

Jorge Bonilla on April 7, 2012 at 10:54 AM

You can see it coming. The next European war, I mean.

Bishop on April 7, 2012 at 10:41 AM

I agree. This past week I saw a banner at a Greek protest demanding repayment from Germany for WWII. The German people are paying for the Greek (and the Italian?) entitlement fiascoes.

There are austerity riots in various places, a gas catastrophe in the UK and a second shooter in France riding around on a scooter killing people. It does look like things are heading in a bad direction.

dogsoldier on April 7, 2012 at 10:55 AM

@Dishop and dogsoldier:
I live in Europe…it is the same old, same old Europe. Nothing to get concerned about. In the 1960s it was much worse as far as riots, strikes and commies. (I was not here then.)
(To Europeans the US looks like a giant powder keg with the fuse already lit and ready to blow.)

Also in Europe there is no giant shadow of the Commie USSR to be concerned about…although Putin probably dreams every night about resurrecting it.
;-)

albill on April 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM

America should withdraw from NATO, and force Europe to foot their own defense bills.

That’ll make their math interesting.

Rebar on April 7, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Wasn’t this how Europe descended into the Dark Ages?

Myron Falwell on April 7, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I thought it must be a typo the other day that they are going to tax the young more. I thought they were going to tax the older people that are actually part of the demographic bubble to lessen the burden on the young, but no, they’re just like America, screw the young.

FloatingRock on April 7, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Ah, “man as God” returns to the continent. This time the earth gods embrace the culture of death. Kill them before they can live, or punish those, though monetary penalty, if they would would dare allow their own flesh and blood to contaminate the precious earth with their existence.

This is but the same diabolically conceived hatred of God’s creatures that precipitated the “Final Solution.” Once again,the most innocent victims become the target or those who claim to be superior humans. Once again they know not the slightest mening of the word -human.

Sadly, we won’t oppose them this time -we are right behind them applauding their sickness.

Don L on April 7, 2012 at 11:29 AM

It’s good to be the King largest voting block!

FloatingRock on April 7, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Rebar: I also live in Europe and I can say with a fair degree of certainty that Europeans would risk attack from the outside before they would increase defense spending. The Welfare State is their religion.It must never be touched.There are no real conservative parties here.

celtic warrior on April 7, 2012 at 11:41 AM

We’re ahead of Germany on this one, passing our tax on the young on March 23, 2010; years before it was a glimmer in Merkel’s eye.

We did it when we nationalized student loans, made them intentionally more expensive, and used that extra money as an offset for the cost of the Affordable Care Act. We might not have been so open about it, but that’s what we did–took money from the young (college students and in-debt graduates) and gave it to the old (those who use the most health care.)

HakerA on April 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM

The Democrats will be introducing this type of measure in 3, 2, 1…

Philly on April 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM

The problem with socialism or politicians buying votes with more and more government programs is that they will not only run out of other people’s money, they run out of other people whom they can tax.

galtani on April 7, 2012 at 11:44 AM

In the future there will be no ‘retirement’ unless you design your own.

There will be no ‘social security’ because the State will be bankrupt.

There will be no ‘social safety net’ because the State cannot create nor manage it at all.

And in this future of bankrupt government that has promised what it cannot deliver, the people will be paying off debt racked up for generations and doing without the nice wealth transfers because the socialist scheme has not just run out of other people’s money, but has run out of other people.

It will be a DIY way to live.

Not because you are free, but because it is necessary… and it is necessary that you be free FROM government.

And in the future we will pay for these past mistakes and pound the lessons of NOT letting government run amok in spending to the children that we have left and let them know they will have a brighter future because we are willing to suffer NOW.

ajacksonian on April 7, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Do half of Germany’s 80million population pay NO income tax ? do they have an inner city decay problem that has no solution other than a Total permanent govt welfare state ? WHAT Germany does have is the upper hand (control) over the rest of the suckers in the “equality” of the EU.

FlaMurph on April 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I believe the German retirement age has been raised to 67 for most people.

