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Germany leans towards tax cut

by Bertrand Benoit

(FT) Michael Glos said the government’s budget pledge “should not stand in isolation above all other [goals]”. The minister said he “fully supported” a plan by his Christian Social Union to cut income tax by €28bn ($43bn, £22bn) until 2012 without an equivalent cut in spending. The government last week slashed its tax revenue estimate by more than €5bn for this year and next, yet advocates of fiscal rectitude are becoming a minority as the CSU, the CDU – its sister party headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel – and the Social Democratic party, its partner in the ruling alliance, seek to please voters ahead of next year’s election.

While this would increase employment and output, it would also add nominal aggregate demand as well as add to the ‘funding pressure’ of the national government. In the current environment, this would add support to nominal prices as well as undermine the credit quality of the government.

What’s happening is much of the mainstream believes inflation is a function of monetary policy and not fiscal policy, so they see this as a way to support the economy without inflation.

Same happened in the US with Bernanke pushing Congress for the fiscal package that’s now kicking in and adding to price pressures. In general, the FOMC holds the mainstream belief that ‘true inflation’ is a function of only monetary policy.


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