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HomeMeinungAnalysis by Ulrich Reitz: Ricarda Lang reveals who she is in one...

Analysis by Ulrich Reitz: Ricarda Lang reveals who she is in one sentence

Certain statements are completely wrong, and here comes one: 

“Someone who protects the wealthiest in a crisis and at the same time wants to carry it on the backs of the poorest is acting quite irresponsibly. They are dividing this country and showing that they look at this country more with the mindset of a hedge fund manager than a warm-hearted politician.”

The statement is from Ricarda Lang, she said it on the radio, aimed at Friedrich Merz. And here is where the problem of the Greens leader with the truth begins. Lang insults Merz, who, however, has nothing to do with the faltering and recently failed government’s money. The government’s failure to find 17 billion in a 450 billion budget has nothing to do with Merz, but solely with the government represented by the head of the Greens, not the head of the CDU.

Ricarda Lang indulges in intellectual descent

To insult the leader of the opposition while your own people are driving into a wall is an intellectual descent – as if the population doesn’t know who is currently carrying the responsibility in the country. Or attempting to carry. Maybe.

The “wealthiest” part is also misplaced, as well as the “poorest” part. It is not Merz who opposes tax increases, but Christian Lindner. So it is not Merz who protects the wealthiest, but Lindner.

The Federal Minister of Finance, however, has every reason to protect the affluent in the country from even higher taxes because: They pay for everything, to put it bluntly. The top one percent of taxpayers, the wealthiest, or at least the top earners, pay more than 20 percent of the taxes in the country. If you take the richest ten percent, they already contribute more than half of the income tax revenue. And if you look at the richest quarter of taxpayers, they contribute 77 percent to the revenue of the most important tax.

Which, maybe Lindner should explain to Ms. Lang, has to do with tax progression. So the strongest shoulders already bear the most, and the redistribution from top to bottom is ruthless, because the principle applies: the richer, the more. Which is a political decision and by no means follows some mysterious automatic process. Someone who has reached the top tax rate, will have only 55 cents left from their self-earned euro. Someone who is in the starting tax rate can keep 86 cents.

If a political group is dividing the country, it’s the coalition

Ricarda Lang’s “wealthiest” earns the most, but for him, working is least worth it because he has to give up almost half of it again. Tax-wise, working is most worth it for the low-income earner because they have to give the least to the state.

Going on: Now to Lang’s “poorest”. Merz wants to save on the basic income, from which the poorest indeed benefit. However, currently, the largest group is that of the Ukrainians who fled the war. These more than a million people do not receive their social benefits from the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act, but from the basic income, which from January 1, 2024 is around 100 euros more. It is clear that the Ukrainians have been through a lot, the Russians attacked them and want to take their land. However, it can hardly be claimed that they are the poorest.

Continuing in Lang’s sentence: “He is dividing this country…” A popular attempt byAmpel-Politiker strive to immunize themselves against legitimate criticism of their governance. If a group of politicians is dividing the country, it is the traffic light coalition: they want to rule people’s homes and present unconstitutional shadow budgets, they want to abolish biological genders, and distribute German citizenship for free, and so on and so forth.

Furthermore, hedge fund managers are by no means just “locusts”

Let’s carry on: Friedrich Merz looks at the country through the “lens of a hedge fund manager.” Well, Merz was the chairman of the board of one of the world’s largest hedge funds for four years. However, the most important minister from Lang’s party, Robert Habeck, took the help of this company, Blackrock. He trusted the management of his fundamental department to Elga Bartsch, a former Blackrock employee. Merz explicitly praised Habeck for this, as the CDU man knew his former Blackrock colleague. Habeck probably acted wisely when he used Bartsch at Blackrock – he needed a manager who understands risks, such as climate risks.

Hedge fund managers are also by no means just “locusts,” as Franz Müntefering called them in 2004, who swarm over a company like a plague of insects to devour it. In fact, hedge fund managers not only engage in short-term deals, but also long-term ones – and not to the detriment, but to the benefit of companies – even in Germany. Blackrock was temporarily involved in all German DAX companies proportionately – which would hardly be the case if they were there to plunder.

Germany has had many bad experiences with warmth

Finally, Lang’s worst remark: one can only fear the “warm-hearted” politician whom Lang presents as a role model for her caste. If a politician acts warmly, it is exclusively with other people’s money. It is merely borrowed warmth. And Germany has had many bad experiences with warmth.

The warmth of the “We-Can-Do-It-Chancellor” has not only torn a large hole in the social coffers but has also had an adverse effect on the crime statistics. The warmth of the Berlin CDU/SPD government has suspended the deportations of illegal migrants over the winter. The warmth of the Minister for Development Aid relieves the wealthiest Indians – because they do not have to contribute to financial compensation for the poorest Indians in rural areas, this burden is taken off them by the German minister with 5.7 billion development aid.

High-ranking politicians have been warmly inclined towards themselves since Angela Merkel, often pampering themselves at the taxpayers’ expense and allowing photographers to promote their own interests in the right light. In contrast, hedge fund managers have learned to handle other people’s money responsibly. They are economic professionals: the more responsibly they do this, the more money they earn themselves.

As a taxpayer, one is surely better off with a specialist in investment management than with a “warm-hearted” politician without their own wallet.

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