Philly on April 7, 2012 at 12:15 PM

How about adding an extra tax to those adult males and females who do not have any children…and/or they do not get government paid retirement?

Every child is future payer of retirement funds for someone. Those adults that do not invest in the future by having income producing children should have to pay a bit more….

In Germany over 30% of the women never have any children.

albill on April 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM

An infertility tax? Oy. Dislike. Talk about government intrusion into private life. Not having children is a personal choice, and in some cases, it is a heartbreaking situation. Children are not a commodity. Would a woman (or both parents) have to prove they are infertile to avoid the tax? Is there an age by which a woman should give birth for the tax to commence? What about miscarriaged pregnancies – are they exempt or would a woman have to pay the tax if the pregnancy ends tragically?

Good grief. That is a real war on women, not the manufactured political ploy the Obummer regime is pitching.

Philly on April 7, 2012 at 12:27 PM

FWIW I think lib is pasting that from some other source because all of her usual posts are short and contain numerous misspellings and grammatical errors. I have called her on it twice recently.

dogsoldier on April 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM

It is a great compliment that you believe my posts are from some other source. Sorry trick, I’m just actually that smart. Sometimes I am more sloppy on spelling and grammar and other times I am not. Trust me, you all do not even see the slightest sliver of my writing abilities. I craft prose for a living. Deal.

libfreeordie on April 7, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Retirement age in Germany is 67.
The unemployment rate in Germany is the lowest in 20 years.
The health care program in Germany has a surplus of 10+ billion Euros.

Factories are working overtime.
Mercedes, BMW, Audi, VW all have had record sales and profits. Exports have been booming.
Most of the car makers are giving their workers one time bonuses of 8,000 Euros ($10,000+).

Germans are overtaxed and the price of gasoline is ridiculous.
But the beer is good…

albill on April 7, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Productive German youth will simply emigrate elsewhere to keep from paying bills they do not owe. AS WILL PRODUCTIVE AMERICAN YOUTH, starting in the next decade or so.

michaelo on April 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

There is a comment from someone named Konrad on Michael Walsh’s article that should probably be part of the discussion if we’re interested in all the information.

tbrosz on April 7, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Productive German youth will simply emigrate elsewhere to keep from paying bills they do not owe. AS WILL PRODUCTIVE AMERICAN YOUTH, starting in the next decade or so.

michaelo on April 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Agree.

Philly on April 7, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Wait! What happened to all the millions of Muslims and Africans they imported to make sure the older Germans got their retirement Medical care and Beer money?

So importing non-assimilable 3rd world citizens is a bad idea?

Oh!

Bulletchaser on April 7, 2012 at 12:56 PM

tbrosz, I have heard Germans in this country with the same laments as Konrad.

Philly on April 7, 2012 at 1:00 PM

When you raise the retirement age you *also* ensure that older Americans will stay in jobs longer causing an unemployment backup amongst the young. Something we’re already seeing in this country because the elderly have so much debt.

These things can not be blamed on government policies. They are, in fact, the result of trickle up economics that we’ve been engaged in for the last 30 years and which the Obama administration

libfreeordie on April 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Analysis of the economy as a static finite pie is dogma among you liberals because it helps reinforce your strawmen and the basis for many subsequent spurious arguments is then established.

You might craft prose for a living but it is easier to craft prose absent any inherent logic than it is to present various analyses of a dynamic and inherently chaotic system.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on April 7, 2012 at 1:05 PM

How long before they declare birth control and abortion illegal?

Damn those pesky Unintended Consequences….

TeresainFortWorth on April 7, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Productive German youth will simply emigrate elsewhere to keep from paying bills they do not owe. AS WILL PRODUCTIVE AMERICAN YOUTH, starting in the next decade or so.

michaelo on April 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

China for the Chinese, Africa for the Africans, America for everyone, except the most productive traditional Americans, who will be placed under economic pressure to leave and get out from under heavy debts contracted by the government and payable by them.

If America is a problem, this is a way to solve that problem, permanently.

