Die gute alte Steuermagie

WASHINGTON, DC – In den Vereinigten Staaten war gerade Steuerzeit – der gefürchtete Termin Mitte April zur Abgabe der jährlichen Einkommensteuererklärung. Die Amerikaner mussten erkennen, dass das System sehr kompliziert geworden ist, mit vielen Schlupflöchern, durch die man versuchen konnte, zu entkommen. Im ganzen Land geht die Angst vor einer Überprüfung durch die Steuerbehörde um.

In einer solch sensiblen Zeit überrascht es nicht, dass Politiker die Idee einer “Steuerreform” aufgreifen, die angeblich das System vereinfacht, Schlupflöcher schließt und die Gewinne daraus zur Senkung der Steuersätze verwendet. Solcher Aufrufe sind deshalb so verlockend, weil der Kampf gegen die Einsparungsmöglichkeiten anderer bedeutet, selbst weniger Steuern zahlen zu müssen.

Im politischen Jargon der heutigen Diskussionen soll eine Steuerreform “aufkommensneutral” sein – was bedeutet, dass sie das Haushaltsdefizit oder die nationale Verschuldung nicht verschlimmert. Die zugrunde liegende Botschaft ist, dass man die gleichen öffentlichen Dienste haben kann wie bisher, aber weniger dafür zahlen muss.

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