Here’s John in Richmond, Virginia. John, thank you for calling, great to have you on the program.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. First of all I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to talk to you and your listening audience. I’m a 21 year Air Force veteran and I’m also a 21 year Rush veteran. The subject of my call is social program entitlement and the cost creep associated with that. My message is, be careful what you ask for. Rush, I just returned from Germany for a ten-day visit with family and friends, and this time I went back to Germany, I had been stationed there before, but this time I went back with all of current events in mind and I began to ask my family and friends some questions about their social programs and the costs associated with that. And I wanted to share with you some of the things that I learned. First of all, I talked to a woman who is an architect, not a rich woman. I’d say she makes a good living. I asked her what her income tax bracket is, and her answer to me was 58%. And included in that 58% is 3% church tax and a 2% east tax. And I asked her what the east tax was. And she said that all German citizens are required to pay 2% to the east in the rebuilding effort after the wall fell. And I had commented to her, I said, ‘That was 21 years ago,’ and she said, ‘Yes, and we continue to pay the taxes.’
RUSH: Wait a minute. Are you saying east or yeast?
CALLER: East, east like East Germany, before the wall fell —
RUSH: Holy smolies, I thought it was a yeast tax because they all drank beer.
CALLER: (laughing) Well, Rush, in addition to the income tax, the Germans are paying the US dollar equivalent of $7 a gallon for fuel.
CALLER: And one of the gas stations there had a sign up that said 80% of that amount is taxes.
CALLER: In addition to the income tax and the fuel tax that they pay on top of that, all of the products and services in the country are taxed at a 19% national sales tax or value-added tax which is called Mehrwertsteuer in German language. So the people of Germany, in order to support their social programs, are paying a huge income tax, huge taxes on the cost of fuel, and on top of that a 19% value-added tax. By the way, when I was stationed there back in the late eighties that 19% was 14%. So these programs are continuously tapping into the German economy, if you will, chipping away at it because people over there are smothering in these —
RUSH: Well, that was my next question. The Germans that you ran into and spoke to, are they just resigned to it, they comfortable with it, or did you run into people unhappy about it?
CALLER: They’re unhappy about it. They’re used to it because social programs have been there for —
RUSH: Given what you just told us, it’s interesting to note that of all the European Union countries being asked to bail out Greece, they’re all going to Germany. They’re all telling the Germans, ‘You better bail out Greece, you’re the largest contribution to bailing out Greece,’ and Merkel is not happy about it. Germany is considered one of the least of the social Democrat republics in the European Union.
CALLER: Well, I’m just concerned about the currents in this country from the left, if you will, to increase our obligations to the social programs —
RUSH: This is exactly what the left in this country looks at. They look at Germany and they see their dream. I mean Bill Clinton even said so, when he was talking about some program of his, might have been health care or something, but he looked at Germany, Germany was what we wanted to emulate. This is clearly what Obama and the regime are looking at. And they can’t afford — well, not they can’t afford one, we don’t allow them to have a military. I mean that’s part of the deal. That’s why we have air bases still in Germany after World War II. They’re not allowed to have an army, free standing, so forth. I mean that’s part of the price that they paid. Look, I appreciate that, John, thank you very much. A very succinct and concise report.
RUSH: Okay, we just had the last caller with a review of the German social welfare state. Do any of you recall reading or hearing recently that Angela Merkel just won reelection in Germany in a landslide? Do you recall reading that, Mr. Snerdley? Angela Merkel just won reelection in Germany in a landslide. Do you know what her platform-leading item was? Tax cuts. Slashing. (interruption) See, well, you’re kidding like I was kidding about something that comes true. Angela Merkel and her reelection landslide was totally ignored by US government run media. It was back in October. And her lead platform item was running on tax cuts, ’cause the Germans are fed up with all this.