David Blue on April 7, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Productive German youth will simply emigrate elsewhere to keep from paying bills they do not owe. AS WILL PRODUCTIVE AMERICAN YOUTH, starting in the next decade or so.

michaelo on April 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Where will they move to???

Americans have to pay income taxes in the country they live in PLUS US income taxes, etc. on the income they make in the foreign country!

albill on April 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Wait! What happened to all the millions of Muslims and Africans they imported to make sure the older Germans got their retirement Medical care and Beer money?

The retired Muslims (Turkish) move back to their Muslim countries and get their German retirements checks sent to that country.
They come back to Germany when they have a serious health problem.

albill on April 7, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Analysis of the economy as a static finite pie is dogma among you liberals because it helps reinforce your strawmen and the basis for many subsequent spurious arguments is then established.

Its not about whether the economy is a static finite pie. It is about whether wealth can be created in a stable enough fashion that doesn’t lead to inflation or perpetual boom-bust cycles (see American economy post Reagan for myriad examples of how we have failed to do that in recent years). The problem for American society is that the state was deeply implicated in the establishment of the American middle class. There is no American middle class, as we know it, withou the GI Bill and the FHA. There is no American middle class without the massive investment in public higher education that began to taper off on a state level in the 1980s. There is also no American middle class without a generation of older Americans who can take care of their financial needs with less assistance from younger relatives (social security and medicare).

Now conservatives are attempting to retract the state. Fine. But considering that the price of everything is going up, considering that wages are stagnant, and considering that employers have no incentive to raise wages. How will the American economy survive without those investments from the state. Will we be able to spend as much money at the malls and big boxes? Will we be able to spend as much money on more expensive locally grown produce? Perhaps the idea is that healthcare and housing are not nearly as globalized as other industries. If American incomes are restricted to sustenance and caregiving for relatives it will enrich those domestic industries. I guess maybe the conservative ideal future is one where the wealthy do what they want and the rest of us work in life sustaining service industries? Yay America.

libfreeordie on April 7, 2012 at 2:03 PM

You can see it coming. The next European war, I mean.
Bishop on April 7, 2012 at 10:41 AM

As can everyone with eyes and a working brain.

A lot of people have this infantile idea that one evil man can start a world war.

A trillion tons of kindling has to be piled up first. At that point, war is inevitable. The only question is who will toss the first match.

logis on April 7, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Deregulate, fools.

J.E. Dyer on April 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Deregulate, fools.

J.E. Dyer on April 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Can they? If Germans started to guard their future, wouldn’t that put them in violation of dozens of points of EU, global and American consensus?

David Blue on April 7, 2012 at 2:42 PM

The next European war, I mean.
Bishop on April 7, 2012 at 10:41 AM

As can everyone with eyes and a working brain.
logis on April 7, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Who would this war be between???
And when?

albill on April 7, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Deregulate, fools.
J.E. Dyer on April 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Deregulate what?

albill on April 7, 2012 at 2:57 PM

We’ll just eat our young.

KOOLAID2 on April 7, 2012 at 9:03 AM

Ah, A Modest Proposal. Jonathan Swift was just a little ahead of his time.

Gladtobehere on April 7, 2012 at 3:21 PM

(To Europeans the US looks like a giant powder keg with the fuse already lit and ready to blow.)

;-)

albill on April 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM

That’s surprising. Thanks for the info!

dogsoldier on April 7, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Productive German youth will simply emigrate elsewhere to keep from paying bills they do not owe. AS WILL PRODUCTIVE AMERICAN YOUTH, starting in the next decade or so.

michaelo on April 7, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Where will they move to???

Americans have to pay income taxes in the country they live in PLUS US income taxes, etc. on the income they make in the foreign country!

albill on April 7, 2012 at 1:48 PM

There are reciprocity agreements in place between the US and many countries to prevent double taxation of income and property for foreign nationals who work here and US citizens who work abroad. Germany is one of those countries.

Philly on April 7, 2012 at 4:14 PM

There are reciprocity agreements in place between the US and many countries to prevent double taxation of income and property for foreign nationals who work here and US citizens who work abroad. Germany is one of those countries.
Philly on April 7, 2012 at 4:14 PM

“Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.”
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97324,00.html

US citizens who work and live in Germany have to file both German and US income tax returns.

albill on April 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Yes, but only one country will be owed the tax.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/germany.pdf

Philly on April 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

At what point do these countries, including ours, start asking their citizens to start having more children?

Donald Draper on April 7, 2012 at 10:37 AM

They (and we) already do. But there’s a problem: the childed get tax benefits out the wazoo. Said taxes are paid, of course, by everyone ELSE because otherwise the ‘benefits’ are merely their own money recycled through the Federal system. And as has been pointed out, the system is being abused to the point of surrealism.

MelonCollie on April 7, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Deregulate, fools.

J.E. Dyer on April 7, 2012 at 2:30 PM

they can’t dereguate, they relinquished a lot of their sovereignty as a nation when they joined the EU…now they can’t just deregulate on their own…they can get out, but obviously their ruling elites think otherwise, they made a clear decision to stay when they put their taxpayers’ money on the line to save the failing economies of PIIGS…

jimver on April 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM

‘deregulate’ of course…

jimver on April 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM

We certainly haven’ stumbled upon a solution to this riddle yet. Let’s see if the Germans can figure it out.

I’m not a fan of social welfare states, but I think that it is well understood how to design health and retirement benefits programs to be immune from demographic variations. Switch from a defined benefit model to a defined contribution model (AKA personal accounts).

Rich H on April 7, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Yes, but only one country will be owed the tax.
Philly on April 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Incorrect.
“If you are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien of the United States and you live abroad, you are taxed on your worldwide income. However, you may qualify to exclude from income up to an amount of your foreign earnings that is now adjusted for inflation ($91,400 for 2009, $91,500 for 2010, $92,900 for 2011, $95,100 for 2012).”
Anything over that amount is double-taxed in the US and the foreign country one resides in.
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97130,00.html

Philly – as an American citizen living in Germany who files both German and American tax forms I think I know the tax rules. The IRS sends me a letter and forms every year reminding me of them.
Plus the IRS wants to know every bank account one has overseas with $10,000+ in it.

And US Social Security while working overseas?
One could have to pay that to:
Social Security Tax Consequences of Working Abroad
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97160,00.html

The comment was that if it gets “bad” enough young people will leave the US. Again, my reply: “Where to?”. The US tax laws follow you no matter where you live or work.

albill on April 8, 2012 at 6:45 AM

Is there a way we can blame this on Obama?

Time Lord on April 7, 2012 at 10:31 AM

No, but I’m sure Obamao and other commie libs will attempt to blame it on GW.

Doomsday on April 8, 2012 at 8:41 AM

The comment was that if it gets “bad” enough young people will leave the US. Again, my reply: “Where to?”. The US tax laws follow you no matter where you live or work.

albill on April 8, 2012 at 6:45 AM

It doesn’t follow you if you renounce your citizenship and find a another country that will allow you to be a permanent resident or citizen.

Doomsday on April 8, 2012 at 8:48 AM

It doesn’t follow you if you renounce your citizenship and find a another country that will allow you to be a permanent resident or citizen.
Doomsday on April 8, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Good luck with that. You first have to find the other country that offers a better “deal” than the USA.
Have any suggestions?
And that the country will let you live AND work in their country?
And if one is 40+ years old what type of retirement plan can one get from the new country? Not much, since one is a bit old.

To renounce your US citizenship now costs $450.

http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_776.html

albill on April 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM

It’s amazing that these governments don’t see the handwriting on the wall. Or perhaps they do, but they don’t want the fallout that will come from telling the truth, which is …

Memo to all leeches: the game is over! We will stagger along for a while but the inevitable is going to happen and all the liberals who made all these extravagant promises will be exposed for the liars they are. We can no longer afford to support all these able-bodied people who won’t work, who feel justified in being supported by those of us who do work. The transition will be terrible but it’s about time. It’s coming and there is no way to stop it.

Samantha on April 8, 2012 at 2:55 PM